Review: Dr Jart+ Cicapair Serum + a Book Rec for Parents, Trainers and Teachers Alike

If you have been in Korea for a while, you will know how much Dr Jart+ is pushing their advertisements over here. In-store advertising and pop up counters, social media advertising, billboards, signs on buses and bus stops… they go hard! Some of my Korean friends have in fact commented on how they find their ads overbearing and too much in-your-face to have much of an effect on them.

Personally, I am here for their minimalist, colourful aesthetic and also, I do find most of their products fabulous, so I don’t mind the pushy ads if it means that everyone can have great skin. I have reviewed a bunch of their sheet masks, a BB cream and a sunscreen, and some mists, and they’re just all around great really or at the very least, they hydrate nicely. Here they are –

I did have high hopes for this serum to blow me away, or at least please me, too.

・What it is: ・

It’s a serum for your face.


Just hydrating. Didn’t do anything else.

・Price & Availability / Size / Quantity: ・

I got mine in a one-off promo pack of three differently sized bottles, ₩39,000 on special offer.

Usually, one bottle of 30 ml goes for ₩39,000 as a RRP; in this instance, I got one bottle of 30 ml plus 2 smaller plastic bottles containing 15 ml each. A total of 60 ml of product – so kind of like a buy one, get one free.

In addition, the promo pack contained a gift with purchase – a sheet mask from the same Cicapair line.


Ingredients source: Inci Decoder

So just looking at the ingredients listing, you see that water, a few hydrators and brighteners and botanical extracts feature prominently. I am not sure as to why they would include bergamot, citrus peel and lavender oil if the product is for sensitive skin, when these are known irritants. I am guessing that it is there to fragrance the serum and that it is in such low concentrations that it is deemed safe to include.


The serums and the aforementioned GWP (sheet mask) came packaged up in some sort of toiletry bag that is actually quite useful for when you go travelling.

Inside, there was a cardboard box to hold all products in place.

Do note the difference in bottle size in the 15 ml bottles vs the full size 30 ml bottle.

  • The full size bottle had a clever self-loading mechanism, where the dropper would automatically refill itself as you screwed the lid back on.
  • The small bottles had a traditional dropper mechanism, where you would depress the rubbery top to suck up the product and you would then press on it to dispense it into your hand next.

Now, onto today’s book recommendation. Without trying to be overly dramatic – this book changed my life. Not sponsored. I just love this book so, so much.

I was struggling tremendously at my first full time teaching job in Korea which was mainly due to lack of training and support from the management’s side and inexperience from my end as I had never taught or tutored before (which was why support from management would have been crucial… anyways).

Blog posts and Internet resources proved to be insufficient. I needed meat-and-potatoes, no-nonsense strategies and hands-on advice on how to be a better teacher.

I decided to work on myself and up my game, and first googled some random book called Teach like a Pirate which I had seen sitting on one of my colleague’s shelves. The reviews and blurbs didn’t speak to me, so I decided to dig deeper and then somewhere within the recommended product listings, I found this gem. I leafed through previews and descriptions, and decided to order it. It’s been a few years since I ordered it; at the time, I paid something around US$ 25.

As soon as it arrived, I dug right in and was completely gripped by how this book offered clear advice that seemed to be able to put into words what my soul already knew but had been unable to verbalise and use in the classroom.

The book teaches you how to teach effectively so that students build academic rigour and intellectual excellence, while also giving advice on classroom and student management – how to eliminate unwanted behaviours and foster good patterns. Another thing it does well is to teach how you to get the fun back into your lesson and build positive, professional teacher-student relationships.

What is amazing about the book is that all tips are so actionable, easy to understand and clearly explained. Additionally, it never ceases to amaze me how universally applicable the tips are. Whether you are a kindergarten / primary school / secondary school teacher, college / university professor, a trainer by profession, or simply a parent who wants the best for their kids – this book has you covered. I cannot say enough good things about this book.

It was life changing and turned me from a struggling first time teacher into someone confident who loves her job and the difference that I can make in student’s lives is such a rewarding aspect of my work. I really need to stop now as I am starting to sound a bit sappy. 😅

・What the company says:・ 

Potent serum soothes irritated, sensitive skin. Formulated with Jartbiome, our proprietary microbiome complex, to help strengthen, balance and improve skin’s defenses. Centella Rx soothes and protects sensitive skin while Cicabond helps repair dry skin resulting from external stressors.

Apply a moderate amount onto skin on toned skin. Gently pat to allow for maximum absorption.


This comes out of the bottle a clear liquid with a green tinge to it. It is rather thick and viscous, and spreads easily. It is not runny, meaning that you wasting product is unlikely unless you’re an idiot.

On my face, I used 1.5 pumps. Any less, and I felt I was not covering enough skin. Any more, and it would be impossible to pat in as too much product leads to it just sitting on top of your skin without sinking in, kind of like a little cushion for your face but not in a good way. A little did NOT go a long way with the serum, and I found it tricky in the beginning to get the dosage just right.


Thanks to all those essential oils that it contains, this smells herbal and kind of like a spa in a bottle. Personally, I would have preferred a fragrance free serum but oh well, hey-ho.


I would recommend that you use at least two layers of hydrating toner underneath. This serums needs to be patted on moist – ideally glistening, wet – skin to really absorb into your skin. I would also recommend that you exfoliate a few times a week for the serum to really be able to penetrate your skin.

I would recommend you top up with a moisturiser and a sunscreen in the AM and a richer moisturiser/face oil in the evening, to seal in the serum’s hydrating benefits.


Now to the important part… did it actually do anything? And to that I say… it was hydrating. Nothing more, nothing less. It kept skin comfortable and moisturised throughout the day.

Did it soothe sensitised skin? No.

Did it diminish my fine lines? No.

Did it heal breakouts? No.

Did it brighten? No.

Did it make my acne scars look better? You guessed it, nope.

・Final Thoughts:・  

I enjoyed the feel and scent of the serum on my skin once I had adjusted to it, and I liked that it kept my skin hydrated throughout the entire day.

However, for the price and marketing hype, I had expected the product to deliver a bit more, if I am being completely honest. I will not be looking to repurchase as I already have lots of products that hydrate terrifically, at much better price points.

I did not hate this, but I did not love it either.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

© 2020 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

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