The Hanbang Set Project: Part IV; Damning Children, Liquid Pearls, & a Happy Discovery

With one last week to go, here is fourth installment of My Adventures with the Mysterious Hanbang (한방) set, preceded by:

Upper left: Sap, Lower left: Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality Cream
Upper Centre: Eye Cream, Lower Centre: Wild Herb Cream
Upper Right: Lotion, Lower right: Pomegranate Pack

The Hanbang Set Project Part I: Translations, Patch Testing, & Pictures

  • Outline of my plan for the month
  • Gratuitous photos of this gorgeous set
  • What I've learned about the set so far
  • More gratuitous photos of this gorgeous set
  • My translation progress

The Hanbang Set Project: Part II; The Brand, Initial Thoughts, & 백수오 Vitality Cream Ingredients

  • What I've learned about the brand
  • What I've learned about the set so far
  • My initial thoughts of the products
  • My translation progress
  • Details of the “Oh Unemployed Vitality Cream” - ingredients analysis and research

The Hanbang Set Project: Part III; 15 Flavours of Fermentation, Sketchy Science, & Mold that will Melt Your Face

  • What the 15 fermented Hanbang ingredients are
  • Totally unsubstantiated claims about ingredient benefits
  • A breakdown of the 백수오 Vitality Cream ingredients, both Good & Bad

This week I was determined to translate the entirety of the info card that came with the set, as I'm nearly at the end of the month and thus this project!

In this post:
  • What I learned about the brand
  • Translations of the entire infocard
  • Sap/Toner description and directions
  • Lotion description and directions
  • Eye Cream description and directions
  • Wild Herb Cream description and directions
  • Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality Cream description and directions
  • Pomegranate Pack description and directions
  • What I learned about the Pomegranate pack (that made me wish I had done this sooner)
All I'll say for now is that I have been missing out.  I thought that the Cynanchum wilfordii and the Pomegranate products were the same function, so either/or, but I was so, so wrong.

The info card has been kicking around my apartment for a month, so it was high time I knuckled down and got it done.

As you can see, it's a daunting amount of text for someone who doesn't know Korean.  

Nonetheless, I was determined to find out more about the products I have been using all month, so I bit the bullet, poured myself some fermented Vitis vinifera and got to work.

What I learned about the brand

So, while translating the info card, I learned that Buyonghwa is actually a subdivision/sub-brand of a larger brand called Miracos, which is also translated as Mira Cosmetics.  It has a product page for this set (and the 4 set, Vitality cream solo, and Pomegranate pack solo) with a full ingredients list on it.

Unfortunately I won't be translating all of those, because the image is too faint for any reader to pick out the Korean and I'm not spending two weeks transcribing ingredients by hand again.  If any kindly Korean speaker would like to take a crack at it, let me know and I will gladly send you sheet masks in thanks!

Translations of the entire info card

Ahh, the things one learns when you have a full translation.  Like, the depth of madness required to embark upon this task in the first place.  *Slaps self from 5 weeks in the past*

The inital text on the top identifies that it is the Miracos Buyonghwa Princess Jeonghyo Line, and contains a repeat of the description I translated in Part I's post:
Cosmetics with Wrinkle Improvement Function 
Obtain the benefits of Hanbang natural ingredients and precious Cynanchum wilfordii and Pomegranate, prepared via traditional bamboo cask fermentation techniques, with the Buyonghwa Jeonghyo line. 
A fresh new dawning, as if the flow of time has stopped; bring your face back into bloom with the elegant ancient northern pine mushroom.Made for the Asian skin type, fermented Hanbang cosmetics help ease troublesome aging.  
Precious Hanbang ingredients carefully fermented in natural bamboo casks.  The brand (Buyonghwa) follows the careful, rigorous practices used in fermenting traditional herbal ingredients in bamboo casks with Cynanchum wilfordii and Pomegranate added for superior compatibility with skin, consider how you can find your skin’s natural beauty.
I would like to take a moment to both empathize with, and shake, the Korean-to-English translators tasked with adding the English translations to their products.  For one thing, their job is painfully hard; on the other, all they need is a few minutes of a native English speaker's time to smooth out the translation, and all would be well. 

Think of all those struggling, impoverished English teachers who would no doubt be thrilled to make a few dollars converting "damn children ticking face" into "tap onto face after eye cream step" so your target market isn't really confused about what the damnation of innocents has to do with their cosmetics.  Just an idea!

So, just to warn you, these are not word-for-word translations of the text above, because trust me, the word-for-word makes no damn sense. Onward!

Sap/Toner description and directions:

As I mentioned in an earlier installment of this Project, the 'Sap' is a hydrating toner, much like a 'First Essence' such as the famous SK-II or Missha First Treatment Essence.  It is not an astringent toner like we are used to in the west; this is a thin, watery essence.

Text from info card:
Buyonghwa Jeonghyo Sap 
Apply as the first step to nourish the skin after cleansing.  The fermented herbal extracts cultivate smooth skin via the anti-wrinkle function of this Hanbang lotion.  Providing enough moisture to smooth and balance the skin is one of the core fundamentals of skincare.
[Usage] After cleansing, gently apply an appropriate amount to your face and  and pat gently until it is absorbed.

Lotion description and directions:

The 'Lotion' is a thick, creamy emulsion that easily flows out of the neck of the bottle after being turned upside down and given a few ketchup bottle-style whacks on the base.  It's very rich, despite its relatively thin texture.

Text from info card:

Buyonghwa Jeonghyo Lotion

Maintain skin balance with wild herbal ingredients, which have been carefully prepared with traditional bamboo casks fermentation techniques, by providing adequate nutrition to the face with this anti-wrinkle function fermented herb lotion.

[Usage] After cleansing, gently apply an appropriate amount to your face and  and pat gently until it is absorbed.

