Time for another review! Hopefully I can get another one out faster than this. My goal is to produce one review a week to match with my schedule of trying out one new product per week. Gonna have to push myself to get there I think.
I bought Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum due to its popularity. Lots of people love the hydration this product delivers, and some suggest an ability to calm redness and/or irritation as well. It’s listed as a best seller on Innisfree’s website, and I’ve read enough positive reviews to make me curious enough to try it out.
Full Disclosure: This review contains no affiliate links, and the product was purchased by me. All opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal use and testing of the product.
What is it?
Innisfree’s The Green Tea Seed Serum is a light, moisturizing serum loaded with green tea extract to freshen and hydrate the skin.
It is meant to be used somewhere in between cleansing and moisturizing. The directions say to use before a toner step, much like a first essence type product. I used it as a typical serum step, after my essence and before any lotions or creams.
- Size: 80 mL
- Price: $21.43 CAD +shipping
- Texture: A light, slightly watery serum with a cloudy consistency
- Scent: Artificial yet refreshing green tea scent common to Innisfree’s Green Tea line
- Packaging: A small transparent green bottle with a pump dispenser
- Longevity: ~7.5 months, using 1 pump/day
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Propanediol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Alcohol, Glycerin, Betaine, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Opuntia Coccinellifera (Prickly Pear) Fruit Extract, Orchid Extract, Citrus Unshiu (Tangerine) Peel Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Tangerina (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, Ethyhexylglycerin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Dextrin, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance.
CosDNA breakdown. The ingredients score wonderfully when it comes to triggers for acne or irritation. The serum primarily consists of Green Tea Extract, a smattering of other plant extracts (mostly citrus fruit), and some emulsifiers and viscosity/pH adjusters to finish it off. There is alcohol quite high in the list, so this might be a good one to skip if that bothers you.
The big important ingredient here is the Green Tea Extract. Innisfree claims the serum contains 75.9% green tea extract, though that doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot. Extract ingredients require solvents in order for the botanical chemicals to be… extracted. What companies don’t specify is what portion of their extract is solvent and what portion is the actual extract ingredient. Think of it like brewing tea. Tea is made by extracting ingredients from the tea leaves by soaking or steeping them in hot water. You can vary the strength of your tea by how long you steep the leaves. Stronger tea would have more ‘extract’ in the water than weaker tea would. When companies use botanical extracts in their products, there is really no way for us to know how strong or weak their ‘tea’ is. That isn’t to say that Innisfree’s Green Tea Extract doesn’t have a lot of green tea in it, it only means that the serum almost certainly does not contain 75.9% green tea, since the extract needs to be contained in a solvent.
That aside, green tea really does have some wonderful properties that are beneficial to the skin. It has been shown to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, meaning it can reduce redness and irritation, and help prevent skin damage from free radicals. As a perpetually red-faced skincare junkie, I am always on the lookout for anything that has the potential to reduce inflammation and redness.
The pump dispenses a nice little dollop of product without being messy or forceful. One pump is usually enough for my face, though I have used two if my skin is feeling particularly thirsty.
The serum is slightly cloudy in appearance, and though it looks green due to the bottle, it actually has a very pale pinkish/tan color if you look at it on a white surface. The scent is Innisfree’s signature artificial green tea fragrance, which I find quite refreshing despite not being representative of real green tea. The serum turns watery when spread between my palms, and pats into my skin quickly without leaving a residue. The scent fades completely after a few seconds of being patted in.
One of my favorite things about Innisfree is their packaging and overall aesthetic. The look is very soft and minimal, and focuses on the natural ingredients in their formulations. The green tea line has a lovely leaf motif on each product label, and the shade of green is indicative of what skin type they are formulated for: lighter green for oilier skin, darker green for drier. I’d be a-ok with having an arsenal of their bottles on my bathroom counter.
Not a whole lot has changed in my skin since introducing this product. I’ve been using this serum daily for the past 4 months, and from what I can tell all it really does is add a bit of hydration. It doesn’t soften my skin. It doesn’t reduce any of my redness or PIH (not that I fully expected it to). There’s been no change in my pores, skin texture, oil production or anything else. I quite like the smell, but it doesn’t enchant me. I do love green tea as a skincare ingredient for the antioxidant properties, but there are so many products with antioxidants in them that this benefit alone is not enough to justify this one serum.
It’s a pretty basic product. I think it’s good for people who want simplicity, (i.e. not me) or perhaps for people with oilier skin than mine. It’s a nice extra layer of hydration that just doesn’t do much else, and I need a little bit more to be excited about using a product in my routine.
Would I Repurchase?
Nope. I just don’t have strong enough feelings towards this serum. Due to my system of buying and testing new products, something has to give me a very strong visceral punch before I will consider repurchasing it. There’s just no love here for me, and that means I’ll be moving on.
I think my normal-to-dry leaning skin makes it difficult for me to appreciate the lighter, more hydrating skincare steps. My skin really seems to enjoy the heavier, richer creams and occlusives. A lot. When I use lighter layers, my face kinda goes: ‘What else ya got?’. I may venture into Innisfree’s Green Tea Moisture line at some point (the one formulated for dry skin), just to see if my skin responds better.
What do you think of The Green Tea Seed Serum?