At first, I was going to have separate reviews of Innisfree Truecare Vitamin C 20 Ampoule and SU:M37º Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow Serum, but I found that these two products work so well together, that it made sense to review them together! Jolse, a premier online K-Beauty retailer, sent me both of these items complementary for review purposes.
Skin Type/Concerns: oily, blemish prone, aging concerns, pores, fine lines/wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation
I received these products complementary to review and was not paid. All reviews are my own honest opinion and I never have been asked to write copy for a brand. This blog post might contain promo codes, affiliate and referral links, which using my links will help generate a small commission that helps support my blog at no extra cost to you.
About Innisfree Truecare: Innisfree is one of my favorite affordable skincare brands from Korea. Innisfree responsibility sources their natural ingredients from the volcanic Jeju Island, using ingredients such as honey, green tea, barley, orchids ~ in fact, Innisfree is part of the Amore Pacific family, so they have access to a lot of the farms out there on Jeju Island. Their clinical skincare line, Truecare, was created a few years ago (see reviews here) and was developed to address skin concerns with a safe formula. They carefully select essential ingredients overall and to address skin concerns, the products will contain potent active ingredients. The Truecare line was designed for skin types that are affective by environmental changes and stressors and minor skin irritations.
K-drama actor Lee Jong Suk (While You Were Sleeping) is the spokesperson for SU:M37º
About SU:M37º: You either love SU:M37º or you don’t. SU:M37º uses what I like to call the Naruko SkinCare Formula Method, which means an amazingly long list of ingredients, many of which are fermented. It is no wonder I love SU:M37º (read my reviews here), as I love Naruko (reviews here) It is what I would say is middle tier to upper tier in terms of price and ingredients in the realm of K-Beauty. Their name comes from the Korean word “breath” and the 37°C is the best temperature for fermentation. This brand focuses on fermented skincare, using only natural oils to scent their products and they are free of artificial colors and synthetic preservatives. SU:M37º has the only fermentation research institute in the country and they ferment 86 different botanical plants that are grown in countryside of Gangwon-do, South Korea.
SU:M37º , whose name is derived from the Korean word for “breath” and the optimal temperature for fermentation, specializes in naturally fermented skincare and makeup, free of fragrances, artificial colors, and synthetic preservatives. Every season, the lab of the prestige brand — the only fermentation research institute in the country — slowly ferments every part of 86 different kinds of seasonal plants in the countryside of Gangwon-do, South Korea. The essence extracted from this fermentation is used in SU:M37º products.
Innisfree Truecare Vitamin C 20 Ampoule: Vitamin C AGAIN? Yes, because I know people love vitamin C products, are always looking for new vitamin C products and even I want to try out new vitamin C products. I am very picky about what brands I will try with vitamin C and do not consume a lot of vitamin C serums as a rule. Innisfree Truecare Vitamin C 20 Ampoule contains 20% vitamin C along with other ingredients to help aid in brightening and antioxidant care. There are actually two vitamin C ingredients in here ~ ascorbic acid and ethyl ascorbyl ether, so I think there is more than 20% in here as the ascorbic acid is marked as the full 20%. Ascorbic acid is one of the best antia-ging ingredients, as it combats free radicals and is also essential for tissue growth, repair and collagen production. Ethyl ascorbic ether (EAC) is derived from ascorbic acid and it is very stable, in both oil and water. It easily penetrates your skin and then metabolizes into ascorbic acid.
Antioxidant gluthathione is a skin brightening ingredient, as it blocks tyrosinase enzyme, which produces melanin. 1996 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, fullerenes is a super antioxidant whose effects can be more than 250 times that of vitamin C. Fullerenes are effective on wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, pore care, blemishes and improving the skin barrier function. Fullerenes is a very popular ingredient in Japan and I am glad to see it in my skincare now!
Hydrating humectant glycerin attracts water and binds it to the skin. Panthenol is another humectant with excellent hydrating benefits as well as anti-inflammatory and soothing while yeast derived adenosine provides anti-wrinkle and anti-inflammatory benefits. Phellodendron amurense bark is used in traditional Chinese medicine and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits while providing anti-bacterial protection against P. acnes, a blemish causing bacteria. This does have alcohol in it, but I think that it to help thin out the formula and try to prevent it from being too sticky.
