Korean brand Pyunkang Yul claims that the goopy pudding texture of its Cleansing Foam bonds better to dirt and oil, leaving you with cleaner pores. But does it actually work? We tried it - and this is what we found out.
I’ve been trying to ‘Marie Kondo’ my skincare choices lately. While I still love elaborate, multi-step routines (I take ages in the bathroom but hey, my skin loves it), I’ve been gravitating towards simpler formulas with less clutter in the ingredients section.
That’s what initially drew me to try Pyunkang Yul. This brand is known for its ‘back to basics’ approach, reliance on traditional Korean medicine and shunning of filler ingredients. Its Cleansing Foam contains only 16 ingredients, which is around half the average number of a typical cleanser.
The downside of basic formulas is that they can be crude, overly harsh or just plain ineffective. I’ve found that many so-called ‘natural’ products can just sit on top of your skin without doing much else. The holy grail for me is skincare that’s beneficial, effective AND has that feel-good factor: I want to enjoy using it!
So how did Pyunkang Yul stack up? In terms of its ingredients, number one on its list is Saposhnikovia Divaricata root extract. I’d never heard of it before, but apparently it is commonly used in Chinese medicine and carries anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. In the context of skincare, it can help regulate oil production and even treat contact dermatitis. Its other main ingredients are glycerin and lauric acid, both of which are great for skin. Lauric acid is a gentle cleansing agent, and is also anti-acne. All-in-all, Cleansing Foam does not contain any red-flag ingredients, although I notice fragrance is last on the list. Fragrances don’t bother me, as long as it’s not overpowering and in limited quantities.
When it comes to user experience, Pyunkang Yul’s Cleansing Foam gets a 10/10. I always scoff at product descriptions which call for a ‘dime-sized amount’ because I feel like that requires a face the size of a 5-year-old! However, Cleansing Foam did not come to play. An amount the size of a pea covers your entire face, neck and decolletage. No joke. I was amazed at just how much foam such a small amount creates, especially as it doesn’t contain any sulfates. This makes it quite economical. The tube size is 150ml, and only costs $18. I estimate it’ll produce around 2-3 months’ worth of twice-daily cleansing.
Moreover, it feels like pure silk on my skin. The consistency is like a thick, pearly sago pudding. This is one of the selling points of the product – Pyunkang Yul claims this texture better attracts dirt and oil. When rubbed between wet hands, it lathers into a dense foam which just feels so soft and luxurious. I can detect a touch of fragrance – almost like a baby powder smell – but nothing offensive or lingering.
I double-cleanse, and so I used Cleansing Foam as my second wash. While I spend a good 1-2 minutes massaging my oil cleanser into my skin, my follow up cleanse is very quick as my skin has a tendency to become dehydrated since I started using retinol. After letting Cleansing Foam sit on my face for a couple of seconds, I rinse it off with warm water. Franky, that’s all I need to feel ultra clean. I guess the goopy texture does help, because I never detect a trace of residue afterwards. If you have oilier skin, you can try leaving it on for longer. That’s not an option for me. When I left this cleanser on for a few seconds longer, my skin felt a touch tight.
I try and give any new cleanser a week or two before judging the result. With most cleansers, there’s no immediate effect at best, so it requires a bit of patience. At worst, it makes you breakout or causes a reaction. My hurdle requirements are fairly reasonable – I want my skin to feel clean, balanced and remain breakout-free.
Pyunkang Yul’s Cleansing Foam delivered on all 3 fronts. After almost a month of consistent use, my skin looks clearer and apart from a mask-related zit on my chin (damn maskne), it’s kept my occasional subclinical acne at bay. I also feel like I don’t have as many blackheads around my nose – I normally use a pore scraper once a week, which I’ve now knocked back to once a fortnight.
Overall, I think this is an excellent product. I have sensitive, combination skin (an oily T-zone but a dry U-zone) which sometimes experiences hormonal acne and rosacea. My skin took to Pyunkang Yul’s Cleansing Foam like a fish to water. Given its price point and how little product is required for use, I’d consider this luxe, clean skincare on a budget. If you have dermatitis, extremely dry or atopic skin, this wouldn’t be the first cleanser I’d recommend as it can be a touch drying, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it – just don’t leave it sitting too long on your face. If you have oily or combination skin, I think you’ll love it as much as I did!
Have you used this cleanser or other Pyunkang Yul products before? Tell us what you think!