Review: Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream, + Springtime Day and Night Skincare Routine Building

I’m not normally a fan of single-line skincare routines, since they tend to be redundant and reduce opportunities for your skin to benefit from a wide variety of actives and beneficial supporting ingredients, but when I have a good experience with one item in a line, like, say, Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Essence, it makes me curious about that item’s sister products. And that is how I ended up with yet another cream in my skincare wardrobeInnisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream, the subject of today’s review!

Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream packaging
My cravings for marine ingredients and fancy water reach fever pitch as the weather warms up. It’s weird how that works.

Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream Review

A lot of the comments I’ve gotten on Innisfree’s Jeju Lava Seawater line over on my Instagram have had to do with the packaging. Innisfree’s packaging design is always pretty slick, and this line really is a damn visual triumph of the human spirit. That gorgeous deep blue just screams DEEP HYDRATION!! FROM THE SEA!!! Makes my face thirsty just looking at it.

Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream Korean packaging copyPurpose: Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream is a moisturizing cream that “activates skin hydration energy” to create firmer, smoother skin. Basically, it hydrates skin and thus skin looks nicer.

Best suited for:  Normal, combo, and moderately dry skin.

Do not use if: You are sensitive to silicones, citrus or other botanical extracts, fatty alcohols like cetearyl alcohol, fragrance, or anything else in the ingredients list.

When and how to use: After the toner, essence, serum, and/or sheet mask steps of your morning or evening skincare routine, scoop out an appropriate amount of product and spread over skin, massaging in lightly. Follow with a sunscreen in the morning or a sleeping pack in the evening if desired.

Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream English ingredientsInnisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream ingredients:  Sea water, propanediol, butylene glycol, squalane, PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, glyceryl polymethacrylate, citrus unshiu peel extract, orchid extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, opuntia coccinellifera fruit extract, camellia japonica leaf extract, mannitol, biosaccharide gum-1, hydroxypropyl bispalmitamide MEA, cetearyl alcohol, sucrose, cyclohexasiloxane, stearic acid, adenosine, microcrystalline cellulose, cholesterol noanoate, zea mays (corn) starch, water, polyglyceryl-3 methylcellulose distearate, glyceryl stearate, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, polysilicone-11, PEG-100, hydrogenated lecithin, hydroxyethyl acrylatesodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, polysorbate 20, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, fragrance

CosDNA analysis

Notable ingredients: Ehhh. Compared to the short and clean ingredients list of the essence in this line, the cream’s ingredients are significantly less impressive. Sure, we’ve got the hydrating and potentially micronutrient-rich sea water (75.2%, according to Jolse), barrier-boosting squalane, ostensibly antioxidant-packed Innisfree signature Jeju Juice (you know, the stuff that starts with citrus unshiu peel extract and ends with camellia japonica leaf extract), and anti-aging adenosine, but those nice things are arranged around an array of silicones, emulsifiers, and other filler-ish ingredients that make creams feel nicer but don’t really do much for skin itself. Here’s where it’s good to manage expectations. The box says “wrinkle care,” but the cream format practically ensures that without some ultra-special top ingredients, that wrinkle care won’t be significant. Still, we don’t use creams to combat aging, right? We use them to moisturize, and any other benefits are icing on top of the creamy cake.


If you’re looking for a medium-weight moisturizer that leans more towards hydrating than heavy and has a smooth and pleasant feel on the skin, then Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream might be right up your alley. All those silicones and skin conditioning agents make for a super silky, refreshing sensation when applied to skin.

Also, it has little dissolve-y capsule things. Jolse says they’re ceramide capsules, but I don’t see ceramide anywhere in the ingredients, so…I dunno. They’re fun to smash down and dissolve.

Innisfree classifies this as a gel-cream, which to me indicates a much more watery consistency and effect than traditionally emollient creams, but without the high alcohol content that often accompanies true gel moisturizers. Gel creams moisturize better than gel gels, without the oily residue that can make creams unpleasant to use in warmer weather.

Gnarled Claw feat Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater CreamI tested the Jeju Lava Seawater Cream twice daily for two weeks and then intermittently for several more, first to see its effects on its own and then to get a feel for the situations that make me want to reach for it over other creams. By the end of the testing period, I’d established that I strongly prefer using this cream in the daytime, as part of a lightweight and fast-drying hydrating routine under sunscreen, rather than at night. As a day cream, it’s one of the most pleasant I’ve used. Like many other products that contain a lot of silicones, it creates a temporary sleek finish that improves sunscreen and makeup application, and I found it moisturizing enough to keep my skin comfortable on most days, though I did notice some tightness by evening on very arid days.  The fragrance, like that of the Jeju Lava Seawater Essence, is a kind of herbally lavender with hints of the ocean, and is surprisingly subtle for an Innisfree product. No headaches here! It even has a mild, non-irritating cooling effect that feels great on warm mornings.

Despite the super nice consistency, however, this is a pretty basic cream. For normal and only moderately dry skin, Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream will perform the baseline functions of hydrating and moisturizing skin, but I didn’t see much in the way of extra firming (not even the temporary firming that many products with strong film formers provide), brightening, calming, or evening of skin tone, which many other creams I own do deliver. And for a product focused on hydrating, the plumping effects are only moderate. Put it this way, I haven’t seen any particularly amazing effects from this stuff.

At night, meanwhile, it’s definitely not enough for my preferences. Using this without a heavier cream or sleeping pack overnight always left me with less-than-optimally moisturized skin by morning. We’ll talk a bit more about the different expectations I have for night and day routines down below.

