5 Jan 2016

Believe in Truth: A Brand Overview and Reviews of 60 Belif Products Part 1: Cleansing Oil, Cleansing Water, Foam Cleanser, Scrub

(Last Updated: May 2017)


For those of you who have been following me, you will notice that this is a major revamp of my Belif products review. I trim down all the necessary explanation and break the review into 6 major parts according to their categories to make referencing easier for you guys. As mentioned previously, this is NOT a sponsored review. I wrote this review out of my love for the brand Belif, I did not receive any monetary compensation for writing this mega review. And I also did the same for many other brands such as InnisfreePrimeraWhamisaCosrxBiothermThe Body ShopKiehl'sLaneige, and so on. All opinions expressed in this review are my honest and unbiased feedback having trying out the products personally. I also included some feedbacks of my friends and family who get to know Belif through me.

About Belif

Belif comes from "believe", which reflects the brand's philosophy to deliver only the best things for your skin, using high quality, gentle and effective ingredients as well as formulation. Their slogan "believe in truth" represents the brand's beliefs of the "value of honesty" and the "power of the truth".

Belif inherits the spirit and herbal processing method of British herbalist Duncan Napiers. I am not sure how does they obtain all these herbal processing method, maybe they pay the franchises or something but Napiers website does sell some of the Belif products. Duncan Napiers is a British Herbalist in 1860 and owns several clinics that are still operating today in England. They carry a wide range of health and beauty products and some are also exported overseas.

Basically, Belif is like a Korean version of Dr. Wu, Neogen, Neogence, Kiehl's, Hada Labo, among which Kiehl's shares most similarity with Belif. Out of many of these brands, I like Belif the most because I like how it feels on my skin, its scent, its performance and its product range. I also talked about Kiehl'sHada Labo and Dr. Wu's whitening line previously, but none really matches the application and efficacy of Belif products. However, YMMV when it comes to skincare products so it is important that you do more research of your own and patch test before jumping into the bandwagon.

How to Read the Product Label

Part 1: Cleansing Oil, Cleansing Water, Foam Cleanser, Scrub
Part 2: Booster, Toner, Mist, Eye Cream
Part 3: Essence, Serum, Oil, Spot Treatment, Balm
Part 4: Emulsion and Cream
Part 5: Mask
Part 6: Body Care, Hand Cream, Sunscreen, Foundation

Full list of products discussed in this article:
  • Belif Cleansing Herb Water
  • Belif Cleansing Gel Oil Enriched
  • Belif Crystal Cleansing Foam Fresh
  • Belif Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist
  • Belif The True - Whitening Cleansing Foam
  • Belif Mild And Effective Facial Scrub
Belif Cleansing Herb Water 200ml
(KRW 25,000 / RM 105)

This is a cleansing water that you use as the first step of your cleansing routine on a cotton pad. You are advised to either follow that up with a foam cleanser or rinse it off thoroughly with water, but rinsing is not mandatory.

This product uses relatively gentler and safer olive oil derived surfactants. About 5% of it are herbal extracts, among which Saint John’s wort, burdock, and dill are what Belif calls “tri-herb tea complex” to leave the skin fresh and clear after using.

Having tried out a bunch of cleansing waters, I must say that this is not among my personal favourites. It can definitely remove makeup and sunscreen but I find that it is not as "refreshing" as I want in a cleansing water. I prefer products like Son & Park Beauty Water and Nature Republic Jeju Carbonic Cleansing Water that feels hydrating and refreshing on the skin. A friend of mine who has sensitive skin loves using this though, as she cannot use a lot of cleansing products and this fits her just right.

I will not purchase the full size product after finish using this, but I would recommend it to those who want something that feels like Bioderma. Ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive skin who wears very little to no makeup.

Belif Cleansing Gel Oil Enriched
(KRW 38,000)

This is a cleansing oil that you use at the first step of your cleansing routine. You need to use a foam cleanser after this to get rid of makeup residues and oil completely.

This product contains mainly safe and gentle surfactant as well as some natural botanical oils to remove makeup off your face. CosDNA rating shows literally zero acne-causing or irritating ingredients, with only olive oil being flagged as potentially comedogenic. Although there may seem like a lot of ingredients, but those are Napiers’ Moisture Herb Complex which appears in many other Belif products. Herbs that are exclusively used in this product are semen benincasae herb, sweet flag herb, olive oil and macadamia oil. Semen benincasae herb is a natural foaming agent with skin conditioning and purifying abilities. Sweet flag herb soothes and releases the skin of any environment pollutants and stressors, leaving the skin soft and plump. Natural olive and macadamia oils, on the other hand, smooth and moisturize the skin during and after the cleansing process.

Since I rarely apply makeup and still have a few sherbet cleansers left in my cabinet, I did not go for the full size product, only trying out the miniature to share with you guys my review on it. I think this is a really well-made and gentle cleansing oil. It feels like a very slippery oil which I can use to massage my skin. It doesn’t irritate or break me out in any way either.

I might purchase the full size product after finish using my other oil cleansers. Ideal for normal to drier skin, especially those who wear heavier makeup.

