Review: Korres White Tea Facial Fluid Gel Cleanser & Evening Primrose Eye Cream

A while ago I got 4 Korres samples in a sample pack for combination and oily skin, including White Tea Facial Fluid Gel Cleanser, Olive Stones Face Scrub, Pomegranate Balancing Moisturizer, and Evening Primrose Eye Cream. Since Olive Stones Face Scrub (the grains in there are way too rough! I’m using the rest of the packet on my hands now) and Pomegranate Balancing Moisturizer (I think this has been reformulated, because the old formula contains paraben) have been discontinued, I am just going to review the White Tea Facial Fluid Gel Cleanser and Evening Primrose Eye Cream for you.

The White Tea Facial Fluid Gel Cleanser is a transparent gel with a yellowish/greenish tinge. It smells like tea, but the smell is not overwhelmingly powerful or artificial, so that’s a big plus. It only foams up reasonably well when your hands are completely grease-free, which means when I wash my face in the morning with whatever moisture my hand cream leaves on my hands overnight, it doesn’t foam up much. Well, you know me, I am a bit foam-obsessed, so I was just about to write this gel cleanser off when I realized — hey, it leaves my face baby soft! It cleans without stripping my skin of moisture, and I have the impression that it is slightly gentler than my holy grail L’Occitane Foaming Rice Cleanser (reviewed here), though it doesn’t claim to remove makeup like the L’Occitane one. The Korres website claims that “the White tea liquid gel is fine-lathering to avoid over-stripping the skin.” It is also supposed to work “beautifully when used with a natural face sponge,” but I didn’t try that so I can’t judge if it will indeed foam up better that way.

I was looking into the future possibility of purchasing a full-size bottle when I realized it does not come with a pump. Well, let’s just say it would be a lot more practical if it did. It is in the same price range (slightly more expensive) than the Foaming Rice Cleanser, so who knows? Maybe one day I’ll try the whole bottle!

The Korres Evening Primrose Eye Cream is extremely rich in texture. Rather than I cream, I would call it a paste. You really only need a very tiny bit each use, and for double the amount of most pharmaceutical eye creams, I consider the price reasonable (Korres is sold in pharmacies in Belgium). The smell is very “earthy.” I think it boarders on being unpleasant, but since I have never really smelled Evening Primrose I can’t tell you if it smells just like that. The smell doesn’t linger though, so I don’t consider it a big problem.

According to Korres, this is “a velvety cream that shields and brightens up the eye area. Evening primrose, in combination with vitamin C, stimulates collagen synthesis, thus plumping fine lines. Ruscus extract promotes blood microcirculation illuminating the under-eye area and gradually erasing dark circles. The natural sunscreen Zinc oxide prevents premature skin ageing, while diffusing a light whitening concealer-like effect.”

Sounds amazing, but does it really work wonders? The website also provides specific instructions about how to apply this eye cream: “Apply the cream daily around the eyes. Firstly, gently apply on the lower lid and upper cheek from the inner corner to the outer corner of the eye, continue with the side area of the eye and finish up by slightly smoothing it following the line of eyebrows, avoiding the upper eyelid area.”

Since the sample contains a generous amount of 2 milliliters, I have been testing it out for more than a week now. For someone who has never been able to see the difference between one kind of eye cream and another so far, I have to say this one is really pretty good! Because the texture is so thick, you really only need a tiny little. It takes a bit more time and patience patting it in, but for such a thick cream it absorbs well and quickly without leaving a greasy feeling/sheen. I was worried that a rich cream will make the eyeliner on my lower lash line smudge, but nothing of that sort happened. Right after patting it in the skin in my under-eye area looks smoother and brighter. The effect also lasts throughout the day/night. The “light whitening concealer-like effect” Korres promises is actually delivered! Of course I haven’t used it for long enough to be able to tell if it makes any difference in the long run, but I am definitely going to give the full-size tube a try once my current eye cream runs out. At some point I’ll probably update the article to let you know how it works!

The only thing that I am not entirely convinced about is the fact that this eye cream contains spf 6. I was told by a pharmacist here that unless you are particularly sensitive to sunlight, you don’t need a product that has spf for the night. Also, to avoid pigmentation issues, she personally avoids it. From what I can see on the American website, the one that is available in the US does not contain spf (contrary to the version marketed elsewhere. It also contains only 0.68 oz/20ml while it is 30ml in all the other countries I checked). I compared the lists of ingredients and found them majorly the same. The US version also has zinc oxide which is supposed to be the “natural sunscreen” Korres talks about. Therefore, I am a bit confused, but since I am not a chemist and the resident chemist of Mostly Sunny is not an expert when it comes to this particular compound, I’ll have to leave it at that.

