Moisture Bound Refreshing Complex
1.7 fl. oz. for $100
Last Updated:11.18.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Here’s a moisturizer that, just like AmorePacific’s Clarifying Serum T-Zone and Oil Control, is supposed to leave skin clear and matte, but this one claims to eliminate fine lines as well. The moisturizing and matte finish claims are diametrically opposed, and there’s not much in this moisturizer that’s capable of reducing dry skin. Instead, you get a bamboo juice–based serum that contains silicones and slip agents along with skin-damaging alcohol. Although the amount of alcohol is likely too low to be cause for concern, it is listed before any of the beneficial ingredients, so, for the money they could have done better.

This product contains some intriguing water-binding agents and flavonoids, but they’re incapable of promoting clear skin or absorbing excess oil as claimed; they are, however, great for improving the overall health of skin, which is good. As for the bamboo juice, there is no substantiated research concerning its efficacy (or lack thereof) for skin. There is so little information on this plant that its effectiveness and safety is impossible to determine, a fact that doesn’t make it a must-have for anyone’s skin. More than anything, this moisturizer is a waste of time and money.


An oil-free hydrator that leaves skin clear, matte, and radiantly smooth. A mineral-rich formula that encourages optimal hydration levels while absorbing excess oil—for a flawless complexion. This unique moisturizer eliminates fine lines, dullness, and signs of dehydration, increasing vitality and strengthening defenses against environmental aggressors.


Phyllostachys Bambusoides Juice, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins, Kaempferol, Proline, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-7 Dimethicone, Trehalose, Xylitylglucoside, Carbomer, Anhydroxylitol, Potassium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Xylitol, Betaine, Sodium PCA, Sorbitol, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Alanine, PPG-6-Decyltetradeceth-30, Arginine, Lysine, Propylene Glycol, Threonine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ethyl Hexanediol, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Blue 1, 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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