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Hi there!

Welcome to e5thestories, my Korean-American perspective on life in Seoul. You'll find my beauty, food and travel adventures here (as well as some potentially helpful tips for those who want to move here). Formerly a K-beauty blog, and now living the dream. Hope you'll keep following along! xx

Green Tea Seed Serums: Innisfree vs Nature Republic

Green Tea Seed Serums: Innisfree vs Nature Republic

I’ve been thinking a lot about serums lately, which is weird. The past few years I’ve been pretty steady to a specific serum in the colder months and another in the warmer months, so I haven’t had to think about it too much. But I found myself not replenishing my supposedly tried and true for some reason, and have been a serum drifter the past few months.

I had to find one though; I was traveling to France and Italy for over a week and needed a serum that would travel well. I happened to be in the Nature Republic store in NYC’s Koreatown a few days before I left, and I tried this Ginseng Royal Silk Essence that felt ah-mazing on my hand. Then when I realized it was about $70, I walked away still pining for it. My sister grabbed this Fresh Green Tea Seed Serum off the shelf and I found it appealing for a variety of reasons: suitable for all skin types, it came in a small plastic pump bottle, and it was $15.

Nature Republic Fresh Green Tea Seed Serum and Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum

I used this all week in Paris and Genoa, as part of my plane skincare routine and daily under makeup. To be honest, I found it to be okay for my skin, but not incredible. It did the job hydrating my skin, but I started to get little tiny bumps on my face. I’m not sure if I should attribute the breakouts 1005 to the serum, since Parisian water makes my skin freak the eff out and I didn’t have any Bioderma to neutralize after washing my face until the last day. I continued to use it (routine mini-breakdown: cleansed with an enzyme powder wash, neutralized with Bioderma Crealine, IOPE Bio Essence or HERA Moisturizing Water, Nature Republic Fresh Green Tea Seed Serum) in Italy and when I came back to NYC for a few more days.

When I came back to the office, my friend Hannah gave me two generous gifts: a full-size HERA Bio-Cell Essence (!!!) and an Innisfree Fresh Green Tea Seed Serum. She knew that I loved the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Cream and happened to have a serum she wasn’t going to use. Immediately I was struck by the similarity in packaging between the Innisfree version and the Nature Republic one. 

[L] Nature Republic Fresh Green Tea Seed Serum texture, [R] Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum texture

[L] Nature Republic Fresh Green Tea Seed Serum texture, [R] Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum texture

I tried it the next morning under makeup and found it super interesting that the textures were so different. The Nature Republic one is more of a light moisturizer texture, with a light green tint to remind you of its key active ingredient. Innisfree’s is a clearer, thinner consistency. These textures are key to how they feel on the skin: Nature Republic’s applies like a very light moisturizer and to me it seems like it takes longer for my skin to absorb it, whereas the Innisfree one sinks into my skin quickly and I can move on to the next step of my routine a few minutes faster.

All in all, my personal preference is skewing towards the Innisfree one. I haven’t experienced any breakouts since I started using it, and I feel like my skin has become less red post-cleansing. It really does feel soothing and calming, and sits really well under my cushion compact. As I write this, I felt my skin again (I showered about 3 hours ago; post-shower I toned and applied the Innisfree serum - no moisturizer) and it still feels very hydrated, smooth, soft and not oily at all. It’s about $10 more than the Nature Republic one, but I’ll happily pay that if it means no breakouts and soothed skin.

Do you guys have a favorite serum that I should try? Let me know in the comments!

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