Finding the right moisturizer is a little bit like Goldilocks trying to find a bed. This one is too heavy, this one is too light and this one might be just about right!
All jokes aside, moisturizers are a very important product that can make or break your skincare routine. You gotta lock it all down, keep that skin moisturized and not look greasy while doing it! That’s why so many of us change up our moisturizer based on the time of day (AM or PM), time of year or just depending on what our skin is needing in the moment. Having a moisturizer wardrobe can be vital.
One moisturizer that I’ve added to my wardrobe in anticipation for fall is the Etude House Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream, which has surprised me in so many ways. So read on if you want to learn about this fantastic, affordable and gentle cream!
My skin type: Combo/dry, dehydrated, sensitive
2x Barrier INTENSIVE Cream?
The first surprise with this moisturizer was for sure the texture (well, actually learning to open the tube was a surprise too!)
The name of this suggests, to me, a rich and nourishing cream with a thick and buttery texture. I mean, it says it’s 2x intensive. But boy, you sure can’t judge a cream by its name, this texture is like a light whipped lotion!
So lightweight and airy, it spreads easily and thinly across the skin and absorbs quickly. Yet it’s very nourishing to the skin, easily treating the dry areas of my face without overwhelming the oily areas! This leave skin silky soft but without a shiny or grease residue.
I’ve since learned that the 2x is not referring to 2 times the intensive moisturizing power, but the power of two superstar ingredients, madecassoside and panthenol. More on those in just a bit.
This moisturizer is part of Etude House’s new cult favorite line, Soon Jung, which is all about soothing irritated skin with minimal and gentle ingredients. This cream claims to balance, hydrate and soothe.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Propanediol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Madecassoside, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Potassium Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Disodium Edta
Highlights: Fragrance, essential oil, alcohol and silicone free.
As you can see, this is a fairly minimal ingredients list with just 17 ingredients; here’s some goodies:
- Panthenol always a skin-soothing favorite of mine, Panthenol, also called pro-vitamin B5, is a sensitive skin friend for its ability to protect and reduce irritation on the skin. It’s also an effective humectant, attracting and binding water to the skin. Additionally, panthenol can help skin’s lipid production, supporting a healthy barrier function.
- Madecassoside is one of four active compounds found in centella. Madecassoside is the compound particularly responsible for skin calming and wound healing, plus it has excellent antioxidant protection.
- Green Tea Extract is a fantastic skin soother that carries antioxidant protection. It’s also a well known anti-acne ingredient, with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits.
- Shea Butter is bringing the nourishment. It’s a beautiful emollient that is extracted from the seeds of the shea tree and is soothing, rich in antioxidants and can help protect skin from external irritants like UV and wind.
- Sunflower Seed Oil is one of the most commonly used plant oils in skincare. It’s great for emolliency, but what we really need to know is that it’s excellent for the moisture barrier and high in linoleic fatty acid!
At first I was surprised by the texture, expecting a thick, rich cream and getting a light and airy lotion-like texture made me think this wasn’t going to be enough for my skin. But again, I was pleasantly surprised by this cream!
I mostly find myself reaching for this cream when my skin is craving nourishment but doesn’t want a heavy layer. This doesn’t build up thick on the skin or feel like too much on warm days. This also isn’t greasy or slow to absorb, so it’s perfect for morning routines when you’re slapping your SPF on quickly to get out the door fast!
I’ve been using this a lot in fall because the weather has been unpredictable — some days my skin gets overly oily in the unseasonable heat, and the next day I’m getting dry from being wind-whipped in the chilly air! This cream seems to suit both situations really well: protective but light enough for oily days and nourishing and healing for dry days.
Something I like to do especially at night is add a few drops of oil to my moisturizer, and this is the perfect texture for mixing. Using a few drops of oil (squalane is a favorite or Stratia Fortify) helps to make this light cream a nourishing powerhouse! Such a multitasking product!
While I find it very moisturizing, nourishing and protective, I just want to point out that this isn’t soothing in the way a cica cream might be. If you’re feeling irritation or seeing redness on your skin you will still want a relief product in your routine as this cream can only do so much.
The Final Word
I love this moisturizer; it’s really simple but gets the job done and seems to work in a variety of climates and for many skin types. That makes this affordable moisturizer a workhorse in any skincare stash!
Recommended for: combo/oily, combo/dry, normal, dehydrated and dry skin types. Suitable for sensitive and/or acne prone skin.
What I love:
- Simple and minimal ingredients
- Affordable price
- Sensitive skin friendly
- Easy, light texture
- Protective against TEWL
- Mixable with facial oil
- Quick absorb time and no greasy finish
- Works well under sunscreen and makeup
Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream
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