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K-Beauty brand KAHI is best known for its flagship Wrinkle Bounce line of products housed in luxurious pale pink and gold packaging. In contrast, its latest collection of vibrantly colored balms boasts a fun, youthful image that’s right up my alley. After the success of Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm (which sold 14.6 million units), this new line of balms was created to cater to various skin needs. With the thought of popping these adorable and convenient sticks into my purse for on-the-go touch-ups, I nabbed four of the balms to try: the Extin C Balm, Aqua Balm, Eye Balm and High Lighter.
All four products are enriched with Salmon Triple Complex (containing salmon collagen, salmon PDRN and salmon proteoglycan) to deliver hydration and nutrients to skin while promoting firmness. They are also infused with Jeju fermented oil to prevent water loss, ceramide to restore a healthy skin barrier and glycyrrhiza (licorice) extract to provide antioxidant care.
Lightweight and non-greasy, the Extin C Balm is enriched with Vitamin C, niacinamide and resveratrol to offer 3-step melanin care and reduce the appearance of blemishes, creating brighter and more even skin. It’s recommended for use on the under-eye and cheek areas.
Similar to its exterior, the balm comes in a pale yellow color. It’s scented with a mild, slightly sweet smell. I wasn’t a fan of the chalky texture initially as it leaves some flakes and a white cast. However, once you gently blend it out with fingers, you’ll be good to go.
I struggle with acne scars and uneven skin tone so I’m always looking for a brightening product. Many that I’ve tried were harsh and drying, leading to flaky skin. I love that this balm is highly moisturizing and nourishing. In addition to seeing my acne scars fading, my skin felt smoother and healthier over time.
Like the Extin C Balm, the Aqua Balm replenishes moisture and nutrition in skin, promotes elasticity and wrinkle care, and offers a brightening effect. The formula is further enhanced with SPF 50+ PA++++ UV protection, making it a highly moisturizing sunscreen balm. It’s recommended for those with oily skin, as it leaves a fresh and non-sticky finish.
The Aqua Balm shares the same pleasant scent as the Extin C Balm, and has a greenish tint instead of the soft pastel color of the Extin C Balm. Although it’s formulated with many of the same ingredients, I found that the Aqua Balm applies more smoothly on skin, with less of the chalky residue.
I have combination skin, so this moisturizing sunscreen catered precisely to my skin needs. The Aqua Balm didn’t leave a greasy finish on my already oily forehead, and it was great for replenishing moisture on dry areas (like the sides of my nose) during the day. I tend to apply makeup at the end of a workday before I head off for my dinner plans, so the Aqua Balm was useful for creating a more even base before makeup application. Balm sunscreen enables hygienic and convenient reapplication during the day, as you can apply the product directly on skin without having to worry about first sanitizing your hands.
The Eye Balm is infused with Arabian jasmine extract and hawthorn extract to lift sagging skin, acetyl hexapeptide-8 to promote elasticity, and adenosine to reduce wrinkles. It replenishes hydration and brightens skin to reduce the appearance of dark circles. The hypoallergenic formula is suitable for sensitive skin and can also be used on neck wrinkles.
Compared to the Extin C Balm and Aqua Balm, I found the Eye Balm’s scent more artificially sweet. Even though all four products contain licorice extract, I smelled that ingredient most strongly on this product. The Eye Balm is more translucent than the others, like a lip balm. It applies smoothly on skin much like the Aqua Balm, but with a slightly oilier finish, perhaps due to the extra nourishing care it offers to sensitive under-eye skin.
Lately, I’ve been heading to bed later than I should (oops), and found myself waking up to unsightly dark circles. Although under-eye concealer provides a more immediate fix, I love using this Eye Balm for long-lasting care. In addition to brightening my dark circles, I appreciate that it’s multifunctional and can smooth out laugh lines or crow’s feet while boosting hydration. Because of its oilier finish, I tend not to use it in the daytime, reserving it for nighttime application so it can comfortably nourish my skin as I sleep.
Creating a dewy glow with delicate pearl particles, the hypoallergenic High Lighter offers moisturizing, brightening and wrinkle care effects. It’s suitable for those who want to add a lightweight, natural shimmer to their bare face.
Visually, the High Lighter is the most different from the others, as it comes in glittery rose gold. Despite its color, the formula actually looks sheer when applied on skin while adding speckles of glitter. Personally, I would have preferred a more uniform sheen, as I didn’t like the look of the individual particles of glitter, which seemed more appropriate for a night out than for daily wear.
I’ve honestly never gotten into highlighters because they can be quite difficult to apply uniformly over foundation. KAHI’s balm formula is easier to apply compared to cream (which can be messy) or powder products (which might break easily). I appreciated that the High Lighter was easy to use and felt comfortable on skin even under a mask. It also boasts more skin care benefits than the average highlighter.
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