Review: Etude House Moistfull Collagen Lotion

Have you ever bought something, and it works just fine, but it makes you so annoyed every time you look at it?  That's how I feel about Etude House's Moistfull Collagen line.  And the thing is, it's not their fault.  It's mine.

Etude House is a pretty well-known Korean road shop brand (sort of like drugstore brand in US, except they have their own stores on popular streets).  Their focus is on pink, girly, youthful cosmetics and cute packaging, but they also have skincare products.  I mean, have you seen their shops before?

From here.
Now, I did not know this.  In fact, since my first impression of this brand was from the Moistfull Collagen line, I kind of assumed their target audience was much older, with worries like wrinkles.  It just looked so serious.  Ha!

Some Etude House cuteness.
Anyway, beyond Etude House's reputation as a teenage, cutesy brand, apparently the Moistfull Collagen line has been super popular the last few years, and is pretty ubiquitous in online stores.

The Description: (from their official website)
    Moist and rich textured facial emulsion supplies penetrating moisture and collagen treatment to improve complexion health and look.
        Use hands to gather and apply emulsion to skin by gently massaging the face until hydration is absorbed. Gently pat to finish.

        Price: ($$)

        Here's where I get so annoyed.  I bought this from Soko Glam for $18.  You can even get it straight from Etude House's website for $12, no sales or coupons.  I've found it on some Korean sites for around $8 even.  I know that's probably not something others get upset about, but overpaying for things just irks me.  I feel cheated.

        Moving on from that though, this is a very affordable moisturizer.  I wish they would standardize it, because on their website, they call it a "lotion" but the bottle clearly says "emulsion."  They all mean the same thing, but...still.  Anyway, you can find it for around $12+ for 180 ml of product, which is a pretty sweet deal, at around $0.07 per ml (compare it to su:m37 Water-Full Gel Lotion's $0.46 per ml!).  I've been using this product generously since I first bought it in October, and there's still enough for probably two or three more months with daily use.  If you use it once daily, it should actually last you almost a year.  I've yet to run into something this affordable in my search for the perfect routine.

        I think $12 would be a very reasonable price for this moisturizer, especially considering how long it'll last you.  [5/5]


        Water, Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Dimethicone, Polysorbate 60, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbitan Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

        • Comedogenic ingredients are listed in red.
        • Irritation triggers are listed in orange.
        • Potentially hazardous ingredients are listed in purple.  (Note:  this is according to the rating system on CosDNA, which rates them according to reports from CIR, RTECS, and the FDA on if these ingredients could be harmful with long term usage to the skin, cells, or human body.)

        (I added this to COSDNA.)

        I was kind of surprised to see Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract was the second ingredient listed.  This is commonly referred to as the Baobab tree, from which we derive wonderful things like baobab oil.  Baobab oil is packed with omega fatty acids and vitamins, and is an increasingly popular facial oil for that reason.  The fruit extract is not as popular, but is considered a superfruit, and is still high in vitamin C, with some pretty great anti-inflammatory properties.  Fun facts(!):  the tree has many nicknames, among them dead rat tree, the monkey bread tree, and upside down tree.  I don't know why Etude House didn't run with this, and name this product line the "Moistfull Monkeys".  It would've made more sense to me.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Hydrolyzed Collagen is the star ingredient, and is 11th ingredient on the list.  From what I could find, its main function in skincare is moisturizing and skin conditioning.  Paula's Choice says it has high levels of hydroxyproline, which functions as a water-binding agent.  Hydrolyzed collagen does much more for your hair than it does for your skin, as it cannot just inject collagen, but it does function as a pretty decent moisturizer.

        Aside from that, it has a couple of emollients and more moisturizers.  Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Caprylyl Glycol are both fatty acids, and are either derived from coconut oil, or synthesized.  They are considered excellent moisturizers, skin conditioners, and emollients, but can break some people out pretty badly.

        It has a pretty short ingredients list (especially when you compare it to su:m37's stuff!  Whew!), and not too many standouts.  On the negative side, it does contain a couple popular acne and irritation triggers, notably cetearyl alcohol, which quite a few people are sensitive to. Triethanolamine is red-flagged on CosDNA, but it is used in miniscule amounts as a pH adjuster.  Also, while not listed as a trigger, but can be for some, is fragrance.

        The pH is right around 5.  I had thought after testing a few moisturizers that most/all of them should be around the 5ish range, but apparently that's not so, and some very alkaline moisturizers are pretty prevalent on the market.  Thankfully, this isn't one of them.

        Overall, a lackluster ingredients list with a couple of pretty common acne triggers.  [2/5]


        This moisturizer comes in a really plain-jane, translucent plastic bottle.  The lid twists off, revealing a reducer style opening.  This stuff is pretty thick, so I really would have appreciated a pump, but I guess a little more elegance would've involved a hike in price.  It's not difficult to control how much product gets out, but it does take a little patience as I'm rushing through my morning routine to dispense.

        Adansonia flowers supposedly smell like rotting meat, but thankfully, this doesn't bear any resemblance to that.  It just smells like some generic drugstore fragrance.  I remember it being pretty overwhelming when I first bought it, but either it's faded with time, or I've just gotten used to it.

        This product moisturizes decently on my combination/normal skin, and it is recommended for all skin types.  However, I have a few more complaints about this product.  First, even after it's fully absorbed, it still leaves a pretty shiny, wet finish (which I can't seem to photograph well on my man-hands) that lasts forever.  This wouldn't be a big deal at night, as you're going to sleep, but is kind of annoying during daytime - especially when followed by sunscreen (*ahem* which is always, of course).  Second, it leaves a residue.  I don't layer on a lot of things, and when I do, I use the tiniest amounts.  If I use this moisturizer though, I always feel this really gooey, thick layer sitting on my skin, no matter how much I pat everything in and how little I use.  [2/5]

        Personal View:

        I didn't break out from this, which is the good news.  Now the bad.  I don't know what it is about this that clashes with my Tretinoin, but on some nights when I don't wait the entire 30 minutes after application before going on with the rest of my skincare, everything else will be fine until I apply this.  Then my face turns bright, angry red, and my skin feels like it's on fire.  I can't really blame this, as it's my fault that I didn't wait the full period, but none of my other products do this, even other moisturizers.

        This product is just so...meh.  It's boring.  I know skincare doesn't have to be all fancy ingredients and gorgeous packaging, and especially at such a low price point, expectations should be pretty low.  I just feel like this doesn't do anything for my skin.

        I won't be rebuying this, just because it's a pretty ho-hum product, and if someone were to ask me to recommend a decent Korean moisturizer in this price range, I would advise them to look at other product lines (like Mizon, for example) instead.  The only reason I would recommend this would be for people on an extremely low budget and wanting something that will just last, and has to be Korean.  Otherwise, your local drugstore probably has Cerave in a tub, or Nivea creme.  [2/5]


        The Good:  Very affordable, will last a long time.

        The Bad:  Leaves a shiny finish, leaves residue, contains some potential acne triggers (cetearyl alcohol).
        • Price:  5/5
        • Ingredients:  2/5
        • Performance:  2/5
        • Personal View:  2/5
        • Average:  2.75/5