su:m37 Water-Full Triple Story Ampoule Review + Ingredients Translation


When I first started getting into AB, this was one of those mysterious products that looked so enticing, but I couldn't find any information on.  Couple that with the $100 price tag, no samples, and you've got a product that just lives in my In Case I Hit The Lottery Wishlist.  Luckily, it was included in my Water-Full Set, so I can at least check this off my skincare bucket list (that's a Thing, right?).


The Description:
The three-story shape of this fermented moisture serum in ampoule, with its immediate refreshing touch with your skin, provides deep moisture, removes dead skin cells, and smoothes out skin surface.

Direction:

After using skin refresher but before essence, shake a bottle 5-6 times to mix the formula enough to become even color. Take small amount on the palms or dispense it on the face directly, and apply evenly over face. Gently pat until skin absorb enough moisture.

For more information on the su:m37 brand, check out my review of the Water-Full Skin Refresher.  So according to the description, its claims are to hydrate, moisturize, and...exfoliate?  "Removes dead skin cells" and "smoothes out skin surface" are what AHAs do.  What is in this thing?

Price: ($$$$)





From Korea Depart.


Three 15 ml bottles will run you anywhere from $90 to $130, which makes this a really pricey buy indeed.  At its cheapest, that's $2/ml, compared to other popular ampoules like Missha's Long Name Ampoule (assuming full regular price) at $1/ml, or Mizon's Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule at  $0.37/ml.  Although compared to their own ampoules, like the Secret Repair Concentrate (arguably their most popular one) at $2.16/ml, or other high end brands like Sulwhasoo's Essential Revitalizing Serum at $1.86/ml, it's priced pretty fairly.

However, the directions state that these ampoules are suppose to last about 10 days each, to be used in a one month program.  So is that roughly $100 every month on just ampoules, or is this suppose to be something that's meant to only be used every now and then as a treatment?  Regardless, if the intended use period is a month, that's way too spendy.  If it was half the price and worked miracles, this could be justified as an occasional Treat Yo'self purchase, but as is, totally not worth it.  [1/5]

Ingredients:





Perfluorohexane, Purified Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Alcohol Denat.(5), Polyperfluoroethoxymethoxy Difluorohydroxyethyl Ether, Hexyl Laurate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Malachite Extract, Perfluorodecalin, Pentafluoropropane, Methyl Gluceth-20, Paecilomyces Japonica/Saussurea Involucrata Ferment Extract Filtrate, Oxygen, Lactobacillus / Lemon Peel Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus / Tomato Fruit Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus / Watermelon Fruit Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus / Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus / Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Acetobacter / Aspergillus / Lactobacillus / Leuconostoc / Pediococcus / Saccharomyces / Zygosaccharomyces / Citrus Unshiu Fruit / Citrus Japonica Fruit / Citrus Junos Fruit / Apple Fruit / Banana Fruit / Papaya Fruit / Pyrus Serotina fruit / Diospyros Kaki Fruit / Watermelon Fruit / Peach Fruit / Prunus Mume Fruit / Fig Fruit / Chaenomeles Sinensis Fruit /Eriobotrya Japonica Fruit / Apricot Fruit / Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit / Cucurbita Maxima Fruit / Castanea Crenata Fruit / Vitis Coignetiae Fruit / Raspberry Fruit / Momordica Grosvenorii Fruit / Lycium Chinense Fruit / Glycine Max Seed / Phaseolus Angularis Seed / Canavalia Ensiformis Seed / Rice Seed / Hordeum Vulgare Seed / Coix Lachryma-Jobi Ma-Yuen Seed / Echinochloa Crus-Galli Seed / Setaria Italica Seed / Millet Seed / Hemerocallis Fulva Flower / Cabbage Leaf/Stem / Morus Bombycis Leaf / Perilla Frutescens Leaf / Ipomoea Batatas Root / Colocasia Antiquorum Tuber / Dioscorea Batatas Rhizome / Iridea Laminaroides / Laminaria Japonica / Nemacystus Decipiens / Undaria Pinnatifida / Radish Root / Turnip Root / Carrot Root / Arctium Lappa Root / Nelumbo Nucifera Rhizome / Onion Bulb / Lilium Auratum Bulb / Licorice Root / Sagittaria Trifolia Root / Sesame Seed / Ginkgo Biloba Seed / Juglans Subcondiformis Fruit / Panax Ginseng Seed / Actinidia Polygama Fruit / Hydnum Erinaceum Fruiting Body / Grifola Frondosa Fruiting Body / Prunus Salicina Fruit / Akebia Quinata Fruit / Crataegus Cuneata Fruit / Cornus Officinalis Fruit / Nephelium Longana Fruit / Houttuynia Cordata / Artemisia Princeps / Sasa Veitchii Leaf / Glechoma Hederacea / Chamomilla Recutita Flower / Equisetum Arvense / Cassia Obtusifolia Seed / Taraxacum Officinale / Isodon Japonicus / Safflower Flower / Plantago Asiatica / Smallanthus Sonchifolius Root / Garlic Bulb / Ginger Rhizome / Beet Rhizome / Polygonum Odoratum Rhizome / Turmeric Rhizome / Acanthopanax Siebodianus Root / Pinus Koraiensis Seed / Lentinus Edodes Fruiting Body / Auricularia Auricula / Vitis Labrusca Fruit /Helianthus Tuberosus Tuber Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus / Honeysuckle Flower Extract Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus / Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus / Clover Flower Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus / Ampelocissus Martini Fruit / Lavender Flower /Rosa Canina Fruit / Rosemary Leaf / Sage Leaf / Thyme Leaf Extract Ferment Filtrate, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Sorbitol, Lavender Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Oil, Bergamot Oil, Lime Oil, Juniperus Virginiana Oil, Coriander Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, Triethylheanoin, Caprylyl Trimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Trisodium EDTA, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citric Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool 

