It’s been one scorcher of a summer here in humid Toronto. I’ve heard back in Seoul it’s been record-breaking for humidity, too! If you’ve read any of my other skincare articles, you’ll know I’m a “no muss, no fuss” kinda gal. When I moved to Korea, I tried to improve my soap and water habits. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of the best skincare in the world? That said, I didn’t have time for 12 steps including a mask every night. I’m busy and actually have to make time to sleep. I make an effort to keep an hour or more of fitness 5x a week part of my routine. Nobody of sound heart and mind is going to lug 12 bottles and jars to the gym. When it comes to skincare, I want to keep things simple. If there are too many steps, I lose interest and bail.
Toners, Serums, Essences – OH MY!
Back in April (I’m writing this in mid-July), a company called iUNIK reached out to me to review a few products. They’re a 10-year old company located in Paju, which is the city closest to the North Korean border. They claim to make products designed simply and for the whole family. “With minimalism finding skin happiness contrary to the times of excess supply age.” I have no idea what that might mean, but the word “minimalism” drew me right in!
Always on the hunt for the latest and greatest, I was excited to receive their Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum, Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner, and Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream. They also sent me their Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel, but it was a miss for me and I only want to bring you products I would buy over and over again. The whole time I was in Korea, I admit, I had no idea what the difference was among toners, serums, and essences. All of them felt fairly similar to me. The only thing I knew for certain was that they went on before your moisturizer. The biggest takeaway? All of the above prepare your skin to absorb the lovely little goodies found in your moisturizer or cream, or even other serums and essences if you choose a multi-step routine. Here’s how I apply my favourite iUNIK products.
Skincare Step 1
Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner $21.99
Hyaluronic Acid 45%
Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruits Extract 5%
(Whitening Functional Cosmetics)
The Claim: “This gel type toner can help to make powerful vitalizing and moisturizing with Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruits Extract 5% and Hyaluronic acid 45%.”
The Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner has no scent. This toner is really watery and doesn’t have the astringent feeling I tend to associate with others. I’ve been using it for months now and the bottle looks like it’s barely taken a dent, so great value there! In my experience, toner can be exfoliating. This toner is intensely hydrating, instead. If you put it on your hand you might think it will leave a sticky feeling, but it doesn’t at all. You’re left with plump, nourished skin! A lot of people shy away from the word “acid” thinking that it will damage the skin or strip it away. Hyaluronic acid actually acts as a moisture-binding ingredient in skincare – perfect to prep and prime your skin for whats next, right?
Skincare Step 2
Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum
Propolis Extract 70%, Double Functional Cosmetics (Whitening & Wrinkle Care)
The Claim: “This Effective Optimal Synergy Serum includes the unique and optimal ratio, Propolis 70% and Vitamin C (Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract) 12% by iUNIK. It can make Calming & Brightening for Sensitive Skin.”
The Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum actually smells like honey! I’m surprised that other bloggers referred to it as viscous or thick. Like the toner, it wasn’t at all the consistency I expected. In fact, it was also quite watery in my opinion. Maybe my skin is just super thirsty constantly, but it was absorbed quite quickly in a thin layer. My skin immediately feels as though it’s been soothed after application of this skincare product. The look of my skin after application is bright and dewy. There’s a definitely glow-factor with this serum! In this summer heat, I can’t be waiting around for my skincare to settle. The combination of the toner and the serum soak up quite quickly and I’m ready for my third, and final, step.
Skincare Step 3
Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream $14.99
The Claim: “Amazing skin moisturizer Beta Glucan, Super Moisture Recharge. This cream can help to make moisturizing dry skin and improve skin barrier function with Beta Glucan. Improve skin barrier function calming and protecting sensitive skin. Moisturizing. Light Skin. Skin clearing. Whitening and wrinkle care.”
Beta Glucan is active in cereal and fungus and is found to lower cholesterol. In skincare products, it reduces redness and soothes sensitive skin. I had horrible skin as a child, but throughout my teens and adult years have been fairly lucky. I get quite a bit of dryness/ redness around my t-zone (my nose especially). Since adding the iUNIK Beta-Gulcan Daily Moisture Cream to my routine the redness and sensitivity has reduced significantly, but is still ever-present. My face has a dewy glow and feels supple to the touch without feeling greasy. In the summer especially, I can’t stand that feeling of your moisturizer sweating off. Thankfully I haven’t had to with this product. I’ve been using this moisture cream Monday – Friday mornings since April, and the bottle is only starting to dwindle now. This product is unscented.
My iUNIK Skincare Verdit
Now that I’m back in Toronto, I’m making an effort to live my best life naturally. I had my hair fixed so that moving forward I’ll be letting my natural brown locks grow in – gray and all. We’ll see how long that lasts. I don’t have quite as much time in the morning as I did when I was in Korea. The gym has taken priority over looking entirely polished and put together. Unless I’m client-facing or going out on the town, I’ve stopped wearing make-up entirely. Because of this, I need to treat my skin the best I can. The ease of use, glowy complexion, and unbeatable pricepoint makes iUNIK an exceptional skincare line. My morning routine is a lot easier with this trio of iUNIK tools!