ALBION is a Japanese cosmetic brand renowned in Asia; mainly in Korea, Japan and China. They are ambitious on becoming the World’s No.1 prestigious cosmetic company. Their skin care products strive to help their customer in achieving translucent and supple skin. ALBION Skin Conditioner is their iconic product and a proud masterpiece. Often called “SkiCon” in Japan, this product has received huge fame and love from customers since its launch in 1974. Read more about ALBION at their official website here.
ALBION SKIN CONDITIONER
THE SECRET INGREDIENT
So what is the secret behind this fabulous product? JOB’S TEARS SEEDS.
As defined by Albion, Job’s tears seed is a grain grown in the warmer parts of Asia. When husked and powdered, the seed becomes the Chinese traditional medicine Yi Yi Ren (Yokuinin in Japanese). In my Chinese understating, Yi Yi Ren is basically Barley.
It got me wondering if Job’s tears seed is actually a fancy name for Chinese barley. I did some research and it turns out the western name for it is “Chinese Pearl Barley”. However, a post from tastehongkong.com shows a picture comparing Job’s tears and Pearl Barley, clearly proving that they are not actually the same thing. One thing for sure is that it belongs to the “grain family” such as rice, barley and corn. Barley has been widely used in Asia not only for health purposes. Many have claimed that Barley also has whitening effects and is able to cut allergic reaction when consumed or applied on skin, though there hasn’t been enough scientific evidence to support the claims.
Here’s the ultimate secret: Albion did not just simply use any Job’s tear seeds found on the market. They have chosen a hardy variety of Job’s tears, called Kitanohato in Japanese, which were developed through years of research to withstand the cold climate of Hokkaido in northern Japan. ALBION Skin Conditioner delivers the goodness of this vitality-rich ingredient to their customers.
Albion Skin Conditioner Essential Paper Mask contains a blend of Barley (including Job ’s tears), Aesculus Chinensis, and Witch Hazel Extracts.
The Active ingredient in both products are Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, a salt derived from the licorice plant. AKA licorice root extract, read more about its effects on the skin here.
EFFECTS ON SKIN
Albion claims that the secret ingredient – Job’s tears support the skin’s self-recovery by rectifying its metabolic rhythm, which supports the skin’s inherent ability to restore itself. The six skincare benefits you can expect from Skin Conditioner are:
- Tightens the skin: Improves the staying power of makeup.
- Prevents breakouts: Removes excess sebum and stickiness.
- Promotes dewy skin: Hydrates the skin with a refreshing, pleasant feel of use.
- Combats roughness: Firms and moisturises skin prone to dryness.
- Clarifies: Refines the skin for greater brightness.
- Soothes the skin after sun or snow exposure: Cools down flushed skin.
So are the products really so wonderful and do they really deliver the results ALBION claims they will?
I shall give you my utmost honest review after using these two products for at least 6 months.
MY OVERALL RATINGS: 7.0 / 10.0
ALBION SKIN CONDITIONER ESSENTIAL
Albion Essential Skin Conditioner improves problematic skin, regulates and improves skin metabolism, calms redden skin and prevents skin roughness and invasion of pimples. It can beautify and whitens skin as well as getting rid of acne.
It can be used as a toner after cleansing or as a moisturising masking purposes by soaking a paper mask in Albion Essential Skin Conditioner and leave on skin for 3 to 5 minutes (a bit too extravagant in my opinion!).
Better than SK-II?
There are many reviews saying that this product is superior to the world-famous SKII Essence, especially for sensitive skin. I have only used the SKII Essence sample for a very short period, so I can’t comment on this statement now. But I will definitely try the SKII essence out after finishing this bottle and do a comparison review between them, so stay tuned for that!
Colour and Texture: Rating: 8/10
It has a diluted milky colour and a watery texture. I am not sure why they called it lotion. Its texture is definitely closer to a toner/essence.
Scent: Rating: 8/10
It has fragrance and I LOVE the smell. It’s like Johnson baby powder.
Effects on skin (as claimed by ALBION):
- Tightens the skin- Rating: 6/10
I have not witnessed nor felt any tightening effects on my skin even after using it for more than 6 months. I assume it refers to pore tightening, which it does a decent job (but it’s not very obvious). However, it does creates a very good base for makeup.
- Prevents breakouts- Rating: 7.5/10
The frequency of my breakout has reduced quite significantly after I started using this product. Normally, I would encounter breakouts on my face if I had a “bad diet week”. After I started using this product, although not completely, the chances and severity of the breakouts were significantly reduced.
