May 28, 2016

Review: May 2016 Jini Beauty Box for Normal/Combination Skin

Another fun box from Jini Beauty this month! This month’s box included a couple of products from brands I hadn’t heard of, which is always fun, plus an interesting surprise in the form of a hair essence.

If you haven’t heard of Jini Beauty Box before, they’re a monthly Asian beauty subscription box that retails for $24.95. The box usually contains mostly skincare and occasionally one makeup item per month. You’re promised 1-2 full size products and 3-5 samples. The unique premise with this box is that it’s curated by skin type (normal/combination, dry/mature, oily/acne, or sensitive/troubled). If you want to learn more about this box, I have an entire post here that explains everything about this box in-depth. I also have a review for last month’s box here if you’re interested. Ingredients for all of the products included in the box can be found here.

Disclaimer: I paid for this box with my own money. All views expressed are my own, authentic opinions. This post does not contain any affiliate links.

Sometimes if you’re really lucky, your cat will “help” you with your blog photos. Clearly he likes the packaging of the Sansooyu Yoon Gyeol Peeling Gel, too.


Reme+G 3-in-1 Aqua Peeler Kit (Full size)

Retail value: $6 (GlowRecipe)
Jini Beauty says:

This 3 in 1 kit is awesome for treating yourself to a peeling treatment at home. Step 1: Wipe your face with the giant cotton swab, which has been saturated with AHA complex for gentle exfoliation and removal of dead skin cells. Step 2: Nourish and brighten skin by massaging the vitamin-rich serum into your skin. Step 3: Finish your treatment with a hydrating sheet mask designed to lock in moisture and soothe skin with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. Directions: (After Cleanser) Follow the 3 steps that are outlined above and also on the back of the kit.

I’ve actually used this product before (original Instagram review below) and though I enjoy the concept of it, the acid concentration isn’t high enough for my mega acid-loving skin. I do feel it’s effective for skin that doesn’t have such a high acid tolerance, and it’s worth trying at least once for the fun of the giant q-tip alone.

Step 1 is to rub the giant cotton swab all over your face. It has a slightly unpleasant smell and leaves a tacky finish, which hangs around for a bit after you’ve finished using the product. It’s only tacky to the touch though, I couldn’t actually feel the product on my face. According to the instructions on the packet, you may experience some tingling during this step. Since my skin has such a high acid tolerance, I’ve never experienced any tingling with this product. People with sensitive skin should exercise caution, though.

Step 2 is to apply the serum. It’s a very liquidy, amber-colored serum that smells fresh and slightly like citrus. It absorbed quickly into my skin.

Step 3 is the sheet mask. It had a generic, unfragranced sheet mask smell that didn’t smell of anything specific. The fit was good, and the material was comparable to a mask from any of the major Korean manufacturers such as Etude House, Tony Moly, and Nature Republic. It was comfortable and lightweight, but not as thin as the silk masks from Taiwan.

My order from @hkcplaza arrived! Picked up a few things during their 60% off sale. 🍬#leejiham Tea Tree Essence I usually stay away from tea tree products for fear of drying out my skin, but I’ve heard several people with dry or dehydrated skin say they had a good experience with it, so I’m willing to give it a go. Tried a bit on the back of my hand last night, first impression: absorbed quickly, smell wasn’t overpowering, and didn’t seem to dry my skin out at all. 🍬 Reme+G 3-in-1 Aqua Peeling Kit Used this last night, and while I enjoy the concept, I can’t say I’m impressed with the results. The giant cotton swab was amusing, but the serum in step 2 was quite sticky. The sheet mask portion of the kit fit well and had a lot of serum, not in a messy, drippy sort of way, but in a ‘how the hell has this thing not started to dry out yet’ way. I left it on for 35 minutes and it was still really wet. I just couldn’t take it anymore because the heater kept coming on and it blasts cold air before it gets warm. My face was freezing ⛄️ I think if you’ve never used AHA before or are used to a low strength AHA, you might have better results with this since it’s 6% lactic acid, but for me it was too gentle since my skin is used to the 14% AHA serum from Alpha Hydrox and Sunday Riley Good Genes, which is 40%. I could practically hear my skin asking “6%, is this a joke?” Love the concept of this though! 🍬Take Out Spa #myrenewbottle and #mybrightbottle sheet masks Haven’t seen or heard much about these, so naturally they wandered into my cart. If any of you have tried them, let me know what you thought! 🍬Samples LJH Hydra Whitening Cream and Vital Firming Lotion
A photo posted by Cristine Crawford (@hey_itscristine) on Feb 2, 2016 at 6:53pm PST



