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Updated on January 04, 2024

Overview

What they are

These products are both reef safe essences. They have a total of 3 ingredients in common

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for fighting acne, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, reducing pores, scar healing and dark spots

Free From

They both do not contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens or sulfates

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence
COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
Starting Treatment Essence
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate Humectant
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (GFF) is a yeast traditionally used to make the Japanese alcoholic beverage, sake.

Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Arbutin Antioxidant, Bleaching, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 2 Benefits

Arbutin is derived from the bearberry plant. It helps even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice comes from leaves of the aloe plant. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is best known for helping to soothe sunburns. It is also anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antiseptic, and can help heal wounds.

Oligopeptide-123 Rh-Oligopeptide-1 Skin Conditioning
Peptide Icon
PeptidePeptide Icon

Oligopeptide-123 Rh-Oligopeptide-1 is a peptide.

Unknown Full details ->
Dimethicone Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0 Silicon Icon
SiliconSilicon Icon

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract comes from the Chamomile flower.

Centella Asiatica Extract Cleansing, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

Centella Asiatica Extract (Centella) is derived from an herb native to Southeast Asia. It is famous for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 5 Benefits

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of the tea plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all harvested from this plant.

Physalis Alkekengi Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Physalis Alkekengi Fruit Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Acanthopanax Senticosus Root Extract Skin Conditioning, Soothing

We don't have a description for Acanthopanax Senticosus Root Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Ganoderma Lucidum Extract Skin Protecting

This is the extract of the Reishi mushroom.

Panax Ginseng Root Extract Emollient, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon
2 Benefits

Panax Ginseng Root is a popular herb from Asia. This root contains antioxidants, favonoids, and vitamins B12 and D.

Hamamelis Virginiana Extract Antiseborrhoeic, Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Can worsen Dry Skin Icon
Can worsen Dry SkinCan worsen Dry Skin Icon

Hamamelis Virginiana Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

Disliked Full details ->
Oryza Sativa Bran Extract Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

Oryza Sativa Bran Extract comes from the outer layer of a rice kernel. It is a byproduct of milling rice, or the operation to produce a whole grain rice product.

Portulaca Pilosa Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Portulaca Pilosa Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate Humectant
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (GFF) is a yeast traditionally used to make the Japanese alcoholic beverage, sake.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Betaine Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
3 Benefits

Betaine is a common humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture). It's known to be gentle on the skin and can help balance hydration.

Panthenol Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Panthenol is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin. It can be found naturally in our skin and hair.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
1,2-Hexanediol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0 Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
3 Benefits

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Ethyl Hexanediol Solvent

Ethyl Hexanediol is an aliphatic alcohol. It is a solvent.

Adenosine Skin Conditioning
Helps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
2 Benefits

Adenosine is in every living organism. It is one of four components in nucleic acids that helps store our DNA.

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin

Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (GFF) is a yeast traditionally used to make the Japanese alcoholic beverage, sake.

GFF has moisturizing and antioxidant properties.

Studies show GFF improves our skin's natural moisturizing factors (NMF). Our NMF consists of many components that naturally moisturize our skin. Having healthy NMF keeps our skin plump, protected, and hydrated.

This ingredient tells our skin to create more filaggrin, an important component for NMF.

Filaggrin gathers all the structural proteins in our outer layer of skin and creates a tight barrier, helping to protect our skin against allergens and bacteria. This also helps prevent moisture loss.

Thanks to its antioxidant properties, GFF also protects our skin against oxidative stress and UV induced inflammation.

One study found GFF helped regulate sebum (oil) production and keratin in participants.

GFF may not be fungal-acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Many components of sake, such as GFF, are studied for their anti-aging benefits today. This is because sake brewers are known to have youthful hands.

Learn more about Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these two products.

Starting Treatment Essence
10
2
2
4
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
7
4
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

32 Routines
56% use in am
44% use in pm
97% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
369 Routines
47% use in am
53% use in pm
95% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence 18 ingredients

Starting Treatment Essence hasn't been rated yet.
Rate it now

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence 12 ingredients

4.6 /5
from 7 ratings
Absorbs Well (2) Great Value (2) Hydrating (2)
screamadelica's avatar

screamadelica

9 months ago Β· Normal Skin
Review

love this!
i love how hydrating and soothing this product is. if your skin can handle fermented ingredients, then this essence is a great...

love this!
i love how hydrating and soothing this product is. if your skin can handle fermented ingredients, then this essence is a great alternative to their snail essence (unfortunately, there are a ridiculous number of fakes of the snail essence on the internet, but i don’t see as many counterfeits of this one).
this product actually contains more galactomyces (ahem sorry i meant PITERAβ„’) than the significantly more costly SK-II essence. interesting, huh?

Calyxna's avatar

Yuna Xyvene

12 hours ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

The best essence that I've ever had! Other than that, this makes my textured (bumps) forehead become less and smooth. It's worth it, ngl.