Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule

Review: Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule

A-
9 '
Intro

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At a glance

In this review, I introduced you to the Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule serum from the Korean skincare brand Missha. I also discuss hanbang, and tell you more about my experience with this product!

Today, let’s explore the fascinating world of hanbang cosmetics! How about a product from an affordable range in this category? Yes, I know, these are rare. But they exist! Let me introduce you to the Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule serum from Missha!

Several months ago, on my personal Instagram account, I talked about Korean cosmetics using the principles of traditional Asian medicine. I could see that the subject attracted interest, and I was quickly asked about these typically Korean brands, which are very popular throughout Asia but less known in the West.

Using herbs and plants to heal is indeed an ancestral practice in Korea, where there are many traditional hanbang doctors (= the name of this medicine).

There is also a whole range of hanbang cosmetics in Korea, and Missha is one of the few brands that offers a range of affordable products in this category.

Because, let’s face it, even if this cosmetic is very attractive, it’s also quite difficult to access if you live outside Korea. You have to order online! I personally don’t mind, but I know that it’s not the case for everyone 🙂.

Besides, there is very little information available in English. Almost everything is in Korean, and rarely translated into English. My only guiding light in the night on hanbang, is Odile Monod and really, I’m extremely grateful to her for taking all this time to translate and explain everything! Her hanbang guide is a must-read!

Usually, hanbang products are mostly for mature and dry skin. The textures are often quite rich! So if you have combination or oily skin, it can sometimes be a bit too much…

And finally, the prices of these hanbang cosmetics are often very high. The prices of the smallest essence or serum often start around 100 euros, and they can go up to several hundred dollars for creams or more concentrated treatments!

But luckily, one of my favorite K-Beauty brands, Missha, offers a whole range of quality and affordable hanbang. This time, I decided to try their Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule serum, which seemed perfect for my needs! Let me introduce it to you 🙂.

Mini-review: Missha Misa Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream Skincare Mini-review: Missha Misa Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream Today, let’s continue to explore the wonderful world of hanbang, this cosmetic trend inspired by traditional Asian medicine with my mini-review of the Missha Misa Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream! Read more

What is hanbang, exactly?

Generally speaking, as I said above, hanbang cosmetics are aimed at the skin of people aged 30 and above, and mainly target signs of aging. There aren’t really moisturizing or purifying lines in this category of cosmetics!

And that’s because of the general approach to this particular cosmetic. I will quote a lot of the excellent guide that Odile Monod wrote on hanbang to explain in a summarized way this specific cosmetic approach.

In her article, Odile Monod compares hanbang cosmetics and conventional cosmetics as follows: “While standard cosmetics are designed to treat specific skin concerns over a short period of time, the primary goal of Hanbang cosmetics is to boost skin’s self-resilience and enhance skin’s self-recovery power using the principles of Traditional Korean Medicine (TKM).
In Traditional Korean Medicine, pathological conditions and health concerns are considered consequences of weakened body’s immunity.”

She explains, “Traditional Korean Medicine is a holistic medical practice that views the human body as a balanced network of interconnected systems, rather than as a collection of organs to be treated individually. When this balance is broken, the whole system is affected and illness arises. These imbalances are commonly attributed to external, internal or lifestyle factors and the goal of TKM is to preserve or restore the body’s natural equilibrium.”

According to Odile, “Unlike standard cosmetics, Hanbang skincare products are not classified by skin type. Rather, they aim to provide holistic care based on patterns of imbalances identified through TKM principles. Since Hanbang cosmetics mainly work on skin resilience, their main application lies in anti-aging skincare. In particular, the anti-aging lines of Hanbang skincare brands are based on the theory of aging and life cycles.
Anecdotally, Hanbang skincare lines for very mature skin tend to be oilier than the ones for young skin so oily/combination skin types should keep that in mind.”

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After reading Odile’s article, I realized that the formulas of hanbang products are also very different from conventional cosmetics.

There are a lot of very specific features, including the ingredients themselves which are really unique to this cosmetic, and very typical of Korea (lots of herbs, roots, plants, as well as mineral and also animal-based components sometimes). The quality of these ingredients can vary depending on different factors (where they come from, how they are cultivated etc).

The methods of preparation of these ingredients are also very specific, and follow the precepts of the historical pharmacopoeia books of traditional Korean medicine. These methods can be decoctions, extraction by heat, by water, fermentation, germination… There are many!

Finally, according to Odile’s article, a product formulated according to the principle of hanbang consists “of a complex combination of multiple substances with different medicinal properties that work synergistically to provide treatment for a certain condition (…).
The concept of synergy is a key part of Oriental Medicine and it’s different from the concept of simple addition. In fact, synergy occurs when the combination of multiple components produces a total effect that is greater than the sum of its individual elements.

This concept of synergy is definitely a super important point of this cosmetic. Reading the INCI ingredient list of a hanbang product isn’t really going to help you guess if the product is interesting or not! Well, to be clear, this is the case for all INCI lists, but I think it’s even more true with hanbang cosmetics 😆.