*Please do not copy this to your blog/retail store/forum/group.  Translating ingredients is a very time consuming, frustrating, painstaking process.  You are more than welcome to link back to this review page if you want to provide full ingredient translations.  Thank you.

  • Potential acne triggers are listed in red.  Numbers indicate its rating out of 5.
  • Potential irritation triggers are listed in orange.  Numbers indicate its rating out of 5.
  • 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.)

CosDNA link here.  Don't take it as gospel though, because #1 YMMV, and #2, it gave up a third of the way down the list.

Three layers.
As you can see, there are three distinct layers making up the ampoule.  Korea Depart describes the three layers as follows:


  1. Ferment Oil:  Shields with moisture to make skin breathe
  2. Ferment Extract:  Refreshes and gives silky skin
  3. Ferment Oil:  Balances and keeps moisture for long hours
Which is kind of vague, but more than most places will say.  I've also found another breakdown of the ampoule on W2Beauty's blog, which describes them as:

  1. Balhyo oil (fermented oil):  Fermented Amazonian Pracaxi oil protect moisture in skin and balance water and oil.
  2. Balhyo water (fermented water):  Fermented snow lotus water, fermented bamboo water, and fermented flowers (red clover, hibiscus, gold-silver flowers).
  3. Oxygen:  Oxygen from fluorine oil, which has 33% of the oxygen, used in therapy for burn patients.
This is a little more descriptive.  But.  Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, which is Pracaxi oil, is in the very bottom of the ingredients list, behind a bunch of essential oils (with a typical usage rate of <1%), so that's not what's making up the fermented oil layer.  The ingredients listed in the fermented water are the star ingredients of the entire Water-Full line, which I've highlighted in blue, and are also really low in the ingredients list.  The massive yellow block is su:m37's signature soup, typically found in their toners, serums, and moisturizers, and is listed in some places as being a skin conditioner.  Finally, 13th down on the list is oxygen.  *cracks knuckles*  Ok...

If I were a betting snail lover, I'd say the top three ingredients are the main solvents for each layer.  Perfluorohexane (1st) is one of a few fluorocarbons (PFCs) on the list, which are used to dissolve oxygen.  This method can be used to treat burn victims, as it has some wound healing abilities.  However, in a cosmetic application, it gets a little confusing.  I found a study that states this method can improve barrier function (specifically, with perfluorodecalin, which is also in here), Another study makes a very good point that active oxidizable molecules in essential oils could be degraded when they come into contact with oxygen.  If you look at the ingredients list, basically the bottom fifth of it is essential oils (which are already potentially phototoxic), which is worrisome to me, since you use this product by shaking everything up.  Also, I was unable to find any studies listing definitively that oxygen is a good cosmetic product, and quite a few people seemed concerned that it could, you know, oxidize your skin and undo all the antioxidants' hard work.

