My unrequited love for the Erborian Ginseng Milk
Erborian is a brand that’s been on my radar since I saw their products on Sephora’s website: Korean herbal science meets modern French luxury. Take my money now! Of all the options, I decided to try the newly released (then) Erborian Ginseng Milk.
- What is it
- A milky lotion that is enriched with the moisturizing and smoothing properties of ginseng to improve the appearance of skin’s texture.
- First Impression
- Beautiful packaging, milky consistency, but no ginseng scent? Smells like florals instead.
- How I use it
- Squeeze a quarter amount and gently massage into skin. Used after toners but before serums.
- Best suited for
- Dry skin
- Size & Price
- 6.4oz – $39
- Where to buy
Water, Propylene Glycol, Trimethylolpropane Tricaprylate/Tricaprate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclomethicone, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Wild Yam Root Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Equisetum Giganteum Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Palmitic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Silica, Carbomer, Arginine, Xantham Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA , Phenoxyethanol, Parfum, Alpha-isomethyl ionone, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamon, Cinnamyl alcohol, Citronella, Geraniol, Eugenol, Limonene, CI 19140
The ginseng root extract is close to the top of the list, along with some other great plant extracts. Kigelia africana fruit extract isn’t too commonly seen, but research has shown it to have antioxidant and wound healing properties (source).
However, the bottom of this list is quite a mess. It’s full of fragrances, several of which can trigger allergic reactions and rank a whopping 7 on the EWG. If you have sensitive skin you may want to avoid this product.
After I received the Erborian Ginseng Milk, I realized I didn’t really know how to use it. Judging by the texture I’d classify this as an emulsion or lightweight moisturizer, so naturally I’d use it towards the end of my skincare routine. However, the instructions said to use it after cleansing and before your moisturizer, so I thought maybe it’s along the lines of Albion’s Milk Lotions? I then emailed Erborian directly, and they confirmed that this was to be used after your toners but before your serums, which is how I tested.
However, if you refer back to the ingredients, you’ll notice an issue with applying the Erborian Ginseng Milk that early on in your routine. It’s contains a couple ingredients (eg. dimethicone) which can prevent subsequent products from being fully absorbed. Nonetheless, I stuck through with it. Bad idea.
I didn’t break out, but I did start getting milia on my forehead. On top of that, it didn’t really do much for my skin. It could be that now that it’s warmer, my skin is transitioning from dry to combination, so the Ginseng Milk may have been too much. Texture wise it’s not bad at all though, and dry skin folks may really like it:
It’s a milky emulsion that has a floral scent (no hint of ginseng). Once massaged it thins out into a watery film that has a slightly oily feel. It also takes a while to fully absorb, but once it does, it leaves a matte and slightly tacky finish. Again, I do have combination skin, so YMMV.
Erborian Ginseng Milk
Oh I really wanted to like this, hence the title. But it just didn't agree with my skin. Maybe if I actually used it like an emulsion instead of a "toner" like the silly instructions, I would've gotten better results? Or maybe I used too much? Or not enough? So many questions, but at this point it's not worth trying to find out anymore. Back to Sephora it goes.
If anyone else has tried this and gotten good results, I’d love to hear from you! Or maybe you guys have had better luck with a different Erborian product? I seem to have a knack for buying duds, so any suggestions are welcome!