After blogging for a couple of years and using Asian beauty products for a couple more before that, the vast majority of products I’ve tried have become a big shiny blur. Generally only the really great and really dreadful products stand out. But sometimes, a product sticks in my mind even when I didn’t love it the first time around. It’s kind of like that one person you sat next to in that one class in college, whom you never really got to know but always wondered about years later, imagining that they had hidden depths you’d missed out on exploring (or maybe got arrested in some spectacularly popcorny fashion).
For me, one of those products was Missha’s Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoulesigh. So when Missha’s US PR team contacted me about trying some of the Missha products now available at Target, I figured it was time to give the Longer Name Ampoule another shot.
The product featured in this review was provided by a Fifty Shades of Snail sponsor. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk(*).
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule Review
Purpose: Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule is an anti-aging serum that claims to brighten and smooth aging skin.
Best suited for: Aging skin, all types.
Do not use if: You are sensitive to ferments, silicones, triethanolamine, botanical extracts, disappointment, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: Apply during the serum stage of your skincare routine, morning and/or night. Smooth an even layer over skin and pat in or let dry slightly before moving on to the next product. (Need help putting the steps of your routine in order? Check out this post!)
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule ingredients: Water, bifida ferment lysate, glycereth-26, juniperus chinensis xylem extract, sorbus commixta extract, Bis-PEG-18 methyl ether dimethyl silane, butylene glycol, niacinamide, glycerin, betaine, grifolia frondosa (maitake) ophioglossum vulgatum extract ferment filtrate, leuconostoc ferment filtrate, lactobacillus/rice ferment filtrate, lactococcus ferment lysate, yeast ferment extract, lactobacillus/soybean ferment extract, saccharomyces/viscum album (mistletoe) ferment extract, lactobacillus ferment, pseudoaltermonas ferment extract, saccharomyces ferment filtrate, hydrolyzed rice extract, portulaca oleracea extract, sea water, chamomilla recutita (matricaria)flower extract, sodium hyaluronate, echium plantagineum seed oil, cardiospermum halicacabum flower/leaf/vine extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil unsaponifiables, tocopheryl acetate, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, manikara multinervis leaf extract, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed extract, cassia alata leaf extract, laminaria digitata extract, pogostemon cablin oil, tripeptide-1, tripeptide-10 citruline, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, beta-sitosterol, panthenol, cholesterol, glyceryl linolenate, glyceryl linoleate, ubiquinone, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, retinol (o.ooo4%), cucumis melo (melon) fruit extract, biotin, brassica campestris (rapeseed) sterol, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, amaranthus caudatus seed extract, acetyl hexapeptide-8, copper tripeptide-1, adenosine, ethyl hexanediol, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, PEG-11 methyl ether dimethicone, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, PPG-26-buteth-26, polysorbate 20, carbomer, glyceryl caprylate, triethanolamine, glyceryl polyacrylate, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, acacia arabica stem bark extract, xanthan gum, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oleosomes, octyldodecanol, cyclomethicone, dipropylene glycol, hydrogenated lecithin, dextrin, lauryl methacrylate/glycol dimethacrylate crosspolymer, dimethiconol, lecithin, propylene glycol, glyceryl arachidonate, ceteth-24, choleth-24, hydroxypropyltrimonium maltodextrin crosspolymer, cetyl phosphate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, PEG-5 rapeseed oil sterol, ceteth-3, ceteth-5, silica, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate
Notable ingredients: So as you can see, Missha Time Revolution Longer Name Ampoule is one of those products that uses the laundry list approach to ingredients, presenting a giant array of sexy-sounding botanical extracts and long science words. This ingredients list is freaking epic. It makes Sulwhasoo ingredients lists look like 23.5°N ingredients lists.
The positively Biblical ingredients list looks like it offers something for everybody. Ferments for the ferment lovers, which really sounds wrong but it is what it is. Niacinamide, retinol, and two vitamin C derivatives for the sciencey actives lovers. Sea water, extracts, and oils for those especially interested in “natural” ingredients. But here’s the thing about a ridiculously long ingredients list, even one that does happen to be ridiculously good-looking: are any of those ingredients present in meaningful amounts? Or is it just a soup of trace amounts of everything?
