A few weeks ago, Elizavecca sent me another package of goodies to try out and review for the blog – and I was pretty crazily ecstatic. One of the products that I was most excited to try out – but also the most nervous about – but this EGF Elastic Retinol Cream. It cleans to be a product used by entertainers (specifically actresses) to achieve their flawless skin complexion. Now, I’m not sure if I believe that these famous kdrama actresses are actually using Elizavecca, but the idea that they’re using a retinol cream for this is actually not much of a stretch.
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A (also called a retinoid) and is primarily used for wrinkle care and anti-aging to give a more youthful complexion – it has been used in skin care since the 70’s, so it isn’t a new discovery at all. This is an ingredient that is actually backed by dermatologists and you can get both over-the-counter and prescription retinoids (which will be pure retinoid) to used. Retinoids increase cell turnover, so that it is helping to get rid of old and damaged cells. It also thins the top layer of skin while thickening the smoother, second layer to make the skin look more luminous and firm. It also helps to boost collagen production and prevent its break down when it is penetrating deeper into the skin, as well as clearing pores and decreasing oil production (as stated by Real Simple). All in all, retinoids really sound like a magic product!
In addition to this magic, star ingredient, this cream also contains CF-Nest Extract of 80% (which is a very popular product for Asian beauty, helping with moisture balance) and EGF (which is suitable for dry weather and helps to strengthen skin nutrition). Unfortunately, I can’t find information on the % of the retinol ingredient in this, but I jumped right in anyway!
Before trying out this product though, please read all instructions – or at least finish up this review – because retinol is a product that you have to slowly progress your skin into. It’s not okay to just slather your face with it because you will likely not get good results.
Read on to find out!
This product comes in a really cute, eye-catching yellow and orange packaging with the signature pig illustration n it. Honestly, I love how cute all of Elizavecca’s packaging is – it’s a great way to make skin care fun and, for an ingredient like retinol that might feel a bit intimidating, it’s a great way of taking that out of it.
The paper packaging has a good feel to it – it doesn’t feel cheap – and the small detail of the pop out pig is interesting. Great job to Elizavecca for this! There is also a genuinity sticker for those who want to check their products, since the brand has become so popular lately that there have been a lot of fakes floating around. I got this from the official company so, of course, there is no doubt about this product.
That design also carries on onto the inside of the box, and I really think that this is the final touch that makes their packaging look classy – even though the illustrations and typography are so childlike and playful. I’m always really excited to analyse their packaging boxes and I don’t think that I’d have the heart to throw them away.
The tub is also quite nice with the pig illustration the carries through (pictured below), and it’s made of a sturdy feeling plastic. The tub is opaque so that minimal light is seen through it and the tub should be kept out of direct sunlight. This is important to keep in mind as this is the information that I received from Elizavecca:
The product can be decanted for ease of use or travel, as long as it is not kept in a transparent glass container. It should also be kept in a shady place outside of direct sunlight.
Below is a photo of the tub that I have received. Since then, they have also updated their design and the tub now has an orange lid as well – which is really cute and eye-catching. I like that the new design makes it stand out more in contrast to other products too. However, the formula hasn’t changed at all so, regardless of which version you have, you’re still getting the same cream.
The tub also contains a spatula, which is great since the product is quite aqueous. It also has a lid for hygiene purposes but, personally, I hate this lid. In fact, it is the main thing that actually makes me feel lazy to use this every night. It’s very tight and difficult to take off, so I need to use the spatula to held gauge it out, along with my nails. There is nothing to grip onto. Also, because the tub actually has a generous about of product, it can also get messy on the edges because of this lid. It wasn’t until I used up a part of the tub that it was a little easier, but I am still very keen to decant out a portion so I don’t have to open it all the time.
I hope that this can be improved in the next development.
So this cream applies really interestingly. It has the form of a soft, quite aqueous cream – it isn’t too solid, but it isn’t very watery. In fact, it’s a little bit sticky. It is easy to apply and spread but, depending on the amount you apply, can take a little while to absorb. In this case, you should be apply the cream in an upwards motion (as you should be) and then patting it into the skin.
The cream’s texture is interesting as it forms little strings – sort of like a glutinous appearance. At first, this can look really strange and I am told that this is because of the EGF (?) in the cream, but I find that it’s actually really handy for spreading out the cream. I tried to get a good photo of this texture, but I couldn’t do it properly, so I have included a photo from their website below.
This cream should be used at night for optimal results. It can be used during the day and won’t have any adverse effects (contrary to skincare myths) but UV rays actually cause the break down of the retinol ingredient and so it won’t be as effective. Still, it is recommended to use your SPF if you intend on using this during the day.
So I tested out this cream for around 2-3 weeks in order to work best the ‘adaptation’ period – basically, when it comes to retinol creams, your skin will be quite sensitive to it at first. You are very likely to be get dryness and skin flaking at the beginning; in my case, I had small break outs with every time that I applied it. I started out doing it every three days, and then, every second and now my skin has adapted enough to use it every day.
It is important to keep in find that I don’t have super sensitive skin though and, depending on individual skin types, the reactions you can have to it can be different. It’s important to take your time with it.
However, the amazing thing is that – aside from that pimple – I saw immediate results from the moment I applied it. These results lasted only one day at the beginning but this gets better as you use it. As of right now, I haven’t used any skin care in three days (due to my own laziness, really) and my skin is still feeling and looking great.
I saw immediate results that brightened my skin, improved the appearance of pores and made my make up apply better too. There has been some improvement in oil balance, but that hasn’t been enough for me right now and I am still getting quite oily in the T-zone. My skin also feels much more hydrated and, after a week, I stopped getting any break outs too. My skin adapted pretty quickly.
As for wrinkle improvements – I have definitely seen them! The persistent wrinkle between my eyes has faded enough that it’s barely visible and there’s very obvious lightening of the wrinkles on my neck too (yes, I’ve been applying it there too). Although it hasn’t been enough to completely get rid of them yet, I’m fairly confident that extended use will show great improvement.
Overall, I’m really happy with this product! I used it on it’s own before but I am now working it into my full skincare routine. I like to use another cream over the top of it, such as Klairs, which is a simple calming cream to give my skin an extra boost of hydration without overcomplicating with chemicals.
Here’s the verdict!
- Cute and eye-catching packaging
- Generous amount of product
- Interesting texture, easy to absorb
- Great ingredients (Vitamin A (Retinol), CF-Nest Extract 80%, and EGF)
- Visible immediate and long term results
- Brightening, improvement of visible pores and wrinkles
- Skin adapted well (this can vary with personal circumstances)
- Decent price (currently 28,000 won discounted from 35,000 won)
- Easy to work into your current skincare routine
- Tub lid is too tight and difficult to use
- Can be a bit messy
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Absolutely! Aside from how annoying I find that inner lid (which can be fixed by just decanting the product for use), I actually couldn’t find flaws with this product. It definitely delivered what it promised and, for someone who has never used a retinol product before, the results were definitely amazing. I’ll be continuing to use this product and I also recommend it happily to anyone who wants to better their skin – whether it is oil balance, wrinkle care, brightening or just overall firming.
Do be careful and follow instructions though. Remember that it will likely cause some bad effects at the beginning but, if it is more than a few dry patches or pimples, then definitely discontinue use. Check the ingredients, wear SPF and remember that when it comes to this cream less is more!
WHERE TO GET IT FROM
This was sent to me for review purposes by Elizavecca so feel free to check out their official website, as well as all of the other products they have available!