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So I’m trying to fit in a super-stealth ninja review while my 7 month-old naps… Every nap is a crapshoot, so let’s hope I can do this in one sitting! For that reason, this might be a short review, guys.
I know there are already a gazillion reviews of the Innisfree Green Tea Serum on the interwebs, but I guess I’ll add mine to the mix and hope I have something new to contribute ;).
The Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum was my first experience with Innisfree. I’d been wanting to try this brand for a while because I love their eco-friendly, simple aesthetic, and people I know had consistently liked their products.
My first impressions of the Green Tea Seed Serum? Well to be honest, I was a little underwhelmed. The texture and consistency was very thin and watery, not what I expected of a serum. However, it did provide some nice hydration, even if it did need to be quickly followed by a heavier product to prevent the water from evaporating.
Volume-wise, the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum provides a good value, with 80 ml in the bottle for around $20-25. The packaging is attractive, with a simple but nice-looking recyclable plastic bottle and a pump dispenser that actually works really well. The bottle came with a clip (which I promptly lost) to prevent the pump from depressing during travel. The bottle is a little big to travel with, but since it is lightweight plastic, you can definitely take it on trips with you.
Ingredients for Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum (via Innisfreeworld.com)
The green Tea Extract (75.9%), Propanediol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Ethanol, Glycerin, Betaine, The green Tea Seed Oil (208mg), Prickly Pear Extract, Orchid Extract, Tangerine Peel Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Orange Extract, Tangerine Extract, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sorbitan Olivate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cocoa Extract, Dextrin, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance
The great thing about this ingredient list is that green tea extract is the first ingredient with about 76% of the serum. Green tea is an antioxidant, with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as hydrating benefits. While it may not be a proven active with solid and well-documented results, it can certainly be beneficial at soothing and hydrating skin, without ill effects.
The Cosdna analysis only returned one irritant, rated a 2: palmitic acid. I’m more concerned with the presence of ethanol as the 4th ingredient. While alcohol helps the serum to penetrate the skin and be absorbed quickly, it can also irritate dry or sensitive skin. Personally, I have pretty sensitive skin, and I do find that the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum stings a little on application. Not a lot, but I sometimes avoid using on days that my skin is extra irritated or over-exfoliated.
Also, many people are sensitive to citrus extracts, of which there are a a lot in this serum (tangerine, grapefruit, orange…), so be wary of that if you know you don’t react well to them.
The Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum is a watery serum with a slight whitish color. As you can see it drips and rolls off the hand quickly. I was expecting it to be a little thicker, so I was a bit surprised to find it so watery.
It also has a very strong fragrance. It’s not an unpleasant smell, but it is quite strong and it lingers. While I like my cosmetics to have a pleasant smell, this is really overpowering. I don’t know why such a strong fragrance is necessary; it can be irritating to the skin and can cause headaches in some people. I personally find that my nose kind of pinches up on the inside when I smell this too much (does that make sense?).
When you spread it out on the skin it has a slippery, thin consistency. It absorbs fairly quickly with a bit of patting.
Once absorbed, my skin is definitely softer and more hydrated, with no stickiness or residue remaining. This is actually a really pleasant feeling. However, you do have to put a heavier serum or cream over the Green Tea Seed Serum to maintain that hydration in the skin.
I’m about half-done my bottle and I’ve been using it for about 3 months. I don’t really feel that I’ve seen long-term results from this serum other than hydration. Green tea can be calming to inflamed skin, but the presence of the alcohol kind of negates that effect for me. If you’re not sensitive to alcohol, you might like it a lot more.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I don’t love the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, nor do I hate it. It’s a decent hydrating step, and it fulfills its function in my routine, but it doesn’t wow me enough to keep it around.
The Green Tea Seed Serum was a lot more watery than I expected. I expect serums to be thicker and more moisturizing, or to have stronger actives that pack a larger punch. I don’t really see it as a serum step, more as a first essence or moisturizing toning step, which I think it can do really well.
Pros: Hydrating, absorbs quickly with no residue, high % of green tea extract
Cons: High alcohol, more watery than expected, strong fragrance, not as soothing as hoped
6/10. Will I repurchase? Probably not. It’s not Innisfree’s fault that my expectations were so high for this hyped-up product, nor is it their fault that my skin doesn’t like alcohol. This just isn’t the product for me.
Where to Buy
Innisfreeworld: $26 plus shipping
Amazon: $22 Prime shipping (affiliate link)
Jolse: $23 free shipping
Have you tried Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum? What did you think?