I believe that the IOPE Bio Essence is one of the first few “First Essence” from Korea. I remember when it first came out in Korea in 2012, everyone and their mother was gushing and raving over it. Some people had even commented that it is a dupe for the more expensive SKII Facial Treatment Essence. It had also won plenty of awards since it launched.
Below are just some of the awards it had gotten:
JUN 2013 – Best Brand of the First Half of 2013 (Asia Business Daily)
MAY 2013 – Korea’s No.1 First Essence – K-Beauty Awards, Ceci
APR 2013 – ‘Makeup Artists (Kim Beom-seok and Park Seon-mi)’ Favorite Pick (Kim Beom-seok and Park Seon-mi (Ceci)Korea’s No.1 First Essence – K-Beauty Awards (Ceci)No.1 Essence My Skin Desires Right Now (Ju-Bu Styler)Grand Prix – 2013 Joy + Brand (Financial News)
MAR 2013 – No.1 Anti-Aging Essence (Sure)
FEB 2013 – Aritaum’s No. 1 Seller – Sure Beauty Awards (Sure)No. 1 Anti-Aging Essence – Sure Beauty Awards (Sure)
DEC 2012 – No. 2 Moisturizer – Hottest Beauty Items of 2012 (Queen)
Honestly, I wasn’t too interested when I saw all those reviews buzzing around in 2012. That was because people had claimed that it works in a similar way to SKII’s Facial Treatment Essence and I am allergic to SKII. I’ll breakout in small red pimples all over my face whenever I use SKII. It took me 2 years later when my friend was about to go for her vacation in Korea and she asked me if I wanted anything. I thought to myself “What the heck! Just try one bottle first! Afterall you always regret the things which you didn’t do more than the things you do right?!”
Fast forward to today and this is already my 3rd bottle of the IOPE Bio Essence (I actually stopped using it for one year plus when I got pregnant and wasn’t sure if I could use it). Let’s take a look at its ingredients, shall we?
Faex, Nicotinamide, Glycerol, Bifida Ferment Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Glycereth-26, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxycellulose, Adenosine, Propylene Glycol, Aqua
How does the IOPE Bio Essence fare?
When I first used it back in 2014, I was quite taken with it. It brightened my skin and kept it quite clear within the first 2 weeks of use. In addition, it also helped to hydrate my skin and somehow also facilitate the absorption of subsequent products that I layer over it. What impressed me the most was that it seemed to suppress my hormonal pimples that usually came one week before or after my period. I wasn’t really surprised that its first few ingredients contain Nicotinamide aka Niacinamide aka Vitamin B3. Niacinamide is an excellent skin restoring ingredient that helps to lighten areas of pigmentation and its anti-inflammatory properties make it effective for treating acne. Even though it contains a form of yeast extract, it doesn’t have any smell and feels just like water. IOPE states that you need to use cotton pads (each bottle of IOPE Bio Essence actually comes with its own box of cotton pads) for maximum absorption of the product. However, sometimes I just pour some out onto my hands and just pat it into my skin. I don’t really find a big difference between the 2 methods. I usually use this product in the daytime skincare routine.
Here’s how I slot this product into my skincare routine:
Cleanser => Acid Toner => IOPE Bio Essence => Hydrating Serum(s) => Moisturiser mixed with a few drops of facial oil => Sunscreen
Now that I’ve been using it for some time, I guess the fact that it’s still in my arsenal of products that I rotate around speaks for itself. I wouldn’t call it a “superstar” amongst all my products but it’s definitely a hardworking team player.
Where can you find it?
IOPE is not available in beauty counters in Singapore. I usually stock up whenever friends are going for vacations in Korea and asked me if I want anything to be brought back. However, I believe you can buy it from Qoo10.sg online and I’ve seen it selling for around S$60++ per bottle (168ml sized).