Of course, all of this is extremely regulated. You can’t just declare a product to be hanbang! There are official authorities in Korea that verify that the formulation of hanbang products is compliant, and the effectiveness of the products is also tested very strictly.

And I guess you can imagine, all these ingredients and technology are not cheap! If you add to that the price of the tests to be certified by these organizations, you can understand better the high prices of hanbang products…

Once again, I really tried to summarize as much as possible but this is a complex subject, which deserves to be explored further and Odile’s article goes further than these few paragraphs, and is also much more documented, while remaining easy to read! I highly recommend you to go check it out and watch her YouTube videos on the topic 🙂.

Regarding Missha, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned (again from Odile) that the company behind the brand (ABLE C&C) had a whole department dedicated to hanbang cosmetics, and that these were not like many other brands just “inspired” by traditional medicine principles. The ingredients are chosen and the products are formulated according to the precepts of this medicine.

As a counter example, I think of brands like Beauty Of Joseon for example, which claim to be part of this tradition without actually being part of it. Of course, they’re inspired by it and use ingredients that refer to the hanbang, but that’s all. And as we’ve seen above, this practice goes much further than the choice of ingredients. Not all ginseng products are necessarily hanbang 😉.

Anyway, for the Missha brand on the other hand, it’s pretty serious stuff, and without being super cheap, the prices of the products in their Cho Gong Jin hanbang range are pretty affordable! In general, for cosmetics of this quality with this kind of rare and precious ingredients, the prices start around $100. With Missha, the prices are around $50-$60 depending on the product.

Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule, product presentation:

Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule is unsurprisingly an anti-aging serum, quite rich, appropriate for normal to dry skin.

Missha Chogongjin Youngan range is recognizable thanks to its purple and gold packaging. Yes, I know, it won’t be to everyone’s taste! Personally, I find them as kitschy as they’re pretty 😆.
Granted, it’s not super modern but I guess they want to appeal to a certain audience/ age group.

This Chogongjin Youngan line specifically targets four skin needs:
wrinkles and fine lines
loss of density/tonicity of the skin
lack of comfort/dryness
lack of radiance.

All this while promising to increase the resilience of the skin, in other words, to help it be more resistant and less reactive! The brand describes the range as “total anti-aging” and indeed, you can say that the needs of mature skin are well covered 😉.

By the way, the textures of the products in the Chogongjin Youngan range are rather rich, and ideal for dry to very dry skin.

I know that Missha is aimed more at people over 30 but clearly, considering the claims and the texture of the products, for people like me with dehydrated combination skin, I would rather say that they are interesting past 40!

The serum has a slightly oily gel texture, quite viscous and rich. I can only use it at night, otherwise it’s too much for me during the day!

In its formula, there are several combinations of rare ingredients from traditional Asian medicine, as well as more “modern” ones from the latest innovative technologies.

For example:
red ginseng oligosaccharide: the red ginseng extract is enriched, purified and treated with an enzyme at high concentrations so it is diffused more effectively into the skin.
– a Gongjinhwangjedan™ complex specific to the brand and composed of several ingredients from traditional Asian medicine combined according to the principles of this same medicine (= extracts of deer antlers, Angelica Acutiloba flower root, Cornelian fruit, ginseng, ginger, Atractylodes Japonica rhyzome, licorice root, rice ferment, thyme, and many more…). This complex of plant ingredients is anti-aging, hydrating, and brightening.
– but also niacinamide: anti-aging, soothing, purifying, brightening…
– soothing Lactobacillus ferment,
– some anti-aging adenosine,
– and moisturizing glycerin.

What’s super interesting about this formula is that the complex of ingredients from traditional Asian medicine (the Gongjinhwangjedan™ complex) is incorporated into the very modern serum formula in a way that optimizes its effects to make it even more effective! The brand used a method called “Triple Bio-concentration processing method”.

This means that the herbs in this complex were extracted with gentle heat after going through three different stages, including freezing and a vacuum process. It’s all quite complex, but in short, it simply means that the brand wants to make the most of the potential of each of these ingredients. To ensure that this complex can deliver its full effects to the skin!

You can imagine that on paper, all of this all looks very promising! Let’s see how it is in practice, on my skin 🙂.

Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule, my experience:

I started using this Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule serum in December, because considering its texture, I thought it would make a good winter serum! Even though Dubai doesn’t really have a cold season, my skin is dehydrated all year round and the air is much drier at the moment.

For me, it was a perfect fit for my evening skincare routine, to apply right before my retinoid! Usually in this season, I also use a facial oil in my routine but here, with this product, I don’t feel the need at all. It gives me enough comfort, no need to add more!

The texture is really unique: quite viscous and rich but not greasy either! It’s not a texture that sits on the surface of the skin. If you massage it, it absorbs very well. Not super quickly, for sure, but the next morning, my skin doesn’t feel greasy.

As far as sensoriality is concerned, it’s really a pleasant serum to use, especially if you like this type of comfortable texture. It is fragranced, and has a scent that evokes ingredients from oriental medicine, but in a very fancy way (sorry, this may be very abstract if you don’t know these kind of products, I apologize 😅). In any case, the scent is not too overpowering, and it fades quickly.

