Clarifying Serum T-Zone and Oil Control
1 fl. oz. for $90
Last Updated:11.18.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Not only does this serum have a shocking price tag, it also is completely incapable of working as claimed. There is nothing in it that’s capable of refining pores or promoting clear skin. It has a slightly matte finish, but it’s not nearly as long-lasting as mattifiers from other companies such as Clinique and Smashbox. What’s worse, it contains a frustrating blend of both helpful and irritating plant extracts. The problematic extracts include witch hazel, clove, and ginger. The disingenuous claims and outlandish price are just sad, and not a single ingredient in this formula has any research proving it’s effective for those struggling with acne and oily skin!


A lightweight, oil-free balancing serum that harnesses the power of natural botanical oils to refine pores, clear skin, and minimize the appearance of blemishes. It is an ideal mattifying treatment for the T-zone or the entire face. Get ready for a shine-free, flawless complexion!


Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Water, Lauroyl Lysine, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice (Bamboo Sap), Dimethicone, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethyl Hexanediol, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins (Bio-Gf1k), Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Gycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Inflata Root Extract, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glyceryl Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Peg-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ceteareth-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Disodium Edta, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Polysorbate 60, Stearic Acid, Ppg-6-Decyltetradeceth-30, Methylparaben, Triethanolamine, Propylparaben, Fragrance

Brand Overview

AmorePacific At-A-Glance

Strengths: A very good lip balm; antioxidant-rich facial oil.

Weaknesses: Some products use jar packaging, which weakens the stability of beneficial ingredients; toner with plant irritants; some formulas contain high amounts of skin-ravaging alcohol.

AmorePacific is a popular South Korean cosmetics line established in 1945, whose skincare products made their way to U.S. Sephora stores in 2009. At its core, AmorePacific claims to be all about “beauty secrets found in nature.” Some of those highly touted ingredients like antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a polyphenol found in green tea) really are great for skin, whereas others (like bamboo sap and red ginseng) don’t have solid research backing their benefits for skin—but at least they’re not hurting it.

Either way, good skincare comes down to the formula as a whole, not just a “superstar” ingredient here or there, so how does AmorePacific rank in that regard? Like many brands, it varies product by product. Some products in the AmorePacific line offer a broad range of plant-based antioxidants and various skin-beneficial ingredients, while other formulas fall into the lackluster category due to overly basic formulas that can’t make good on their anti-aging claims.

Many of the products contain potentially irritating fragrance (which is never good news, particularly for sensitive skin), and worse yet, a handful are plagued by high concentrations of skin-ravaging alcohol which can increase inflammation in skin, provoke breakouts, and accelerate the signs of aging in the long term. In short, these can leave skin worse for the wear when they’re part of your daily skincare routine.

Well also have to point out that the use of jar packaging for some of the products is an ill-fated choice. Plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Not only that, but dipping your fingers into them can add bacteria, which further deteriorates beneficial ingredients. That’s disappointing at any price point, but since some of these products cost between $100-$450, that’s a major waste of money.

Standing back and looking at specific products, even though there are a few good options, the prices aren’t justified and you can find better products for far less in each category. However, if you choose to shop this line and are OK with spending more than necessary, at least you’ll know from our reviews which products are worthy of a purchase.

For more information about AmorePacific, visit us.amorepacific.com.

Note: The AmorePacific products reviewed on Beautypedia include those that are currently sold at Sephora in the U.S. The company offers an even pricier range of products at upscale department stores such as Neiman Marcus. We may review those in the future; for now, the demand from our readers simply isn’t there—likely because many of them have gotten the message that in the world of skincare, hyper-expensive doesn’t mean better products or better results!

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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