[Review] Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum & Cream

Purchasing skincare products can sometimes be a daunting task, especially in Korea. Most people would probably just cleanse, tone and moisturize but what would be a 3 step process to others could easily be a 8-10 step process for women here. Just a couple of years ago the word “serum” always brought confusion. What exactly is a serum? Why do I need it? But I already moisturize!

In order to kick off this review, I think a bit of information on serums alone would be beneficial. There are always people getting introduced to skincare so it wouldn’t hurt to talk about it. So what do serums do? Well, for starters, serums are hyper concentrated treatments that target more specific skin problems such as acne, redness and hyper pigmentation. Some are even good for anti-aging and brightening treatments. They are more efficacious compared to moisturizers because their molecules are smaller, enabling them to reach deeper into the skin.

Since serums are water-based, they absorb readily leaving the skin feeling lightweight and hydrated.They are also more expensive in comparison to moisturizers as they may contain pure extracts. Should we use serums exclusively since they are more potent than moisturizers? The answer is no. It is recommended that we use both. Serums penetrate deep into the skin while moisturizers work on the surface of the skin. You can think of it this way, serums are nourishing whereas moisturizers are hydrating.

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(image from innisfree.co.kr)

The Green Tea Seed Serum & Cream from Innisfree both contain 100% Jeju green tea and are free of paraben, mineral oil, animal ingredients, and artificial coloring. The cream does not contain any ethanol.

Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum

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Enriched with Green Tea Seed and Green complex from pure Jeju island, Green Tea Pure revives dry, stressed skin by supplying abundant moisture.

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Description: This antioxidant-moisturizing serum creates a dewy and clear complexion as the seed ingredients harvested from the eco-friendly green tea gardens in Jeju island intensively hold onto skin moisture and the natural hydrating betaine ingredients promote moisture synthesis within skin layers.

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This product does contain alcohol.

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Although this serum comes in a pretty petite sized bottle equipped with a pump, it actually contains 80 grams worth of product. My guess is this is good for at least half a year (or more) if I use a pump of it every day. It’s a good value for your money. It retails at 22,000 won from Innisfree but prices may vary if you’re getting it from other online shops. I got it on sale about a month ago. For those who are in Korea, you can definitely find it cheaper if you wait for the sales.

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Your purchase should come with a protective cap for your pump. The plastic cap keeps the pump clean for each use but it’s entirely up to you to keep it or toss it.

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I have never really paid attention to serums until I started using this so I can’t speak for other serums however I do believe most will be similar in texture and consistency. The Green Tea Seed Serum is clear in color, very watery and runny. I had to rush to take this picture with fear that it would slide right off my hand.

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The serum feels really cool upon application and absorbs quite fast. Below is a picture of it after it was pat dry.

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It is recommended that you use this serum as the first step of your skin care regimen after cleansing (and toning I would think). I actually don’t own any of the Green Tea Pure Deep products except for their cream however I do not use it with this serum.

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(image from innisfree.co.kr)

Per Innisfree, the order goes like this serum -> skin -> lotion -> (essence) -> eye cream -> cream. To simplify things in the summer, you can use the serum and cream alone.

Here’s the good:
– 4 Free System (does NOT contain: paraben, mineral oil, animal ingredients or artificial colors)
– fresh product (in order to keep the products fresh, Innisfree commits to a Fresh 3M slogan meaning products marked with said slogan will be sold within 3 months of being manufactured)
– hydrating
– contains 100% Jeju green tea
– fast absorption
– non-sticky
– lightweight
– fresh scent

And the bad:
– contains alcohol

Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Cream

I’ve always avoided creams because of my oily skin. I’ve tried a few and each time I did, I usually gave up after the first or second use. I had a bit of reservations about this one as well when I tried a sample of it. I applied it after the serum and to my surprise, my skin didn’t appear as oily and neither was it sticky. The first time I woke up after wearing it all night, I was confident I would find myself covered in shine the next morning. But my skin shocked me. It looked hydrated and was so soft to the touch. I usually use the serum and cream in conjunction at night as I have other products that I apply in the day time and I always wake up with very soft skin. The moisture is sealed even after I cleanse my face in the morning.

