I first tried Amore Pacific skincare a few years ago, even though the very transparent saleswoman told me I was too young at the time and could get away with a more simple regimen, I insisted on the cream purchase for preventative measures after getting a recommendation from a friend who was a makeup artist.
She mentioned she refused to use anything else for facials and prep prior to makeup application after discovering the brand, and keeps it on supply after a (wholesale) purchase, ensuring restock when any product runs out. I trusted in her as well as her previous recommendations, and she often recommended less expensive products that were actually superior in terms of benefits with use.
Unfortunately the moisturizer I wanted from the brand was not on the list of less expensive cosmetics items. At the time, I opted for one of the more simple hydrating creams, getting together as much money as I could and saving over time from my near-minimum wage job at a skincare boutique. Prior to the purchase I had already maxed out on samples and run out of the rotation of staff, fearing asking for more would be rather déclassé and yield further looks of judgment. Every time I brought home a sample and used it I got out my calendar and calculator to try to crunch numbers and see if a purchase would ever be feasible. It finally was, and it was an indulgence I won’t regret, as it’s definitely one of the best skincare products I have tried to this day, even armed with a breadth of new diverse experience.
While I’ve tried other products from the Korean skincare brand as well, I wanted to try out the Essentials Set, which comes with my favorite moisture bound hydrating cream. After receiving it as a gift, the memory of a few years prior and my struggle to afford a single item made the kit feel incredibly valuable, and at $65, it’s certainly still a splurge. The set does offer value, and the retail cost of all the items included is $87. It makes a great gift option as all of the products are quite gentle and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It’s also a great item if you’re seeking hydration and new to the brand, as an introductory product. Or, if you’re like me and have already tried some of the products with success, it’s a perfect way to try out others and get a better sense of what’s on the market and available. I was pleased to find none of the products were irritating, and out of every set and starter kit I have tried (which is many), I have to say this may top the list in terms of personal favorites. There was not a single product with any issue or downside, and the only con seems to be price.
This review will cover some overview on the set, briefer reviews on each included item, and some positives and negatives to keep in mind prior to purchase.
The Main Features
Amore Pacific’s Essentials Collection includes one Treatment Cleansing Foam, one Treatment Enzyme Peel, one Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Creme, one Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Eye Treatment Gel, one Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System, and one Color Control Cushion Compact.
All of the included products work in tandem to deliver skincare benefits including restored hydration, improvements in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pore size, brightening the skin, re-texturing the skin for evenness, restoring radiance, and nourishing the skin. Out of all of the included products, there really was not any one that I disliked or would not recommend to anyone looking for hydrating benefits and better skin. All of the included products are suitable for all skin types and extremely gentle, yet still effective, and are safe for use even with very sensitive skin. My personal favorites in the collection were the Moisture Bound Cream and Treatment Enzyme Peel, and I could see both (as well as the other items included in the collection), working for both very dry skin to restore depleted moisture, as well as oily or combination skin, to help balance oil and nourish. While the products are not marketed as anti-aging formulations, they do actually provide great benefits for aging concerns, and assist with protecting the skin from future damage as well. In my experience, some of the products in the Moisture Bound collection are on par in terms of anti-aging with the lines Future Response Anti-Aging Collection, which retails at a much higher cost.
The Included Products
Treatment Cleansing Foam (.5 oz)
I would compare the cleansing foam, in terms of both benefits to use and texture, to the much pricier La Mer cleansing foam.
It’s suitable for all skin types and has anti-acne benefits with continual daily use. The product is quite gentle and a small pea-sized amount produces a rich lather that feels great to use and is quite refreshing. It provides a deep clean and removes all makeup, including eye makeup and mascara, without drying out the face or stripping oils. Formulated with Olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and mango seed butter, micro-encapsulated vitamin E beads provides antioxidant protection when massaged on to the skin. The product is free of any parabens or sulfates, and suitable for daily use. The vitamin e beads moisturize the face to prevent any dehydration from the wash, and the solution also helps minimize the appearance of pores, and has anti-aging benefits with continual daily use over time (though hydration and balance are the main benefits). After using the product my skin is always really bright and looks quite even in tone. If you’re seeking a great daily cleanser that foams quite a bit and does not dry out the face, I would definitely recommend this.
