New in K-Beauty: Capsule reviews of Ra&Gowoori skincare

At this point in its trendy life, Korean skincare has already established a reputation for being elaborate, famously going into the 10-step territory to recreate that 5-star face care experience at home. It's fascinating for the die-hard skincare junkies but honestly intimidating for beginners and the budget-conscious. After all, there's a very real investment of time, effort, and money into all those steps, but it doesn't mean that being anything less than "extra" means lower quality care. Ra&Gowoori is a K-beauty brand that promises high-quality formulations for the more straightforward set, and it was recently launched in the Philippines.

During the media launch, Youtube beauty gurus Isha Borromeo and Anna Cay divulged that their busy schedules don’t allow for them to follow a full multi-step skincare routine all the time. Going the bare minimum has been the practical choice for those hectic days, so they gained an appreciation for simple yet high-performance products. I've actually had to do the 10-step skincare challenge before and while my skin did show improvement, it can feel exhausting and overwhelming. I was definitely more than ready to try Isha and Anna's recos!

Real Kill 9.9 Green Tea Foam Cleanser (P390 for 120ml)

Silky-looking, thicker facial washes usually scare the heck out of me as I expect them to be the high-foam drying kind, but a pea-sized amount of the Green Tea Foam Cleanser did not cause any post-wash tightness. The lather level is low and fine, and the cleanser has a light green tea scent.

Real Kill 9.9 Whitening Toner (P580 for 200ml)

True to the nature of Korean skincare, the Real Kill toners are for moisturizing rather than exfoliating. Both variants, Whitening and Collagen, are alcohol-free. From my experience, the Whitening one is a runny gel that absorbs into skin quickly and dries with only a mild tackiness. There is a clean, non-lingering floral scent that I find tolerable for skincare.

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Real Kill 9.9 Sun Block With Make Up Base SPF50 PA+++ (80ml)

For daytime, the skincare routine can end with a light moisturizer, some SPF, and a primer. Luckily, this particular product happens to be a 3-in-1 solution! The consistency is that of a lightweight face cream that readily sinks into the skin. It does leave behind the tell-tale white cast upon application, but I find that my regular foundation or BB cream and a setting powder easily corrects this. Since using this as my daily base, I haven’t experienced any dry patches, even when setting with an oil-control face powder. There is a powdery baby lotion kind of scent that I’ll take any day over that typical sunscreen smell.

Real Kill 9.9 Horse Oil Cream (P599 for 50g)

To cap off the simplified nightly routine, a rich but lightweight moisturizer is essential. The Horse Oil Cream looks dense from the jar but comes away in thin layers when you try to scoop it out with your finger tips. I’d describe the consistency as halfway between a balm and a cream, and Ra&Gowoori is slightly creamier than the more balm-like Guerisson. It has a lemony detergent-ish scent that I’m not a huge fan of, but I don’t really mind. (If you dislike strong scents, however, you might want to check out a tester first.) And in all fairness, I wake up the next morning with sufficiently-moisturized skin.

Overall, those who are just starting out in K-beauty or prefer the no-nonsense approach to a skincare routine will benefit from this basic but effective Ra&Gowoori regimen. While it is still generally a "more is more" approach when it comes to Korean skincare, it’s good to know that an express version is ready and willing to get the job done on a fundamental level.

Ra&Gowoori is available online via the SaeliYuri Facebook Group and at Pop Culture in Trinoma via the Ellenaj Beauty Essentials stall.