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Description: This moisture cream with Jeju eco-friendly green tea seed ingredient is formulated to provide excellent moisturizing + anti-oxidant effects to your skin. Combined with green tea water, green tea seed oil and green tea EGCG that promote amazing effects to your skin help create dewy, resilient and clear complexion. This product quenches thirsty skin by retaining non-sticky, dewy moisture deep within the skin as it welcome rain were to wet arid land.

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Description: Enriched with Green Tea seed and Green complex from pure Jeju island, Green Tea Pure revives dry, stressed skin by supplying abundant moisture.

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The cream is actually incredibly lightweight and not as thick as most creams. It’s easy to spread and absorbs quite nicely without a sticky residue.

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The picture on the left is my hand without the Green Tea Seed Cream and the one on the right is my hand with it.

Here’s the good:
– fresh scent
– hydrating
– lightweight
– non-sticky
– 5 Free system (does NOT contain: paraben, artificial colors, mineral oil, animal ingredients or ethanol)
– fresh product (in order to keep the products fresh, Innisfree commits to a Fresh 3M slogan meaning products marked with said slogan will be sold within 3 months of being manufactured)

And the bad:
– unhygienic to transfer product from the jar

I had kind of forgotten that the cream was contained in a jar so when I started to type out a con for the cream, I paused and thought “there isn’t a single thing I don’t like”. Then it struck me. Just make sure your hands are clean before you dip them into the jar to avoid contaminating the cream.

The Green Tea Seed Serum & Cream are both bestsellers from Innisfree however it seems to have received mixed reviews from international bloggers. It’s received a lot of love from users in Korea. I was skeptical at first since my skin usually doesn’t react well to creams however I have to join the mass and say both are great and I’m definitely going to gift this pair for Christmas to family and friends back home.

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40 responses to “[Review] Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum & Cream

  1. Hi,

    I have been ‘following’ your blog since 2-3 weeks ago and I really love how you wrote your reviews on the products! I am actually quite unsure of the differences between serum and essence (or maybe emulsion too), is it the same and is it alright to use just one of them? And what’s the difference between a lotion and cream? They are both moisturizer right? Japanese called their moisturizers as lotion whereas Korean called it cream? I am so confused when it comes to buying Korean products. >.< Sorry for asking so many questions!

    • Hi Sandy! I’m going to attempt to answer all of your questions šŸ™‚

      Let’s start with the first one regarding the differences between serum and essence. Serums and essence are a bit similar with the former being a bit more expensive as it’s got a higher concentration of ingredients. Both are meant to troubleshoot specific problems so you can actually purchase one that targets your needs. I would say serums are generally worn at night and essence in the day since the latter is lighter. Some product ranges will offer one or the other and usually not both. I guess it really depends on the brand as the terms seem interchangeable at times. So to answer your question, you wouldn’t need both if you’re purchasing products from the same range.

      Emulsions are water-based face lotions in Korea and are analogous to moisturizers in the west. However emulsions do not contain SPF and are usually lighter but still hydrating and moisturizing. Creams are also moisturizers but much richer in comparison to emulsions. Emulsions are usually worn during the day and creams are worn at night. However some individuals with dry skin may wear creams during the day as well. Creams are optional in my opinion but some consider it the last step of skincare in Korea. Do you need both? It really depends on your skin type. Personally, I have both. I wear emulsions in the day and creams at night.

      Serums/essence are to be worn underneath moisturizers (emulsions/creams). While they penetrate deeper into the skin and nourish it, you still need something to treat the surface of your skin and keep it moisturized.

      Phew that was long but hopefully easy to follow. I hope that clears up some confusion! šŸ™‚ If I have confused your more, please let me know and I’ll try my best to explain it again!

