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

In my recent Avecko Haul - Products I purchased directly from Korea (Part I) I finished with a teaser image of the 한방 (aka Hanbang, traditional Korean herbal medicine) set of 6 products that I purchased with almost no knowledge of what was in it.

Considering that the product image looked like this, though, can you blame me?

What I did know what this: 1. it was a Hanbang set, 2. it was on a Holiday sale for $24 down from $120+, and 3. it was the most beautiful packaging I had ever seen.  I don't normally buy things that I haven't been able to exhaustively research, but when this gilded, mysterious beauty batted its ornate lids at me, I had to have it.

As you know, I have a rigorous testing schedule organized by my spreadsheet, but since this was going to be a one-time purchase and I bought this in the spirit of adventure, I'm going to do something a little different.  I am going to patch test this for allergies, but I am not going to introduce things 2 weeks apart.

For the month of February, I am going to use this entire line, all at once, as it was intended to be used.

In this post:
  • 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
When I found this set, I was using Google Translate's plugin in Chrome, and was bemused to see it advise me that this set contained a "Sap, Latex, Eye cream, Native Beasts, Oh Unemployed cream, Pomegranate Pack."  Oh, Google. You tried.

Nonetheless, I was undaunted + enamoured of the packaging, so at the very least, I could reuse the jars if the products did turn out to contain Unemployed Latex Beasts.

Outline of my plan for the month:

So here's the deal: since I have never used a complete set of anything (I mix and match brands and lines to customize my routine) this seemed as good a time as any to give a dedicated set a try.  Thus, for the month of February and barring any skin freakouts, I will be using this full set instead of my usual patchwork of products for the post-cleansing portion of my routine.**

**Note: As I explain in my post on Putting your products in order, including pH dependent acids, 'actives' like Vitamin C serum, BHA, and AHA, should be considered an extension of 'basic cleansing' and be completed before all regular skincare steps are begun. 

Other exceptions will be things not in this routine, such as spot treatments (i.e. 3M Nexcare Acne Stickers, Mizon Acence Blemish Out Pink Spot), sheet masks, and sunscreen.

Each week, I will be posting an update about this set; observations about the products, how my skin is faring, translation progress, and ingredients research.

The reason for this is pretty simple- not only is it a fun project, there is a lot of work to be done, especially for translating and ingredients research, because this information for this set just isn't available outside of Korea.

Gratuitous photos of this gorgeous set:

When the package arrived, I was worried that the reality wouldn't match up with the expectations, but as soon as I pulled out the first two boxes, I knew it was going to be amazing:

The gold detailing, the soft patterns, the overall design, it just blew me away and I had to take a minute to calm down before opening anything lest I drop it.

The main box was still wrapped in bubble wrap, but I was impressed already.  The boxes were substantial and the contents were heavy.

With bated breath, I opened one of the boxes to see if the jars were as lovely as I imagined, and before I had even opened the box all the way, the light caught the lid inside and I gasped:

Oh lord.  Glowing amber and gold filigree.

These are a challenge to capture on camera, because of their depth and the gilding.

The lids have a depression in the center which is filled with a beautiful amber/red clear layer (like transparent lacquer) and then topped with a gold design.

The effect of the gold filigree over the clear lacquer gives it an amazing depth and glow in the light.

Although you can't see it yet, the colour of the bottom half of each jar matches its respective box shade.

You'll see that later.

I moved on to the rest of the box, but as it was at night and I have a terrible camera, I was thwarted by the lack of light and struggled to capture the soft cranberry of the box.

However, that's the end of the gratuitous unboxing photos for now; I decided that the next attempts should be done in daylight, which we will see later!

What I've learned about the set so far:

I have been furiously translating the product copy, but it's been very slow going as I don't know Korean, so I am learning the language and translating at the same time.

I'll be posting some of the translations in the weekly updates, but here's the rundown of what this set is:

The brand is Buyonghwa (부용화, a type of flower) and this is the Princess Jeonghyo (정효) line.  As I mentioned earlier, this is a Hanbang (한방 케어 = herbal care) set which includes the following products to be used in this order:
  1. 수액 - Sap
  2. 유액 - Lotion   (This translates to 'latex', or 'milky lotion', so I think I’m going to go with translation option #2 here, yikes!)
  3. 아이크림 - Eye Cream
  4. 자생크림 - Wild (herb/flower) cream 
  5. 백수오 활력 크림- Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality cream
  6. 석류팩 - Pomegranate Pack
After I figured out that 백수오 was actually a type of traditional medicinal plant native to Korea, and not "Oh Unemployed" as Google was insisting, things got a lot easier.  (Really, Google?!  And don't get me started on Lotion = Latex.)  I've actually already patch tested this and am using it daily, and oh lawd.  Every time I apply it, my eyes roll back in my head a bit because it feels so good.

So this will give me a full routine: Sap = First Essence, Lotion = Lotion/Emulsion/Serum, Eye Cream = Same, Wild herb cream = light cream, Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality cream = heavy cream, and Pomegranate Pack = sleeping pack.  At least, that's my estimate until I learn more; the info card it comes with has the steps numbered, SCORE!

