[unpaid/purchase/affiliate/ad] I wish I had not discovered the Sephora Korean Beauty page – these lightweight SPFs are like cat-nip to me. I actually didn’t buy the Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice & Probiotics cream at Sephora – I bought it on the Charing Cross Road which is self-styling into an Asian food and beauty destination in a store called Pure Seoul which is why I have such a little tube. Try-me sizes are even more irresistible than the decorated donuts in the shop down the road (although I bought both!).
Beauty of Joseon is a relatively young brand, founded by Sumin Lee in 2018. The inspiration for the brand? A book called “Gyuhap chongseo” written by Yi Bingheogak, a female scholar of the Realist School of Confucianism from the Joseon Dynasty – more on this in a moment. Yi Bingheogak gave advice for all women on how to take care of their skin in her book, in which ancient herbal beauty recipes didn’t seem to differ very much from what is required of modern skin care. With some updating, these heritage formulas could be more or less replicated. All current formulas take their lead from medicinal herbal books and research. Once again, Wiki has been my friend on learning about the Joseon dynasty. Very, very briefly – it was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea lasting between 1392 and 1897. Early in this period, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to Seoul. Boundaries and borders were changed and Confucian ideals were encouraged, while Buddhism was discouraged. Much of Korean culture, language, etiquette and societal attitudes are attributed to the Joseon period.
The title of this SPF tells you all you need to know really, but all formulas are based on sensitive skin and on using actives meaningfully rather than plentifully. Ginseng pops up quite often – it’s indicated in reducing inflammation, strengthening the skin barrier and boosting hydration – the Ginseng Essence I have is a softening, hydrating essence that’s cool on the skin and I see why it might be worthwhile with the top ingredient being ginseng root water followed quite closely by glycerin and niacinamide. It’s £16 HERE which I think is very reasonable. The Relief Sun Rice & Probiotics SPF cream is interesting – the word ‘relief’ is used in accordance with the brand’s value of ‘beauty in relief’ which I am not sure translates well – it’s the idea of finding relief in skincare products that leads to health and peace within. The SPF is a chemical sunscreen containing 30% rice extracts and grain probiotics to balance the skin’s microbiome. It’s ultra lightweight, weightless on the complexion and hydrating. I’m wearing it now and will upsize in due course. The 50l tube is £16 HERE showing us that very decent facial SPF doesn’t have to cost the same as a new coat.
*some info taken from a Stylevana interview with Sumin Lee HERE.
non affiliate HERE
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