This product was sent to me by StyleKorean for review purposes. I was not paid for this post but please note that affiliate links are used on my blog. These go towards supporting Oh My Stellar and future content.
When it comes to Korean skincare, I definitely think that Neogen is one of the top household names. The company has a number of brands under their umbrella but Neogen Dermalogy seems to be the main one that’s attributed to them. They consider themselves a “beauty innovator with the latest dermaceutical research and innovations,” carrying a number of different lines to cater for various skin concerns.
I would say that they are best known for their Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads, which is a product that went absolutely viral a few years ago. I’ve also used their Real Fresh Foam Cleanser quite a few times and often recommend it to people! Overall, my experience with the brand is largely positive, with only a few products that were a pass for me.
For this brand spotlight, I’m going to be highlighting a small selection from their range: the Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser, Real Fresh Cleansing Stick, Real Ferment Micro Essence, Real Ferment Micro Serum and the A-Clear Soothing Spot Patch. Most of these products aren’t absolutely new to me (I’ve usually used something from the range before or tested it out a few years ago) so I had high expectations for everything!
Everything in this review is available at StyleKorean so check them out if you’re looking to get anything from Neogen – they carry a pretty large variety of their products. I would especially recommend the Peeling Pads and the Foam Cleanser, as they are my personal favourites.
So, let’s get into this!
Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser (Special Kit)
The Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser is described as an intensive pore mask that instantly absorbs and cleanses away trapped dead skin cells, excess sebum, wastes and blackheads. It can be used over make up (though I would personally recommend to use a cleanser instead) and claims to minimise enlarged pores, lift skin and improve uneven skin texture.
This isn’t a regular clay mask though! It’s actually made with “micro-particles of natural glacial marine soil, colloidal clay from West Coast British Columbia, Canada and carbonated water ingredients.” It smooths on like a moist clay mask but rather than drying, will actually foam up within five minutes. Afterwards, you can either use your hands or the Magic Pore Brush (included in this kit) to lather it into a cleansing foam.
This is actually the second time that I’ve attempted to try out this product. The first time that I did so, I opened up the product to take blog photos… and then I forgot to use it for a while! It ended up semi-dried by the time I got to it and, unfortunately, that meant it lost all of its foaming properties. Thankfully, I learnt and I broke into this one right away!
As I previously mentioned, this special kit came with the Magic Pore Brush. It’s a dense synthetic brush that is similar to a kabuki. It definitely helps to work in the product and I also like the ease-of-use from the handle – however, it’s definitely a bonus and not a necessity.
The actual product comes in a white plastic tub (see above and below). It’s very tightly sealed to prevent the product from drying up, so you might actually need a knife or scissors to open it up. It also has a fabric sheet over the top, though I’m not sure whether that’s beneficial to keep.
You can see below that I’ve kept it though and also used the plastic cover that is included in the box (do not forget to use it). The cover is very firm and tight, though this also makes it harder to open. I think that if they extended the side slightly, it would improve usability a lot.
Overall, I think that the packaging for this is pretty decent. The aesthetics are okay – honestly it isn’t as pretty as some of their others – but I like the measures that they’ve taken to keep the product fresh. I’m fairly confident that I’ll be able to use this tub up (or at least most of it)!
Considering that I was barely able to use this the first time around, my experiences for this product were definitely better! I find that I prefer to use this before showering, since it makes it easier to wash off. The mask lathers up quite a lot and I found it a bit messy – it would drip and really coat the face (hot tip: do not inhale through your nose). It’s effective though!
I like that this mask really only takes a few minutes to act, compared to regular clay masks which often take around 10-15 minutes. This is great if you want a fast, refreshing cleanse – whether it’s because you’re tired at the end of the day or need a pick-me-up before make up application.
The product is non-stripping and my skin feels brilliant afterwards! I like to follow it up with a good face mist afterwards but it’s not a necessary step.
All-in-all, I enjoyed this product much more this time around. I would mostly recommend it for people who find regular clay masks too drying or who wants to clear pores quickly.
