One of my favorite things about skincare, especially Korean skincare, is the innovation. New ingredients, new textures, new methods: I live for that stuff. There are numerous brands bringing out some very interesting products right now, and I think Erborian is one of those brands. Keep reading to find out why I think these Erborian lotions are something special.
Disclosure: These products were provided as PR samples, but the views expressed here are my own honest opinions and experiences. This review is not sponsored. This post does not contain affiliate links.
Erborian is a hybrid between French and Korean beauty that uses traditional Korean ingredients, such as ginseng, and marries it with luxurious textures and scents, not to mention the innovative scientific developments we’ve all come to associate with Korean skincare. You can purchase Erborian products at Sephora or check out Erborian’s website to explore the full range of Erborian products.
Sturdy plastic. Colorful, but in a clean, simple way. twist-off top. All of these lotions have a stopper with a small round hole in the center to dispense product and prevent too much from spilling out at once. The packaging is well-suited to the brand, practical, and efficient.
My Skin Type:
Normally my skin is somewhere in between normal, combination, and oily depending on the day. During the month-long period I tested these products for, my skin went through some major changes due to the Differin products I’ve been using. It’s been a bit all over the place, but the most consistent change is that my skin is much drier than normal. My skin is also acne-prone and clog-prone, which I’m typically able to treat by using chemical exfoliants. My skin is usually not sensitive at all, and the only ingredient I’ve experienced a bad reaction to is retinol.
Bamboo Matte Lotion
|Erborian’s Bamboo Matte Lotion, which has a layer of powder at the bottom which helps to mattify the skin and blur pores
|Erborian’s Bamboo Matte Lotion shaken to combine the liquid and powder layers
Price: $34 for 6.4 fl. oz. Sephora | Erborian $10 for 1 oz travel size Erborian
Water, Alcohol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Extract, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Silica, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Zinc Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, Propanediol, Allantoin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium Edta, Beta-Glucan, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Geraniol, Linalool.
Bamboo (Phyllostachis Bambusoides Extract): provides hydration
Alcohol: can be drying and irritating to the skin
Willow Bark Extract: reduces inflammation and helps to exfoliate the skin due to the salicylic acid it contains
Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract: hydration
Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract: contains antioxidants and may also help to reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. The latter two applications of this ingredient haven’t been conclusively proven.
Allantoin: anti-inflammatory, hydration, and may aid in cell turnover, leading to healthier, brighter-looking skin.
Zinc Oxide: anti-inflammatory and can also provide protection against the sun, although I doubt it’s in a high enough concentration for that in this product since that’s not what it’s designed for and because it’s near the bottom of the list. In products using zinc oxide as a form of sun protection, you’ll usually see zinc/zinc oxide listed at the very top of the ingredient list and labelled as “active ingredients” along with any other UV filtering ingredients.
Fresh, clean, watery, sweet. The scent reminds me a bit of body soap, but not in a bad way. It has a ‘just stepped out of the shower and into a big fluffy robe’ feel to it. The scent is noticeable upon application, but fades almost immediately.
Thin and watery, a little bit milky after its been shaken up.
How To Use:
Shake it up to mix the liquid and powder layers, then dispense onto a cotton pad and gently wipe it over your face. This can be used day and/or night after cleansing, on its own or under makeup.
Oily to normal. Pass on this if you’re dry or sensitive. Combo skins might be able to use this in specific areas, such as the T-Zone or only over enlarged pores.
There are a lot of great extracts in this product, but the presence of alcohol and added fragrance make this product unsuitable for sensitive skin. Not all forms of alcohol are bad in skincare, some provide important benefits to the formulation and aren’t irritating to the skin, but just plain ‘alcohol’ usually is drying and irritating.
The pore-minimizing effect of this product is caused primarily by the silica, which is an ingredient you may be familiar with if you’ve used a high-definition setting powder, such as the one made by Make Up For Ever. Silica mattifies the skin and blurs pores, making them less noticeable. This product isn’t meant to be a long-term solution for enlarged pores, only something to improve the skin’s appearance immediately, whether you’re wearing makeup or not. I did notice a pore-blurring effect with this product and a little bit of a matte appearance, though neither was as dramatic as a pore filling primer, such as Benefit Porefessional, or a mattifying primer or powder.
