Busan, South Korea, is home to one of the largest department stores in the world. I think it was the largest one, but it has recently been surpassed by another in nearby Daegu – Korea really has it down when it comes to shopping, which was no problem for me when living there. Slight problem for my wallet, I suppose. Sometimes I used to go to Shinsegae – which has a spa, a golf centre, an ice rink, a dermatology clinic, a duty free section, and a multiplex cinema to name but a few – and just browse the skincare sections. It is an absolute treasure trove, where you can find all sorts of interesting brands, both old and new.
One of those brands is the luxury-style Korean brand 107 OneOSeven. Located in a small section in the supermarket, I used to always peruse their products with great intrigue. One thing that stood out to me was their luxury soap – pretty packaging is always a great draw for me, and their soap bars really look appealing for a skincare magpie such as myself. Having not touched a bar soap since the age of about ten, when all the soap did was slip out my hands and slide around the shower, I decided to think about them.
Not too long after seeing them for the first time, however, I was lucky enough to be contacted by the brand and asked if I would like to test some products for review. I received the Premium White Soap and the Core Flex cream in a pretty little package, along with a cleansing net and one of their Snow Essence masks. I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to test the products, particularly while the brand were part of a Nordstrom K-beauty pop-up over in the US and Canada. Pictures of the brand and their products kept coming up on my Instagram feed, and I love Insta-browsing, so it was lovely to see.
Let’s get to business, however. Today I’m going to be reviewing the Core Flex cream, after using it for over a month, on both me and Mr. Nourishtheskin.
Who are 107?
107 are a luxury-style Korean brand, the brainchild of Okran Chung, a Korean pharmacist. She had a special interest in fermented products, seeing as she also ran one of the biggest naturally fermented vinegar breweries in Korea – quite the busy bee. Fermented products are proven to have effect on the skin, particularly dealing with anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, thanks to the high level of antioxidants and amino acids in fermented skincare.
The name 107 comes from the one hundred and seven secret skincare formulas that the company has under their belt. They use their naturally fermented vinegar, and twenty different oriental herbs traditionally used in Korean medicine and skincare to create their special formulas. The brand won the grand prize of first place in the World Anti-aging cosmetic brand awards in 2016, so it’s definitely not just a flowery description. These products work.
Where can I buy them?
107 have an online shop which is located on their website. They can also be purchased at Beautibi, where the prices are exactly the same and the variety is large. Nordstrom are currently sold out of the range, but perhaps in stores some may be found, or they will restock soon. As I don’t live in the US, this is hard for me to see. In Korea, Shinsegae department stores carry the line. In Europe and Asia (outside Korea), there do not seem to be any stores yet carrying them. You can, however, still order from Beautibi or from 107 themselves. I checked shipping for Spain, and it was $15 USD.
Is it worth the money?
If you live in the US and don’t have to pay large shipping charges, yes. If you can buy these products in a store, most definitely. They make fabulous gifts with their pretty packaging – the soaps especially, and the products are of a very high quality. If your interest is in anti-aging or preventing the signs of age, then these products are a safe bet.
The Core Flex Cream
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Squalane, PEG/PPG-18/4 Copolymer, Isostearyl Isostearate, Bacillus/Corchorus Olitorius Leaf Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cetyl Alcohol, Aluminum Starch Octenyl Succinate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polysorbate 60, Dimethiconol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Stearate, Arginine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Lactobacillus/ Soy Milk Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus /Panax Ginseng Root Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus /Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Trehalose, Allantoin, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fragrance, Polyglutamic Acic, Beta- Glucan, Vinegar
Cetyl alcohol is NOT the same as ethyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol, often found in skincare and proven to be drying to the skin. Cetyl alcohol is an emollient, used in moisturising products, which works to condition and soften the skin. It was once in the past derived from animals (whale sperm…no, really), but usually is a plant-based product nowadays. Therefore I haven’t flagged this up as a potential irritant as it is not the same as the usual alcohol used in skincare products. Those who use fragrance-free skincare, be aware that this product lists fragrance as an ingredient.
There are lots of moisturising oils in the ingredient list, such as jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and squalene. Squalene may be derived from shark-liver oil, but nowadays many companies are turning to plant-derived squalene. Squalene is absorbed at a rapid pace by the skin, and is packed with anti-oxidants, protecting the skin and promoting cell growth.
The vinegar and fermented ingredients in this product also seek to boost anti-oxidant levels, generating cell production, and feeding your skin with a high level of nutrients to protect your skin and improve your moisture barrier. Niacinamide is also a notable ingredient, often used in brightening products, and a solid favourite of mine. It can improve skin dullness and combat rough or weakened skin.
Texture and Scent
On the thicker side – which I was worried about, as even though my skin is dry, it has real problems absorbing oils and thick moisturising products. However, it seeped into my skin quickly leaving no film and no greasy texture behind it. The same happened with my boyfriend, who was a real fan of the smooth soft touch it left behind. The fragrance is also at a low level, despite definitely being present. It smells relatively talc-y, and sweet, but not at all strong. I rarely notice the smell any more.
The product comes in a solid, thick, luxurious-looking jar. It’s not too heavy, but it’s sturdy and pretty-looking on your shelf. You will need a spatula for application if you dislike putting your fingers into creams, for hygiene purposes. As it’s in a jar, it’s easy to get product out, and I have no gripes or complaints about the design.
I’ll admit, it’s really hard for me to get excited about a cream. So I’m not about to be dancing around the house singing its praises. This said, this is a lovely cream. I’m impressed by how quickly it absorbs, and how for me nothing pills over it. This is usually my issue with moisturising creams, and one reason I generally avoid them, preferring to stick to layers of lighter emulsions or essences. This cream binds in moisture, is smooth and hydrating, and the effects are long-lasting. My skin rarely dries out through the day, and it provides a solid base for make-up, leaving my skin well-prepped, meaning flaking and peeling with make-up is pretty much non-existent.
The product is $48, which I would pay for a decent moisturiser. It’s certainly at the higher end of what I’d like to pay, but if I find something I’m happy with, I rarely stray. Products I trust are important when it comes to moisturisers, as I prefer to spend my money wisely and choose a product that works rather than waste my money on a cream that doesn’t absorb. I’ve done that far too often.
I still have over half the jar left, and so I would say you could get about three months’ use out of this product. I don’t think that’s too bad value, especially considering I’m quite liberal with my cream. If you like to use a lot, you might wish to be more conservative with your application. You certainly don’t need a big amount of this for it to work.
This is a good, solid cream. It is a nice product to treat yourself to, and if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth the money. I will not pretend it’s a one of the cheaper products on the market, but it’s one of the most effective creams I’ve tried. I would recommend this product to types with dry skin, and those like me who have difficulty with heavier products absorbing.
I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed 107 make it across to Europe at some point, as I have a strong urge to try their Cream Essence after this. I believe it would be perfect for summer, when this cream might be a bit too much for me. One day we’ll have the same fun K-beauty pop-up opportunities over in the EU, keep your fingers crossed!
The product in this review was provided to me for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.