How exciting can a moisturiser be? Compared to the glittery allure of eyeshadow palettes, the most velvety matte lipsticks, and even face masks, perhaps not so. Is it essential though? Yes. Whether you subscribe to a complicated 10-step routine, or the updated k-beauty norm of “skip-care”, moisturiser is to skincare as life is to water — we can’t do without it.
With that in mind, you’ve probably heard of Laneige’s famous Water Bank line. Its 25 year legacy means the skincare range boasts superb longevity for the k-beauty brand, precisely because its essences, mists, masks — and yes, moisturisers — focus rightly on what’s considered a basic function of skincare, hydration. And they do it well too, delivering intense moisture while still remaining lightweight and balanced.
Enter, the new and improved Water Bank line, one that goes beyond the basics of hydration into something far better for the care and protection of our skin. At a recent trip to Shanghai, we experienced the launch of the two reformulated creams for ourselves.
The water-themed event, complete with swirly projections and a laboratory set-up, was not without glamour. Laneige brand ambassador Kim You Jung was present to rave about her favourite products during the Gala Dinner.
Some of the prized tips she shared includes how she confirmed the “skip-care” trend by admitting she doesn’t have that many steps in her skincare routine (only the essentials!); how she advocates sleeping masks at night so her skin can recover; and how she simply can’t go anywhere without the Water Bank Essence and a swipe of the Silk Intense Lipstick.
As for the revamped Water Bank line, it’s all about healthy, luminous skin that looks hydrated; but we’re not just going skin-deep here.
Essentially, the new Water Bank creams — and the range, now infused with Green Mineral Water — isn’t just about supplying your skin with moisture; it’s also about making sure that your skin’s healthy enough to retain that boost of hydration for longer. They care for the surface of your skin, yes, but also ensure that your skin can self-moisturise. Green Mineral Water contains minerals that supply moisture to the skin, while also strengthening your skin barrier.
HOW IT WORKS
What’s most revolutionary is something called ‘Green Mineral Water‘. At the risk of sounding like your (Asian) parents, you know that fruits and vegetables are good for your health — more so for your skin!
The new moisturisers come with this key component, which basically comprises of extracts from a handful of carefully selected super vegetables so our skin can be pumped with minerals that both balance your moisture levels (e.g. potassium, sodium, calcium), while helping to repair the skin too (e.g. zinc, magnesium, copper).
Laneige researchers have found that, due to factors such as UV rays or external aggressors, our skin loses its ability to retain moisture — even if you’re constantly replenishing it with your moisturisers, your skin finds it difficult to stay hydrated for prolonged hours. In skincare terms, you’ve encountered a loss of your Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF), which further makes the skin dry and sensitive, and eventually, premature skin ageing.
NMF is the key to Laneige’s technology though. Green Mineral Water tries to counter its loss by maximising our skin’s moisture retention and fixing its moisture barrier as well; you’ll notice hydration that stays put for longer.
Also impressive: researchers looked at hundreds of vegetables to narrow it down to just 6 major ones. These ingredients — in particular, kale, water cress, beet, lima bean, artichoke and garden cress — are extracted using the Ocean Brew process, which emerges the vegetables in cold deep sea water at a precise temperature of 15°C for five hours. This care allows the lab scientists to gently extract the minerals required. As for the vegetables, Garden Cress, in particular, is a powerful antioxidant that helps purify the skin. There’s also a Water Zipper technology that locks in moisture for 24 hours.
Water Bank Hydro Cream EX / Water Bank Moisture Cream EX
There are two types of the Water Bank Cream here: Hydro and Moisture. Similar to how the earlier-launched Water Bank Essences are, the difference here boils down to the texture of the moisturiser, which then makes it suitable for different skin types.
You can see the difference here. The Water Bank Hydro Cream EX has a light, gel-like texture that’s more transparent-looking as well, making it suitable for combination-oily skin types, and perhaps a good day option for tropical climates too (you reading this) as there’s a slight cooling sensation when applied.
As for the Water Bank Moisture Cream EX, this one’s a smooth and rich consistency that’s highly-moisturising, so dry skin will slurp it up, while you can also bring this along to more temperate countries when you travel, or really, just use it at night.
After trying it on, I’d say both are still undeniably lightweight for something that delivers on so much hydration — the skin-plumping effect was very real and the creams absorb quickly too, leaving my skin matte in no time. Plus, who won’t be sold on the promise of longer-lasting hydration and healthier skin? Time to upgrade your moisturisers already.