Korres products are marketed to be dermatologically tested, mineral oil free, silicone free, propylene glycol free, ethanolamine free, and enriched with active plant extracts. At least the two products I’m reviewing here are also parabens-free, so that is a big plus for me!

Bottom line: I would definitely recommend checking the Evening Primrose Eye Cream out, especially if you are looking for a rich eye cream. If you want a gentle facial cleanser that smells lovely, you take the White Tea Facial Fluid Gel Cleanser into consideration!

What about you? Have you tried any Korres products? Are you impressed or do you find them meh?

Sunny xx

PS: the water in Belgium is extremely rich in calcium and magnesium, so the “foaming” problem I mention is not necessarily going to happen to you if you live somewhere the water is not as hard.

Allergy Alert! Products I Have Had Allergic Reaction to

Hey there, how’s everyone on Wednesday? We’re halfway through the week, and usually after Wednesday time passes in a blur for me, so I guess that’s good news!

I know that allergies are complicated, and just because I have been allergic to something doesn’t mean everybody will. Therefore, this post is there mostly as reference for myself and anyone who might want to take this into consideration. I do suffer from allergies, but it’s mostly my nose. Drastic changes in weather and animals (which is ironic. I found out about it after owning two cats for 5 years, but of course I’m not giving them away) could make my nose stuffy and runny. My skin is a bit sensitive, but it hasn’t reacted badly to an awful lot of products. That’s why I also think the products I have reacted badly to deserve some mentioning…

1. MAC Fertile eyeshadow. I adore purple eyeshadows (as you guys have probably found out by now), and Fertile looked like another dream one for me, so I was excited when I got it in swap! The color is indeed nice, but it is a bit hard to blend. I can’t remember if I had any pigmentation issue because to my horror, Fertile made my eyelids BUBBLE UP! I had never previously reacted to any eyeshadows, so it was a shock when the parts of my lids to which I had applied Fertile started bubbling up. I ended up having to show up for my date with no makeup, and the swelling finally went down after 6-7 hours. I repeat, MAC or not, I had never previously reacted to an eyeshadow. I’ll have to steer clear from it for the rest of my life.

2. Avene Cleanance Soap-free Gel Cleanser. OH MY GOD THIS STUFF BREAKS ME OUT! I have combination skin and occasional acnes, and I used to buy pharmaceutical cleansers that help keep excess sebum under control. I noticed an increased amount of acnes after using this cleanser. At first I thought it was the change in season so I used some other products to keep the acnes under control. I left for a long trip soon afterwards and didn’t want to take the almost full bottle with me, so I purchased L’Occitane Foaming Rice Cleanser (which became my HG) at the airport and stuck with that instead. My skin pretty much went back to normal, but up till that point I didn’t suspect it was THIS that caused the problems. I thought I’d go back to it when my bottle of L’Occitane was running out, and I was still naive enough not to have suspected this when I started breaking out BADLY again. My roommate was surprised, shocked, and concerned — he had never seen me with so many bad acnes ever and he had known me for 6 years. That says something! At a certain point I finally remembered I was using this bottle of cleanser the last time I had a bad breakout. I stopped using it and my skin snapped back to normal in a day or two. It was dramatic! I had never ever reacted to ANYTHING like this in my entire life. Again, I’m not saying everyone should stay away from this, but I’m DEFINITELY not repurchasing! Ended up throwing the bottle away when I moved.

I will keep updating the list if I turn out to be allergic to anything else again. How about you? Have you reacted badly to any makeup/skincare products? Do share the experience!

EDIT 12th January 2012

3. Korres Olive and Rye Night Cream. I received a sample of this, and the first time I used it I found the texture surprising. It looks like a cream, but once applied the cream melts into oil. The oil was absorbed after a while, so it wasn’t too greasy or anything. However, the next day some big and angry acne developed on my face! I suspected this cream because it was the only new thing I was trying out, so I switched back to the Caudalie one I am using at the moment, and the acne went down. However, since I planned to put this in the blog, I didn’t want to accuse the innocent. Therefore, once the acne went down completely I gave it a second try. The same thing happened. Granted I probably don’t need an anti-ageing and firming cream yet, my past experience with richer creams didn’t really lead to angry breakout. Maybe I’ll give it another try in several years when I do need an anti-ageing cream, but in the meantime the rest of the sample is going in the bin.