Belif Crystal Cleansing Foam Fresh 150ml
(KRW 24,000 / RM 99)

This is a foam cleanser, you use this as the second step of your cleansing routine, after your makeup remover or cleansing oil.

I did not try the full size products because I wasn't that impressed having tried out several samples I received from Belif. This cleanser will always leave behind a thin film after rinsing as if it is not completely rinsed off my face. I have the same feeling using my bf's Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash and Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Cleanser. I guess all foam cleansers in the form of gel designed for oily skin will give me similar uncomfortable results.

I don't enjoy using it personally but I think individuals with oily skin might have different experience with this. Ideal for combination, oily and acne-prone skin.

Belif Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist 160ml
(KRW 24,000 / RM 99)

This is a foam cleanser that you use after your oil cleanser or makeup remover. You are supposed to lather it either using a bubble maker or your hand instead of rubbing it against your skin to avoid hurting your skin. This foam cleanser can be lathered into really rich and bouncy bubbles which I think is perfect for bringing away dirt and impurities.

This product is my favourite foam cleanser of all time ever since the day I met it. It is very moisturizing, totally non-stripping, and effective at removing all impurities and dirt on my skin. A little goes a long way and mine lasted for more than 6 months. My skin feels really soft and clean after rinsing off.

Ingredients-wise, there are definitely some commonly used surfactants like myristic acid, stearic acid, and PEG-100. These are also known potential acne-causing and irritating ingredients for the skin so I think sensitive skin must patch test before using. However, given the hefty amount of soothing herbal ingredients used in here, these surfactants won’t feel harsh or stripping at all on the skin. I have tried many cleansers with myristic acid and stearic acid but none work as well as this Belif one so I think formulation and supplementary ingredients matter a lot as well. Belif also claims that this contains loads of vitamin C ingredients such as wormwood, soapberry, and sweetflag which can detoxify, calm and prevent the skin from breakouts.

This is my holy grail foam cleanser. I have since repurchased twice and will continue to repurchase in the future. I would recommend it for individuals with all skin types especially those with normal to drier skin.

Belif Mild And Effective Facial Scrub 100ml
(KRW 25,000 / RM 105)

This is a gentle exfoliating scrub. You are meant to use this after cleansing on a dry face, but I sometimes use it before cleansing if I don't put on makeup and I think it works equally well this way too.

I wrote a skincare guide on exfoliation previously which you can check out here. Basically, scrub is a very important step to keep your skin soft, vibrant and healthy. Our skin sheds off dead skin cells naturally every single day but there are times when our body is so overloaded that this process becomes slow and ineffective. So we will end up with dull and uneven complexion. You won’t suffer from health issues if you don’t use a scrub though, but if you want a glowing and dewy skin then scrub is very useful at helping you achieving that.

This Belif Mild and Effective Facial Scrub is an award-winning product that is made of skin soothing and purifying apothecary herb lemon balm. It also contains Napiers detoxifying formula consisted of arnica flower extract, wild yam root extract, melissa flower extract, rose flower extract and so on. These are pores purifying ingredients that can keep the skin clear and bright.

I use this once or twice depending on my skin needs. I find that it has done a good job clearing out those zits on my face, making it smoother and evener. However, I don’t use it if I have breakouts or when my skin is feeling sensitive because scrub can cause further irritation for your skin. I think it works similar to Primera Intensive Peeling Gel which I am also very fond of. It is slightly gentler than Skinfood Rice Mask but there isn’t any discernible difference between the two except for the price. Besides, I rely more on active ingredients such as AHA, PHA and vitamin C to exfoliate my skin so I am using less and less facial scrub these days.

Having said all these, I think I won’t repurchase due to cost-effectiveness. I might just invest on some good acid treatments or simply go for Skinfood Mask if I want to use a facial scrub in the future. However, I still think this is a well made facial scrub and would recommend it for those with sensitive skin and cannot use acid treatments. This is really similar to Primera Intensive Peeling Gel though so if you don't have to get the other if you already have one.

Belif The True Brightening Cleansing Foam 100ml
(KRW 26,000 / RM 110)

This is a foam cleanser with mild exfoliating properties. You use this after your oil cleanser as the second step in your cleansing routine. This is the older version, Belif just reformulates this into The White Decoction – Ultimate Brightening Cleansing Foam, which I will be sharing with you guys in the future review.

I love this cleanser and I think it is a very well made exfoliating cleanser. With only 3-5 uses, I can clearly see that my skin has become brighter, smoother and evener. The effect is instantaneous. Most surprisingly, this doesn’t irritate or harm my skin in any way. I don’t use this on a daily basis though out of the worry that it may hurt my skin, only weekly and I am loving the results I see.

This product has now been discontinued, but the reformulated version is as good as this so I have just purchased that, review’s coming soon! I think this is suitable for oily skin whereas the Mild and Effective Facial Scrub is more suitable for sensitive and dry skin.

Other reviews:
Part 1: Cleansing Oil, Cleansing Water, Foam Cleanser, Scrub
Part 2: Booster, Toner, Mist, Eye Cream
Part 3: Essence, Serum, Oil, Spot Treatment, Balm
Part 4: Emulsion and Cream
Part 5: Mask
Part 6: Body Care, Hand Cream, Sunscreen, Foundation

[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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