Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Our beauty editor Romy just wrote an article on KAHI and I couldn't wait to try out the entire wrinkle bounce routine!
There are many reasons for me to try. Initially, Kim Go-eun, the brand's spokesperson, flaunted the line's multi-balm in episode 8 of K-drama The King: Eternal Monarch, and it soon went viral. As a K-drama addict, I am obliged to give it a try.
Second, the line contains salmon collagen and salmon PDRN, K-Beauty's latest IT ingredient, which is actually a fragment of DNA extracted from salmon sperm. I'm in my mid-30s and I really want to try everything under the sun that can reverse the clock. Also, I can be quite adventurous with skin care and this new trend intrigues me.
The latest K-Beauty buzz
The craze started with Rejuran Healer, an injectable salmon DNA treatment developed by Korean pharmaceutical company Pharmaresearch. Celebrities reportedly use Rejuran before major events to improve their skin. Although Rejuran was introduced in 2014, the trend didn't start to bloom until 2019 in South Korea and Singapore. Recently, the K-Beauty brands started making non-injectable salmon DNA skin care products.
Although injections can go deeper into the dermis to stimulate collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production, needleless products are cheaper and more convenient (not to mention less scary). Salmon DNA may be disguised as Sodium DNA or HP DNA in ingredient lists.
The benefits of salmon DNA
Studies have shown that:
It promotes wound healing by supporting the growth of blood vessels, which in turn help deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin and strengthen the skin's barrier. It also blocks cytokine, an inflammatory chemical found in the human body. It can be used to improve recovery after laser treatments.
It promotes cell regeneration exposing fresh skin, leading to potential antiaging benefits, although more in-depth research remains to be done.
It blocks UVA and UVB rays, This makes it an ideal sunscreen ingredient.
Of people and salmon
I wish I had been more attentive during biology class! My first concern was whether salmon sperm contained testosterone, as testosterone apparently can increase sebum production when consumed. Then I realized that testosterone is only found in reproductive organs, not sperm. Fish semen is considered a delicacy in Japan and is rich in protein and vitamins B12 and D.
My second concern was whether salmon sperm would irritate the skin. I always tend towards clean beauty, which is different from organic beauty. The more organic the composition, the more preservatives are sometimes needed to improve texture, smell and shelf life. The idea of pouring salmon milk on my face also haunted me. Fortunately, only salmon sperm extracts are used in these products, not the actual thing. As for my concerns about sensitivity, the fact that human and salmon DNA is over 95% similar has brought some relief.
Are you ready to find out how my dry, sensitive, mature and hyperpigmented skin fared after saying so much about salmon DNA?
First off, I immediately fell in love with the line's packaging and fragrance, which is completely different from drug store skin care. The salmon pink looks so lush and romantic, especially with the rose gold accents and matte finish that add to its luxury. Some of the bottles even come in a clear ombré! The floral scent is sensual and sophisticated. You want to apply more product or massage in longer.
For information on ingredients and claimed effects, see the previous article on KAHI. I will focus on my experience:
The white mother-of-pearl paste foams well and feels incredibly smooth on the skin. As someone who prefers foams to pastes despite dry skin, this one has certainly convinced me to go back to pastes. My skin felt incredibly smooth and plump afterwards. The skin didn't feel squeaky clean, but it didn't remove moisture from the skin, left it feeling taut, or left residue. I don't know how it would fare on oily skin, but it more than met the needs of my dry skin.
This fog is a dream that I have on my desk at home. I inject it when I feel dry, sleepy, or exhausted. The fragrance is a great pick-me-up in itself, and the oil-infused formula adds just the right amount of shine and moisture without ruining your makeup. It usually takes about four splashes to moisturize my entire face. I also use it as a toner mornings and evenings.
There is both an essence and an ampoule so I didn't know which one to use first. Then I remembered that essence comes before ampoule in the famous 10-step Korean skin care routine. This essence is slightly thicker than the ampoule, possibly due to the presence of tiny agar capsules. In contrast to the transparent mist, it is light pink and comes in an ombré pink pump bottle. The capsules are barely noticeable on the skin, so I guess they melt or burst when you touch the skin. Although the essence is thicker, it is easier to absorb and less sticky than the ampoule. The agar capsules plump the skin to make it smoother.
The ampoule looks slightly peach-colored and is contained in a dropper bottle. (Excuse the bubbles in the picture – I dropped them on the floor but luckily it didn't break!) While the essence is focused on tightening and moisturizing, this aims to lighten the skin with niacinamide.
This set of five masks gives essence to the skin with a fitted and fairly thick panel mask that feels bold without dripping all over the place. The masks are a godsend when you need a little aromatic pizzazz or a boost of moisture.
The core cream looks high-quality with its transparent acrylic housing and rose gold lid. It is the same pale pink color as the essence and feels absolutely smooth on the skin. Neither greasy nor sticky, it makes for the perfect 24/7 cream when my skin feels dry to the touch.
Compared to sports sunscreen, this one is certainly not very waterproof, but it is good enough for a day at the office. It has excellent texture and feels weightless on the skin. The pale pink color is no longer noticeable after spreading. I've noticed some stains while wearing it for swimming, but that's just because it's not intended for sports.
I'm not going to lie, I'm not a fan of multi balm. I love lip balm, but putting it on my acne-prone face after it hits my lips – where there might be saliva, oil, or sauce – is outside of my comfort zone. And that's nothing compared to giving it to someone else like Kim Go-eun did in The King: Eternal Monarch! This multi-balm rocks like a lip balm (although a little too big) but I find it too sticky when applied to the face. Unless I'm visiting an extremely dry environment, I'll likely keep it either as a lip balm or for drier areas of the body (but not both).
I can immediately see why people fell in love with this range. The packaging is stunning, the ingredients are exciting and promising, the scent is divine, and the textures are superb. I thought I was too lazy to follow all of the steps but I got hooked. Most importantly, these products not only feel smooth, but also make the skin smoother. They're more expensive but well worth the batter when you have dry and mature skin. I would recommend buying the cheaper fog and sunscreen first to get a taste of what the line has to offer. You will not regret it!
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