Pyunkang Yul Brand Review
Pyunkang Yul was originally developed by the Pyunkang Eastern Medicine Clinic, an oriental medicine center based in Seoul. They grew their reputation on treating dry skin and dermatitis, and - according to their brand story - developed a skincare line by popular demand from their patients. This clinical focus is apparent in their skincare line from their short ingredient lists, emphasis on hydration, and high concentrations of traditional medicinal herbs. I think you’ll love this brand if you have sensitive skin and a sensitive wallet - each item on this list clocks in under $20!
This brand first popped up on my radar when I watched a review by my skincare idol, @gothamista, so I was especially excited when online Korean beauty retailer Style Korean Global reached out to me to send me the Pyungkang Yul PR kit for my review.
Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner
This contains 92% coptis japonica root, which is an anti-inflammatory medicinal herb. This root features heavily in this line of products. I could only find sources from Chinese herbal medicine about this root, so caveat emptor, but the research on efficacy seems shaky. However, it does have an EWG ingredient safety score of 1 (low hazard).
This mist toner only has 5(!) ingredients, which amazes me in its simplicity. Another thing I love about this brand is that water is not one of those ingredients! Especially with affordable brands, I often find that aqua is the first listed ingredient, which means that I don’t know how much the other ingredients have been watered down.
The misting spray is even and forceful, coating your skin in a light dew. This is scentless, colorless, and feels very light, so it’s perfect for a mid-day refresh or as a layer in a multi-step regimen. I would recommend this mist toner for hydration and soothing.
Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule
With 91% coptis japonica root, this ampoule claims similar benefits to the mist toner: hydration and soothing for sensitive skin. This is my first ampoule ever, but I have to say that I found the consistency weird, and I still can’t wrap my head around whether it’s a good weird or a bad weird. The consistency is thick like clear glue - though without the stickiness of course. This needs to be the last step of your skincare routine, where it will act as a sealant.
You need to dab a glob onto your cheeks and forehead, then pat it into your skin. The heat from your palms will melt the globs down where it can be absorbed. I know that a lot of people like to use occlusives such as vaseline as the last step in their routines. I tried that a few times but couldn’t get over the greasiness. This ampoule delivers the same results from sealing in moisture without that greasiness, so I would recommend the moisture ampoule for those with especially dry skin.
Pyunkang Yul ATO Cream
Shea butter, Honeysuckle flower, ceramide 3, peptides. This is a soothing cream formulated for strengthening stressed-out skin. While shea butter, ceramides, and peptides are present in other skincare products, I had to look up what honeysuckle flower extract does. Apparently Paula’s Choice’s Research team rates it as a best in-class soothing agent due to the flavonoids, a metabolite that plants used to protect themselves from environmental stress.
The bottle looks like a cute little pill, but there’s a traditional pump dispenser when you unscrew the cap. I love the creamy, sherbet-like texture of this cream. It is scentless, colorless, and dries down fast, leaving the skin with a matte feeling. I would recommend this for those who want a gentle, soothing day cream.
Pyunkang Yul Eye Cream
Last but also kind of least, is the tin of eye creams. You can buy a tin with 30-50 one-night packets. My reviewing ire might stem from my frustration around having to open these packets every evening; They’re the harder foil packets where you have to really work to get them to tear. Then you have to push out the eye cream, and there’s slightly too much for one evening, so do you squeeze it all out and rub the rest over your face, or fold up the packet and reuse it the next night? Too much manual labor and decision-making :)
Anyway, on to a more scientific assessment: This eye cream contains milk vetch root, ginseng, and shea butter. It claims to firm the fragile under-eye area. Milk vetch root has potential antioxidant properties, while ginseng may help reduce signs of age by protecting the skin from environmental stress (PubMed ID:29344412). Again, I couldn’t find any research sources to confirm the efficacy of milk vetch root, so your mileage may vary.
I did not notice any effects after 2 weeks with the eye cream satchets, but I probably need more time to see any difference. I will call it a draw, as this product was neither great, nor bad for me - just fine.
If you have sensitive skin and prefer simple, plant-based ingredients, then Pyungkang Yul is the brand for you. While I don’t think that my skin type or concerns are in their target demographic, I still enjoyed using most of their products, with the Mist Toner and ATO Cream being standouts from the rest. Their minimalist, royal blue packaging isn’t hard on the eyes either.
I received these products free to test.