Now have some more pictures!

More gratuitous photos of this gorgeous set:

Although it's winter, because I live in the desert, it only gets cold while staying dry.  I took advantage of this to take some photos in natural daylight.

The box contains an info card, and that is lifted away, these beauties are revealed!

So gorgeous.  I realized once I had the others to compare them to, the additional jars actually have a subtle difference in colouration of their lids; they all match their jars and the overall effect is so luxurious and beautiful.

Here's a close up of the info card; as you can see, all in Korean. That's only one piece of my translation project; I will be translating not only the info card, but also all the product copy/marketing for it.

You can see the differences between the jars more clearly on the info card, as well as the rapid fading of my afternoon light.

Here's the whole set together, gleaming in the thin winter sun:

Be still my heart!

My translation progress:

Currently, I have translated two pages of the giant marketing copy and also the Directions of Use for the 백수오 활력 크림- Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality cream.

Since this is all pure Korean with no loan words, and all emulating a more poetic style, the translations are not always literal, but I've confirmed them as accurate (especially accurate to the intent/feeling of the text) with fluent Korean speakers.

I'm actually transcribing the hangul from these images instead of using an image-to-text generator, because there are too many errors in that method.  I then input it into Naver's translator and research all the nonsensical translations while I sort out what it's actually trying to say.  It's slow, but it's fun to lean a new language, so I am enjoying myself.

First page:
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.
Second page, clockwise from bottom left:
Experience the heavenly skin effect of the fermented extract of 15 different kinds of Hanbang herbs
Relieve facial flushing and redness with the all-natural wild (herb/flower) cream
Princess Jeonghyo Entire Line: Anti-wrinkle function cosmetics!
Superior chemical attraction to the skin
Bamboo casks fermentation techniques!
Contains Cynanchum wilfordii and Pomegranate extract
Directions for Use of the Cynanchum wilfordii Vitality Cream:
잠들기 전에 사용하며 기초 마지막 단계에서 충분한 양을 덜어 얼굴에 펴 바른 후 두드려 흡 수시켜 줍니다. 다음날 까지 촉촉하고 탄력 있게 가꿔줍니다.
Directions for Use:
The last stage before you go to sleep and have used your basic (routine), apply a sufficient amount and spread over the face, patting afterward. Pampers you (by keeping your skin) moist and supple until the next day.

I will say from what I have experienced so far, it's not kidding about keeping your skin moist and supple for a long time; I've been using it as a final moisturizer for a few days and it actually keeps my face from becoming painfully dry during the day.

That's also the answer as to why I'm throwing my careful testing schedule out the window; the current weather is making my face hurt.  Nothing I was doing was hydrating my skin enough, and oily, occlusive 'heavy' moisturizers were just sealing in the dehydration.  Testing schedules are important, but when your face is so dry that it is physically hurting you, ain't nobody's skin got time for 2 week introduction periods.

And I might as well give this entire line a spin since Rome is burning; at least for a month and explore the novelty of using a dedicated line.

I'm excited about the updates as I learn more about the other products and translate more of the content!
All the best,

**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever.  This blog contains  both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.


  1. I have to commend your efforts in translating everything. I don't think I'd have the patience. Just doing ingredient lists is bad enough and I know the Korean alphabet and a fair few words. But this set looks absolutely stunning!

    1. It's been intense. I just updated Part II with one of the cream translated, and the auto-translate resources out there came up with some pretty epic mistranslations of things. So much work. TT^TT

  2. I love your blog--how did you find this skincare line--do you have any links for it? I'd love to try it!

    1. I found it by browsing on a korean site, but it was a special holiday sale offering the 6 set for $24 instead of the usual 4 set for $120. You can keep an eye out for it, though, as it could come back on sale! I wouldn't purchase it at full price, but it was a good deal.

  3. I await with bated breath! I've never heard of this line, but yeah, the packaging is gorgeous! ( Your spreadsheet has been a major inspiration for my own by the way <3 ).

    1. Spreadsheet love! <3

      I've posted the next installment of this serious so you can, er, unbate? your breath and find out more about this mysterious line of products ;)

  4. That packaging is worth buying it for. I imagine it looks absolutely lovely on a dresser or vanity. Companies that are that committed to beauty to even make the packaging that lovely automatically elevate themselves in my eyes. Since the product is Korean, I'm sure it's already a step above quality wise.

    1. I completely agree; it really brings a lot to the entire experience and makes me feel like I am treating myself every time I use it. Plus, it's been so fascinating learning about what's in it.

  5. What do you mean by "Nothing I was doing was hydrating my skin enough, and oily, occlusive 'heavy' moisturizers were just sealing in the dehydration"? How does this happen?

    1. It has to do with the penetration of different products work when you are layering multiple products on your skin; you can read more about layering here:

      But basically the issue is that watery layers cannot penetrate through oily layers, so if my skin was dehydrated and then I layered an oily product on it, it would block hydrating layers from sinking through it and re-hydrating the skin below.