Eye Cream description and directions:

The eye cream jar is noticeably smaller than the others, as is usual with eye creams.  Don't be fooled by the info card!

Text from info card:

Buyonghwa Jeonghyo Eye cream

This anti-wrinkle Hanbang cream contains high concentrations of each of the fermented herbal ingredients to increase harmony with the skin. Experience the intense effects of deep wrinkle reduction; adds life and improves the vitality of dry and wrinkled around the eyes that has lost its elasticity.

[Usage] After Lotion step, blend gently around the eye area with fingertips to help absorption.

Wild Herb Cream description and directions:

I usually translate this cream as 'Wild Herb Cream', but technically it's just 'Wild Cream'; the word used translates as 'wild, from nature, naturally grown, native', so it's implying wild herb/flower/plant.   Google translates this as 'native beasts', so I was very curious as to what this was when I ordered it!

Text from info card:

Buyonghwa Jeonghyo Wild [Herb] Cream

Cultivate healthy skin with with the anti-wrinkle fermented herbal cream, which soothes dull and tired skin, reduces flushing and redness of the face, and help relieve hot flashes.

[Usage] After using lotion and before eye cream, apply an appropriate amount, tapping to to spread over the face.

I had no idea that this is technically supposed to be applied before the eye cream, as the order section in the middle of the info card literally translates to:

Order of Use: Jeonghyo Sap -> Jeonghyo Lotion -> Jeonghyo Eye cream -> Jeonghyo Wild herb cream

However, a Korean acquaintance was looking over my work and let me know that the Usage directions actually instruct it to be applied before the eye cream, not after- this was totally lost in the translation tools I was working with.  Either way, there's no need to double up on both in the same area so I avoid the eye cream area when applying this cream (it only goes on my ultra dry areas anyway) so it doesn't really matter which order I apply it if I'm not layering them anyway.

Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality Cream description and directions:

This product is a sleeping pack or overnight cream, and it's lovely.  It's also the only product I plan to fully translate and research all the ingredients, as 1. it would take me months to get all the others done, and 2. the '15 Hanbang ingredients' are common to all the products as far as I know, so those translations/research apply to all the products. 

Note: the description on this one sounded so poetic that I decided to keep as much of the literal translation as I could, proper English be damned. (Damned ... like the children in Google's translation of the Wild herb cream!)

Text from info card:

Buyonghwa Jeonghyo Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality Cream

From the land of nature grown; glossy and soft, flowing like the sheen of a pearl, the precious Hanbang ingredients will help cultivate the same skin.

Fermented herbal cream with highly enriched seaweed offers improvement for the wrinkles of a face weary from the flow of time.
[Usage] Use as the last stage before you go to sleep, after you have completed your basic steps. Apply a sufficient amount and spread over the face, patting afterward.  Pampers your skin, keeping it moist and supple until the next day.

How :3 is that?!  Heck yeah, GET ON MY FACE.  Oh wait, it's, already on my face almost daily.  KEEP ON GETTING ON MY FACE!

Ok, onward to the last step!

Pomegranate Pack description and directions:

Text from info card:

Buyonghwa Jeonghyo Pomegranate Pack

For external skin layers that are tight and dry, keeping skin smooth with an even texture for a long time.  Made with a blend of fermented precious Cynanchum wilfordii and Pomegranate.  Fermented Hanbang nutrition brings improved functionality to the wash-off mask type.

HOLD UP, WASH-OFF?  This was a wash-off mask this whole time?!  ARGH!  I thought it was another sleeping mask and have kept it sealed because there was no way I could go through 2 sleeping packs at once.  STUPID ME.

[Usage] Avoiding the eyes and mouth, after cleansing apply an adequate amount all over the face, spreading it evenly over the skin as it melts.  Wash away after 10-20 minutes with warm water.

You might be surprised, knowing how large my stash is, that I do not actually own any wash-off masks.  I haven't really felt the loss enough to buy one, but little did I know, I already had one!

What I learned about the Pomegranate pack (that made me wish I had done this sooner)

So yeah, its actually wash-off mask.  I cracked it open and was amazed to see that it had a soft, clear, jelly or pudding type texture, peppered with tiny pink specs.  I have yet to get any sort of lighting set up, so pictures will have to wait until I can either get set up with some decent lighting, or a clear day for natural light.  Still, I haven't been using this (as I stupidly thought it was just an alternative to the Vitality Cream) so I'll road test it and then post some pictures + my thoughts in the final post.

I also noticed when I finally opened it that it had a rectangular foreign object in it, which made me freak out (I have an irrational fear of finding gross things in my cosmetics after reading too many horror stories online) and grab a q-tip to dig it out.  It turned out to be a tiny bit of bark, which certainly has a logical place in a Hanbang product, so I'm not worried.

I will say that the pack contents overall looks closer to something I would expect from Etude House or Holika Holika as far as the look goes, so I was surprised to see it inside the luxurious Hanbang jar.

You could even say the Adventure had an unexpected final plot twist.  Heh. Heh. Heh.  I'll see myself out ...



  1. Just a query, because just looking at these products do send me some signals. Do the creams and packs contain any form of petrolatum or mineral oil, because it is common for some Korean cosmetic companies to use mineral oil or petrolatum in their hanbang products to match up to the textures of the more famous manufacturers in the market, without splurging too much on production costs to come up with something more "environment-friendly" and sustainable for the earth?

    1. I saw that you replied below with the info about the mineral oil. :)

  2. I checked out the Korean ingredients list and in the emulsion's ingredients list on Gmarket, I saw the Korean characters for mineral oil...That explains why you complained the emulsion was a tad too rich for oily areas.

    1. That makes sense, since mineral oil is occlusive. Thanks for the update!