However, if you choose to buy this, make sure that you’re using it as often as you can (maybe 2-3 times a week) and close it firmly afterwards. This is a product that will definitely dry up faster than a regular mask and, once it loses its carbonated feature, it’s not that useful as a regular clay mask.
Here’s my verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A foaming clay based cleansing mask
- PACKAGING | 4/5
- APPLICATION | 4/5
- HYDRATION | 4/5
- SEBUM CONTROL | 4/5
- LIFTING | 1/5
- SKIN TEXTURE | 3/5
OVERALL RATING? 6.7/10
THOUGHTS? I didn’t rate the pore minimising benefits of this product as I feel that that would be a more long-term effect – I’ll have to see how it goes by the end of this.
Overall, I did enjoy this product but I won’t be jumping to recommend it just because I’m concerned about it drying out. This would be a good product to have available in mini sizes or as individually packaged capsules.
Real Fresh Cleansing Stick (Green Tea)
If you’re looking for a more traditional foam cleanser but want something that’s travel friendly, then the Real Fresh Cleansing Stick is the way to go. It’s a solid variant of the Real Fresh Foam (which is one of my top favourite cleansers ever) so I already knew that this formula would work well for me.
This product was the winner of the 2017 Teen Vogue Acne Awards and was called “one of the coolest creations to come out of Korea.” It’s main selling point is how travel-friendly it is, as well as it’s multi-purpose uses for cleansing impurities, removing make-up and as a gentle exfoliant (thanks to the embedded green tea leaves). It is formulated with 99% naturally derived ingredients and claims to leave a fresh and moisturising finish.
The unit carton of the Real Fresh Cleansing Stick has a solid green design with simple typography that is a common point throughout the Neogen brand. It also has a pretty watercolour tea leaf background, which softens the overall look. Although the packaging is made from simple cardboard, I had no issues with it during postage.
Opening it up, the product comes in a solid retractable stick tube – hence why it’s so good for travelling. The packaging is made from a lightweight but good quality translucent plastic. The product pushes up and retracts smoothly, whilst the sleek design is easy to pack and secure – it’s hard to accidentally open and, even if you do, the Cleansing Stick is solid. There’s no worrying about spills or leakage.
Design-wise, I love the simplicity of this. The only downside would be that these stick types tend to get a bit messy on application – the cleanser will generally ‘melt’ on skin so leaves some residue on the sides. The best way to deal with this is to lightly rinse off the tube and letting it dry before putting the lid back on. This helps to minimise bacteria build up too.
There’s two ways of using the Real Fresh Cleansing Stick – you can melt this onto wet hands before applying to skin (which will minimise direct contact with your face and is probably best for people with bacterial acne or problem skin); or you can apply it directly on your face which allows you the added exfoliation benefit from the green tea leaves.
Personally, I prefer the latter as I’m all about exfoliating when ever I can but will likely use my hands if I am wearing make up. I did try it directly on a face full of make up and it helps to break down and remove things well. However, there was a lot of foundation residue along the side of the tube and I’m not convinced that that’s hygienic.
The green tea leaves had a minor abrasiveness to act as a physical exfoliant. However, I don’t think it’s that beneficial – the leaves are fairly sparse and, depending on the angle of the leaves, it can sometimes feel sharp too; I had to scratch one of the leaves out because of this. I think that using a finer ground green tea powder might have worked better.
The cleansing formula of this Cleansing Stick is good though! Similar to the Real Fresh Foam, this was able to remove all make up and impurities from my skin whilst also keeping it hydrated and balanced. There was no stripping at all. It’s also equally as effective by itself or after an oil cleanser. In the end, I think it really comes down to what you want out of your cleanser and which product type suits those needs better.
Here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A travel-friendly cleansing stick with embedded green tea leaves
- PACKAGING | 5/5
- EASE OF USE | 3/5
- CLEANSING | 5/5
- EXFOLIATION | 2/5
- SKIN FINISH | 5/5
OVERALL RATING? 8/10
THOUGHTS? I definitely liked this product – even though I don’t see much benefit from it as an exfoliant, the cleansing function is a solid winner for me.
