I’ve been curious about Taiwanese brand Naruko for a while, so it only took a little online enabling from some of my fellow Instagram beauty lovers to get me to bite the bullet. I love tea tree products, and when @lotusandthesnail and @mindyourbeauty shared how much they loved the Naruko Tea Tree Night Gelly, it didn’t take me long to order my own jar. I wasn’t disappointed.
The beautiful heavy green glass jar arrived quickly from Naruko’s official Ebay boutique. It had been on sale for just $7.99, but unfortunately, it is due to expire in October 2016, just 3 months away. I guess that’s why it was discounted (this was mentioned in the listing, but I didn’t notice it). At least I’ll get a chance to try it out for cheap before deciding if I’m going to buy another jar.
Packaging: I liked the packaging in general. The glass jar is heavy and substantial feeling with a solid plastic lid. However, the small inner plastic cap that lies over the opening was very flimsy and had gotten pushed into the opening a little bit, causing some of the product to spill over as I opened it. The spatula that was hidden inside the lid was also very flimsy and was too short to really work well, so I discarded it. But those are very minor complaints, in general I do like the packaging quite a lot considering the price.
Fragrance and Texture: The Naruko Tea Tree Night Gelly smells strongly of mint with a hint of herbs and tea tree. I like sharper, more herbal fragrances in general, so I like the scent very much. The night gelly truly has a soft jelly texture that was very pleasant to apply.
Who It’s For
The Naruko Tea Tree Shine Control and Blemish Clear Night Gelly is meant for acne-prone, oily skin. My skin is normal-leaning-towards-combination during the summer, so I did anticipate some oil control benefits from the product. However, any acne I get is usually hormonal, so I wasn’t expecting too much on the blemish-clearing front.
People with dehydrated, sensitive skin might find this a bit strong. While tea tree is a wonderful ingredient for dealing with skin irritation, at higher concentrations it can itself be irritating. The Naruko tea tree gelly contains mint extracts and has a strong cooling effect, which can actually be damaging to a fragile moisture barrier. So sensitive-skinned friends, you’ll want to patch test this product well before using.
How to use
The Naruko Tea Tree Night Gelly is a sleeping pack. Smooth a thin layer over your skin at the last stage of your skincare routine or just before bed. You can apply this over your night cream, or use it in place of your night moisturizer. Personally, I keep a jar of this on my nightstand so I can slather it on before bed, breathing in the aroma as I drift off to sleep. Aromatherapy + skincare in one = heaven.
Purified Water (Aqua), Phytoferulin® Extract [Kalanchoe Spathulata Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Alpine Skullcap (Scutellaria Alpina) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Masterword (Peucedanum Ostruthium) Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Alps Wormwood (Artemisia Umbelliformis) Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Extract, Alpine Willowherb (Epilobium Fleischeri) Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chamolmilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract], Snow Fungus (Tremelia Fuciformis) Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Tranexamic Acid, Alpha-Arbutin, Vitamine B3 (Niacinamide), Witch Hazel (Hammamelis Virginiana) Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Phragmites Kharka Extract, Poria Cocos Extract, Panthenol, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Polyquarternium-51, Menthyl Lactate, Zinc PCA, Ethyl Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Piroctone Olamine, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Essential Oils of Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Orange (Citrus Nobilis), Spearmint (Mentha Viridis), Lemon (Citrus Limonum), Lime (Citrus Aurantifolia), Peppermint (Mentha Piperita), Grapefruit (Citrus Paradise), Niaouli (Melaleuca Viridiflora)
They’ve put an extract compound up near the top of the list with its components in square brackets. This is a little misleading as there’s no way to tell how much of each individual ingredient is in the compound “Phytoferulin Extract” as they call it. There are some effective extracts in there including licorice root extract, which is great for fading scars and hyperpigmentation, soothing calendula and chamomile, as well as green tea leaf extract for an antioxidant boost.
Next we see snow fungus extract, which isn’t really a scientifically proven ingredient but has been used in traditional East Asian medicine for hundreds of years. The extract is supposed to attract water to your skin, similarly to hyaluronic acid. As a child, my mom and aunties (friends of the family) would often make snow fungus soup, a sweet medicinal/dessert soup with papaya and almonds, and told me it would make my skin beautiful and smooth. I guess I should have drunk more of it! In any case, I believe the jelly-like texture of snow fungus contributes greatly to the really pleasant jelly texture of this sleeping pack.
This ingredients list is really amazing – there are few fillers in here and a lot of effective ingredients. Tranexamic acid is a barrier-boosting, skin repairing, and melanin inhibiting substance, alpha-arbutin also suppresses pigment formation, and niacinamide is one of the best proven skincare ingredients out there (it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, pigment suppressing, and barrier-supporting). There’s also skin conditioning and astringent witch hazel, which isn’t surprising for an oil-control product. Finally, near the bottom of the list is the tea tree oil, along with, more problematically, citrus and mint oils (which can be irritating). If you’ve had problems with citrus oils in the past, I would avoid this product.
I loved the jelly texture of this product. It spreads on so smoothly and has a very silky feel. As you spread it over your skin, it actually seems to grab onto your skin, leaving an even layer. While it feels a little sticky at first, it absorbs almost completely for me.
When I woke up in the morning the first time I tried the Naruko tea tree gelly, I was astounded to find that my face was almost matte. Normally I wake up with a bit of oiliness and shine, but not that day. My skin was also incredibly even-toned, with very very little redness. It felt calm and non-reactive. In spite of being pretty much shine free, my skin didn’t feel dried out, but nicely toned and hydrated.
I continued using the Naruko tea tree gelly almost every night for the next two weeks. I found that it was very good at calming redness, and that if I had a pimple forming under the skin, the Naruko was very good at calming the inflammation and sometimes it would never develop into a blemish. I also felt that it was helping to fade some old acne scars and sun spots.
However, my enthusiasm is tempered with an important caveat. After using the night gelly for 4 nights in a row, my skin felt a little irritated. While on the first night, I felt a slightly tingly, cooling sensation when I used the product, on the fourth night, it was literally stinging my face. I had to take a break for a couple of nights to let my skin’s barrier regenerate. If your skin is sensitive, I don’t know that this would be the best product as the irritation from the mint and citrus oils might cause you to react or break out. I also don’t recommend using this every night, but maybe every other or third night.
The Naruko tea tree night gelly was not terribly hydrating, so if your primary goal is to moisturize, this won’t necessarily be the product for you. However, for calming, brightening, and oil control, I found it very effective.
The Naruko Tea Tree Night Gelly does what it claims to do — controls oil and shine, and calms blemishes — in a very pleasant jelly-like product. However, avoid if you have very sensitive, dry, or dehydrated skin, or if you have a history of irritation from mint and citrus oils.
Buy it at
I purchased this from Naruko’s official Ebay shop on sale for$7.99. However, the stock they have on sale expires Oct 30, 2016.
For a fresher product, I would probably buy the Naruko Tea Tree Shine Control and Blemish Clear Night Gelly, 2.1 Ounce fulfilled by Amazon* (Prime eligible) for $16.99, which is still a very reasonable price.
Now I’m super excited to try some of Naruko’s other product offerings. I’ve got my eye on the Magnolia line. Have you tried any Naruko products before? Let me know what you thought of them!
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