Latest k-beauty haul: my first impressions

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The other day I highlighted a skincare haul on my Instagram stories and chatted a little bit about the products. Some of the items I featured were holy grail restocks and others I’ve been dying to try out. Today, I want to talk about the new stuff in more detail.

Although I mentioned on my Instagram that I would do swatches, I thought it may be best to post my first impressions here, on my website. Be sure to watch my Instagram Reels to see the full swatches of the products!

It’s important to mention that the experts don’t consider toners and essences necessary – a lot of it is based on preference. Even though I have oily/combo skin type, I find that the extra hydration to be essential following my cleanses.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The HaruHaru Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner

The combination of fermented black rice and hyaluronic acid makes this toner perfect to add extra hydration into the skin. Black rice used to be called ‘forbidden’ rice in China and could only be enjoyed by the wealthy.

You’ll notice the claim “ultra deep technology” on their packaging, meaning that the actives penetrate deeper into the skin via encased liposomes.

I still think black rice is very expensive when you buy it in the grocery store. It cost me almost CAD$10 for a small package!! I’m just fine with the jasmine rice that’s a fraction of the cost.

Fermented black rice is packed with polyphenols and flavonoids which protect the skin against free radicals, pollution, ultraviolet radiation, and it also promotes skin regeneration. If that hasn’t already convinced you, it also protects against free radicals, pollution and UV radiation.

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I was honestly in shock when I put this toner on my face. The toner has a runny and thicker consistency than you might expect from your typical toner. You don’t need to use cotton rounds (save the planet!) to apply the toner on your face – your clean hands are just fine. Instantly, my face felt hydrated! It’s hard to express that happy feeling when your skin feels instantly hydrated. It’s both soothing and calming. Happiness in a bottle.

I do want to mention that this toner has lavender oil as its last ingredient, giving off a very potent scent. It’s up to you if you can handle it. For me, the scent dissipates rather quickly.

HaruHaru Black Rice Hyaluronic Essence

This product is intended for the oily/combo skin type (that’s me!) From what I gather, it’s actually a very similar product to the toner I mentioned above. Low-key I wanted to get this product purely because I love the packaging. It’s shaped like a rice grain! Yes, effective marketing works!

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Other than the fermented black rice extract and the hyaluronic acid, it also has ginseng root extract which has amazing antioxidant properties. It’s an ingredient mainly known in the Korean community and I’ve noticed it quite a lot in my other k-beauty products.

I must say I was also pleasantly surprised with this product. The essence glides on your skin without stickiness and my skin soaks it right up. It also has a thicker gel-like consistency which I’ve grown to LOVE. Again, the only thing I don’t love is it also has some alcohol in it along with the lavender oil. However, these two ingredients are at the bottom of the list – lower it is, less there is.

Dear Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner

Meant for oily/combo/sensitive skin, this toner particularly balances the skin’s pH level, helps moisturize the skin and includes amino acids to help reduce inflammation in the skin.

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I find the texture to be quite similar to the HaruHaru toner. However, it is indeed fragrance-free (like the bottle claims) and there are no harmful ingredients. This is a toner everyone can use. It absorbs quickly into the skin and provides a matte finish. However, I did find that I needed to tone twice to in order to keep my skin damp enough to allow my serums to penetrate more easily. The following day my skin looked like soft baby skin! Usually, I wake up with a glowing grease ball. Not this time!

The main ingredients that stand out to me are the centella asiatica extract and the licorice root extract. I’m a big fan of centella asiatica and that has also become more prevalent in the Western skincare industry.


Here are some of my first impressions of the products! Dear Klairs is more universally friendly since they cater to all skin types, whereas the HaruHaru products have quite a strong essential oil fragrance that may irritate sensitive skin.

I look forward to comparing the two HaruHaru products to see if one is better than the other and how well they work together over time. Since summer’s coming up, I also know that my skin will be changing. I wonder how these products stand up to the warmer months and I’ll be sure to share my feedback with all of you.

Until next time!

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10 Comments

  • Natalie Richardson says:

    Great post Fleur – thank you for sharing this information!

  • Dutchie says:

    Thanks for publishing such informative article, Fleur. In Europe we adore the sun and using SPF is not a very common thing. Also, I remember that in the early days, SPF didn’t go higher than 30 and we only used it while on the beach. And when someone got a sun burn, we just laughed and put slices of cucumber on it to cool it down. You are absolutely right, we need to include SPF in our daily skin routine. Now one more challenge to go: introduce this to my husband.

    • Fleur Boomsma says:

      Thank you for sharing this little story! If we can normalize the use of sunscreen a lot of skin cancer could be prevented! Luckily the skincare companies are getting more innovative with their formulas to make sunscreen attractive for everyone of all skin colors/conditions/types!

  • Eva B says:

    So informative! Thank you for the sunscreen recommendations xx

  • Jennifer says:

    Sunscreen can save your life!!

  • Sue says:

    Your hair looks lovely. I want to try this now.

  • Celine says:

    Hello! I want to ask, after using the innisfree super volcanic mask, you rinse it off and then do you apply your skincare after that? or do you just leave your bare face after rinsing the clay mask off?

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