In comparison to the Real Fresh Foam, I think that I would lean towards recommending that one for daily use – the stick form just takes a bit more time to keep hygienic and rinse off. For a travel option though, I would absolutely go for the Cleansing Stick!
Real Ferment Micro Essence | USD$24 (on sale from USD$30)
Next is something that I had my eye on for a while and finally got to test out! I love using essences in my skincare routine; they’re great for people with dehydrated or oily/combination skin because of the super lightweight texture, as well as the intensive efficacy.
This particular one is the Real Ferment Micro Essence, which is a ‘First Treatment Essence’ (FTE) product – so it’s essentially the base of your skincare routine. It’s made from over 93% skin-compatible naturally fermented ingredients (such as bifida ferment lysate and saccharomyces ferment filtrate) and claims to have moisturising, skin-plumping, and brightening properties. It has a light texture and is quick absorbing, working to prep and boost your skincare – perfect if you’re looking for a ‘glass skin’ effect.
You can get this on the StyleKorean website in the full 150mL size or as a 20mL mini size – the smaller one is good for travelling but, unless you have really sensitive skin, I’d recommend just going for the full size (hehe just do it).
This Real Ferment Micro Range (which includes this and the serum, which I will write about next) uses a light blue and silver metallic print as its key design. It follows the same style as the others but has a more minimal and modern approach. The use of the reflective silver works well for this product too, referencing the ‘glass skin’ trend.
I like the quality of the unit carton and it’s definitely one of the fancier looking Neogen products (without being excessive) – it’d look great as a gift!
Opening it up, you’ll find the product in a tall glass bottle. The shape of it is fairly basic but works well – it’s sleek and stands well on a vanity. The hint of a pink duochrome finish over the white is a good reference to the ‘glass skin’ look without using silver (which might have looked a bit tacky here). I also like that the colour is gradated towards the bottom which looks super slick. The bottle doesn’t have any type of dispenser, but you can easily pour the product out – this is common for FTE type products and works well.
Overall, I’m very happy with the packaging here. From quality to design and functionality – it ticks all of the boxes for me personally!
I love using essences in my skincare routine – as I mentioned earlier – and I’ve had great experiences with the Micro Serum before (to be discussed below), so I knew that that would be great. I’ve been using it to start off my evening skincare routine and love that instant boost of hydration. It definitely gives my complexion a plumped effect too though I didn’t notice any brightening effect.
Still, it’s a product that I really enjoy using. It especially like it in the mornings too as it’s a very easy product to layer up. For someone like myself with combination-oily skin, it means that I can get a lot of hydration without over saturating my skin.
Here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A lightweight, hydrating first treatment essence
- PRICE POINT | 5/5
- PACKAGING | 5/5
- ABSORPTION | 5/5
- BRIGHTENING | 1/5
- HYDRATION | 5/5
- PLUMPING | 4/5
OVERALL RATING? 8.3/10
THOUGHTS? I loved this product and, with a great price point too, would be more than happy to be recommending it to people. The only real con would be the lack of ‘brightening’ effect but, to be honest, I didn’t expect to see that anyway. If it were to show up, it would be more of a long-term benefit than anything.
Again, you can test out the mini size first (which is very affordable at just USD$4) but the full size is actually better value now that it’s on sale.
Real Ferment Micro Serum | USD$38
And then we have the Real Ferment Micro Serum – which is the one that I’ve used (and loved) in the past. It’s been a while since I finished my first bottle of this – about a year and a half to be precise – and I wasn’t surprised that my opinions haven’t changed.
This is the ‘sequel’ to the Micro Essence and is formulated with a Micro Bio Ferment Complex and 61% of naturally fermented components. It is a gel-type serum which claims to deliver a concentrated boost of nutrients and antioxidant benefits, helping to strengthen the natural skin barrier as well as providing strong hydration and brightening benefits.
Aside from the ferments (Bifida Ferment Lysate, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate and Rice Ferment Filtrate), this also contains Sodium Hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid), Adenosine (anti-wrinkle and skin restoring) and Niacinamide (brightening) – all ingredients that I love.
You can also read my original full review for this product here.
For packaging for this is very similar in design to the Micro Essence, but in a much smaller form. I like the consistency between the two and they would definitely look great paired together for a gift.
