These two products have the purpose of brightening the skin, and the main ingredient in both of them is tranexamic acid. (TXA) Tranexamic acid has been studied as a skincare ingredient for decades now. It has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, as it mitigates skin damage caused by UV rays. It helps with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, including discolouration induced by laser treatments. However, in order for TXA to work it has to be in large amounts, so the higher the concentration, the better. And with these products, like with many others on the market, we do not know the concentration of TXA.
The Jelly Essence, along with TXA, contains ascorbyl glucoside (a vitamin C derivative) as a brightening agent. There are two types of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, as well as plant extracts and essential oils. Some of the essential oils may be irritating. The formula includes a bit of menthol, which is not disturbing at all. There’s a tiny bit of alcohol, the second ingredient from the bottom; I guess it’s for preserving the product, and it gives no drying effect whatsoever. Last but not least, the product is fragrance-free.
I like the Essence; I use it all over my body. It’s very hydrating, it’s like Hada Labo lotion, but in a gel form, if that makes sense. Because of the menthol, upon application, you get a cooling sensation, a subtle one but very refreshing. As for the brightening effect, it isn’t easy for me to say that this product is helpful in this matter, especially if used on its own. In my experience, I saw some changes, after I’d incorporated the Sheet Masks and a product with ascorbic acid. Arbutin is another great ingredient to use with TXA. Arbutin alone is known to fight discolouration, and it has been shown that arbutin can boost TXA’s anti-hyperpigmentation properties. For me, the visible result began after including other ingredients like ascorbic acid, but it doesn’t mean that this product is utterly useless. I think with other active ingredients, you can see some improvement. Even if it’s not the best product for hyperpigmentation, it’s a fantastic all-in-one hyaluronic acid gel. I will repurchase this Essence for the summer, and this product would definitely make it to my list of HAs.
The liquid, in which the Sheet Masks are soaked, has the same active ingredient, TXA, including vitamins C & E as well as hyaluronic acid. Instead of plant extract, this formula includes glycerine and sorbitol, two fantastic humectants. As above, no fragrance.
The Sheet Masks are an excellent supplementary treatment to the Jelly Essence. I think they are quite hydrating and soothing. After one use, the skin is bouncier, calmer, and more even-looking. In my opinion, the Sheet Masks’ essence contains a higher concentration of active ingredients, which give more rapid results. I started using the Masks a few days after introducing the Jelly Essence, to see if the Sheet Masks work better than the Essence, and I think they do. Again, for best results, I’d advise to include other skin-brightening active ingredients like ascorbic acid and arbutin, however, the Sheet Mask and the Jelly Essence can moderately improve the look of your skin on their own. They won’t give drastic results, but your skin will appear brighter. Just like the Essence, I will repurchase the Sheet Masks as well because they’re quite hydrating and they improve the look of my complexion.
Overall, these two are great hydrating products with some potential for skin-brightening effects. I would say all skin types can use them, but be wary the Jelly Essence includes essential oils which may be irritating. If you combine these two products with other actives, I am sure you can get satisfactory results.
The Jelly Essence – COSDNA
The Sheet Mask – Skincarisma
The Hada Labo Shirojyun Premium Whitening Jelly Essence and the Whitening Jelly Sheet Mask are available from Yesstyle.com[aff].