Of the three lotions, this is the one I’ve used the least. This is largely because my skin has been so dry from Differin gel that any sort of mattifying really hasn’t been my goal. I think the Bamboo Matte Lotion is an interesting combination of hydrating and anti-inflammatory ingredients coupled with a pore-blurring powder that could be a good solution for someone who doesn’t like the feel of pore-blurring primers, or who wants a makeup-free solution for creating a smooth, matte look on the face. I’m still bothered by the high concentration of alcohol in this product as I think it negates some of the benefits from the excellent extracts included in the formulation, although I personally haven’t experienced any irritation from this product. That being said, I do still like the product and I see a practical application for it in my skincare routine, it’s just my least favorite of the three lotions I have from Erborian. I’ll probably use it more frequently as the weather warms up and my skin goes back to its normal state of combination/oily. If you’re considering buying this product, I think you should consider how your skin might react to the alcohol in this as some people can tolerate the effects more than others, what kind of solution you’re willing to consider (makeup vs. non-makeup), and how dramatic of an effect you’re looking for.
Eau Ginseng Concentrated Lotion
|Erborian’s Eau Ginseng may not have a layered appearance, but don’t overlook this essence filled with hydrating ingredients
Price: $39 for 6.4 fl. oz. Sephora | Erborian $10 for 1 oz travel size Erborian
Water, Methyl Gluceth-20, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propylene Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Equisetum Giganteum Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Extract, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium Edta, Parfum/Fragrance, Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone.
Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract: fades hyperpigmentation, brightens, soothes, antioxidant
Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract: hydration, reduces flaky skin
Panax Ginseng Root Extract: hydration, improves circulation, brightening, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, balances oil/water in the skin
Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract: antioxidant, soothing
Equisetum Giganteum Extract: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Extract: antioxidant, fade scars
Subtle, fresh, herbal. This has a more mellow and less noticeable scent than the Bamboo Matte Lotion or the Yuza Double Lotion. The scent doesn’t linger.
Thin and watery.
How To Use:
Dispense onto cotton pad and swipe gently over face or dispense into hands and use pressing and tapping motions until the product fully absorbs into skin. Can be used am and/or pm after cleansing.
Suitable for all skin types, except sensitive.
Lots of soothing, brightening, and antioxidant ingredients in this one, which is always great if you’re looking to give your skin a more youthful appearance. This does contain added fragrance, so I would be cautious with this if you have sensitive skin; this product may not be for you. Otherwise, I think all skin types could benefit from this product.
This gives a lovely glow to the skin, but my favorite thing about it is how soft it makes my face feel. A lot of hydrating products can leave a film behind or feel a little greasy even after they’ve fully absorbed. This doesn’t do that, it just leaves my skin feeling velvety soft and so smooth. The first few times I used this, I couldn’t stop touching my face, it just felt so wonderful. I really like to use this one in the morning under makeup to give my skin some hydration and glow without having to worry about it making my face slide off throughout the day. At night, I love to layer this with the Yuza Double Lotion for even more hydration. I would definitely recommend this one as along as you don’t have sensitive skin.
Yuza Double Lotion
|Check out the bi-phase layers of Erborian’s Yuza Double Lotion
|The layers of Erborian’s Yuza Double Lotion combined to form a creamy essence
Price: $36 for 6.4 fl. oz. Sephora | Erborian $10 for 1 oz travel size Erborian
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Isononyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Extract, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ceteareth-20, Panthenol, Glycerin, Biosaccharidegum-1, Sodiumhyaluronate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Fragrance, Linalool, Limonene, Ci19140/Yellow5.
Hydrogenated Polydecene: emollient (makes the skin feel soft and hydrated)
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: an emollient composed of fatty acids (these are very good for the skin, especially the moisture barrier!). Unfortunately, this is also a coconut derived ingredient that *may* be a problem for some people with acne-prone skin (don’t freak out! stay with me, I’ll explain!), this doesn’t mean it will cause acne for everyone or even for everyone who’s acne-prone. I’ve used this product for over a month now without any signs of new acne forming or feeling like it has clogged my pores. Some people are more sensitive to coconut-based ingredients, and capric triglyceride in particular can be comedogenic (cause acne by clogging pores). However, it’s important to note that what causes acne for one person may not for another, so it’s your responsibility to pay attention to your skin and make note of the products/ingredients that aren’t compatible with your skin. Acne-prone skins should patch test this, but I don’t think the presence of capric triglyceride is enough to warrant swearing off a product entirely unless you know it has been a problem for you in the past.