The first time I tried this product, I checked with Missha about the retinol percentage, which turned out to be 0.0004%, which tips the balance more towards “soup of trace amounts.” Oh.
Still, if we look farther up than the retinol in the middle of the list, there is a promising focus on ferments in this product. Fermentation is said to render the antioxidants and various beneficial compounds in an ingredient more easily absorbed and used by the skin. A non-corporate Taiwanese study published in 2014 found several benefits to the use of fermentation compounds in skincare, particularly against hyperpigmentation. The study calls out lactobacillus and bifida ferments specifically. That’s a good thing, since the Night Repair Borabit Ampoule contains both.
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule is a smooth amber liquid with a very faint spicy, extract-y scent and plenty of slip. It applies easily, no drag and no oily feel, and sinks in quickly. The fairly lightweight consistency makes it easy to layer with other products, a major plus.
I used the Longer Name Ampoule at least once and usually twice a day for about six weeks, including a three-week isolation period where it was the only treatment product I used on just my right eyelid. I like using my eyelids as isolation areas, since they display everything I want my skincare to address, including but not limited to spots and aging. Even better to only use one eyelid. Then the differences, if there are any, become clear.
And I really, really wanted to see some differences! The first time I used the Night Repair ampoules (both the old one and then, immediately after finishing that one, the then-new Borabit reformulation), I got through two bottles without seeing much of a change. But for some reason, I really thought I might get a different outcome this time. I don’t know why. Same reason I’ve watched Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice multiple times, I guess. (Insanity.)
Yeah, not so much. Six plus weeks and no noticeable changes to skin tone, texture, or elasticity. I did find the product nicely hydrating on my poor neglected eyelid, but, to quote my old review of this product:
There are about 1,000,000 other hydrating serums in the Korean market, 900,000 of them available at much lower prices.
So my original review of this product still stands, except I think I’d reduce the rating to a 2.5/5. It caused me no problems, but it just didn’t do anything to impress me or set itself apart from the sea of anti-aging serums on the market.
I won’t say that this is a totally ineffective product. My personal anti-aging skincare method revolves around attacking issues with actives, then supplementing those actives with antioxidant-heavy hydrating treatment products. I love antioxidants in skincare. They provide a lot of potential extra protection against wrinkle-accelerating free radical damage and may also help prevent oxidation of melanin in skin, reducing the development of hyperpigmentation.
Preventative effects are difficult to quantify and demand a lot of faith, though. For that reason, I demand that even preventative-type products have at least some visible effects in the short term. If they don’t, I just won’t consider them worth using over the long term. And wouldn’t you know, I just happen to have suggestions for some products that have given me actual, visible results where the Time Revolution Night Repair Longer Name Ampoule didn’t!
Skin firming: Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Essence Oil (original review and ingredients). This is a highly moisturizing, heavier serum-type product that also makes heavy use of fermentation. Fermented honey, to be specific. It gave me an impressive insta-firming effect as well as lots of glow; I’ve been through several bottles of it. (Amazon*)
Elasticity and resilience: Sulwhasoo Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum (original review and ingredients). For me, the effects of this serum are truly unique. It makes my skin bounce back from just about anything–I don’t even get pillow creases when I’ve been using this regularly. (Amazon* | Sulwhasoo US* | Use the code 50SHADESSULWHASOO at Sulwhasoo.com checkout to receive an extra gift while supplies last along with the regular GWP offers*)
Brightening and hyperpigmentation: Over the years, I’ve found that niacinamide works far better for my skin than other common OTC, non-acid skin brighteners. And Holy Snails Shark Sauce works far better for my skin than pretty much any other brightening products I’ve tried (though Naruko’s Platinum Bright Essence Repairing Complex and Face Renewal Miracle Essence do come close).
Chel, who is also my good friend and fellow Snailcast member, formulated this with the max proven percentage of niacinamide and boosted that with n-acetylglucosamine for a powerhouse product. Also, it makes sense that this works well for me, since Shark Sauce was born from a late-night whine and cheese session. Basically, I whined about products not having disclosed percentages of niacinamide. Then I cheesed when she offered to make me some maxed-out niacinamide serum herself. I still use Shark Sauce every day. (Holy Snails Shop)
Want to check out other wrinkle fighters? Have a look through my Anti-Aging tag! It’s going to keep filling up because I’m definitely not getting any younger.