So, I’d been aware of Skin1004 products for quite some time now – truly, they seem to be everywhere these days, with rave reviews from so many Asian beauty influencers such as Gothamista or Soo Beauty! Focusing on soothing, anti-inflammatory products enriched with pure centella asiatica extract sourced from Madagascar, this Korean indie brand keeps releasing hit after hit, starting with a community cult favourite, the Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule.
You know how sceptical I tend to be when it comes to hyped products, so when I started testing out the Skin1004 Madagascar Centella products and including them into my skincare routine, I was neutrally curious: Would they really live up to the hype? Will they kick out some of my other beloved centella-focused products from their top spots? Well, let’s find out, shall we?
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- CLEANSING: Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Light Cleansing Oil + Ampoule Foam
- TONING: Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Toning Toner + Centella Quick Calming Pad
- HYDRATION: Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule
- MOISTURISING: Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Soothing Cream
- SUNSCREEN: Skin1004 Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum SPF50+ and Madagascar Centella Air-Fit Suncream Light SPF30
The Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Light Cleansing Oil is another bestseller from the brand, and after trying it, I fully understand why. This watery-light cleansing oil contains a special, oil-like centella asiatica extract, which contains MCT – short for “medium-chain triglycerides”, a specific type of oil that has antibacterial properties. The Light Cleansing Oil also uses sunflower, olive and jojoba oil for its base, three excellent plant oils for sensitive and/or blemish-prone skin types.
What impressed me the most about the Skin1004 Light Cleansing Oil is how it just melts onto skin when applied, without any cloying or sticky feeling. It has this really silky-smooth texture and truly an almost watery, runny texture that doesn’t overwhelm skin. Because of its lightness, it also emulsifies extremely well, washing off easily and without leaving any residue.
This is a great oil cleanser choice if you have sensitive and/or oily to combo skin, but really, it pretty much works for any skin type! You can purchase the 200ml bottle of Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Light Cleansing Oil at Olive Young Global* or Stylevana.*
As for the Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule Foam: I’ve actually already raved about this foaming cleanser here on my blog before, and it’s really become one of my current favourite second step cleansers. Not only does it use very mild, gently foaming surfactants and is SLS free, it is also enriched with a number of soothing ingredients such as, of course, centella asiatica extract plus eclipta protrata, a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant extract. Hyaluronic acid provides hydration while cleansing, and indeed I’ve found this to be a surprisingly non-stripping cleanser.
Whenever I use the Centella Ampoule Foam, my skin feels distinctly softer than with other foaming cleansers, almost as if I’ve already moisturised while cleansing. It is truly quite a bit magical, and so I’ve been reaching for this constantly both in the morning as well as the evening. This was the first Skin1004 product I tried, and it hooked me instantly. I’d say this may just become my number one foaming cleanser pick for 2022!
So, out of all the Skin1004 products I’ve tried, I think I was the most sceptical about the Toning Toner. With my 40+ mature skin, this just seemed maybe a little too light for my hydration needs at first glance. The Centella Toning Toner has a watery texture and contains the PHA gluconolactone. If you’ve followed my work for a while, you will know that I’m a big fan of PHAs, poly hydroxy acids, a very mild type of chemical exfoliant that is especially great for enhancing glow and removing dead skin cells without stripping sensitive skin too much. Unlike AHAs, PHAs are generally a lot less harsh and actually work as an anti-inflammatory.
The Toning Toner was specifically formulated to brighten skin and provide deep hydration. Apart from PHA, it also contains niacinamide – skin barrier superhero with brightening and pore-minimising star powers – plus my beloved licorice root extract, an underrated skin brightener. Hydration comes in the form of hyaluronic acid, and of course we again find that centella asiatica extract sourced from the island of Madagascar.
I was so pleasantly surprised by this toner! Despite being so watery-light, it hydrates very deeply and sinks in so nice and fast, great for people like me who get impatient when products just sit on the skin for ages. Some thicker hyaluronic acid toners can be too heavy and cause breakouts, but not this one! I do notice a very mild exfoliating action after using this for a while, and it’s a great toner for skin prep before using makeup, since it leaves skin smooth and fresh. This is an ideal toner for oilier skin types, and anyone with dehydrated skin or texture issues. I like this one a lot and didn’t expect that at all at first!
Honestly, I knew I’d love the Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Quick Calming Pad even before trying these out. I had seen the toner pads trending at Olive Young Global and just had a feeling after checking the ingredient list that this would work great for me. This is a hydrating and soothing toner pad that can be used to wipe the face after cleansing, or you can put the pads on your cheeks and forehead and leave them on as a hydrating mask treatment.
I’m not always a fan of toner pads, because sometimes the material can feel so rough and uncomfortable on the skin. I feel a lot of brands skimp on soft materials and go for cheap, scratchy cotton – your skin can always tell! Ah, but these pads, they are soooo soft! They don’t have that embossed surface that I actually don’t find very suitable for skin, because it can be too abrasive and doesn’t work as well as a masking treatment. The Skin1004 toner pads have a smooth surface and a little “spring” to them, soaking up the toner essence especially well. They also have a little indentation on one side, which means they fit perfectly under your eye area across your cheeks, right at that spot where sunlight hits the most and dehydration tends to be the strongest.
The Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Quick Calming Pad isn’t simply a toner pad copy of the Toning Toner, it actually has a different ingredient list and feel to it. The toner liquid is extra soothing, with a whooping 49% centella asiatica extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid, plus calming and skin barrier restoring panthenol. It is also fragrance and alcohol free, as are indeed most of the Skin1004 products. Choose this one if you are very dehydrated and/or have sensitive skin!
