While laying in bed the other night, unable to sleep, it occurred to me that the rise of Korean beauty might not have been possible without Kim Kardashian. Just hear me out! To the casual observer, a 10-step beauty routine may seem excessive, but it hardly compares to Kim. Kim Kardashian is the ultimate 10-step everything. After all, the woman waist-trains and wears double spanx, has a 50-step day time makeup routine, and for when she feels up to it, a 50-step contouring technique.
She’s the antithesis of the effortless, je ne sais quoi, #wokeuplikethis girl. As far as I can gather, Kim Kardashian helped normalize multi-step rituals dedicated to self-beautification. She made it OK to admit to working hard to look nice, which is a nice change from the cool French girl obsession that really just celebrates beautiful people for doing nothing to maintain their beauty.
If French beauty is about simplicity, Korean beauty, like Kim Kardashian, is all about maximalism. It’s about recognizing and individually addressing each and every need, and constantly adjusting as needed. It’s the opposite of the one-step-fits-all approach and as such, through the K-beauty obsession, I’ve been able to find a crazy variety of products, including many dupes of Western products that suit my skin better than the originals.
This cream from Aromatica is one such product. The reason for that long-winded introduction is to try to explain why I’m so fond of this cream that is otherwise really boring. In a nutshell, this is a mineral-oil-free dupe for those French multi-tasking moisturizer creams (ie Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, Avene Cicalfate, Ducray Ictyane) at a more affordable price point. Mineral oil isn’t a bad ingredient, broadly speaking, but it gives me cystic breakouts and every single French cream seems to have it. -_-
Onwards to the review!
Aromatica Calendula Juicy Cream
Hypo-allergenic and Unscented Intensive Moisturizer
Where does it fit in your routine?
This is a moisturizing cream. Use this after all of your essences, ampoules, serums, and emulsions.
Size and Price
The tube contains 150g of product, which is huge! I’ve been using it regularly for months and it’s still halfway full. I purchased this from Testerkorea for ~$28.77. It is also available on Peach & Lily for $37. By oz, that works out to $5.40 – $7 per ounce, less than half of what Embryolisse costs in the States.
You can get $10 off your first P&L purchase with this link.
Comes in a plastic, squeeze tube. It’s not very fun or attractive, but it’s very functional.
Faint, generic cream smell? Not very noticeable.
Color and texture
This is a generic looking white cream. For a medium-heavy cream, it’s texture is actually airy and, well, juicy.
12 months after opening.
What’s in it?
- 48% CALENDULA OFFICINALIS FLOWER EXTRACT
Calendula Officinalis is the latin name for Marigold and it is actually surprisingly well studied! In vitro, it is shown to have antioxidant properties on skin cells. It promotes would healing by stimulating proliferation and migration of fibroblasts, and possesses anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-fungal properties.
- Oils: CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDES, SHEA BUTTER, COCONUT OIL
Caprylic/capric triglycerides are medium-chain triglycerides, known in the health supplement/fitness community as MCT oil. They are usually derived from coconut oil and frequently used in skincare products because they are versatile, very stable, and an excellent emollient.
Ok so confession time: I can’t stand the way shea butter feels on my skin and actually avoid a lot of skincare products that contain it. That said, it seems to be in a small enough concentration in this cream that I don’t notice it. Personal feelings aside, shea butter is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient, thanks to the triterpene acetates and triterpene cinnamates it contains. However, there’s apparently little clinical research validating its moisturizing or skin softening effects. Go figure.
Coconut oil is an emollient oil, more effective in reducing transepidermal water loss than mineral oil, and can reduce the amount of time to heal wounds.
- ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT
Aloe is a basic but good ingredient for the skin. It contains glycoproteins, which have anti-inflammatory properties, and polysaccharides, which can stimulate skin growth and repair.
- Extracts of: VERBANA, ROSEMARY, GERMAN CHAMOMILE
These extracts occur low in the list, which unfortunately means they aren’t doing much. That said, they probably help bring some general antioxidant properties to the cream.
- CERAMIDE 3
Ceramides are a natural components to your skin barrier and a great ingredient to use for their barrier-reinforcing abilities.
Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies butylene glycol (1) and coconut oil (4) as acne triggers and coconut oil (1) as a potential irritant.
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Coco-caprylate/caprate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Octyldodecanol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Verbena Officinalis Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Propandiol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Palmitamide Mea, Acrylates/c10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arginine, Ceramide 3, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Tamarindus Indica Seed Polysaccharide
This is the blue jeans of moisturizing creams. It isn’t super exciting, but it’s versatile, pairs easily with other skincare items, and is reliable.
When my skin is feeling dry, I can use this on its own or mix it with various face oils. It’s substantial enough to seal in moisture but does so without feeling greasy or too heavy. When my skin is irritated (which has been a lot, recently), this is one of the few products I can apply without sensitizing it further. It’s fragrance free, alcohol-free, vegan, cruelty-free – basically the most harmless moisturizer in the world. Also, this cream has a silky finish and works beautifully under makeup. I like this cream so much that even though it doubles as a body lotion, I reserve usage for my face only. It seems wasteful to use this on my arms or legs!
I suppose you can complain about the lack of antioxidants or anti-aging ingredients, but personally those aren’t things I look for in a moisturizer. The only criticism I have of this cream is that its ceramide content could be better. Ceramides work best when paired with cholesterol and linoleic and palmitic acid, so ideally they could’ve thrown some of those ingredients in!
This is a really good, basic moisturizer that moisturizes without irritating skin and layers well over other products and under makeup. It’s not the most exciting product in the K-beauty world, but it’s a great functional staple to have.
Disclaimer: This product was purchased by me. This post contains one refer-a-friend link and no other affiliate links.