Treatment Enzyme Peel (.24 oz)
Other than the cream, this was by far my favorite product in the collection, and I experienced incredible skincare benefits following application.
The peel comes in a powder texture, you then add water to the powder and it turns into more of a liquid solution, that you apply to the face and wash off as you would a cleanser. Formulated with natural papaya enzymes, the treatment is designed to treat dullness, uneven skin tone, uneven skin texture, and dark spots. It removes all dead skin cells and reveals a radiant, refreshed, glowing complexion after use that’s visibly brightened. I would compare it to using a really strong and effective treatment mask for 30 minutes, but in this case it takes a few seconds or minutes to use. The product has a lovely scent and the skin looks radiant after use, and feels incredibly soft. It’s suitable for all skin types, and does not dry out the face or create any feelings of tightness. Use of the treatment helps any serum or moisturizer used afterwards absorb more effectively. It’s suitable for use once or twice a day and does not require daily use for results. It’s important to remember a small amount goes a long way to prevent overuse. This is one of the best skincare products I’ve tried to date and I would highly recommend it.
Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Creme (.5 oz)
This was my favorite product included in the set and I have used this in the past with great results as well.
I would compare the moisturizer, in terms of benefits with use and composition, to a lot of other much pricier formulations and products available in the category. It’s soft and lightweight, but still extremely hydrating if you’re trying to treat dry skin. It’s suitable for all skin types and can help provide balance for those with oily or combination skin. I have never found it irritates the skin, causes any breakouts, or causes any redness with use even with very sensitive skin. After using it my skin looks so much brighter and more radiant, and feels incredibly soft. The texture of the cream is not at all greasy or sticky, and it has a lovely light scent. The product has a 24 hour time release formula so the skin does not dry out a few hours after use, and supports anti-aging benefits such as treating fine lines and wrinkles, and helps in treating dull or sallow skin as well. It’s extremely gentle and feels very soothing on the skin. Formulated with pure, stabilized bamboo sap, the product also supports natural hyaluronic acid in the skin to retain moisture and expedites the cellular turnover process. I would highly recommend this if you’re looking for a quality everyday moisturizer that feels great and offers visible benefits with use.
Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Eye Treatment Gel (.1 oz)
This eye treatment has a lightweight gel texture and is designed to treat puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.
Formulated with hesperidin, predominant in citrus fruit peels, the product helps promote a more refreshed aesthetic and treat any swelling. It’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, but it’s important to note this is not an anti-aging product, in the sense that it is not designed to address crows feet, wrinkles, or fine lines. It is not at all irritating to the eye area, and it makes the skin around the eye area so much softer. It definitely helps reduce puffiness, and is nice to apply as a last step before bed, or use in the morning to treat tired eyes. Users can anticipate looking much more refreshed and awake, irrespective of how much sleep you have actually gotten. It also absolutely helps create a smoother appearance around the eye, and definitely makes a visible difference in treating dark circles as well. I would recommend this to anyone seeking hydration benefits under or around the eye, and looking to tackle dark circles.
Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System (1 oz)
This refreshing skin mist is sprayed on to the face to help provide hydration throughout the day, and promotes a dewy aesthetic.
The hydrating skin mist can be used under or over makeup to improve any dryness and revitalize the skin. Formulated with natural botanicals of bamboo sap, it also protects the skin against environmental aggressors while improving radiance, in skin that is dull or sallow. With continual daily use over a period of time, the mist also helps provide anti-aging benefits. It’s formulated without any parabens or sulfates and suitable for all skin, including sensitive skin, as it is quite gentle and nourishing. Using it over time continually also helps improve balance and evenness in texture. It also works if you’re looking to eliminate any cakey feel from a foundation, and it’s great for setting makeup after application. I would recommend this if you’re a fan of hydrating face mists or seeking a makeup setting spray for long-wear coverage, as the product can do both.