Ingredients: Purified Water, Ascorbic Acid 20.0%, Propanediol, Ethanol, Sodium Citrate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Panthenol, Ethyl Ascorbyl Ether, Glycerin, Octyldodeceth-16, Butylene Glycol, Glutathione, Sodium Acrylic Acid/MA Copolymer, Fragrance, Benzophenone-9, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Sulfate, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Cellulose Gum, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Citrus Junos Seed Extract, PVP, Fullerenes cosDNA
This has such cute packaging ~ Truecare is always about the white and the pink colors and this bottle is no exception. This is a white glass bottle and you have to put it together ~ it comes with a pink cap ~ just twist off the cap, insert the eye drop applicator and you are ready to go! This may not be the ‘brown bottle’ that I like for vitamin C products, but at least no light can get through that white bottle.
The ampoule is a pale yellowish shade and I have been using it for 2 months now and it hasn’t oxidized yet. The liquid is very runny and watery and has that “hot dog” scent to it and is masked a bit by a citrus fragrance. Kinda like burning oranges. If you want to know why so many vitamin C products have that metallic coppery meaty scent, read this article here by The Cut
This doesn’t sting my skin that much ~ initially it did, but then my skin got used to it. This doesn’t really leave a sticky residue and has a decent pH level of 3.5 to 4, so it isn’t too harsh for my skin. I break out horribly with really low pH vitamin C products, so I usually shy away from them. This one by Innisfree doesn’t break me out at all, and leaves my skin soft and smooth. I think there is also some clarity with my skin as well with this.
That said, I didn’t really notice brightening my skin tone until I added the next product, which contains niacinamide. Niacinamide and Vitamin C work together quite well, in synergy. The old data on not using them together was from the 1960’s and today, vitamin C is more stable in skin care products. The benefits of using these two ingredients in your skin care routine is that they work in different ways to make your skin brighter. Vitamin C inhibits melanin producing tyrosinase enzyme and niacinamide prevents the pigment transfer between cells. The best way to use these two products is to layer ~ I go with the vitamin C first, as I want that acid closest to my skin and then I use the next product.
SU:M37º Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow Serum: I am not going to get too much into all of the 136 ingredients here, as that would be a college dissertation paper, but just tap on some of the ingredients that I think are noteworthy of this serum. There are 15 fermented plant extracts in here, which makes it less ferment-y than the regular Water-ful line. Unlike the regular Water-full line, the key ingredient in the Water-full Radiant line is niacinamide. Antioxidant niacinamide acts as an anti-inflammatory, improves your skin elasticity, provides pore care, enhances the skin barrier function. Last but not least, it helps to even out skin tone and reduce post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
More brightening ingredients in here: Licorice reduces flakiness in skin, anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory which soothes skin, reduces redness. It also is a skin brightener, preventing hyper-pigmentation. Rice Ferment is full of amino acids, over a 100 organic acids, saccharides, vitamins, nucleic acids and esters. Fermented rice helps keep your skin clear and moisturized, while helping to even out your skin tone by reducing hyper-pigmentation. Due to its own natural alcohol content, it is an astringent and also contains antibacterial properties to help control blemishes.
Saccharomyces/xylinum black tea ferment ~ or kombucha. Kombucha is supposed to help deliver probiotics to your skin, helping to protect your skin from UV rays and pollution, while aiding in collagen production. It also provides skin clarity and radiance with brightening benefits. It is full of vitamins, minerals and other skin loving beneficial ingredients.
Wine contains tannins, which has outstanding pore tightening effects which makes it great for oily skin or enlarged pores. It also has antioxidants like flavonoids and resveratrol, which help fight free radicals and reverse damage. It aids in restoring collagen and elastin so your skin can be more toned. Vinegar is a natural anti fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and it will help restore the pH balance to your skin. It contains acetic acid and is known to kill off bacteria and reduce acne. By restoring pH balance to your skin, it will help make your skin inhospitable for bacteria as well, while helping your skin create essential proteins and fatty acids.
Green tea is full of powerful anti-oxidants, due to its high concentration of polyphenols, green tea helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This also has fermented yeast, which contains amino acids, peptides, flavonoids, sugars and vitamins, helping to moisturize the skin, aid in cellular renewal and collagen production.
A soothing, calming and healing trio of hanbang botanicals include houttuynia cordata, mugwort and centella. Amino acid betaine is a humectant and anti-irritant, providing silky smooth skin while soothing and calming the skin. Dimethicone helps provide moisture and a silky smooth texture while creating a protective film/barrier on your skin. Please note that there is alcohol in here, but based on the formula and texture, I do think it is to help thin out the product.
