Review | Vegreen – Fragrance-Free Cica Serum [gifted]

Back in December, I was contacted by Vegreen, and they sent me two products – free in exchange for an honest review. The first one – the Snail Mucin Serum – is up on the blog here. The second serum, namely the Fragrance-Free Cica serum, is now done for, review time!

Since some of my intro text applies to both serums, here’s a little recap of what I wrote at the time – feel free to skip – other sections that I shamelessly recycled are also marked as quotes:

What intrigued me were their claims of vegan K-beauty (I am not vegan myself but my diet is 90% plant-based) that is pro-sensitive skin, fragrance-free, uses renewable resources, is low-impact on the environment, and is good for dry skin (source). While I am not a fervent SJW or anything of that nature, these are all claims I can get behind and am happy to support.

I was given the option of choosing two products from Vegreen’s website, which currently has a lineup of four products in total – two serums, a cream and a toner. I decided to go with both serums, since they tend to be the most potent steps in a skincare regimen and I wanted to see ~results~.

If you would like someone else’s opinion on Vegreen or would like to read about the toner and cream, you may enjoy Angela’s post over here.

Product Overview here

・What it is: ・

This is a serum, ie a product that is meant to be applied after toner and before heavier products like moisturisers or emollients.

・TL; DR:・ 

Cooling and hydrating. I did not see any visible results while using it but for some reason, kept getting compliments on my skin?! More thoughts and photographic evidence further down below.

・Price & Availability: ・

As you may be able to see from the above, this retails normally for a fair US$19.50, however now retails for $16.60 on sale. It is completely in line with other drugstore serum options. As far as I can see, it is available through Vegreen’s proprietary website as well as a couple of online retailers.

・Size/Quantity: ・

The serum comes in a generous 50ml size. Most serums come with 15-30 ml which kind of makes me want to skimp on the amount I use per application, so the fact that this is in a bigger bottle than what is fairly standard makes me quite happy as it means I can drench my face in its liquid goodness without feeling as though I need to be careful with how much slather on. And is that not kind of the point? Drenching your face in what makes you feel and look better without worrying you’re using it up too much, too fast?

I went through this one faster than the mucin serum, barely taking four or five weeks while using 4-8 pumps / day (I used it as set out by my blogging idol, Paris – this is her describing her moisture sandwich method on her blog).

・Ingredients:・

Centella asiatica (cica, or tiger grass) has been such a hyped ingredient for at least 5 years now. It seems to work for lots of people. Here’s the ingredients list, embedded via INCIdecoder. It displays nicely on my machine but do let me know if it doesn’t on yours…? 😰

Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
Ingredients listing by function. Source: Again, INCIdecoder

・Packaging:・ 

Now, this is where Vegreen really deserves a couple of gold stars. Their packaging is absolutely brilliant and I could not wish for anything better. 🤩

First, there’s the protective wrap that the serums came in. Instead of plastic bubble wrap, they came in what can only be described as recycled paper origami honeycomb. How cool is this??

Then, there’s the outer packaging – a regular little cardboard box. Printed on cardboard made completely from sugarcane residue, using biodegradable soy ink. Fantastic!

Lastly, the actual bottle itself. While you may argue that the bottle is a bit basic, I personally prefer a clean, austere, clinical, utilitarian look in all aspects of my life, be it the clothes I wear (minimalist Goth), interiors (the flat is Spartan and I am constantly working with my decorations-loving husband to keep it clutter-free) or tech (I recently got a new laptop but it’s the same as before – a Lenovo ThinkPad that most people would think of as the least sexy laptop there is).

The bottle is a light plastic one with a protective sort-of halfsie-cap on top. I have not travelled with it or dropped so cannot comment on sturdiness but the pump mechanism held up throughout.

・What the company says:・ 

Description
This serum contains centella asiatica extract to soothe and moisturize sensitive skin.
How to Use
Apply on clean skin after toner AM and PM. Pump 1-2 times and pat lightly.
Source

・Consistency/Texture:・ 

Compared to the mucin serum, this was a lot more watery, which may have resulted in using it up faster, and it had none of the stickiness whatsoever. It was a slightly viscous liquid that lent itself well to pump packaging. It is a very light blue or green in colour which must be due to the ingredients themselves since I do not see any colourants listed.

・Scent:・ 

This serum is fragrance-free as the title implies. If you try really, really hard, you may be able to get a whiff of… something, but I could not tell you what that something would be. Lab cosmetics? A slightly mineral or chemical scent? I really don’t know.

For some reason, fragranced products have a tendency to break me out, and that’s just not fun anymore when you’re well into your 30s, moving towards middle age (when does middle age start by the way – is it 35?). I am very pleased with this being fragrance-free.

・Application:・ 

In terms of application, due to its watery texture, this was in some ways easier and in some ways more difficult to work with than the mucin serum. While it sank in and absorbed pretty quickly – hardly any need for patting in – I found that I had to work pump by pump to avoid having it run down my hands and potentially be wasted.

What I found really intriguing was how cooling it was even at room temperature. It felt very soothing and calming, helped destress and was almost like a hint of cryotherapy. Definitely a stand-out feature of this serum!

・Efficacy:・

I am rather conflicted as to what to say here. Personally, I did not see any changes or improvements as time went on, outside of hydration and that lovely cooling sensation. Honestly, I can really only go with what I wrote about the mucin serum at the time:

I already have a lot of skincare actives going in my routine. Depending on what my skin needs that day, and whether it is the AM or PM part of my routine, I will use glycolic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, alpha arbutin, retinol and/or polyhydroxy acids. I am very much in tune with my actives and try to buffer them with soothing ingredients that are still good for skin (think mugwort, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides or centella asiatica). And that is where the serum comes in, as a soothing product to layer with – it is a gently supporting scaffold that keeps me from going overboard with my actives and reduces the risk of irritation whenever I am playing mad scientist in my bathroom cabinet again. And for that, I love it.

… with one caveat. While I was using it, I got lots of compliments from my husband and co-workers on my skin. 🤔 Here are some photos of what I looked like while in the middle of using it and also around the time it was on its last legs.

・Final Thoughts:・  

To conclude, this layered well, felt hydrating, and I loved the cooling effect that it had on my skin. It also earned me compliments, though I cannot be certain whether that was only due to the serum. I am conflicted as to the effects it provides but I did find pleasure in using it and in having it be part of my skincare routine.

I really enjoyed using this and would consider repurchasing, but I hate online shopping! Yes, really. This would be a great addition to Olive Young’s line-up and diversify their portfolio, I reckon. Here’s hoping that Vegreen makes it into physical shops.

I personally am a big fan of the brand’s values and them not just talking the talk but also walking the walk, and I hope they will get to expand their product lineup, too – I’d be here for cleansers, sunscreen, and the like.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

© 2022 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

5 thoughts on “Review | Vegreen – Fragrance-Free Cica Serum [gifted]

  1. After reading your review, I’m under the impression this serum would work well for my skin, plus I love the packaging! Your skin looks beautiful and glowing! If you were using this serum during that time, it may have had something to do.

    I really like your nail art by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And no, no nail art involved here. Just a nude polish and then a black scatter polish layered on top.

      My students told me my fingers looked like quail eggs. I laughed so much – they were not wrong!! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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