I suppose in the past year my beauty preferences have graduated into the “distinct product” category. I’m trying to avoid hoarding, but I still want to try new things. Perhaps it’s a passable compromise that I only purchase beauty products that truly excite me. Once I saw Instagram photos of the Pyunkang Yul Balancing Gel (P1,400), it was hard to look away from the unique texture.
Quick Specs: 100 ml / 3.3 fl oz ; made in Korea
But before we get to the nitty-gritty—or should I say ooey-gooey, instead—let’s talk about how awesome the product already looks from the outside. Colored bottles bring to mind apothecaries, and I particularly find the blue packaging attractive. The balancing gel comes in a blue glass jar with a shiny black plastic lid. A small plastic spoon is included in the box for hygienic dispensing, and there is a stopper on the mouth of the jar to prevent a mess from forming. The packaging is minimalist and looks fancy, though I have to mention that the lid can be rather slippery, especially after you get the gel on your hands.
Inside is the fun stuff! “Gel” doesn’t really do the contents of this jar justice as it is more like clear, viscous goo, with the consistency of honey. Even getting it out of the jar requires some technique to avoid goo trails from falling off the scooper/spoon. The balancing gel has no discernible scent from the scoop or on fingers, but I get a hint of something nutty-sweet and herbal when I sniff right from the jar. I would liken it to the scent of fresh coconut water.
Because the Balancing Gel is more than a gel per se, that interesting texture and consistency also shows up during application. According to the instructions, you smear the gel on the area you wish to cover and then tap or press the product onto the skin. Rubbing will only cause the gel to ripple, pill (take on a libag texture, in Filipino), then melt back into its original gel form. (It really is fascinating to behold!) It dries like a regular gel would. No traces of that goo after 5 minutes.
I have used the Balancing Gel as a “topper”, sealant, and final skincare step over various serums and creams, and it has not given me any negative reactions. The main ingredient, astragalus membranaceus root extract, is known for hydrating and it does so subtly and gently. It doesn’t act as a sleeping pack, so you can’t compare it to something like Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. But as a light, gel-type moisturizer, I think it does deliver and soothes skin at that.
Verdict: Come for the interesting texture, stay for the added hydration. The Pyunkang Yul Balancing Gel is made for those who obsess over their multi-layer skincare routines and prefer numerous levels of light layers for gradual moisture absorption. Oh Kbeauty, what will you think of next?
For additional info on the products, do watch Gothamista’s video here. I watched her vid when I was doing my research prior to making the purchase.