I already mentioned it above, the packaging is quite “baroque“, but it’s also very convenient to use with its pump bottle. I use two pumps every night.

As for the results, after almost 3 months of use, I find that my skin is better hydrated, has more radiance, and feels super comfortable. I think it’s in good shape and I’m sure this serum contributes to that!

In short, the Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule Serum is, in my opinion, a good product in general, and one that actually lives up to its claims!

I also particularly enjoy the luxurious experience when using it. And knowing that I didn’t pay an arm and a leg for it, it’s even better!

In conclusion:

For an affordable hanbang product, this serum holds up very well! Yes I know, $55 for a serum is not cheap. But for a hanbang serum, it’s very reasonable!

This Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule serum is very pleasant to use and I am also quite convinced by the results.

By the way, the Missha Chogongjin Youngan range looks very nice and I’m very tempted by the moisturizer which looks like it has an insane texture. I’ll keep it in mind for a future try 😉.

Only one flaw for this range, it’s really difficult to find… I know very well that the brand mainly targets the Asian market and that also explains why it’s so hard to find info in English on it (I had a hard time for my research for this review, I can tell you!).

But luckily, online shopping exists, and I found at least one e-shop that carries it. Hey, it’s better than nothing 😅.

The Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule retails for $55 for 50ml.

Product Review in detail

Summary

Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule

"A premium concentrated ampoule formulated with red ginseng and lutragen for the improvement of wrinkles, elasticity, moisture, firmness, and brightness."

product image

Recommendation

A-

Not bad! But super difficult to find sadly...

Price

$55

Details

Packaging
Texture
Scent
Feeling on the skin
Formula/ Ingredients
Missha
South Korea
A botanical scent, very "traditional Asian plants" like. I enjoy it very much!

+ Pros

- the formula is rich in traditional herbal ingredients, a joy if you're a fan of Hanbang cosmetics,
- the very typical scent of this type of cosmetics. I like it a lot,
- the viscous texture, super rich and comfortable,
- the effect on skin comfort, quite impressive,
- the brightening effect,
- it makes the skin more resistant over time.

- Cons

- the packaging will not be to everyone's taste (it's as pretty as it's kitschy lol),
- the presence of alcohol and the large number of ingredients can be a deal breaker for sensitive skins but the formula is extremely well done, and this product is not at all irritating, quite the contrary (this is the magic of a good balanced formulation, a formula is not just a list of ingredients, especially when it comes to hanbang! ),
- it's really not easy to find, even online.

product name

Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule

brand name

Missha

size

50ml

made in

South Korea

packaging

A purple glass bottle with a gold cap. To me, it's as pretty as it is kitschy 😆

fragrance

A botanical scent, very "traditional Asian plants" like. I enjoy it very much!

texture

A very rich gel, quite viscous.

For Who

– normal to dry skin types,
– those who want to prevent and address the signs of aging.

Concerns

– dehydrated skin,
– dry skin,
– devitalized skin,
– dull skin,
– mature skin.

Method

I use the Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule in the evening (but it can be used morning and evening) after I have cleansed and quickly dried my face, after my more liquid and watery essences and serums, and just before my retinoid product and night cream.

I use 2 pumps of this serum and apply them on my face and neck. I press in the product and massage it to help it absorb into my skin. I then continue with the rest of my routine.

Key Ingredients

In this formula, there are several combinations of rare ingredients from traditional Asian medicine, as well as more “modern” ones from latest technology. For example:
red ginseng oligosaccharide: the red ginseng extract is enriched, purified and treated with an enzyme at high concentrations so it is diffused more effectively into the skin.
– a Gongjinhwangjedan™ complex specific to the brand and composed of several ingredients from traditional Asian medicine combined according to the principles of this same medicine (= extracts of deer antlers, Angelica Acutiloba flower root, Cornelian fruit, ginseng, ginger, Atractylodes Japonica rhyzome, licorice root, rice ferment, thyme, and many more…). This complex of plant ingredients is anti-aging, hydrating, and brightening.
– but also niacinamide: anti-aging, soothing, purifying, brightening…
– soothing Lactobacillus ferment,
– some anti-aging adenosine,
– and moisturizing glycerin.

Ingredients

Phellinus Linteus Extract, Glycerin, PEG-8, Water, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglycerin-3, Alcohol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Niacinamide, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Glucose, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Fructooligosaccharides, Fructose, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/​VP Copolymer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Adenosine, Fragrance(Parfum), Dextrin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake), Disodium EDTA, Propanediol, Nelumbo Nucifera Seed Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Atractylodes Japonica Rhizome Extract, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Velvet Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Cornus Officinalis Fruit Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Pueraria Mirifica Root Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Betula Alba Bud Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract, Yeast, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol

Ingredients not included

– mineral oil,
– dyes.

Shop for this product

Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule $55

Missha Misa Cho Gong Jin Youngan Ampoule

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