Purebess Galactomyces 100 (FTE) (English only)

There are some products that I use because I want to use them, not because I am fully aware of what they're really doing to my skin. Until I won a giveaway offered by the awesome Michelle at Unboxing Beauty (unboxing here,) where one of the products was the Purebess Galactomyces 100 Essence, I hadn't been quite sure why I was using first essences. It is a relatively new skin care routine step - made famous by SK-II and then followed by several brands' own versions, - where you use a very watery product after cleansing and before a hydrating toner. Honestly, I am still not sure what a first essence (FTE) does. It is typically lighter than a toner, so it makes sense to use it before toning, but I am still not sure we are not simply talking about a "light toner." Either way, because Korean skin care is all about making one's beauty-ADD spiral out of control with all the shiny new things all the time, I have been using FTE's for quite a while now (including Sulhwasoo's famous one, which I have yet to review.) It wasn't until this severely underrated Purebess product, though, that using one finally made sense to me.


About the brand:
I have been able to unearth very little information about Purebess, for even their website is in Korean where Google Translate cannot do much (think Naver blogs, ugh.) However, they're obviously a Korean brand that pride themselves in using - mostly? - natural ingredients.
(Side note: I couldn't care less about "natural." "Natural" doesn't equal safe, much less effective. The same way as "chemical" doesn't equal harmful. So, yeah.)

Product claims:

Instructions and ingredients:
After cleansing, shake two to three large drops into your palm and pat it into your skin. Follow with your toner and the rest of your routine.

Ingredients? Yeah... Everything on the small bottle is in Korean, and I haven't been able to find an actual ingredient list anywhere online. Since the brand claims it is, in fact, 100% Galactomyces ferment, I'll assume the ingredient list would include a single ingredient? It's a ferment, so it has obviously gone through a fermentation process at the end of which we might have the watery liquid we find in these small bottles. I don't know, and I gave up googling after a while because no one else seems to know for sure, either.


But, what the actual hell is "galactomyces?" Well, for one, it is also known as Pitera, and it was made famous by the aforementioned SK-II first essence. It is a yeast that's a byproduct of the sake brewing process. According to this study right here, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate "has several beneficial effects, such as antioxidant effects through activation of ARE-related genes in human skin cells and induction of hyaluronan production in epidermal cells." So, there. It's good for your skin. It is supposed to have anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, brightening qualities.
And that's good.


Still, the first essences I had used before this Purebess one, seemed to do exactly zilch to my face (except for the CosRX one which aggravated my otherwise totally non-reactive skin, which is why spot-testing is so important, even though I never actually do it myself. YOLO!)

So, as you might have already figured out from all the hints I have been dropping, I am absolutely in love with this product.

It comes in a small, no-frills 50ml bottle. I first actually thought that I had received a deluxe sample, for such watery essences typically come in larger (as much as four times this big) bottles. But, as I decided that I wanted to purchase it for myself and started looking around to see where I should buy it, I realized that nope, this is the full-size product.
Yes, it is small, but it is typically less than $10 with shipping included, so it's all good.


Unlike most other skin care products, this is only good for consumption for - I believe - a year after the manufacture date. As much as I could dig up tells me that while there are no preservatives added, the actual filtrate itself does include non-disclosed preservatives. Still, I am just letting you know that if you happen to fall in love with it as much as I have, make sure you don't go ahead and hoard numerous bottles at a time, for you might not be able to use it all up before it expires.


As I have briefly mentioned before, it is a very watery product, which I tried to demonstrate in the above photo, and totally failed. This is all I could do with my cell phone. So, you will just have to believe me: it feels and smells just like water.

Once applied on the skin, it sinks in almost immediately, not unlike what you would expect H2O to do, and leaves behind absolutely no residue.
It is a very easy and pleasant product to use, but that alone wouldn't make it a stand-out product (I mean, the only reason I really use the Sulwhasoo first essence is because it is such a joy to put on my face, and it still doesn't save it from scoring lower on my imaginary FTE list than this Purebess essence.)


So, why do I love it so much?
Because this is the first FTE that actually produced real, obvious results on my skin.

I am not acne-prone, but every now and then I have a zit pop up, mostly on my chin area and mostly around my period. I am extremely prone to hyperpigmentation, and I still sometimes find myself not being able to resist picking at a zit (or even a lone blackhead,) which always results in "skin darkening" that, in my case, usually takes weeks to finally even out.

That is, it used to take. I hadn't added anything new to my routine that could be responsible for this, other than this Purebess essence, but unlike previously, my latest self-inflicted skin discoloration took only about a week to disappear. Which might seem like a long time to some of you, but it is extremely fast in my case. I thought long and hard about it, and there's simply nothing else that could have caused this change - a novelty that has kept happening over and over again since I started using this product. It hadn't happened with other FTE's, and it never even happened with the Melano CC essence for which I'd had such high hopes (for some reason, Vitamin C in general simply might not be as effective for me as it is for so many others. Which is sad, but I'll live with it.)
This alone makes this FTE a must-have in my current routine.

Recommend? Yes! It is a watery product that sinks in with no leftover residue, so it won't interfere with the rest of your products. It is also the only FTE I have used so far that has helped immensely with the whitening/evening out of my skin. At typically less than $10 - with shipping from Korea - for a 50ml bottle (that should definitely last well over a month, possibly two, if used twice a day) this is an affordable product, and even if you don't love it as much as I do, at least you won't feel like you invested a whole lot of money into a whole lot of product that you wish you had never gotten.

Where to buy? eBayTesterKorea


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