This product was gifted to me by BONIIK for review purposes. I was not paid for this post and affiliate links are not used.
I have waited a significant time before writing this review but I’m feeling like it’s time for me to write down my thoughts – though I think that I will continue to update as I use it. I recieved this C-Tragel Cream (which is by 23 Years Old) from BONIIK at the brand ambassador event. You can also check out my post about that evening here but, basically, a bunch of us beauty bloggers were invited to an evening with BONIIK and The Face Shop Australia as one of their brand ambassadors. We spent the night discussing skincare and make up, talking about our skin concerns and learning about what products would suit us and so on. In the end, they gave us a bunch of products to try out and also let us pick something ourselves to suit our own needs.
I chose this C-Tragel Cream because I have been having dark spot concerns, specifically under my eyes. I have tried a few different products so far but nothing has been fully satisfactory for me. This one is from a brand that I haven’t heard of before but was recommended by the manager of the BONIIK store as a spot treatment for dark spots. Unlike most other whitening products, this is meant to be suitable for sensitive skin and daily use, since the formula is more gentle. Since I was having pigmentation issues around my eye area, I felt that a gentler formula would be better to use and so I was quick to grab this!
And so lets go on with the review!
The product comes in a matte finish box which is pink and white. It also has a black and white image on the side which reads seabuckthorn – the hero ingredient of this cream. In order to prevent fakes, there is also a authenticity seal as a QR code to be scanned and backed with an app. I find that this is especially common in brands that was exported outside of Korea, in particular indie brands that may be selling through third party retailers rather than their own standalone store (when you are obviously guaranteed authentic products). I’m generally very careful about where I buy things, so I think that these security measures are great – though I do question if they’re easy to fake?
Design-wise though, the product has a very clean and elegantly designed packaging. I like the small touches like the gloss text and the hint of foiling – it gives it a more luxurious feel. Some parts of the design are a little messy to me and I do feel that it can be improved, but I think it’s relatively nice from a consumer’s point of view. It’s something that I would recommend or give to friends, knowing that it wouldn’t give the wrong impression of the product (i.e that it’s cheap or something).
The cream comes in a foil tube packaging, which is a bit different because I’m used to either plastic tubes or bottles. It reminds me a bit of the 3CE Back to Baby bases and – to be honest – I’m not too fond of these tubes. I don’t like that they don’t stand properly, meaning that I have to prop them up beside other products and they will often fall. Personally, I much prefer bottles and pumps.
That being said, it is quite easy to dispense now and gives the best control over how much product that you use. However, this might be more difficult when I end to the end of the tube – much like toothpaste.
Product Description & Claims
This product was included in the Get it Beauty series back in 2016, and I love that that show introduced a lot of skincare and beauty techniques, as well as piqued interest in a lot of other lesser known brands – such as 23 Years Old. It is primarily for brightening purposes and to get rid of dark spots. Here’s a few of the main points that I got from the BONIIK website, as well as a few of my personal notes:
- Brightening effect
- It can be used in the morning and night (I was advised to use this at night time only so I kept with that routine, since I don’t want to irritate the sensitive skin around my eyes and cheek area with sun exposure)
- Pink tone-up (This confuses me because the cream applies clear so… I will have to say that this is wrong)
- Whitening effect
- A perfect solution to help your skin problems, and is a combination of sea buckthorn oil and four seed oil so you will well calming, hydrating, strengthening, softening and soothing effects.
There isn’t a lot of information about this product and I can’t seem to find the official website, but I think that what is there is sufficient. The BONIIK website also has an ingredients list:
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Jojoba butter, Polyglutamic Acid, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Macadamia, Sodium polyacrylate starch, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citric Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Tocopherol, Rosemary, Lavender Oil, Peppermint Oil, Basil Oil, Citronella Oil, Bergamot, Geranium, Orange, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA
There isn’t in-depth information into the ingredients, which is a shame, though i did highlight a few that I noticed. There seems to be a lot of hydrating ingredients in this, as well as a few natural oils, so that would be important to take note of if you might be sensitive. In addition, Niacinamide is fairly high on the list and is a great ingredient for those with acne or skin texture concerns.
Formula & Texture
Interestingly enough, this product has 15 sec on the box for a reason – the product is meant to be warmed up with your fingers for around fifteen seconds before it is applied to the skin. I assume that this is for optimum absorption. Naturally, I first started off warming it on the back of my hand but found that I ended up rubbing it in so instead I’ve taken to just warming it up between my fingers before patting in.
The cream has an interesting yellow, pudding like texture that is similar to an ointment – in fact, it also feels a little bit greasy on the skin (hence why I’m also glad that I stuck to using this at night). It has a herbal, medicinal scent to it that may bother some people but I personally don’t mind it.
The product is used as a spot treatment, so you don’t need to use too much of it. It absorbs in quickly and I usually use it after my toner, essences and serums but before my night cream. Since it contains oils, it is best to use any water based products beforehand, otherwise it will hinder the effectiveness of them.
I’ve used this product for weeks at this point, focusing mostly on the dark spots on my upper cheek (close-ish to my eyes) as the acne that I’ve had on my chin – I’ve been worried about them scarring. As I mentioned earlier, I have been only using it at night and also applying sunscreen diligently during the day – I feel like this sort of oil-based product wouldn’t work well under my make up anyway.
The definite positive of this product in comparison to other vitamin c spot treatments is that it isn’t as acidic as others. It doesn’t sting any active break outs or broken skin, so this would be great to use for acne prone skin. It’s really easy to apply and, while it does leave a bit of a sticky residue, it washes off fine in the morning and leaves you with soft skin.
I have been using it every night and keeping a close eye on my pigmentation. While I have seen some of the lighter spots fading, most of what I have is unfortunately still there – and since I have been more strict with sunscreen now, I know that they aren’t new. I’m a bit disappointed that this product didn’t work miracles for me because I had such high hopes for it – I really, really want to fix this pigmentation issue but using a product that won’t irritate or thin out my skin barrier. There are some effects, but it isn’t dramatic enough for me to rave about it.
And so, here’s my verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A cream/ointment to spot treat dark spots/pigmentation
- Nice looking packaging design
- Easy to dispense and control the amount
- Absorbs well into the skin
- Fairly easy to layer with other products
- Gentle on skin and does not sting any active break outs
- Very hydrating/moisturising
- Travel friendly (because of the light tube)
- Tube packaging (which I am personally not a fan of so…)
- Slight stickiness after application
- Very subtle lightening of dark spots
- Scent is strong – may irritate those who don’t like it
- PACKAGING | 3/5
- PRICE POINT | 1/5
- WHITENING | 2/5
- HYDRATION | 5/5
- ABSORPTION | 4/5
OVERALL RATING? 6/10
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
I had such high hopes for this product and it’s a shame that it is so lacklustre. Perhaps this is better suited for those with sensitive skin or whom need something to work for acne prone skin but – from personal experience – I won’t be recommending it much. It hydrates well, but it didn’t do enough of what I really wanted it to.
I will be continuing to use this every night – since it is so easy to have in my routine anyway- and, perhaps, I might see more results with long term use. I will update this post then.
WHERE TO GET IT FROM
If you want to get your hands on the C-Tragel Cream, it is selling at BONIIK for AUD$59. They have an online store, as well as stand alone stores in Sydney.
Address | Shop 42G Westfield Pitt Street Mall (under Myer), Sydney NSW 20000
Website | boniik.com