What to expect from Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream: Medium hydration and moisturization, temporary smooth finish, pleasant consistency and unobtrusive fragrance.

Conclusion: I don’t love this cream. I have creams that are better at brightening my skin tone and creams that are better at evening it out, creams that deliver more lasting moisture and creams that give my skin more of that chok-chok, QQ bounce of hydrated resiliency. But I have found a place for this product in my routine. Most of the creams I have with those other special effects are too heavy for daytime, especially during spring and summer, and don’t wear as well under sunscreen or makeup as this one. Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream isn’t a game-changing moisturizer by any stretch of the imagination, but it does what it needs to do nicely and makes my face feel good while it’s at it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Rating scale:

1 – This should be taken off the market, or this failed at its one primary job.
2 – Caused me some problems or doesn’t work very well; would not buy again.
3 – Meh. Neither great nor bad.
4 – Pretty good. Would buy again unless I find something better.
5 – I’ll never be in the market for a replacement unless this one is discontinued.

Where can I buy Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream?

Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream has started to show up on the major Korea-based K-beauty etailers! The best prices at Fiddy-approved shops are:

And now let’s talk a little about spring/summer routines!

Springtime Skincare Routines for Tret-Dry Skin

The concept of the skincare wardrobe is an important one to me and my fellow bloggers/Snailcasters like Snow from Snow White and the Asian Pear, who takes the skincare wardrobe to the next level because that’s how homegirl rolls. The basic idea is this: We own a greater selection of skincare products than we actually use at any time. We don’t slather every single thing on our faces every time. Instead, we pick and choose from our options to put together routines that fit our needs perfectly each time.

I find that there are certain times when the skincare wardrobe idea is especially important. One of those times is when the weather changes, as it is where I live now. The rising temperatures affect what I can comfortably put on my skin each day, but my skin’s underlying needs (for moisture and more moisture and more moisture–thanks, tret!) remain the same. So what’s a Fiddy to do when the weather won’t let me pamper my skin twice a day as I’ve been used to doing in the winter?

At times like these, I draw a clear distinction between my day and night routines. In fact, besides my cleanser, I’m using almost none of the same products in my morning routine as I am in my night routine.

Nighttime is for slathering on all the things, for packing my skin full of actives and antioxidants and humectants and skin-identical lipids and barrier-supporting goodness that keep it functioning at its best. At night I pile on the richness because I have the time to let each layer sink in and dry down, avoiding heaviness or discomfort. I sleep bathed in moisture, and as long as I’m gentle with my barrier, using low-pH cleansers and not overdoing the actives, enough of that lasts throughout the next day to let me get away with the kind of superlightweight routines that play well with sunscreen and makeup and don’t leave me a shiny mess by noon. The elaborate nighttime routine paves the way for this 15-minute AM routine:

Spring morning skincare routine for dry skin
A couple of light, watery hydrating layers sealed in with a gel cream become enough to keep even my tretface happy through romping springtime days.

To make it even easier to remember, think of your morning and evening skincare routines this way: Nourish and heal in the evening so you can hydrate and go in the morning.

What changes do you make to your skincare routine around this time of year?


5 thoughts on “Review: Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Cream, + Springtime Day and Night Skincare Routine Building

  1. What a great post, fiddy! I bought the innisfree essence per your review and it is seriously so fabulous. Like you, I am a damn tretface. I also am mega dry anyway, which is so cute 😒 Lately I’ve been loving adding Bentons aloe propolis in with my usual, and I’ve been sealing CosRx rice pac with Argan oil then Vaseline. My boyfriend says I look insane but he still sleeps with me so whatever #sluglife

    Ps, was reading one of your old reviews where a product broke you out and you mentioned how you wanted to clear it out quickly. If it’s not too much trouble Id love to hear what you do to speed that along. I’m sure it’s some combo of BHA and niacinamide or something but you always have the best concoctions 🙂

    Thank you for always enabling and enlightening me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good news! I checked TesterKorea’s website for the Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Essence and it says that there are no animal products in the essence. A safe bet that they use the plant derived squalane across the board. :3

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in the Northeast, so winters mean much less sunlight & more time indoors where it’s very dry, then summers get very humid. My biggest skin care changes are first that I have to use completely different body lotions plus, in winter, pile more layers & mists on my face. But I also only use a daily mineral sunscreen in winter. In summer I tend to use a heavier, sweat proof, chemical sunscreen, which I also need to constantly reapply- which feels horrible-which leads to lots more face washing during the day…I am not looking forward to summer.


  4. Hi! I love your blog! I read your posts and I am so happy i found you!

    I am sorry to post this question here, I didnt know where to send this question. I have tried hard to find an answer but still I am not sure so I thought to turn to an expert.
    I am a recent Asian beauty convert and I have only just started using first treatment essences.
    I have been using etude house pore freshner every day cause I am paranoid with pores, both mine and other peoples lol , and I recently purchased the Cosrx toners (galactomyces and clarifying) to try.
    What confuses me is, do I use my essences after the toners or is that not good?
    I have the Missha first treatment essence intensive, the Holika Holika black cucumber essence and the Cosrx galactomyces essence at the moment. Over those I use the Shara shara bombs and then a mosturizer- or not- followed by biore sun gel in the morning, or at night a sleeping pack or nothing (age 36, my skin is normal-dry).
    I am not sure about the toner/essence hierarchy and I was ondering if you could give me advice?
    I thank you in advance


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