      • Hi,

        Not confusing at all! Thanks for taking your time to explain to me. Your English is really good! Where do you came from? =b Usually I only google for reviews when I need to until I saw your blog and I straight away bookmark the link! And because of you, I have just purchased the Innisfree No Sebum Primer and waiting for it to reach me. I didn’t even bother to look at the brand because of the packaging but now I do! (Plus I’m an Eco-Friendly Person. Haha!) I am a fan of Etude House. =b

      • Okay, total sigh of relief. As I was typing all of that out, I had to re-read it several times just to make sure I was making sense. I’m from the US but I currently live and work in Korea šŸ™‚ Thanks for bookmarking and purchasing one of the products I reviewed. I get so happy when people tell me that. Virtual high-five – I’m also trying to be an eco-friendly consumer these days! hehe. I love Etude House’s packaging! They’ve got some good products too. Have you tried any of the other Korean brands? I’ve been really itching to get my hands on some Banila Co. and more Holika Holika products but a lot of their products contain parabens šŸ˜¦

      • I actually have quite a numbers of Korea products and I guess I can write reviews like you too! But I’m too lazy and might not be of much help to others. Haha! I tried and am still using Banilo Co. Primers now. But am trying different types of it. I am very satisfied with the Classic Matte and Classic ones. I am an Oily/Combination like you. Currently am using the Natural Primer and my Hydrating Shimmers was left on my shelf for quite some times. Have Hydrating Primer inside my drawer waiting to be use after finishing my Natural type. Basically, I am trying every single one of the primers. Haha. I bought the Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream but have not try it though. I am trying the Skinfood Red Orange Jelly BB now because the expiry is next year Jan. >.< You can just e-mail me and we can share our experiences and etc? If not the comment box will be flooded. =b

  2. Hi Angela^^

    You explained so well about serum^^
    I just understand serum is light texture which target skin troubled skin effectively, lol

    I used Innisfree green tea serum before and what I found it was calm my acnes (that time I had really big acnes)

    Good product^^

    • Thanks Keiko! šŸ™‚

      I used to have a strong dislike of creams until I started using some of the more recent ones by Innisfree. The Green Tea Seed range is really good, even for individuals with oily skin.

      • Yes, I bought the Essence first, and the Green Tea Pure Kit. I had read the good reviews of the Green Tea line from Innisfree, and, although the product isn’t the same, the review you made of the “Green Tea Pure Deep Cream” made me take the decision to give it a try. I have a little dehydration on my face, which provoke more sebum and pore’s dilatation. I hope the products works. šŸ˜€

  3. Which cream is better for oily-combination skin? Innisfree Green Tea Pure Deep Cream or the seed cream? I live in Seoul, where the air is going to get drier in a few more weeks!

    • The Green Tea Seed Cream works well when paired with the serum. I have yet to try it alone so I can’t tell you how it works on its own. As for the Green Tea Pure Deep Cream, it works great on my oily skin and always leaves it moist and hydrated. Hopefully the weather will cool down some because it’s been insanely humid and hot here. I would say go with the Green Tea Pure Deep Cream. However, since you’re in Seoul, I would say head out to a nearby Innisfree and try out both to see which one feels better on your skin.

      • The serum broke me out! Maybe because of the alcohol in it. I will try out the Green Tea Pure Deep Cream! Thanks for the review though šŸ™‚

      • Accck! Sorry to hear that. Let me know how you like the Green Tea Pure Deep Cream. šŸ™‚

  4. I really love this cream! I have dry skin and it just makes my skin soft when I pair it with the Serum. I’ve tried using the cream and the other products in the order stated on the box and the layering doesn’t bother my sensitive skin. I was concerned about the alcohol in the serum but for some reason I have not had a reaction. What is the Essence product? I can’t seem to find out anywhere: Ebay or Amazon. All I found was the serum.

    • There isn’t an essence available within this range. If you look at the photo that shows the order of usage, you can see that there’s a picture of an essence (although no specific type), but it’s just suggesting that you use an essence as the next product in that order before proceeding to eye cream and then cream. Hope that helps!

      • Is there an essence product at all offered by Innisfree? How does the essence product differ from the serum? In the meantime, I’m just applying organic Camellia Oil (which is green tea) instead before applying eye cream and then the cream.

