We’re not doing an fun intro because my internet/computer are acting like reeeeeeal douchebags so I gotta try to churn this full-fat milk out, so let’s look at Cremorlab’s O2 Couture Kit!
Cremorlab is a South Korean skincare brand that has the motto “A new classic in hydration”, so it makes sense to look at their hydration range – also because I’m as dry as unstirred natural peanut butter. Shut up, I know I’m reaching.
Finding out info on Cremorlab as a company and their background is hard, to say the least. The only info I’ve found is from this site which includes that it is based in South Korea.
According to Adore Beauty’s little breakdown, Cremorlab is “cruelty-free and vegan” but doesn’t have any labels displaying a leaping bunny or otherwise on the box, which has no legal definitions nor is it mandatory to have labels saying so, but odd you wouldn’t want to proudly display it on your packaging. I did buy this a while back, so packaging might have changed in this little amount of time.
This pic below is from themonodist who did research on many other brands and to see if their claims can be verified, Cremorlab is still unclear.
One thing we can talk about when it comes to Cremorlab is their pride and joy: their T.E.N. Water®, a water from red thermal water apparently sourced from Gangneung, South Korea. The minerals within the water, like all thermal water is supposed to bring added benefit superior in normal water, especially when it comes to skincare.
Quick ingredient note: I won’t be individually identifying each mineral or extract as I will be here another fucking two days compiling this, so I will only show the ingredients that are closer to the top and might sound super science-y, but I’ll link you to full ingredient lists.
O2 Couture Marine Algae Cleanser
Gotta say, I really like this cleanser. Yes, it’s a gel-to-foam, I’m not big on foaming agents, but personally, it’s going to be an exception for me (it is sulphate-free).
At first, I was put off with the product photos online looking like you get so much more than what you get (above is the pic I took after using it once), but pushed that aside and actually used it.
As you’ll see with the moisturiser, the gel consistency keeps it light and easy to work with, without making your face feel dry after you wash it off.
The trial size gives you 15ml/.50 fl oz, which is enough to make a good decision, providing that you use the correct amount (you won’t need any more than a pea size).
It does say on the official website to “not use on open wounds, eczema and other skin irritations” so keep that in mind.
Also in case you’re wondering, the specks in the cleanser are “components extracted from 33 types of marine plants” suspended in the gel. You don’t feel them and they don’t change the texture of the cleanser.
This product does have fragrance in it, so keep that in mind if you are sensitive.
Ethylhexylglycerin: natural preservative derived from glycerin – functions as a skin-conditioning agent in cosmetics and personal care products. Additional info here.
Phenoxyethanol: an alternative to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.
Onsen-Sui: Hot spring water from Japan.
Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate: a surfactant that doesn’t stripe oils from skin (and hair).
Sodium cocoyl glycinate: a mild and non-drying amino acid-derived cleansing and skin-softening ingredient.
Acrylate polymers: Well fuck I thought we’d be in the clear, then I looked up this ingredient. Finding accurate, unbiased but easily-digestible info was a bit tricky but it does seem to be and/or linked to microbeads so I’ll pop some links in case you want to look more into it x (page 7) x x.
It’s also used as a stabiliser and suspending agent (which makes me think it’s used for both in this product), if that’s the case it’s in everyone’s best interest that they use something else.
O2 Couture Hydra Balancing Toner
Methylpropanediol: solvent that enhances the penetration of other ingredients into the skin.
Trehalose: a sugar found in plants, fungi and invertebrate animals, and used in cosmetics and personal care products as a flavoring agent and moisturizer. As they are apparently Cruelty-free, it would mean they are acquiring trehalose from fungi or plants.
Sodium Hyaluronate: sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.
Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract: wild yam.
Niacinamide: a form of vitamin B3/niacin which can help with inflammatory skin conditions like acne and rosacea.
Ceramide NP: some stuff about it including that it’s a moisturiser and “helps improve skin barrier function”.
Carnitine: derived from an amino acid, is found in nearly all organisms and animal tissue.
I swear you better be reading all this it literally takes a whole day to even read through the ingredients, research each one, try not to post from a shitty biased place with no evidence so please please at least scan this section I see you reading this thank you
Butylene Glycol: “…by increasing skin penetration, butylene glycol can boost the overall effectiveness of the product. Secondly, butylene glycol is sometimes included in formulations to give creams a thinner consistency.”
Alcohol: I left this last although it’s the third or fourth ingredient because this has always been a controversial topic amongst people who don’t fully grasp what it is, and this is going to be harder to breakdown because the ingredients just state “alcohol” but doesn’t tell you what type, but if we’re guessing I’ll say it’s a simple alcohol <- a great link that talks about why alcohol is used in skincare BUT I am not certain.