The serum comes in a short glass bottle with an iridescent finish. It doesn’t have the gradient effect like the Micro Essence but is still slightly translucent so you can see the product inside. It’s a bit heavy for something of its size, so isn’t the best for travelling, but is very easy to decant. It has a pump applicator which works smoothly – it’s easy to control the amount of product dispensed (I personally do two pumps).
Again, the quality, design and functionality of the packaging is top notch. It has a modern and luxe feel that would be good for gifting – otherwise, it looks great on your vanity anyway!
My experiences with the Micro Serum this time around are very similar to the first time that I used it. I love the gel-type formula as it smooths easily onto skin, giving it a great dewy finish without being too heavy. It does take a moment to absorb so I prefer using this at night. However, if you’d like to use it during the day too, I would just recommend using less of it.
It hydrates skin well and keeps my complexion dewy. The Micro Serum seems to also be helping to fade a few of the scars I had before, though this is a very slow and gradual process. The brightening properties are rather average, in my opinion – even from the first time that I used it, I also noted that the benefits were subtle.
Here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A gel-like serum that has brightening, hydration and skin strengthening benefits.
- PACKAGING | 5/5
- PRICE POINT |3/5
- ABSORPTION | 4/5
- BRIGHTENING | 3/5
- HYDRATION | 5/5
- SKIN STRENGTHENING | 4/5
OVERALL RATING? 8/10
THOUGHTS? It’s been a year and a half and my verdict for this product is mostly the same – I did choose to rate its absorption instead of scent this time. Aside from that, I brought it’s brightening points down to the average (3) and pushed the packaging rating up (5).
Still, I would recommend this product as I enjoy it. I would turn to this more for its hydrating and skin strengthening benefits than anything. This is also best suited for people with dry to combination skin, as it might be a bit too nourishing for oily skin types.
A-Clear Soothing Spot Patch | USD$6
The last product that I’ll be writing about from Neogen is the A-Clear Soothing Spot Patch – which are the hydrocolloid patches from their A-Clear range. Each pack comes with 24 patches in 10mm and 12mm sizes.
The main selling points are:
- Waterproof: The patches claim to have great adherence through water (such as showering)
- Moisture Environment: Creates a moist environment to prevent picking, scabbing and scarring.
- Protection: Helps to protect break outs from external factors such as water, dust and bacteria.
- Recovery: Patches help to absorb pus, secretions and other impurities while helping to speed up its recovery.
These patches are great for people that get random spots – if you suffer from acne then you’re better off with a topical treatment. Since there are no additional ingredients, this also free of artificial fragrance and colours, parabens, sulfates, animal products, alcohol, mineral oil, essential oils and silicone – perfect for sensitive skin.
The packaging is fairly straight forward – although the design is nice, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. The patches come in matte finish resealable pouch, with small spot UV (glossy) details on the lettering. There’s an indicated area to tear it open and, once you do, you’ll find that the patches are split into two types – one sheet of 12mm and one of 10mm.
Personally, I like that they are divided this way. Generally, I would each either size depending on the pimple, so find it frustrating when they’re on opposite sides. With this design, you can tear according to the perforation. The only downside would be that you’d have to open both packs at the same time – fortunately, the resealable pouch will help with keeping them hygienic.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I didn’t have the chance to try this one because I haven’t been getting breakouts at all! Once I do though – and I honestly think that it’s just a matter of time – I’ll update this section with my thoughts and verdict.
And that’s a round up of this batch of Neogen products! In general, they’re a brand that I really love and respect – they’ve got some amazing formulas and are definitely a powerhouse in the indie kbeauty scene. That being said though, I have definitely got my favourites from the brand and a few that don’t necessarily work for me.
My favourites out of this bunch would have to be the Real Ferment Micro Essence and the Real Ferment Micro Serum. I’d also like to recommend the Real Fresh Foam, as it’s one of my favourite cleanser ever, but also the Real Fresh Cleansing Stick was a travel-friendly alternative.
Have you used anything from Neogen before? Or perhaps you have your own favourites too? I’d love to hear your thoughts!