I'm going to guess all of the extracts are in the purified water layer, with denatured alcohol added to thin out the ingredients and to act as a penetration enhancer.   Among the many extracts listed, and some already mentioned, I think lemon peel ferment filtrate is notable, as it has brightening/lightening properties.  Malachite extract is rich in copper and a good anti-oxidant.  Fermented tomato, papaya, and pomegranate extracts are listed, and I'm wondering if that's their "exfoliant," since I don't see any obvious AHAs or BHAs, beyond citric acid, which I'm pretty sure is there as a pH adjuster.  So possibly fruit acids, which are pretty common in Korean cosmetics, given their laws on using AHAs/BHAs.  However, those are also in the toner and gel lotion, so I'm assuming they're just there as antioxidants.

The last layer is probably silicones to suspend the oils.  I'd point out the oils, but seriously....they're so low on the list...  It's a neat trick, but I don't know how useful anything in that layer would be beyond some emollient/skin conditioning properties.


See it running down the glass?  This stuff separates pretty quickly too.
pH

pH of 6 to 6.5ish.  Hmm...

A lot of nice fermented ingredients and extracts, but combined with denatured alcohol.  Dissolved oxygen might not be that great of a cosmetic ingredient, especially combined with all the many essential oils. [2/5]


Performance:






According to su:m37, this product is meant to be used after the toner, and before the essence, which is kind of the reverse of most other brand lines, where the essence is typically watery and goes before the thicker ampoule.


The bottle is heavy glass with a satin finish.  It has a twist off cap that has the signature su:m37 flower logo on top.

So pretteh.



Removing the cap reveals this odd little dispenser/reducer.  I don't know if it works better than a regular dispenser, but I guess at ~$33 a bottle, they want something a little fancy looking.


Don't read my palm.  >_>

I tried to capture this as best as I could, but you can see where some of the liquid immediately sunk into my skin, and some kind of make little globules.  That's after I shook the crap out of the bottle, and it happens every time.


A bit hard to tell, because this stuff absorbs crazy fast, but the left is immediately upon application and the right is a couple of seconds later.  It feels very slick, with plenty of slip for the second or two that it takes to absorb,.  It's also very cooling, and leaves a matte finish.  My skin feels softer after applying, but this effect does not last longer than a couple of minutes.  It has a very interesting smell.  Not offensive, and vaguely floral, but...chemical?  The first couple of times I used this, I hadn't looked at the ingredients list yet, and was kind of concerned at wtf was I putting on my face because of the smell.  There are notes of the essential oils, so it resembles other products in the Water-Full line, but it reminded me of my O-Chem lab days.

This product's claims are hydration, moisture, and exfoliation.  I think it is hydrating, possibly moisturizing, but I haven't noticed any exfoliation from using this for a month.  I know the bottle is only suppose to last 10 days, but since this is basically a $33 bottle, I was going to make it last dammit!  [3/5]


Personal View:





Banana pack for scale.  It's tiny!
I'm sorry, y'all.  I know I should be praising all!the!things! so there are more things for people to lust after, but this was such a letdown.  It doesn't really do anything spectacular, or even well.  Some hydration, and some temporary skin softening...you can find those in plenty of other products.  It's also kind of difficult to use, as it absorbs really fast.  I guess you could shake it directly onto your face, as opposed to hands first, but I feel weird about that, and I have poor aim.

I wouldn't recommend this, and even if I hit the lottery tomorrow, I won't be rebuying it.  There are good products in the Water-Full line, I just don't think this is one of them.  It's very neat looking and pretty, but if it doesn't work, that's a really expensive ornament.  [2/5]

TL;DR:


The Good:  Hydrating, very pretty packaging, temporarily softens skin and feels cooling.

The Bad:  Very expensive, questionable ingredients, doesn't do anything amazing.
  • Price:  1/5
  • Ingredients:  2/5
  • Performance:  3/5
  • Personal View:  2/5
  • Average:  2/5

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