Bio-Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturizing Gel Review:
So, I first came across this brand on the Cult Beauty UK website. Turns out this is a Singaporean brand so it had me very intrigued as most Asian beauty products that make it to this side of the world are usually from Korea or Japan with the odd one or two from Taiwan. So when I went back to Malaysia for a holiday, I thought I should support my fellow neighboring country and hopped over to the local drugstore to try out their skincare.
– Enriched with 2 types of Hyaluronic Acid (Power Nano Hyaluronic Acid & Hyaluronic Acid) to replenish and lock-in moisture, providing skin with non-stop hydration.
– Hydrates and refreshes skin without leaving it sticky
– Nourishes skin with minerals and herbal nutrients to improve overall skin condition
– Controls oil secretion and maintains an all-day matte finish
– Ideal for hot climates and dry air-conditioned rooms
Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Limonia Acidissima Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ammonium polyacrylate, Menthyl lactate, Cranberry Seed Oil, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Sodium chloride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Methylpropanediol, Allantion, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Fragrance, Sodium Oxide, Calcium oxide, Magnesium oxide, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, CI 42090, Peg-40 hydrogenared castor oil
How to Use:
As the last step in your night time skincare routine (second last in your daytime routine with sunscreen being the last step), apply to face and neck. Gently massage it into your skin for maximum absorption.
My Skin type: Oily / Combination: Oily T-zone, Dry U-zone; sensitive skin
Bio-Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturizing Gel Review:
I liked their foaming cleanser and so was feeling rather positive about trying and liking their moisturiser as well. In fact because there was a promotion going on, I bought 2 cleansers, eye cream, moisturiser and essence all from Bio-essence. In hindsight, perhaps I should not have been so overzealous…
On their website, it states that Bio-essence has won multiple local (Malaysia / Singapore) awards and this particular gel moisturizer featured in the CLEO Beauty Hall of Fame. This is a reputable fashion and beauty magazine (sort of like Glamour in the UK) that I make sure to purchase each time I am back home. Everything was already looking good for this brand and after the promotion, it was VERY affordable. Big cheers all round!
When I first opened the tub of cream, it was a strong synthetic smell. It was not pleasant but I figured that it was mainly because I was used to very subtle floral fragrances from all the other Korean moisturizers I have used in the past. Usually these scents evoke a somewhat good memory like mint, baby powder, jasmine, oranges….but with this gel cream, it just reminded me of…chlorine and going for swimming lessons when I was a kid. Lol…maybe I am being a bit bias / harsh because of my awful experience.
This gel cream is housed in a sturdy plastic light blue screw cap tub. It does not come with a spatula so you will have to dip your fingers into the pot to use it.
Did not help that the color of the gel was blue as well, to fit in with the “aqua” in its name. However, the smell goes away after a bit so thank goodness for that! Lots of users have commented on the “lovely, minty, floral scent” of this product so maybe I am the only one that is so adverse to its fragrance.
I find that you need a lot of massaging to get the gel to fully absorb and once it does, my skin definitely felt softer, plumper and more hydrated. From that aspect, it definitely fulfills its hydrating claims and I can see why people rave about it so much so that Cult Beauty even carries some of its products from that range. It also gives a nice cooling sensation when applied on the skin which I can imagine would feel divine in humid countries.
Urgh….if I could curse out loud here without the risk of my future posts being banned, I would. We are all civilized people after all…cursing publicly never fixed anything right? So, “£$%@*&!!” was what I yelled in the privacy of my own bedroom. After Day 2 of using this gel cream only at nights, I woke up on Day 3 to an extremely itchy face. I am all healed now but just writing this review is making me scratch myself as I clearly still cannot get that awful feeling out of my mind yet.
Weirdly, I did a patch test on the inside of my elbow AND behind my ear before I actually used this on my face and there were no adverse effects. In fact, said inside of elbow was nicely moisturized. So I don’t know, maybe the skin on my face reacts differently to the skin on the rest of my body….:( I have weird skin. What else can I say?
So, come around the morning of Day 3, I noticed that my forehead had little bumps when I was washing my face. It’s normally smooth-ish but this time there was distinct raised tiny bumps on my forehead (good thing they were skin colored and not blazing red!).
The sides of my nose as well as upper lip was also feeling particularly tender (similar to when you have a cold and you been blowing your nose too much). Interestingly, my cheeks and chin escaped unscathed. With a sinking feeling, I realized that I was having a reaction to a product and seeing that the only new thing in my routine was that cream, it did not take a genius to figure out the cause of this reaction.
I had to scale down all my products for one whole week – no vitamin C serums or actives/acids or using my konjac sponge. Just a super basic routine of cleanser, toner and moisturizer. I also took antihistamines daily for a week to help speed up the healing process.
On the second and third day after stopping the usage of the cream, my forehead began to flake with dry skin and that was when it was the itchiest! I had to constantly fan my face to avoid touching it…people must have been wondering what this weirdo was doing fanning herself in the middle of winter!
I guess the benefit of all that peeling is now my forehead is super smooth like a baby’s bum. However, I really could do without that experience. If I want an exfoliation done, I want it done my way on my own terms.
That being said, I am sure this product had so many good reviews and won multiple awards because it actually is quite a nice moisturizer. I would strongly advise you to do multiple patch tests over a few days if you have sensitive skin.
Will not be repurchasing for all the reasons mentioned above. In fact, will definitely be discarding my almost brand new tub as I doubt I will be convince any of my friends to take it off me. I did offer it to my fiancé who looked at my forehead and rightfully rolled his eyes at me.
Where to buy:
Have you tried Bio-Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturizing Gel?
Do share your thoughts in comments.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing using those links may generate a small commission, which will be used for the maintenance of this site. Click here for full details.