This was the “O.G.” Skin1004 product, the first bestseller for the brand when it was still virtually unknown in the West! The Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule contains 100% pure centella asiatica extract in a lightweight essence formula. I may need to re-iterate here why centella asiatica is such an amazing staple ingredient for anyone with sensitive, inflamed and/or blemish prone skin: this plant extract has been used in traditional herbal medicine all over the Asian content for millennia, thanks to its potentially wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and skin-calming properties. Centella asiatica is also chock full of antioxidants, so it works great as a smart aging, preventative ingredient in skincare formulas.
Apart from the Ampoule Foam, which just holds a special place in my heart, this may be the Skin1004 product to snatch up the top spot on my brand favourites list. I’ve had a bit of an issue last week with overdoing my exfoliation routine, and this is the product which helped calm down my slightly sensitised skin barrier the most.
The texture of the Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule is quite liquid, but with a markedly viscous, juicily hydrating “slip” to it. There is definitely something hydrating in there besides the centella extract, since skin feels nice and plump after using it. The main function of the Centella Ampoule, however, is definitely to soothe and restore skin barrier balance, plus tone down any inflammation caused by barrier damage or skin concerns such as breakouts.
I can always tell if the centella extract used in a product is low quality or has been watered down beyond belief, because it will simply not do much for my skin. Now, this ampoule – it’s the real deal. It feels so calming, while not overpowering the skin when it’s sensitised. The ampoule should work for most skin types, though very dry skin peeps may need to layer it with a very hydrating toner to satisfy their hydration needs. If you have oily, acne-prone skin: this one is basically made for you!
The Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule comes in a variety of sizes, from 30 to 55 to 100ml, all for a really affordable price! Stylevana sells the 30ml trial size* as well as the large 100ml size* I got, and the 55ml medium size is available at Olive Young Global.*
It’s really all about the texture with this one, because I’ve never seen anything quite like it frankly! The Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Soothing Cream surprised me with its gel texture and lovely cooling sensation once applied.
This gel cream really is so comfortably light, yet still manages to thoroughly moisturise stressed and dehydrated skin. With its combination of humectant glycerin, beta glucan and hyaluronic acid, it re-hydrates thirsty skin, while 73% centella asiatica extract provide soothing and anti-inflammatory goodness.
Apart from water-binding humectants, the Centella Soothing Cream also features four types of ceramides, moisturising agents which are a natural part of the skin barrier. Ceramides make our skin feel smoother and less dry, since they replenish our natural lipid barrier!
I hope my texture shots convey the beauty of this cream properly, because I’m quite enamoured by it. The gel has a melty-watery feel to it that isn’t heavy at all, a little bit reminiscent of an aloe vera gel, but more elegant overall. Once applied, it instantly absorbs, making the Skin1004 Centella Soothing Cream especially suitable for oilier skin types. If you have oily to combo skin, you may have a hard time finding a moisturiser that won’t break you out, yet still provides proper moisture throughout the day. This is a great pick exactly for that type of skin issue, especially given that the centella asiatica extract also provides support in calming down redness and angry, inflamed blemishes.
5. Sunscreen: Skin1004 Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum SPF50+ and Madagascar Centella Air-Fit Suncream Light SPF30
Ok now, why has no one told me about these sunscreens yet, hello?! These deserve way more hype than they are getting so far, especially the excellent Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum with SPF50+ and PA++++. Granted, this is still a relatively new launch, so maybe people just haven’t fully picked up on its gloriously comfortable texture! Both of these Skin1004 sunscreens are manufactured by Kolmar Korea, the no.1 sunscreen manufacturer in the country.
So, let’s start with the Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Air-Fit Sun Cream with SPF30 PA++++, a highly moisturising sunscreen with a surprisingly elegant, smooth texture, given that this is a 100% physical sunscreen. Now, physical sunscreens can sometimes feel somewhat chalky and drying, but the Centella Air-Fit Sun Cream feels super comfortable and actually quite rich, really great as an everyday sunscreen for dryer skin types! The sun cream also contains soothing, antioxidant plant extracts such as, naturally, centella asiatica, houttynia cordata and purslane, and it is free from any alcohol or fragrance. I also found the white cast to be quite minimal overall!
And then there is the Centella Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum with SPF50+, a chemical sunscreen that feels so airy-light you almost forget you’re using sunscreen! If you have oily skin in particular, listen up, because this one could very well become your new best sunscreen buddy. The Skin1004 Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum has an almost essence-like texture, a very watery fluid that sinks in beautifully and disappears pretty much completely, with zero white cast or tackiness.
That light fluid texture really makes it so easy to re-apply the sun serum during the day, and it works well both under and over makeup. The sunscreen is fragrance-free and contains humectant hyaluronic acid in combination with centella asiatica, creating a soothing, hydrating sunscreen that doesn’t feel greasy at all. I keep reaching for this one almost daily at the moment, because it’s just so elegant and fuss-free, exactly what you want from your daily sunscreen.
The Skin1004 Centella Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum with SPF50+ could work for all skin types, but I’d say oily to combo skin in particular will love this! Big recommendation from me!
Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Products: My Final Thoughts?
I’ll admit it: I wasn’t sure if the Skin1004 products would just be overhyped and underperform for me, but on the contrary – I’m hooked! I truly fell in love with this K-beauty brand and pretty much every single product I’ve tried has impressed me. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably the ampoule, followed by the ampoule foam and the sun serum. But honestly, the cleansing oil, the cream, those toner pads… Ah, it’s hard to pick a favourite!
If you’re looking for soothing, calming K-beauty products that work for sensitive, blemish-prone but also skin barrier compromised skin, I can recommend the Skin1004 Centella range with my whole heart. Apart from the linked shops, you can also find these products at the Skin1004 online shop, which ships to many countries worldwide.
Check the original article here.