- Promotes dewy skin- Rating: 6/10
It does hydrate the skin, however it didn’t promote dewy skin for me.
- Combats roughness- Rating: 7/10
I got to agree to this, but nothing too exaggerated. I have seen reviews saying people gaining soft silky tofu skin after using this product, but that definitely did not happen for me. I think the roughness on my skin comes from breakouts, and since this product reduces that problem, my skin naturally became smoother, but no “tofu” skin unfortunately.
- Clarifies- Rating: 5/10
I am a HUGE fan of refined skin and brightening. It does seems to refined the skin, but not brightening for me.
- Soothes the skin after sun or snow exposure- Rating: 8/10
The soothing is real. I have slightly sensitive skin and can get redness easily. This product definitely soothes the redness for me.
Price: Rating: 7/10
This product is on the pricey side. I bought the 330ml for AUD 150. However, it should last for about a year, hence I gave a better rating for this.
MY OVERAL RATINGS: 8.0 / 10.0
ALBION SKIN CONDITIONER ESSENTIAL PAPER MASK
The mask has ingredients (as listed above) which penetrate instantly into the skin for whitening and moisturising effects. It promotes metabolism for healthy skin, as well as clarifying and hydrating skin deeply. Suitable for all skin types.
After emulsion, apply on the face for 10-15 minutes and remove it. They recommend not to exceed the 15 minutes and to apply maximum twice a week.
This mask is INCREDIBLE. It is almost 5 times better than the toner. I have to say that this is the BEST mask I have tried so far and I cannot live without it. I have re-purchased this for at least 4 times now since I started using it in early 2016. Now let’s jump straight to the review and see why.
Colour and Texture: Rating: 7.5/10
Unlike other paper masks, this mask hasn’t got any ‘mask liquid’ leaking all over the place when you take it out. All the liquid are well soaked on the paper (less mess!) and the liquid is colourless. The application can be slightly difficult as it dries up pretty quickly. If there is any improvement I would suggest, that will perhaps be having a teeny-weeny bit more liquid on the mask.
Scent: Rating: 7/10
The mask has a VERY strong scent of Chinese medicine and alcohol. It almost feels like I am applying Vodka on my face. I can still take it, but some might find it unpleasant. Despite that, it is SURPRISINGLY cooling when applied on skin, definitely no tingling or stinging. It’s like a cool mint in your mouth but on your face instead. I love the cool and soothing feeling. For this I rated it slightly higher, or else the scent itself is going to be 5/10.
Effects on skin (as claimed by ALBION):
- Tightens the skin- Rating: 8.5/10
Definitely, wake up with tightened pores and skin the next morning!
- Prevents breakouts- Rating: 9/10
Yes, it reduces the breakout instantly overnight!
- Promotes dewy skin- Rating: 8/10
It hydrates the skin very well. My skin feels really plump and supple the next morning and I can see a slight glow on it too. Not joking!
- Combats roughness- Rating: 8/10
Due to the effects on No. 2, it effectively combats roughness like magic.
- Clarifies- Rating: 8/10
YES YES YES! It clarifies the skin PERFECTLY. Not too much with the brightening but definitely, refines the skin.
- Soothes the skin after sun or snow exposure- Rating: 9/10
Despite the strong alcohol scent, it doesn’t sting the skin AT ALL. The mask soothes the skin better than Aloe Vera (in my opinion). I definitely recommend this for sensitive skin. I have witnessed it removing redness as well as inflammation on skin overnight.
Price: Rating: 6.5/10
The mask is very expensive. I bought a pack with 8 sheets in it for AUD 60, one sheet equals to AUD 7.5. I give this a pass mark due to its incredible effects on the skin.
ALBION SKIN CONDITIONER is a great product. However, I would recommend the mask more than the toner. You can try both if you want. The mask has become a MUST-HAVE in my skin care collection (or at least until I find a better one). Will I repurchase the product? Definitely a yes for the mask (I repurchased them 4 times already!). I might repurchase the lotion in future, but not for now. It failed to impress me enough to warrant an immediate repurchase.
I hope you find this post helpful! Let me know if you have any question in the comments below and I will try my best to answer them! Wishing everyone a good day, till next time,
P.S. This is not a sponsored post. I purchased these products and I did this review based on my skin type and my personal experience. As everyone has different skin type and reacts to skin care products differently, I do not guarantee the same effects may apply to you.