Sansooyu Yoon Gyeol Peeling Gel (Full size; 150 ml)

Retail value: $17.30 (ebay via RoseRoseShop or direct from RoseRoseShop for $5.17+shipping)
Jini Beauty says:

For weekly exfoliation, Sansooyu’s peeling gel provides mild but effective exfoliation to rid your skin of ‘debris’ built up from dead skin cells. The gel is infused with Oriental herbal and plant extracts plus collagen to help protect your skin during the exfoliation process. Directions: (After Cleanser) Apply the gel to a dry face and massage into skin to remove dead skin cells. Rinse off the gel with warm water.

There’s not much information available about this brand in English, but from what I’ve been able to find, it’s a hanbang (traditional Korean, herb-based medicine) brand. They seem to have some other interesting products too, mostly face creams and such, and yes, they all have equally gorgeous packaging. I’d love to see this brand again in a future Jini Beauty Box, especially since it’s a brand that the mainstream U.S.-based AB retailers haven’t picked up yet, to my knowledge.

There’s a bit of controversy over whether or not peeling gels really work the way that the marketing claims they do (more on that from Michelle at LabMuffin and Colin from Colin’s Beauty Pages), but the gist of the controversy is that in many cases the ‘dead skin’ that you’re supposedly rolling off is actually just the product balling up on itself, the same way a primer might ball up when applied over a moisturizer that it doesn’t get along with. The controversy isn’t that these types of products don’t work at all, but rather just that they don’t make your dead skin cells roll off of your face in the way that the manufacturer usually claims it will. A lot of times, the conclusion that’s reached is that the balled-up product ends up acting as a gentle physical exfoliator.

Personally, I really enjoy these types of peels because they give me the satisfying feeling of a scrub without using anything too abrasive. My favorite is the Skin Inc. Pure Revival Peel, but it’s expensive, so I’ve only ever used the samples I could get from Sephora and then sobbed a few tears when it was gone. One of the things I liked about that peel is that my other products seemed to be more effective after using it. I felt the same effect with this product, but to a lesser extent. Using this product makes me feel like there’s less… crap, gunk, whatever sitting on top of my skin, it got rid of some of my dry patches from healing breakouts, and it helped to make my skin smoother. It smells like most peeling gels do—a little bit plasticy with a touch of alcohol (faintly), and it has a thin gel texture that rinses cleanly. If I was going to choose between them, I still prefer the Skin Inc. peel because it was more intense, but I like this one enough to continue using it as part of my regular routine.

Etude House Pink Vital Water Serum (Deluxe Sample; 5 ml)

Retail value: ~$1.22 (RoseRoseShop, set of 4 for $4.87 or full size (80 ml) for $11.09)
Jini Beauty says:

The ‘Pink Vital’ is a different kind of serum—75.54% pink peach water gives a light, watery texture to the serum, which allows for quick absorbtion. Moisture, nutrients, and antioxidants easily soak into the skin without leaving behind any sticky residue! Directions: (After Toner) Dispense the serum onto a cotton pad and gently swipe over face.


The serum is thin, milky, lightweight, and smells fruity. To me, it doesn’t quite smell like peaches, more like strawberries, but either way, it’s light and fruity. I wasn’t that into the Etude House Pink Vital Water Serum. It didn’t have any negative effects on my skin, but it also didn’t have any noticeable positive effects either. It absorbed very quickly and didn’t leave a sticky residue. I don’t really have anything to say about it beyond that.



Etude House Skin Note Deep Moisturizing Hydrogel Mask, Brightening Up (Full Size)

Retail value: ~$3.20 (Amazon, set of five for $15.98)
Jini Beauty says:

Indulge in this amazing hydrogel mask from Etude House, to experience a mask that locks in moisture and essence better than a regular sheet mask. The brightening version has pearl extract and Vitamin C for radiant and glowing skin results. Directions: (After Toner) Unfold the mask and remove just the opaque film from the upper and bottom halves of the mask. Carefully adhere the exposed halves over your face, then remove the transparent film covering the other side. After 15-20 minutes, take off the mask and massage the remaining solution into skin.

