REVIEW: Naruko Niaouli & Tea Tree Balancing Serum

8:00 am

I never really used to pay attention to acne-targeted skincare as I used to have pretty normal-combination skin with the random breakout, but since I hit my mid 20's I'm starting to notice stress acne and gluten-allergy acne (more about that later) popping up more often! Here is John Su's mini review of the product based on the ingredient list I sent him:

It's got good concentrations of licorice extract, which is an anti-inflammatory, lightener, and antioxidant. The Peucedanum Ostruthium extract is also an anti-inflammatory; though the evidence is very little. There's also some calming chamomile, and the antioxidant green tea. There's also small amounts of things like vitamin E, arbutin (a lightener). However, there are some irritating ingredients like menthol, citrus, spearmint, grapefruit, etc... Overall, it's a decent formulation, but I wouldn't be jumping around. I'd like to note that the ingredient list is rather long, but keep in mind that all that still only adds up to 100%. Don't be deceived by the super long ingredient list. Overall, I might give it a 7.5/10. Maybe 8/10. One more thing, there's a small amount of glycolic acid, but I don't the % or pH is enough to allow for exfoliation. Still, its inclusion isn't a bad thing.


is a slim glass bottle with a pipette style dispenser. Not as convenient as a pump bottle but better than unhygienic jar packaging I suppose. Does get a bit annoying when you're trying to suck up the product as the bottle gets empty though.


is typical of all Naruko/ ampm product's I've used so far, it's a watery semi milky gel that feels refreshing and not greasy or sticky at all. Smells mildly of tea-tree herbiness.


is pretty good. It smells mild, goes on easily and absorbs quickly. Usually with gel type products you get a sticky after feeling, but this goes on wet and sinks into the skin after 5 seconds. My skin feels matte and refreshed after I apply this. I don't notice this reducing my pimples drastically, but I do notice my scars fading a bit faster. I've got a terrible recovery system, where I bruise easily and all scars and bruises take an abnormally long time to disappear (to the point that even Mr. Husband notices!). While this did not make my scars disappear overnight 100%, I did notice that it faded my acne scarring a bit faster, and they don't look red and angry for as long now. The other upside I find is that using this, layered with other skincare products, does help keep my skin matte-r than it would without. These day's I rarely use my mattifying powder to set my foundation, and this does help keep me looking more dewy than shiny.

REPURCHASE? Yes. I'm currently on my second bottle. I'm not entirely convinced that this is HG material, but for now it is a pleasant and effective serum that I'll keep using until I find something better.

RECOMMEND? Yes. This pleasant serum sinks in quickly, provides some hydration and does help fade any new acne scars a bit faster (in my experience). I think ladies living in hot sticky climates will greatly enjoy this (and most of the other Naruko/ampm products) as it is very lightweight and not sticky/ greasy feeling.

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