Ingredients: Water, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Alcohol Denat, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glycerin, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Poria Cocos Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Wine Extract, Vinegar, Centella Asiatica Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia Oil, Trisodium EDTA, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Pear Juice Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/Barley Seed Ferment Filtrate, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Lactobacillus/Rye Flour Ferment, Saccharomyces/Grape Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Potato Extract Ferment Filtrate, Monascus/Rice Ferment, Lactobacillus/Water Hyacinth Ferment, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus/Ginseng Root Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Wasabia Japonica Root Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Xylinum Black Tea Ferment, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Yeast Extract, Yeast Ferment Extract, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Grifola Frondosa Fruiting Body Extract, Inonotus Obliquus Extract, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Panicum Miliaceum Seed Extract, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Acer Palmatum Leaf Extract, Hemerocallis Fulva Flower Extract, Diospyros Kaki Fruit Extract, Brassica, Oleracea Capitata Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilicum Leaf Extract, Morus Bombycis Leaf Extract, Anemarrhena Asphodeloides Root Extract, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Ipomoea Batatas Root Extract, Chaenomeles Sinensis Fruit Extract, Phaseolus Angularis Seed Extract, Mentha Piperita Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lippia Citriodora Leaf Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract, Sesamum Indicum Seed Extract, Schizonepeta Tenuifolia Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Root Extract, Spinacia Oleracea Leaf Extract, Platycodon Grandiflorum Root Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa Root Extract, Musa Sapientum Fruit Extract Ginkgo Biloba Nut Extract, Prunus Persica Fruit Extract, Actinidia Polygama Fruit Extract, Prunus Armeniaca Fruit Extract, Lentinus Edodes Extract, Plantago Major Seed Extract, Cichorium Intybus Root Extract, Prunus Salicina Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Leaf Extract, Akebia Quinata Extract, Trichosanthes Kirilowii Root Extract, Crataegus Cuneata Fruit Extract, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Thymus Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Geranium Robertianum Extract, Sasa Veitchii Leaf Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Glechoma Hederacea Extract, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract, Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract, Codonopsis Lanceolata Root Extract Equisetum Arvense Extract, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Taraxacum Officinale, Pyrus Malus Fruit Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius Flower Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Allium Sativum Bulb Extract, Citrullus Lanatus Fruit Extract, Zingiber Officinale Root Extract, Ficus Carica Fruit Extract, Beta Vulgaris Root Extract, Eriobotrya Japonica Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Rubus Idaeus Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Extract, Brassica Rapa Leaf Extract, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Raphanus Sativus Root Extract, Allium Cepa Bulb Extract, Cellulose Gum, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Tanacetum Vulgare Extract, Sodium Citrate, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool cosDNA
SU:M37º never disappoints with their packaging. This serum bottle has a textured, matte silver-toned long neck with a frosted, soft blue base ~ the blue isn’t as vivid as the Water-ful line but it is still impressive. The top of the cap has that beautiful SU:M37º logo with the stylized flowers.
This has a pump applicator, so no messy jars to deal with. This serum has a gel-lotion texture to it, very soft and smooth with that classic SU:M37º herbal citrus scent to it. It applies on effortlessly and smoothly, due to the dimethicones in here, while absorbing quickly. It is not sticky or greasy, but I do feel that my skin has a thin occlusive skin protecting layer.
Now, on its own, I didn’t really notice too much, but once I started to layer this serum after the Innisfree Vitamin C 20 Ampoule, that is when I noticed a change ~ my skin looks more bright over all, not as dull or sallow. I want to continue using these two products and perhaps mix it up a bit ~ to see if one of the products can be replaced and if the results are the same ~ so like switching out the vitamin C for another vitamin C in similar strengths. I have never thought to use both vitamin C and niacinamide together before and now I am wondering, what TOOK ME SO LONG??!??
The upside of this combo ~ I love it and Innisfree is very affordable. The downside of this combo ~ SU:M37º is very expensive, so I will see how long it will last me ~ it’s been a couple of months and I am still going strong with the bottle.
Where to Purchase
Jolse carries both of these products!
Jolse offers free global shipping plus gives a lot of samples out ~ the more you purchase, the more samples you get! Please note that the prices do fluctuate a little bit due to the WON to USD exchange rates.
Make sure to check your coupon zone (click here) for money saving discounts. You need to log into Jolse first, then download the coupons before you use them. Coupon savings usually are $5.00 off a $50.00+ purchase, 5% off $100.00+ purchase and 10$ off a $200.00+ purchase
[ products received for review purposes. blog post contains affiliate links ]