I have nothing but professional respect for a well-executed brand extension. Case in point, Donginbi is a brand from Korea Ginseng Corporation which branched into cosmetics leveraging their specialty. Can you guess what that specialty is? Here’s a hint: it’s in the name.
I’ve wanted to try a ginseng product for a while so on my last round of order from Korea Department Store (shipping is not great but it has the most extensive list of products I’ve come across), I threw in the Donginbi Red Ginseng Deep Treatment Mask. The selection was rather arbitrary. I knew I wanted a moisturizing wash-off mask. I also didn’t want to blow my entire skincare budget on one product. So Donginbi it was – honestly, it was the cheapest ginseng option meeting all my criteria. And when I say cheapest, I mean it didn’t cost over a hundred dollars.
Delivery timing was perfect. It took a few weeks but I received it literally as I was walking out to go pick up a moisture treatment pack. Weather had been finicky and my skin was irritated, red and dry 😳. And I had also been experimenting with various foundations which required a lot of application, cleansing, rinse and repeat. I needed to makeup for the poor treatment of my skin with an indulgent mask or two.
The first thing I noticed was the brand name. I noticed it because I had never heard of it. When I ordered it, I assumed it was a high-end, ‘oriental’ line of products from one of the major brands, like the MISA Geum Sul line from MISSHA. Quick search into Donginbi only made me more excited to try it. But I almost didn’t 😬. I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but I can be hyper-sensitive to certain fragrances in skincare products. First whiff of this had me cringing with its earthy and veerrrry ginseng-y scent. But I persevered for the sake of my red cheeks which made me look like I had a constant wine flush. I want products that hide my drinking problem, not advertise it!
The product itself is mustard-colored and velvety – smooth but not silky – in texture. It immediately reminded me of Glossier Moon Mask, but thicker. Surprisingly, it was very easy to apply and I only needed a small coin-sized dab. This sucker will probably outlast its expiration 😀 (I make it a rule never to keep a product that is more than 2 years old).
Once applied, it felt like I had on supernheavy moisturizing cream but that sensation dissipated to a point where I forgot I had a mask on. Directions recommended rinsing after 10-15 minutes (one of few products with full English translation on the packaging insert), but I ended up keeping it on for close to an hour at which time most of the product had been absorbed and there wasn’t much left to rinse off.
The effect was exactly what I had hoped for – hydrated and brightened skin that looked ready to forget my negligence 😆. I prefer to follow up wash-off masks with a second application of a toner (I always tone before masking), serum or ampule, and moisturizer. That abbreviated skincare routine is specific to moisturizing masks. For drying masks like clay or pore tightening, I follow up with the full skincare routine: toner, essence, serum AND ampule, moisturizer and sleeping pack.
Getting back to the point I was trying to make – I was reluctant to apply any other product on my face after rinsing off Donginbi Deep Treatment Mask. My skin felt THAT good. It felt tight, not in a dry-skin way, but in a restored-elasticity way. It looked dewy, not oily. Most importantly, my skin felt hydrated and the redness was noticeably reduced. 👍👍👍
Bottom Line: Donginbi Red Ginseng Deep Treatment Mask was a freak purchase driven by desperation and fiscal limitations but it’s proven to be a gateway drug for my new ginseng obsession.