The Story Behind ISNTREE
Sometimes we feel helpless when the skincare recommendations we get are all very pricey options that do not even have very good ingredients. Hundreds of dollars for redness and irritation? I think I’ll pass.
But there are some really amazing brands that recognize this issue within the skincare world and have made it their mission to create products that are not just all talk and no play. One such godsend of a brand is the Korean brand ISNTREE. Their CEO, Jinwoo Kim, understood the pain of buying skin care products, hoping they would do something but ending up with the feeling of being ripped off. So he came up with what started with a blog and has now become the brand, ISNTREE.
Some of us Korean skincare fans might have realised that the name ISNTREE sounds similar to the brand Innisfree but they are completely different. The name, ISNTREE, actually has a beautiful meaning behind it.
ISland: This stands for a clean nature island that is pure and not polluted which is what the brand envisions for itself.
Natural: All of the products use natural and raw ingredients that are pure and great for the skin.
TREE: The brand aims to be sturdy like a tree that bear fruits for us, the consumers. How cute is that?
ISNTREE prides itself on the fact that they utilize natural and reliable ingredients in their products that are safe for all users. The ingredients are carefully picked to help the natural processes of the skin so the skin’s natural ability to heal is strengthened.
And as a really admirable move on their part, they have made their packaging eco-friendly so they can be recycled and strongly oppose animal testing! While all these may sound like factors that could bump the price up really high, they also keep their products affordable and reasonably priced.
ISNTREE’s Promises & Processes
There is already so much to love about the brand but they do not stop there. If there is a brand that sticks to its promises, it is ISNTREE. They promise to be always honest and to make reliable cosmetic products. They are willing to get feedback from their consumers and actually take action to improve their products based on the feedback they get.
It does not just stop at products either. If you as a customer have any feedback regarding their service, they are so caring and really appreciate each and every one of their customers. It feels more like a family than some corporation trying to just profit off their consumers. They are able to gain the trust of their customers and really make an effort to let them know how grateful they are for every single customer they get. How wholesome is that?
As for their products, when they say natural, they mean natural. So they try their best to ensure that most of their products do not contain any heavy metals, harmful ingredients or steroids. They might only be a part of the product if completely necessary to ensure the stability of the formula. Everything is gentle on the skin and tested thoroughly for any possible irritations to the skin.
In order to keep up with all these promises, there is a system for the process ISNTREE goes through when launching a product.
They consider things that we as consumers do not even think about. Say for example, when creating a formula they also check to see whether every natural ingredient has a similar harvest period or not in order to get the best raw materials. They really want to ensure the best quality for us.
Their entire process for launching a product starts from us, the consumers. They gather feedback from us first and take these suggestions to the design table to come up with ideas for ingredients and products. When selecting the ingredients to put into the formula, they filter through the best quality raw materials and use them in their product development. After this they conduct tests with samples and repeat the entire process until they reach the perfect formula. After this, they go into production, more quality inspections and finally into our hands.
ISNTREE has done a wonderful job at being transparent with their processes and telling us what kind of quality assurance they have. As of now, they are ISO and CGMP certified and follow strict cleanliness guidelines in their production labs. Their business is also registered in MFDS so they do a lot of testing for their raw materials. Their products are also thoroughly tested for skin irritation and heavy metals through KCL and KOTITI.
All this might come off sounding a little preachy because there is just so much to praise about the brand and their ethics are just so admirable. But that is enough about the company, let’s take a look at some of their top-selling products, shall we?
ISNTREE Green Tea Fresh Toner
We are all too familiar with how much green tea benefits the skin in terms of soothing properties but something interesting that you might notice about the ISNTREE Green Tea Fresh Toner is the colour of the toner. It is a light brown colour and this is not something we usually see in products that claim to have green tea in them. This colour looks like someone dipped a green tea teabag in the solution and that’s because the product actually tried to keep all the nutrients of real Jeju green tea extract.
The toner itself is water-based and applies smoothly to the skin. Don’t worry, it does not leave the skin looking like you were dipped in green tea. It absorbs really well into the skin and works amazingly well for anyone who has an oily or complex skin type. Considering the natural ingredients inside, the toner has a shorter shelf-life of 6 months after opening compared to other toners. But you would probably end up finishing the bottle way before then so no worries.
