The Naruko night gel/cream is my first experience with Taiwanese skincare – and though so far I wouldn’t say that it’s wowed me I’m fairly happy with the product for its price point. Here is the product description!
Naruko Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Gelly EX is use at night time, and provide a whole night of ultimate whitening and firming ingredients in order to penetrate into the skin. It concentrate on three major effects: anti-glycation, antioxidant and whitening. It can significantly reduce the formation of melanin, prevent aging skin and provide moisturizing, whitening, soothing and firming for you. On the other hand, in order to replenish the loss of water caused by aging, this product add moisturizing ingredients, provide enough moisture for your skin since it is the last step of skin care.
It looks like a gel but the consistency is a little rich and creamy, though on the skin it absorbs like a gel: really quick. Like my cherished Illamasqua Hydra Veil, it comes with a tiny spatula, albeit the Naruko one doesn’t look half as nice; it’s not contoured, being flat and flimsy plastic similar to a disposable plastic spoon. But the Hydra Veil is about twice the price of this, to be fair. The lid of the Night Gelly EX isn’t attached or hinged either, so getting it off its time can be a hassle or lead to a small mess.
When I first applied it there was some burning sensation – this is probably the plant extracts (I’ve had similar reactions to other products in the past with plant or sea plant extracts) and will feel similar to the alcohol sting if you are sensitive to alcohol. It’s mild, passes quickly, and I don’t notice the same happening on my second, third, or any subsequent nights. After the gel absorbs, my skin feels incredibly smooth! So much so I had to turn the box over to give the ingredients list another pass, suspecting that it might contain silicone – unwelcome and counterproductive for a night cream – but it doesn’t (no parebens either – yay! ^_^). There’s no tacky feeling or oily residue left behind, either, but I’m not fussy about that at night so while the lack of tackiness is lovely I don’t think of it as a must.
There’s a herbal or medicinal smell to it that isn’t too noticeable when you’re applying a normal amount (the box suggests two ‘pea-sized’ spatula-fuls), but I happened to make a mess when trying to get the inner lid off so there was a lot more product going around than what I’d put on my face normally. The smell lingers!
The downside with this gel is that I don’t think it’s sufficiently hydrating for dry, thirsty skin like mine. I slather on another layer of moisturizer afterward – Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (which on its own isn’t sufficiently hydrating either T_T) – on problem areas. It’s not ideal, though since HK is humid most months it’s not unput-up-with-able. Does it whiten? Erm – I don’t think anything short of white body paint is going to do that for me! For firming I’d reckon that’s too late for me too, but if my face regains a youthful twenty-something freshness I’ll be sure to update this post giddily.