    • I wake up with very moist and supple skin. My skin stays hydrated and is incredibly soft to the touch. I used to avoid creams because they were always too heavy on my skin but the cream in this range does not feel heavy at all and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling like grease after application either. However, I like the Green Tea Pure Deep Cream a bit more than this one and I think it would work just fine along with the Green Tea Seed Serum. If you’re just looking into buying the serum, I suggest investing in a moisturizer or cream so that the outer layer of your skin stays moisturized as the serum is meant to penetrate deeper. Hope that helps!

  5. I’ve noticed that my skin is more hydrated and stays that way throughout the day. I’ve tried both the Green Tea Pure Deep Cream and the Green Tea Seed Cream and like them both. They’re especially effective when paired with the serum. That combination results in very soft, hydrated skin. I’ve also added the sleeping pack at night and the results were great: I awoke to very soft, moist skin that stayed that way even after washing it that morning. Until I find the Essence product, I’ve been using just organic Green Tea Oil before applying the cream.

  6. Good news! I’ve found the Essence products from Innisfree on Ebay. I’m trying the Innisfree Moisture Firming Essence and the Soybean Energy Essence. We’ll see which one is better. Can’t wait to receive my package.

  7. For those that have dry, sensitive skin like mine, here’s a way to use the Green Tea line: after cleansing with cleansing oil, I mix 1 or 2 drops of Green Tea Oil or Argan Oil to the Green Tea Serum; then apply the toner (called Skin), apply the emulsion (either alone or mixed with 1 or 2 drops of the Green Tea Oil) and then apply either the Deep Cream or the Green Tea Seed Cream. At night, I add the Sleeping Pack. The result: soft, supple, plump, hydrated skin without redness. I think that the addition of the oil also offsets the presence of alcohol in both the serum and toner.

  8. I just got the Innisfree White Tone Up Skin (toner) and the ingredient list is a little different: this one does not contain alcohol! Yay – I’ll try it and let you know how it works out.

  9. Hi there! I’ve been reading reviews on the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum and found your blog today. Thanks for the info. It was really helpful. I would really like to get my hands on this product but I’m from the US. Do you know how I can purchase this? I don’t really want to order from eBay. I want to make sure I’m getting the real thing.

    Thanks!!

  10. I should give this a try! It’s hard to find non-sticky creams. šŸ™‚

    If you’d like to follow each other, my links are in my sidebar. I follow everyone back!

    Sandy xx

    • Definitely a great one to try for those who are afraid of creams šŸ˜‰

      Followed you on bloglovin!

  11. Hi, nice post šŸ™‚ I was wondering… Since you have reviewed both the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Cream and the Innisfree Green Tea Deep Cream, so wich one do you prefer? Or recommend to me, who is acne-prone and has combination skin? Thanx ^_^

    • I can’t recommend one for your specific skin type but if you’re seeking my preference…I would probably say Innisfree Green Tea Deep Cream would be my preferred choice. Both are great creams and both work well but I just like the Green Tea Deep Cream a tad bit more. It absorbs fast and doesn’t leave my skin with any stickiness. I haven’t been using it these days because I’m trying out new products but I still hold a soft spot for it.

      Thanks for reading! šŸ™‚

  12. Pingback: 10 Must-Try Korean Beauty Products | Franilyn Sendiong-Dacono·

  13. Greetings! Honestly one of the best reviews I’ve read so far, thanks a bunch!! A lot to digest for a beginner, I’m interested with innisfree products but what is the difference between the green tea serum and green tea cream? Which is more preferred, or both great as a combination for my daily skincare?

    • Thank you for reading! And sorry my reply is so late. We had a week long holiday here so I’m barely getting back into the grind of things. Anyhow, to answer your question, both vary in consistency. The serum is runnier and the cream is of course thicker. I think it really comes down to what you need, if you’re looking for something to keep your skin from drying out during the upcoming colder months, the cream is a great choice. But if you’re looking for something to help your skin on a more cellular level, the serum is a wonderful addition to any current skincare routine. It’s applicable both day and night.

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