This was actually my first hydrogel mask, since I usually try not to spend any more than $2.50-3.00 per mask, and most hydrogels are at least $3. After using this mask, I might be a bit more likely to splurge though. While it did provide basic hydration, I didn’t notice any major brightening effects from this mask. However, I really liked the feel of the hydrogel and it fit well. Like the Reme+G mask, this just had a generic sheet mask smell. I left it on for about 15 minutes, and didn’t have any issues with it sliding around at all. I probably wouldn’t purchase this mask again since I’ve used other masks that give me a more noticeable effect, but I would purchase other hydrogels.


Somang Keratin Silk Protein Hair Aqua Essence (Full size; 110 ml)

Retail value: $11.49 (Amazon)
Jini Beauty says:

This hair essence is made with keratin, silk protein complex, and 7 types of floral extracts to nourish and heal any damaged layers of hair. It’s a multi-purpose product that delivers and locks in moisture, strengthen hair cuticles for silky shine, and helps untangle hair to prevent breakage. Essence isn’t just for skin! Directions: Spray onto wet or slightly dried hair before styling.

This was my surprise favorite of this month’s box. I’ve been getting more into AB hair care products, so I was happy to see this in the box, especially since it contains keratin, which my hair responds very well to. I have very long, thick, frizzy, tangly, unmanageable hair, so I’ve tried a lot of products over the years that claim to make hair softer and easier to brush. Most of them have let me down, and the first time I used this product, it actually let me down too. I sprayed a bit in my damp hair, tried to brush it, and ran into the same problem I usually do: my hair was too tangly to get a hair brush through it and the hair essence didn’t seem to help. The next time I used it, I sprayed a lot more product on since it hadn’t seemed to weigh my hair down at all. I think this was part of why it worked better the second and third time. I also waited until morning to brush my hair, and I was completely shocked by how easily the brush went through my hair. I haven’t noticed it making my hair any softer, but it does make it look shiny and healthy without making it look greasy, even when I’ve used it on my roots. I keep forgetting to spray it in my hair before I go to bed, so I’ll update you with a more thorough review of this product once I’ve used it more. The texture is lightweight enough that I think even those with fine or thin hair could use this without fear of losing volume. The scent is nice too, sweet and herbal, but not so strong that it would compete with a perfume or be disturbing to coworkers in an office environment. I didn’t notice the scent throughout the day or night, but I do think the scent is strong enough that it might bother you if you are particularly sensitive to smells.

Final Thoughts:

The total value of this month’s box was ~$39.21

Although not every product in this box was a winner for me, I still enjoyed this month’s box. As usual, there was a good array of products, and I felt like I got my money’s worth. I will say this though, if you’ve never signed up for a subscription box before, you should be mindful of the fact that you probably will receive some products that you just don’t love. It comes with the territory since you’re not personally picking out the products that you’ll receive. If you’re not flexible with what you’re willing to try, and unwilling to accept that you probably won’t like every single thing you receive, subscription boxes may not be for you. I just want everyone to be happy with their purchases. This blog has never been about telling people what to do, it’s about giving people more information so that they can make an informed decision that’s right for them. I enjoy the surprise of subscription boxes, and especially the ability to discover new products that may not have been on my radar before.

I would recommend this box to someone looking to try new products and expand their collection, or someone who wants to try Asian beauty products and doesn’t know where to start or what they should be using for their skin type. The info card that’s included every month is very helpful, so I feel like this box is very beginner friendly. They also include a full list of ingredients every month, which can be found here on their website. Reviews of all of the previous months’ boxes, as well as additional information about the service can be found here. If you’d like to subscribe to Jini Beauty Box, you can do so here. Additionally, Jini Beauty can be found on Instagram (they post spoilers for each month’s boxes!) and Twitter. I can also be found on Instagram and Twitter, come hang out with me!

Have you tried any of the products from this month’s box? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments!

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