Without overloading you all alcohols aren’t bad – retinol/vitamin A and E are alcohols – but most can strip the skin of its oils and leave it tight and dry. I am going to add some links and I strongly encourage you to read them to get a better idea x x x x
Now let’s talk about the actual product. I thought it was great and wasn’t drying at all, leading me to believe the alcohol in it is actually a non-drying, long-chain fatty alcohol being used. It felt comfortable and refreshing…. yeah.
I mean it’s a toner, there’s only so much you can ask from it. As this doesn’t have active ingredients in it like HAs, it’s helping to keep moisture in the skin.
O2 Couture Hydra Bounce Ampoule
To be honest, I don’t think I can review this product thoroughly. What you see in the pic is what you get- 3.5ml/.11fl oz of fuck all. I mean I put something on my face, but that’s all I can tell you. What’s the point of putting it in?
Ingredients List That I Can’t Research For You At this Current Time But Seems to Have Some Great Stuff
Water, 1,2-Hexanediol, Raffinose, Glycerin, Propanediol, Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract, Methylpropanediol, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Octyldodeceth-16, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Centella Asiatica Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Onsen-Sui, Polyquaternium-51, Pelvetia Canaliculata Extract, Spirulina Platensis Extract, Plankton Extract, Glycosyl Trehalose, Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate 80, Lecithin, Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Carnitine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Ceramide NP, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Caffeine, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Soy Isoflavones, Arginine Ferulate, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Oxygen (0.1ppm), Phenoxyethanol
O2 Couture Hydra Intense Cream
I think this is the more outstanding product of the kit and I really, really liked it, so much so that I’ve put it in my favourites list (literally! I actually have a physical list).
This is the perfect marriage of a gel-cream moisturiser, making it perfect for oily skin or hot n’ humid weather. Unlike some other lightweight moisturisers, this doesn’t lack moisture and give you a ‘tight’ feeling.
Ingredients of interest – not including some ingredients already brought up in the above products
Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate: liquidy, almost-water-like stuff that you get by fermenting and filtering yeast.
Polyglycerin-3: Three glycerine molecules stuck together for longer-lasting moisture.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: gives people who are keto a massive hard-on because it’s derived from coconut oil.
Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin): emollient. Here is a paper about it that my small brain can’t understand right now or possibly ever.
Polyquaternium-51: “a skin conditioning ingredient originally developed for the contact lens industry to maintain moisture and counteract dry eye. However, it is now an ingredient used by cosmetic and skincare companies to add moisturizing properties to formulas“.
Dimethicone: I feel like I talk about this ingredient in every review x x
Propanediol: a glycol that can enhance the absorption of ingredients (such as salicylic acid) into the skin. Propanediol can be derived naturally (from corn) or synthetically. It has hydrating properties that may leave a smooth, dewy finish.
Cyclopentasiloxane: It’s a silicone which means it repels water and forms a protect barrier on the skin however there have been concerns about its role in the environment, however as of earlier this year “recent evaluation by the European Union regarding environmental accumulation of D5 has resulted in limits on concentrations used in wash-off cosmetics to less than 0.1%“.
C14-22 Alcohols: a vegetable origin emulsifier and mix of those fatty alcohols, creating the light texture.
Hoo boy, where to begin.
The cleanser is really nice. I actually like the fragrance which is light and fresh, as well as the consistency and how soft and moisturised my skin felt with no drying or stripping. The big bummer is the inclusion of Acrylate polymers which seems to be – or at least linked to – microbeads which really cuts into my recommendation.
The toner was great as it didn’t strip the skin and added extra hydration. Like the cleanser a little went a long way and even though the trial size appeared small, it gave you enough to make a clear decision if you want to purchase the full size product.
The ampoule was a waste of time and I can’t tell you anything about it other than a scan of the ingredient list looked promising.
The cream made my skin feel so good, and paired with that fragrance? I felt like I was by the sea living my best life. It was light, soft but made my skin feel hydrated. It actually made me feel happy. If I was going to critical, it would be about the addition of more than one silicone – I’d rather have another ingredient that isn’t silicone-based that delivers the same benefits, but it would in all likelihood compromise the lightweight feeling on the skin.
Recommended: I can recommend all the products for their comfort and hydration, yet I don’t think I can 100% recommend the cleanser because of the microbead issue.
If you are strictly anti-silicone, I don’t recommend the moisturiser.
I do recommend the toner, unless you’re looking for one with active ingredients like HAs.
Good for: Anyone needing hydration and wanting comfortable skin.
Prices (AU through Adore Beauty)
Trial pack – $15AU
I couldn’t find this pack anywhere else so here are the full size prices:
Cleanser 150ml: $49AU, $26US, 25,000원
Toner 150ml: $50AU, $29US, having trouble finding the Korean prices for the rest
Ampoule 30ml: $75AU, $41US
Cream 50ml: $75AU, US N/A