You see, I used to use Hanyul White Chrysanthemum something or the other in the past, and it was lovely. But that was before I got all serious about blogging about Asian skincare products.
So earlier this year, when my dear friend from France asked about skin tone evening serums, I naturally ran to the net and purchased the first White Chrysanthemum item that caught my eye.
It turned out to be a good mistake, in several ways, actually.
But first things first.
"White chrysanthemum?" I hear you say.
"You mean, like this?" I hear you say.
I mean, it's a chrysanthemum for sure. And it's definitely white.
Yeah, I thought so, too.
But as always with cosmetic products, the devil's in the details.
I remembered reading something about white chrysanthemum tea being a popular drink in China. But as far as I could recall, it didn't actually involve huge white flowers, of the kind usually placed on graves in a certain European country on November 1st.
I started digging. And sure enough, what they call "white chrysanthemum" in China is what we call "golden chamomile" or "Chinese chamomile" in Europe.
And yes, the "white chrysanthemum" drink I remembered drinking smelled more like chamomile tea than a cemetery on All Saints' Day (my Polish readers will understand the reference).
So you expect this:
But in reality, you get this:
Quite a difference, right?
Yeah, I thought so, too.
So that's the bad news. It's not white, it's golden, and it's not a chrysanthemum of the usual variety, but something more resembling a chamomile.
Luckily for us, that's the end of bad news.
And for the good news? Luckily for us, there's plenty of it.
1. Chamomile and chrysanthemums are actually related.
This one here is called Chrysanthellum indicum in Latin and "gamguk" in Korean.
2. Chrysanthellum indicum extract happens to be quite awesome. According to multiple sources, it has:
- - anti-aging properties
- - anti-inflammatory properties
- - and according to a research paper published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, is an effective and well-tolerated topical agent (used as 1% cream) for the treatment of moderate rosacea.
3. Hanyul White Chrysanthemum Radiance Serum claims to have 1000 ppm (part per million?) of this magical "gamguk" extract.
Wait a sec.
My Japanese friend has a question.
No, not Yuzuru Hanyu *). Though in all fairness, this boy is the fairest of them all and totally could have his own skincare line.
image source: Amore Pacific
Hanyul is one of the many, many brands from Amore Pacific. And Amore Pacific is the largest beauty company in South Korea. Or one of the two largest. The other being LG (yep, that LG).
Hanyul's tagline is: "Traditional natural cosmetics from the nature and folk remedies of Korea."
Pity they limit themselves to Korea, because just imagine the perfect blend of Hanyu and Hanyul. The marketing possibilities are endless.
I'd buy it. Just because.
But what were we talking about here?
It's a Korean skincare product that claims to even out your complexion, reduce dark spots and blemishes, improve your skin's natural radiance by preventing the formation of melanin.
It also claims to have anti-wrinkle properties.
As a serum, it goes on your skin after cleansing and applying toner.
In a typical Hanyul fashion, one side of the box is printed in English, the other - in Korean.
The bottle has the characteristic Hanyul shape. But sadly, it's plastic. It looks like nice, luxurious glass, but it's just cheap plastic. Korean skincare companies like to fool you like that.
The bottle is semi-transparent (you can see how much stuff is still inside if you hold it against the light) and holds 40 ml of product.
The serum is white, its texture is very light and deliciously delicate. It's not oily, it's not watery, it's just right.
It does smell like chrysanthemums, though. It's not a strong smell, but it's there. And it definitely likes to linger. I absolutely hate this scent!!!
The serum absorbs completely, leaves the skin feeling soft and very lightly hydrated. There is no sticky film or other residue.
The bottle is equipped with a pump. But it's not the airless type, you can unscrew it and suck every last bit of what's still left in the bottle.
The leaflet included in the box has the usual useless information in two languages. However, the Korean version is more extensive and includes the ingredient list as well.
Basically, the only thing you can read in English is this:
So yeah. That's what they say.
What do I say about Hanyul White Chrysanthemum Radiance Serum?
This is a very confusing product.
I used it once a day, in the morning. I felt like it wasn't doing much, so I stopped and put it aside for a while.
My skin reacted immediately.
Sometimes the best way to determine whether a product works or not is to stop using it.
So yes, this serum is indeed doing something. I can't tell you what it's doing, but I can definitely tell you what happened when I wasn't using it.
My skin lost its radiance and returned to its usual pinkish and I-look-like-I'm-slightly-drunk ruddy state.
Not using it made me realize how gentle and delicate and subtle this serum is.
The changes are minimal but they are there.
And the best part?
There was no adverse reaction whatsoever.
My skin was calm, smooth, less pink, radiant, bright and healthy.
I'm so in love with this Hanyul White Chrysanthemum Radiance Serum that I nearly wept when I reached the bottom of the bottle.
I wanted to run and repurchase immediately.
But I didn't.
And I won't.
The smell. The flowery scent that makes me think of All Saints' Day. I just can't stomach another bottle of this sensory abomination.
99% of people will tell you it's a pleasant, refreshing fragrance. And they are right.
But if you are sensitive to scents, you will, literally, be able to taste it.
Hanyul White Chrysanthemum Radiance Serum ingredients (courtesy of HwaHae):
So there you have it.
A delightful brightening serum that is suitable for dry, sensitive and delicate skin, and which would be perfect, if not for the annoying fragrance.
If you want to try it, most Korean online stores carry it. Pricing varies, so it pays to shop around.
So that was Hanyul.
And this is Hanyu *)
*) Japanese Figure Skating God