In the Asian Beauty world, Taiwanese skincare is big business – largely through the consistently great sheet masks that the country and its brands seem to produce. In fact, the ‘in’ for me with Taiwanese skincare brands was through their sheet masks. I have nearly always tried and been impressed by a sheet mask from a particular brand before I choose to buy them first. The same was true for CY Lab and their products. The Triple Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Moisturising mask was what convinced me to splash out on the full size of this essence, and I couldn’t be happier that I did.
Let me just preface this by stating that my skin absolutely adores hyaluronic acid, so it was always going to be easy for me to like this product. Hyaluronic acid is a popular skincare ingredient, so if your skin loves it just as much as mine does, let me explain why I think this is a great choice for a hydrating essence.
First and foremost, what does hyaluronic acid do for skin? It’s found in the skin naturally, actually, and it has the ability to hold moisture, something which over time, our skin loses with age. Therefore HA skincare products can help your skin retain moisture, along with revitalising the outer layers of the skin. HA can help your skin to look plumper, fuller, and feel softer and smoother – basically youthful and healthy.
HA doesn’t work for everyone and in dry climates, it can also dry the skin out as the HA sucks moisture out of the skin, but this depends on the quality of the product you’re using, and the other products in your routine. For context, I live in a relatively humid climate – it’s not dry, but we’re not talking tropical level either.
CY Lab are quite a difficult brand to get information on, but they are known in Taiwan as a professional medical beauty company. They use high quality ingredients and for those interested, they are indeed cruelty-free and do not test on animals. Their formulations are also paraben-free.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients for the Triple Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Moisturising Essence.
Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharide Isomerate, Chrondrus Crispus Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Butylene Glycol, Water
If you like your ingredients lists short and sweet, this product is right up your street. Aside from the preservatives, let’s look at the ingredients. I’m not certain why the product is called ‘triple’ HA essence, but I’m pretty sure it means that there are different levels of molecular weight to the HA, which would allow for maximum hydration and moisture.
Also included as notable ingredients (from the very short list!) are:
Saccharide Isomerate – water binding agent
Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate – otherwise known as liquorice root extract, which is great for calming skin and is often found in soothing products
Chrondrus Crispus Extract – also known as carrageenan, this is a form of seaweed which very much agrees with my skin! It is full of vitamins and minerals, promoting healthy skin. It is also known for protecting the skin against UV rays.
The product comes in a sturdy little glass bottle, with 30ml of essence in it. You dispense it using a glass dropper, which is easy to use and I haven’t had any glitches or difficulty picking up the liquid with it. The bottle is pretty thanks to its green colour, and while it doesn’t scream luxury, it looks very nice and is an ideal size for travelling. It would look lovely on any bathroom shelf!
I can’t remember exactly how much I bought this for, but I did get it on sale from Amabie Beauty, who frequently have sales on CY Lab – and they have other products which are very much worth checking out (eyeing you, Crithmum Maritimum Essence). I think I got it for about €20-22, which is a really decent price for a concentrated essence. I would absolutely repurchase at that price, and have been thinking of doing so. At the time of writing the essence is priced at $20.99 (USD), so it’s still a very reasonable price, and Amabie offer free shipping over certain amounts (which is why I’m waiting to make my order, gotta do the bulk spend!).
Texture and scent
This essence is honestly like water, maybe slightly slightly thicker, so you have to be really careful when dispensing it. You can get carried away and dispense more than you need because of the extremely light texture, which is beautiful, but needs you to have a somewhat steady hand. I love how light it is, and how rapidly it absorbs into the skin because of the watery texture. You only need a couple of drops and you’re good to go. I don’t detect any scent on the product, and while I don’t personally mind scent, this can be a big factor for some people. This means it would likely be a good choice for those with sensitive skin thanks to scent often being an irritant.
Finally, how did the product work out for me? I have to say, I really enjoyed it. But there are so many HA products out there, what sets it apart? I am a huge fan of the Hada Labo HA products, for example. I love how affordable they are and how long they last me – depending on what the product is, of course. One of my favourites is the Gokujyun Lotion, which is great for moisture care – but that’s a toner. I’ve tried other Hada Labo products with a higher concentration of HA, and the higher the concentration, the more you pay. Therefore, if you’re considering value for money, I think this essence has the edge. It’s also a very pretty product compared to the plasticy-looking Hada Labo serums and essences, and is easily dispensed with the convenient dropper.
There are many other effective hyaluronic acid essences, some of which I’ve tried and liked. But I haven’t enjoyed a great many of them as much as I did this product. Everything about the essence, from the application to its effects, make using it an enjoyable experience. As someone with dehydrated skin in summer and drier skin in winter, I feel this would be useful for me year-round. It calmed my redness down over the warmer months, and I’d love to try it in colder times to see what effect it has on flaky, more irritable skin. In summer, this helped put some life into my skin in the form of hydration, and I could see that my skin was not only less red, but also felt more supple and smooth. It absolutely did what I needed it to, no more, no less, and I enjoyed it for that.
So, in summary, if you’re looking for an effective but affordable hyaluronic acid product, this essence is definitely worth a try. I know I’ll repurchase it at some point – but I’ll probably wait for the winter to come first.