The toner contains 80% Green Tea Extract from fresh green tea leaves harvested on the island of Jeju. It is great at calming the skin and keeps the skin looking healthy and refreshed. The reason why it is so great for oily skin types is that it contains Anti-Sebum P(HD) which is a well-researched ingredient group that reduces sebum production while managing pores, leaving the skin feeling less greasy than before. The sebum production is kept in check by some other ingredients in the toner as well, such as Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract and Evening Primrose Flower Extract.
The natural green tea inside also contains 67mg of Vitamin C for every 100g of dried green tea leaves which helps brighten the skin. The leaves also contain about 15% of Tannin which helps to protect the skin from harmful external pollutants and irritation. The main part of green tea, however, is the Polyphenol which is abundant in catechin. It contains EC, ECG, EGC and EGCG which based on studies conducted, are excellent anti-oxidants and are great at enhancing the skin’s photostability to protect the skin from UV rays. They are also able to help reduce melanin production which is useful for preventing hyperpigmentation.
Other than green tea, the toner has other ingredients that are key to its stress-relieving properties as well. It contains Centella Asiatica Extract to help with smoothing the skin texture and helping to reinforce the skin barrier which works great with the hydration given by the Hydrolyzed-Hyaluronic Acid. There is also extra moisturizing properties given by the Beta-glucan and if you have sensitive skin, the toner does its best to keep from irritating your skin with Allantoin. To calm the skin further, the toner contains Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract which is wonderful at helping reduce stress on the skin. These ingredients simply scream stress relief.
ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence
A good essence is one that does not just sit on top of the skin but actually goes deeper in the skin to hydrate. How do we know that the ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence does that?
It contains eight types of Hyaluronic Acid which have a range of size of molecules. These eight types are some we are all too familiar with - Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid (HA), Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed HA, Ascorbyl Propyl Hyaluronate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate and finally Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate. This essence is like the final battle in Avengers Endgame where everyone comes together to defeat the ultimate enemy, dehydration.
The bigger molecules among these HAs hydrate the top layers of the skin and form a layer of moisture protection while the smaller ones go deeper to hydrate layer by layer. The medium molecules are able to improve the moisture density as they connect water loops in the skin which stays locked in thanks to the moisture shield made by the larger molecules. Hyaluronic Acid is really good for moisturizing the skin and that is because it draws moisture to the skin. It can draw as much as up to 1000 times its volume in moisture! So if you have dry skin or are looking for a good way to moisturize the skin more deeply, this is a great option.
It also improves the natural moisturizing process of the skin that help strengthen the skin barrier to really replenish the skin. Other than moisture, nutrition for the skin and texture care is also taken care of thanks to the Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil which is a plant that can survive the hot temperatures of deserts and the oil acts as a light but strong moisture shield for the skin when applied.
The essence itself has a very nice, smooth texture that is light and very hydrating. There is also some Betaine and Panthenol inside along with a few other ingredients to help the skin with its natural processes. You could call this essence the ultimate weapon for hydrated skin even if you have sensitive or oily skin.
ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Toner Plus
While the essence contained eight different Hyaluronic Acids, the ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Toner Plus contains five. This makes sense for a toner compared to an essence, since we want hydration but we still want our skin to absorb the next steps of the skincare routine after the toner.
The five Hyaluronic Acids in this toner are Hyaluronic Acid (HA), Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer. These five are just enough to hydrate and penetrate the skin to prepare it to absorb the subsequent skincare steps. This way all the serums and essences we add to our skin will not just sit on the surface of our skin, but go deeper into the layers of the skin.
To make sure that the moisture does not just vanish, ISNTREE has also included 7 plant extracts and improve the skin’s natural self-regenerating power. Some of these 7 plant extracts are Centella Asiatica Extract and Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract which are wonderful for soothing the skin and anti-ageing. The other plant extracts in this formula are Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf extract and Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, all of which work really well together to soothe the skin which is really useful in a toner.
A patented ingredient in the formula ISNTREE included is Phyto Oligo which is basically a combination of Althaea Rosea Root Extract and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract which help to act as a moisturizing agent and allow the formula to be absorbed fast into the skin. The toner itself is dense and slippery in texture so it applies really nicely on the skin. It is perfect if you tend to have tight skin after washing your face or your skin dries out really easily.
ISNTREE is definitely an underdog when it comes to Korean skincare. It is such a shame that not many people talk about it as it is such an amazing brand. From the cruelty-free products to the all-natural ingredients they are really doing a great job.
We respect what the brand is after and how they do not shove their products in our faces, but let their phenomenal products speak for themselves. If you are someone who has dry or sensitive skin, these products are definitely something you should check out!