Color Control Cushion Compact – Pink Undertones (3 1 oz sizes)
The mini cushion compacts included (3 are included, all with pink undertones) are decent if you like cushion based CC creams, and while I did not dislike using them at all, I think they would work more effectively for those with oily or combination skin hoping for a more matte finish or oil control. They are lightweight on the skin and contains a broad spectrum SPF 50. It’s designed as a multi-use skincare and cosmetics product, to protect from sun damage and help control oil, and to offer buildable coverage. Meant to be the last step in a makeup routine, and formulated with botanicals that hydrate, protect from free-radical damage, and brighten the skin. It’s also not cakey or messy to use. I would recommend this product if you enjoy or are looking for a cushion CC cream with a high SPF.
Positives and Negatives
In terms of downsides or negatives about the set, it is really tough to find many, as all of the included products are lovely and definitely benefit the skin, especially when used together. Price point is definitely the most significant barrier to purchase in this case, however the set does have value in comparison to retail, and it’s less money to get all of the items in the set than it is to get a single full sized item from the brand. Here is a look at some key pros and cons to keep in mind prior to purchase:
- All products included are safe and suitable for all skin types, including very sensitive skin
- None of the included products were irritating, caused any redness or reaction, or triggered any breakouts following application
- Longevity: although the starter set includes smaller sizes that you may think would run out quite quickly, I was very pleased to discover all of the items (other than the cleanser) lasted for at least 5 weeks or so, and very minimal amounts of product is needed to yield benefits, and some products are not for daily use
- Skin feels hydrated, soft, and silky after using the products and is visibly brightened and even in tone and texture
- All of the included products are free of any parabens or sulfates, and no irritating agents or fragrances are added
- Travel friendly: products can all be traveled with and carried on flights, easy to toss in a gym bag for a post workout regimen or in a weekend bag
- Great gift option: this works well as a gift option if the recipient enjoys skincare products and is safe for use on all skin types
- Great option if you’re new to the brand and not ready to invest in a single item
- Set offers great value in comparison to individual retail cost for the included products
- If you’re already a fan of the brand, this is a great way to sample additional products
- The treatment enzyme peel included in the set is an incredible product and really provides brightened skin and anti-aging benefits, and is also quite gentle on the skin
- The moisturizer included is a perfect go-to daily cream and can be used in the AM and PM
- While the products are not marketed as anti-aging solutions, they definitely provide visible benefits with respect to fine lines and wrinkles and offer preventative anti-aging solutions
- All included products have lovely fresh scents free of any strong perfume or chemical odors
- Environmentally friendly company: Amore Pacific takes measures to ensure that its products and manufacturing processes are environmentally friendly
- Cruelty-free company: none of the products are tested on animals and no animal product is used during manufacturing processes or to formulate any products
- Definitely the main drawback is the price, but it’s important to bear in mind that at $65, the products really do last for longer than you would expect, and there is a great value compared to total retail cost
The manufacturer, Amore Pacific, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or allergy, this policy generally favors the consumer, new and returning included. If you are dissatisfied with the use of the products, or if they do not work for your skin to provide suitable benefits, or you experience any product allergy or reaction to the formulations, you may elect to return the entire set. In this case, you will receive a full refund equal to the entire purchase price of the full kit. You may also wish to exchange the product for an equal and full refund- or opt for a single product you prefer. One must bear in mind that you will need to return the entire set, as individual items within the kit are not available for return. It may assuage fears to know the product is formulated with safe, natural ingredients, and they tend to be extremely gentle for all skin types.
This policy applies for online purchases, individual store purchases may vary.
The Final Verdict
Amore Pacific’s Essential Collection features some of the most popular products and bestsellers for the Korean skincare brand.
The included products work harmoniously to deliver benefits to the skin, including hydration, brightening, restored radiance, and anti-aging. While the set is certainly not cheap, all of the included products are incredibly high quality, in terms of formulations and skincare results. I would definitely compare a lot of the products to others on the market that are found at much higher costs. In this case, while my wallet may not be thankful for my friends recommendation, my skin certainly is, and this is a product I trust in and will continue to use. I would definitely recommend this as a gift option, or as a gift to the self if you enjoy the products or are interested in trying them. Of all included items, there is nothing I would not try or use again, or repurchase in full size (if I could afford that). Highly recommended and a wonderful offering!