Sample Stash Quickie: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Review

So after just under a month of daily use, I’m ready to write my Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum review. I know, I know, it’s a long time coming – I’ve had this batch of sample packets for almost two years, I think! But I just have so much skincare stash to work through that, even if I’m almost always testing something new, it’s going to take me eons to work through everything.


In the case of the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, my 10 sample packets went a really long way. I used the serum in the morning only and got about 3 generous applications per sample tube – but I only made it through 7 tubes before I realized that, sadly, this was yet another fan favorite product (see: Mizon Snail Recovery Cream) that was just not working out for me.

Before I get too far into that, let’s talk about what the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum brings to the table.

Here’s the description from the Innisfree website:

A moisturizing serum with organic Jeju green tea and green tea seeds that hydrate your skin from deep within!

1. More moisture and freshness with 100% green tea.
Rich in amino acids and minerals, green tea from Jeju’s own green tea leaves hydrates your skin.

2. Dual Moisture-Rising Technology™ derived from green tea and green tea seed oil
The fresh green tea deeply hydrates your skin and the green tea seed oil creates a strong moisture barrier to keep your skin moisturized longer.

3. The first thing to apply after a face wash!
As the first skincare product you use, it helps hold moisture in your skin and prevents moisture loss.

As instructed, I did always apply the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum as the step immediately following my cleanser. It applied quickly and evenly and absorbed nicely, so no complaints there. I definitely felt like my skin looked softer and plumper after application to an extremely visible degree, so I really had high hopes!

For the full review, please click the read more~

Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Review: Key Ingredients

Here is the CosDNA page for the serum. Let’s look at some of the key players!

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: Green tea extract. Obviously, it’s the star of this serum. Supposedly an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and possibly even anti-carcinogenic when applied topically. It’s reported to help combat the breakdown of collagen and prevent UV damage, which makes it an extremely attractive ingredient for people in their late 20s and beyond, specifically, when collagen loss starts really revving up.

Alcohol: I usually don’t have bad reactions to alcohol in skincare, but this is so high up on the ingredients list that it’s worth notice.

Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract: Another plant extract with the potential to halt collagen breakdown.

Niacinamide: I feel like I’ve extolled the virtues of niacinamide so many times by now that I should probably just have a copy/paste descriptor ready to go by now! TL;DR it’s great for healing and smoothing skin.

Trehalose: A plant sugar that binds moisture to the skin.

Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract: Prickly Pear extract. Claimed to be a moisturizing element.

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Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract: Satsuma Mandarin extract. A supposed anti-oxidant and aid in healing/preventing hyperpigmentation.

Orchid: Orchid seems to be gaining popularity within skincare, with claims that it’s a potent anti-aging ingredient that can soften fine lines and bind water to the skin.

So there are some interesting and definitely beneficial ingredients at play here, which is possibly why the serum has such a good reputation.

Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Review: Texture & Application

When I first started using this serum, I thought that I would definitely become one of its fans! The texture is great – it smooths on easily, absorbs well, and leaves your skin looking plump and feeling soft and hydrated. My Tosowoong Syn-Ake Natural Pure Essence applied easily over it without any issues, which is always a big thing for me – I can’t stand pilling products!

You can see the stages of application here – first, you can see that the product is a slightly viscous watery serum. It’s not going to run all over the place, but it’s pretty thin.


After patting the serum in, your skin looks nice and radiant and hydrated for a few moments…


…and about 5 minutes after application, the serum dries down to a matte finish, as seen below:


So if you’re looking for a more matte drydown in your skincare products, the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum will please you on that front!

Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Review: Results

For the first 2-3 days, my skin seemed like it was producing slightly less oil than usual. While my current regime doesn’t turn me into a greaseball or anything, I’m still very definitely an oily-skinned girl (and I’m sure I’ll be thankful for this as I age!) and I definitely lose any pretense of matte skin as the day progresses. So, thinking that I’d found a hydrating product that also mattified – that was pretty exciting!

Unfortunately, on day four or five, I started noticing small breakouts appearing on my face. Now, I do sometimes get hormonal blemishes on my chin and forehead, but generally my cheeks, nose, and brow remain clear even during the most obnoxious hormonal breakout. So pretty much, if I get bumps in those areas, it’s 100% due to a product.

These weren’t horrible, deep, cystic breakouts or anything – just inflamed clogged pores that were appearing and healing pretty quickly. I attribute the fast healing to my Curology prescription and daily niacinamide use. However, even as, say, the bump on my cheek vanished, one would appear on my nose, rinse repeat. Even if it wasn’t a visible nuisance, I feel that such a reaction is my skin’s way of saying “I don’t like this” and an obvious cue to figure out the problem product and put a stop to it!

Since the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum was my only new addition, the culprit seemed pretty clear. I pulled the serum out of my rotation and, as expected, within about 4-5 days my skin was back to normal again. So unfortunately for me, it looks like my skin just doesn’t agree with yet another fan favorite AB product!

As the breakout style was extremely similar to what happened when I tried Biore’s UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen (another much-hyped AB product), I decided to compare ingredients. The best conclusion that I can draw is that, while having alcohol in a product isn’t an instant issue for me, having it as one of the dominant (read: first 5) ingredients in a formula means that it will likely be a problem for me. Whether it’s irritating my skin, drying it out too much, or both, I think a relatively high alcohol content might just be a no-go for me ?

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Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Review: Final Verdict

So my overall Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum review is that it’s extremely YMMV. If you can use the aforementioned Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence with no issues (or other skincare products with alcohol high up on the list) and you’re looking for a mattifying antioxidant serum, I’d say go ahead and give this a shot. A lot of people really love it, and honestly the plumping/soft effect was kind of awesome! If you’re hesitant, go ahead and do what I did and buy a 10-pack of the sample packets – I got 2-3 applications (once per day, covering my entire face and neck) out of each sample, so a 10-pack should let you try for about a month without committing to a full bottle. That’s more than enough time to find out how it works for you!

Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Review: Where To Buy

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