Purpletale is a relatively new skincare brand that focuses on a very positive message. They refer to themselves as not a beauty line, but a movement, one to help you feel good when your skin looks good, and this can be achieved by the use of their products. They believe that when you feel good, you will share positive vibes to those around you. It is a very positive message overall!
I received the Setting the Scene Treatment Essence for review, and so far, I’ve been using it day and night for about 8 weeks. The essence is meant to be a foundation within the beauty routine and is designed to improve your skin’s texture and clarity with continued use. It claims to have a hydrating base, and to be packed with ingredients meant to hydrate, brighten, and smooth fine lines for all skin types.
Look at this beautiful packaging! The box is super pretty, and the bottle is a beautiful frosted glass much like many other essences, and has a bold purple top with a silver trim. This is exactly my favourite shade of purple, so this packaging is a total win for me. It is incredibly functional as well; the bottle dispenses just the right amounts of essence into my hands almost each and every time. The weight of the bottle is pretty heavy duty and overall the packaging experience is quite luxurious; even after 8 weeks of daily use, the lid is not scratched at all!
The website indicates that the essence’s main ingredients include Ginseng saponin, Peptide complexes, Adenosine, and Niacinimide. This all sounded pretty promising until I actually looked at the ingredient list and saw the order of the products, and what came before it all.
Ingredient list: Water, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Diglycerin, Betaine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglutamic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Pueraria Mirifica Root Extract, Ginsenosides, Fragrance
That’s right…while Niacinimide does appear near the top of the list, Alcohol Denat. does appear as the third ingredient. The peptides and ginseng are pretty low on the list, which was a little disappointing.
My skin is not particularly sensitive to alcohol; I only particularly dislike products that smell strongly of alcohol. This Essence smells sweet, almost like candy, and the scent dissipates quickly after application, so it definitely passed the alcohol-smell test for me. I’ve read before that alcohol is drying and that was my biggest worry for my already-dry skin.
The founder of Purpletale, Young-Ji, said that the test group preferred this formula, which is why this was the one that was produced and sold. However, she has also told me that they are either going to reduce the amount of alcohol in the formula, or remove it completely in their reformulation.
I expected the texture to be very watery. Even within the (full) bottle, it looked to be very watery. But the essence is actually ever-so-slightly viscous. It smooths over the skin easily and with a little bit of patting, it absorbs quickly into the skin. If I accidentally pour too much onto my hand, I give it an extra minute to absorb before I move on with the rest of my skincare. This essence plays well with the other items I’ve used with it, including toners, creams, ampoules, and sleeping packs, without creating any kind of pilling or stickiness; it only feels sticky if I move too quickly through my steps and don’t give the essence a moment to absorb.
While the experience of using the product was enjoyable (particularly the scent, it smells so nice!), it actually took a few weeks for me to notice results. I wasn’t introducing anything else into my routine at the time, aside from new or tried sheetmasks, so I could identify easily how this essence was working for me.
The essence had arrived shortly after my return from vacation to Seoul and Hong Kong, where the lack of sleep, heat, sun, humidity, and pollution wreaked havoc on my skin. My skin was left pretty dull, tired, and tanned from my vacation despite my attempts to keep up with my routine as best I could in the very humid cities.
The first effects I noticed was hydration. As I was not using a hydrating toner, this essence gave me a boost in hydration and my skin was left smooth and plump. I’ve since switched to a hydrating one, about four weeks into the use of the Purpletale Essence, due to the onset of winter and dryness everywhere (home, office, outdoors!).
About three weeks in, I noticed that my skin condition was looking better. Two weeks after my return, the dullness of my skin was gone as I was back to sleeping right, eating right, and my skin was back in the environment it is very used to. But after about three weeks of using this essence, I found my skin to be brighter, and the complexion was more evened out, and my cheeks felt smooth and soft, aside from a little bit of hormonal acne. Particularly in the cheeks, there was a little less redness.
At around seven weeks in, I accepted the fact that my skin was going crazy with irritation. It was probably due to a variety of reasons, from stress, to hormones, to contact irritation, so I pared down my routine. Aside from cleansing products and sheetmasks, I reduced my routine to only my toner, the Setting The Scene Treatment Essence, and a won’t-let-me-down heavy moisturizer.
Within a few days, my skin calmed down. Since neither the toner nor cream work to reduce PIH (post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation), I feel even more sure that this essence is doing the heavy lifting in working to reduce some of the darker spots on my skin. One particular zit had accidentally been scratched, bled, and formed a dark scab with even darker scarring around it. Within just a few days, the spot has visibly lightened. It’s still there, and obviously so, but the difference is still pretty clear. As a person with skin that scars easily and takes forever to heal, this was promising to me.
I’m enjoying my use of this essence. After just over 2 months, I’ve used up a little less than half the bottle of essence. I have another first treatment essence in line for after this one, so I won’t immediately repurchase this, but depending on the results of other essences from my stash, given these results, I would repurchase this for use again.
The Purpletale essence sells for $34.99 USD for 130 ml (4.4oz) and can be purchased on the Purpletale website!
Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for an honest review. This is not a sponsored review; in other words, I have received no compensation for this review, nor will I receive compensation if you choose to purchase this product by clicking the link above. All opinions and thoughts are my own.