Review: Dr Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution – Biome Essence | Microbiome Skincare – Hype or the Real Deal?

**NB. I still see this essence locally in the shops however it seems to have disappeared from online shops. Not sure if this is a discontinued product or not. Do share in the comments if you know?

While some beauty websites are touting it as the next big thing in skincare, I have remained skeptical to date. I am talking about microbiome skincare, a buzzy buzzword that apparently is meant to evoke the myth surrounding the health benefits purported by fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, pickles or kefir.

You can find quite a few niche options; here in Korea, Dr Jart+ has stepped in to bring you some of that microbiome trendiness.

I first got the above pictured deluxe sample of this serum essence back when I was coming down with pneumonia in summer last year. At the time, it did my skin a world of good, so I decided to spring for the full size version once I had finished that little baby bottle. I absolutely loved my skin at the time – though perhaps other factors such as stress levels might have had an impact – but this is how my skin looked once I had finished that cute little bottle and I just felt so good:

This is what its mummy looks like:

But what about all those Biome claims? I hear you say. Let’s get into the review.

・What it is: ・

It’s a serum/essence type of product. Goes on after toning, before moisturising.


It’s a nice enough product to have but a little expensive for what it is.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


This is a viscous liquid, less runny than water but not by much. If you pour some into your palm and then tilt it, you’re bound to spill some, is what I am trying to say.


All of the Dr Jart products in their Vital Hydra range have exactly the same unpleasant smell. I don’t know quite how to describe it. The closest I can get to is period blood or rotting meat. I am unsure as to what is causing the smell. Personally I was not too bothered since I applied other products on top which sort of locked that scent in, but I would imagine that if you were not to encase your face in a moisturiser or face oil following this essence, you would not be overly pleased by the olfactory experience.


I applied this essence after toner and before my higher weight serums, ampoules or hyaluronic acid serums to increase skin hydration. The essence felt comforting and soothing on skin, it hydrated well and made my skin feel rather comfortable. It absorbed reasonably well following some patting. I would recommend that rather than using cotton pads – which may soak up a lot of product – you pour some into your palms and then pat it on.

Getting ready for using the product is a little process unto its own. It comes with its own proprietary little bottle of Blue Shot – whatever that may be – which you then dump and squeeze into its big mummy bottle, like so:


Hum… so this is why you’re here right? You want to know whether it actually did something. And to that I say… yes, it did hydrate well. Fine lines looked a little smoother and the hydration seemed to go more than just skin deep. Skin felt fresh and plump.

That being said, there are so many other great hydrating products out there and this biome essence just is not all that special especially considering the price point. Personally I was unable to see or experience any particular kind of difference. It is not a miracle worker but it does well in the hydration department.

If you are looking to quench your skin’s thirst, may I suggest Illiyoon’s Ato Lotion, or Hada Labo’s Gokujyun Premium lotion? Both of these are superb bang for your buck, while delivering hydration by the boatload.

Before you leave, here are some meaty specs for you and a little conclusion towards the end:


I actually really like the packaging! Minimalist and colourful at the same time. The bottle opening really lends itself to dispensing some drops into your hands and the plastic is sturdy. The cap screws on securely. My only wish would be for the bottle to be mostly opaque to prevent breaking down of the product by sunlight.


Biome Essence: Aqua, Glycerin, Streptococcus Thermophilus Ferment, Glycereth-26, Propanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, DNA, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Glycine, Proline, Glyceryl Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Leucine, Saccharide Isomerate, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Glucose.

Intensive Blue Shot: Aqua, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Malachite Extract, Xanthan Gum, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid.

Source: Cult Beauty
Source: cosDNA

・Size/Quantity: ・

I see that this is available in several sizes, however I got mine in a 150 ml bottle plus the shot, which was a few more ml on top. It’s a standard size for an essence or treatment toner type of product – nothing more to see here, moving on.

・Price & Availability: ・

I got mine locally from Olive Young as usual. The full price at the time was ₩49,000, I waited until it went on sale for ₩39,000. On Cult Beauty, I see it going for £15,000, which is a lot cheaper than the Korean sale price.

・What the company says:・ 

For skin that always looks tired

For dry skin from the inside out

For sensitive skin susceptible to body conditions

For uneven and dull skin

For rough and dry skin

For sensitive skin that needs moisture improvement

Moisture Biome Treatment Essence that helps improve skin moisture tone where water balance is off

Long-lasting moisturizing and bright complexion by improving moisture tone

Long lasting moisture with elasticity (intensive blue shot)

Soft-rolling water essence (first step serum)

Low-irritation prescription (Dermatologist tested)

・Final Thoughts:・  

This is a nice product to have. If you are looking for a deeply hydrating product, and don’t have many options, and don’t mind spending a bit of money, then this is a nice product to have and I cannot say anything bad about it except that I do feel that it is overpriced. I would repurchase if it were half the price next time around.

© 2020 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

8 thoughts on “Review: Dr Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution – Biome Essence | Microbiome Skincare – Hype or the Real Deal?

    1. Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps get a tester and see for yourself? Scent is such a personal thing. Their creams and sleeping masks all smell the same. I’m thinking it’s because of the fermented ingredients.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not just you. Skimming through the reviews on Hwahae, I read the same. One said the smell made her nauseous when she used the product. Good lord. I think you’re right, it does stem from the fermented ingredients. The older I get, the less tolerant I become of product scents. If I ever get a chance, I’ll take a whiff of it in person. Thanks for the review!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can see that they have introduced a new biome serum but I don’t know how that smells.

        Taking a break from Dr Jart except for the sheet masks which are all fab because I find them overpriced for what their products are and do.

        Perhaps the essence is being phased out?

        Unscented everything for me too haha!

        Liked by 1 person

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