Isononyl Isononanoate: emollient
Cyclomethicone: makes the skin feel smooth, and can be especially helpful for dry skin. This is one of the ingredients that helps to give this product its unique feel.
Citrus Junos Fruit Extract (yuzu/yuza): brightening, energizing
Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract: fades hyperpigmentation, brightens, soothes, antioxidant
Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Extract: made up of fatty acids that help to protect the moisture barrier from damage and prevent water loss/dehydration.
Bright, citrus, sweet. I absolutely love this scent, it’s a bit of a mixture between tangerine and grapefruit if you’re unfamiliar with the scent of yuza/yuzu fruit. I like that this isn’t too sharp, which is a problem I often experience with citrus scents, especially grapefruit. It has a tangy sweetness, similar to orange juice.
A watery layer on the bottom and a lotion layer on the top. When shaken, this becomes a thin, silky lotion, comparable to an emulsion.
|Erborian Yuza Double Lotion
How To Use:
Shake it until the two layers are combined, then dispense onto a cotton pad and swipe over the face. Can be used am and/or pm. Can also be used under makeup as a hydrating layer.
Normal, combination, dry. Oily skin types might enjoy this for a lightweight hydrating layer.
The Yuza Double Lotion is my favorite, without a doubt (spoiler: it’s going to make an appearance in my February Favorites). I think the bi-phase lotion is a unique concept that not only looks cool, but also strikes the right balance between being hydrating and light-weight. I can see this being a great option for a lot of people with combination or dry skin, myself included.
Like the Eau Ginseng, this makes my face feel incredibly soft and smooth without feeling heavy, greasy or leaving a film behind. It may feel a tiny bit oily as you’re first applying it, but just wait for it to dry down and then enjoy how soft your face feels. This doesn’t disrupt makeup, so it can be used underneath as a hydrating layer.
Ingredient-wise, this one is very different from the Eau Ginseng and Bamboo Matte Lotion, both of which followed more traditional Korean philosophies of light, watery textures filled with beneficial plant extracts. Instead, the Yuza Double Lotion plays around with the more recent technology and ingredient advancements that have helped to make Korea the star of modern skincare. Think you’ve never experienced Korean skincare? Chances are you actually have, you just didn’t know it. A very large amount of what Western brands are developing and selling right now is highly influenced by Korean ingredients and technology. The Yuza Double Lotion is a perfect example of the innovation of Korea fused with the luxe experience of French skincare, which is what Erborian is all about. The Yuza Double Lotion has the fun, aesthetic bi-phase layers, numerous rich emollients that dry and combination skins will absolutely love, and silky, light-weight hydration that even oily skin types might be able to get down with. In my opinion, this is one of Erborian’s stand-out products (I’m not the only one that feels this way, check out
the reviews on Sephora.com!). I highly recommend the Yuza Double Lotion if it sounds like it would be a good match for you!
All of the lotions contain added fragrance, which is part of the French skincare aesthetic that the brand has, along with the luxurious, silky smooth textures of the products. However, I know many people are opposed to added fragrance in skincare, and that sensitive skin can be especially prone to irritation when it comes to fragrance. If that’s the case, these products may not be for you. I personally enjoy a light scent because it makes the experience more enjoyable for me, but to each their own.
While I definitely have my favorites, I think all of these products are creative, innovative, and each have their own unique purpose. Each has a combination of ingredients and textures that make it more suitable for a particular skin type or problem, so definitely assess your own needs when making a decision about these Erborian lotions. Overall, I think there’s something here for almost everyone to enjoy, though these lotions might not be suitable for everyone.
Thanks again to Erborian and Hailley at Tractenberg & Co. for sending these products over for consideration!
Want a peek at my skincare routine? Come hang out with me on Instagram
Thanks for reading!