Before my trip to Seoul, where I spent what felt like half my monthly income on various skincare products, I’d never heard of The Yeon. I hadn’t seen them in any online shops, or any of the stores down south in Busan. Founded in 2012 in Seoul, the company uses natural ingredients, and in their own words:
We have discovered that the sustainability of all products is in nature itself, not derived from artificial factors.
So yes, they use natural ingredients, but none more so than the lotus. They use lotus in many forms in a significant amount of their products: lotus flower, lotus root, lotus leaf, and lotus seed. Aside from being a beautiful plant, the lotus provides antioxidant protection, cleanses, and purifies the skin.
They’re a young company, but have established themselves in the US already and have opened two stores in New York. On top of this, the brand boasts locations in the Philippines, Japan, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Thailand. I stumbled across their store in Myeongdong (beauty shopping district), and of course, they beckoned me in with a few free samples.
As I entered the shop, I wasn’t entirely sure about the products. A lot of things were discounted, and sometimes this can put up little red flags (Why are they selling all this stuff so cheaply? What are they trying to get rid of?). I needn’t have worried, as they were just having one of their beauty sales, which many shops seem to do on a monthly basis. I’d spent my day fruitlessly looking for an oil cleanser, and told the lovely assistant so. She informed me of the two-in-one oil to foam cleanser, which sounded promising, because who doesn’t enjoy saving time and money by getting two products in one?
Directing me to a large bowl of water, she proceeded to smear lipstick and eyeliner all over my hand in order to demonstrate how the product worked. I tested quite a few products in the shop that day (including their Jeju Hallabong range, which smells amazingly citrusy and tangy), but this was the one product that stood out to me. After using it for a while now, I’m ready to review it, and show you how a two-in-one cleanser works.
The Yeon Lotus Flower Charcoal Oil to Foam Cleanser
Oil to foam cleansers are becoming increasingly more popular, an alternative for those who want to combine the two-step process of oil cleansing followed by foam cleansing. It’s very simple to use – all you need to do is dispense the gel, and rub it into your face. This part is the oil cleanse. Why is this important? It draws out oil-based make up and dirt, such as the make-up you use, sun cream, and sebum (oil your body secretes from glands). This cannot be done simply by using a water-based/foam cleanser – as you know, oil and water don’t mix (see, science is really useful and now my face is glad I paid a bit of attention in school).
Rub the oil into your face, making small circular movements. Then, when you’ve rubbed it in some, add some warm water into the mix, and you’ll start to see it foaming up. The Yeon sold a cleansing brush tool to me along with their cleanser (it came together, at 19,000W, or $16/15 euros), and to use this, simply apply the product, and do the same as described above, but with the brush! I like using this as it seems to remove make-up more quickly and gets deeper into the skin/pores, removing more gunk. The foam part of the cleanse removes things like dirt and sweat, so keep rubbing that foam into your face, and then wash off with warm water to complete this step.
I really like the texture of this product. It feels nice on my skin and I look forward to cleansing – it does feel slightly warming on my skin, possibly because of its oil base (this is the part where you can tell me I obviously wasn’t too sharp at the whole science thing).
The ingredients are as follows:
Water, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Acrylates Copolymer, Lauric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Dipropylene Glycol, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract(3.75mg), Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract(3.75mg), Nelumbo Nucifera Root Extract(3.75mg), Nelumbo Nucifera Seed Extract(3.75mg), Myristic Acid, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Butylene Glycol, Sucrose, 1,2-Hexanediol, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Laurus Nobilis Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Nut Extract, Charcoal Powder(180mg), Caprylyl glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tropolone, Disodium EDTA
A quick check on CosDNA shows a red flag for one ingredient in particular: Cocamidopropyl Betaine. It shows up as follows:
Why? Well, cocamidopropyl betaine is something called a synthetic surfactant, which means it could cause skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin or allergies. It has, however, been deemed safe for use in small amounts and is a cleansing agent. It is likely present in the product because of its cleansing and foam-boosting properties. So far, I haven’t experienced any problems with the product, and my skin is on the sensitive side.
There are some nice things in there too, such as many of the leaf extracts – laurus nobilis leaf extract is a tonic which refreshes your skin, and nelumbo nucifera leaf extract conditions the skin. Charcoal is proven to be effective in cleansing, as it sticks to the dirt and oil in your pores, pulling it out and therefore washing it away as you rinse.
Below you can see the cleanse test I carried out, using foundation, lipstick, and waterproof eyeliner.
The lipstick is also a lip tint, so I left it on there for a while, as that stuff can be horrible to get off after a night on the tiles! I let it sink into my skin.
This is what the product looks like at first – a gel-type substance. One or two pumps is usually enough for my face.
Rubbing the product in. As you can see, it’s effective against the lipstick and foundation, but that eyeliner is stubborn as all hell and isn’t going anywhere. This is where the cleansing brush comes in. Some days I use a charcoal jelly puff too, which is equally effective.
After just one rub, you can see the eyeliner is coming off. So all it needs is a little friction, and it glides off easily – it’s not realistic to think that eyeliner will be removed simply by rubbing at it! I was impressed by how quickly it did come off, as I’ve had other cleansers which didn’t remove eyeliner at all. Once you add water, the foaming comes into effect.
My nice clean hand, and nice clean brush. I was worried eyeliner would get stuck to it, but it comes out after a rinse.
I like this product and it lives up to its claims. I probably wouldn’t have bought it at full price without the brush, but I’d be tempted to now I know how well it works.
Price: 4/5 ($23.99RRP for a cleanser alone is a little steep in my opinion).
Ingredients: 4/5. This would have been a perfect score, but I know that certain ingredients could be a hazard for some, which brings it down a little. It wasn’t a problem for me, though.
Effectiveness of product: 5/5. I love how easily my make-up comes off, and the two-in-one method is genius. It’s so great to use and I like that I don’t have to use two products in my routine. This is quick, simple, and it really works in removing all the gunk from my face.
Overall, at an average of 4.33/5, I highly recommend this product. I’m also interested in seeing what else The Yeon has to offer after this!