Today, I’m reviewing the Innisfree Jeju Orchid and Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom (aka Innisfree White Fungus) range.
Let me start by saying “cauliflower mushroom” and “white fungus” are both terrible names for a beauty product, even if that is the active ingredient. That’s the elephant in the room with this range.
I was lucky enough to get a set of miniatures of both the Jeju Orchid range and the Cauliflower Mushroom range. I’ve reviewed the comparable items here.
This article covers:
- Innisfree Jeju Orchid Skin (toner) vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Skin (toner)
- Innisfree Jeju Orchid Essence vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Essence
- Innisfree Jeju Orchid Lotion vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Lotion
- Innisfree Jeju Orchid Cream vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Cream
I’m going to start with the toner.
Innisfree Jeju Orchid Skin (toner) vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Skin (toner)
I decided the best way to test the toner was to put orchid skin on one side of my body and cauliflower mushroom skin on the other side of my body.
I have been using K-beauty for a while (about 3 years now) and although I used to follow a 10-step routine, I have largely developed my own K-beauty routine which works best for my skin. But I could never quite figure out where to place the toner, and where other people said to put it (after essence and serum) didn’t work for me at all.
For the record, I’m 34, my face skin is still looking under 30 but my arms and legs have been ageing faster since my late twenties due to spending a lot of time in the sun in foreign countries. It’s the price you pay for being a travel blogger. But I’d still like to improve things and I’d heard that skin/toner was the product to use.
See, some K-beauty skin/toner products are exfoliating, using AHA or BHA to reveal the fresh skin and clear away the dead cells on the surface.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to know what’s in Innisfree products imported from South Korea because, of course, the labels are in Korean. When I bought their products in China, the labels were in Chinese. Go figure. And the American products are so translated that half the time I can’t even tell if something is the same product or a reformulation for the US market.
So anyway, on the one hand we have a bottle of gloopy toner in pretty purple packaging that is orchid scented and on the other, we have a bottle of toner in brown packaging that is… you guessed it. Cauliflower mushroom scented.
That’s about as good as it sounds.
I wasn’t entirely sure whether these toners should be left on or washed off, and toner seems to be one of the steps in the K-beauty routine you hear the least about. Maybe because no one else is sure whether to wash off their toner or not, too. Or maybe because most people doing K-beauty are, like, seventeen (I’m sorry, but statistics show most beauty bloggers are on average fifteen years younger than me) and therefore have no need for anti-ageing products.
So I used the orchid toner on my left arm and leg, and the cauliflower mushroom toner on my right arm and leg, then I left them for about ten minutes. They went on slightly sticky, feeling a bit like shampoo, meaning they definitely have things in them that should be washed off again. Like western exfoliating face washes.
I stepped into the shower and washed off. I had applied them to dry skin because they were quite watery and I wasn’t convinced that they would do much on wet skin, and I’m far too impatient to make my body damp then stand around in the Belfast November cold waiting for gloop to work.
When I came out of the shower, the difference was profound. The orchid skin toner had given a very mild effect, but the crumpled paper sort of appearance of the surface of my skin still remained when I pinched it (when you get to a certain age, when you pinch or squeeze your skin all these lines appear that you don’t usually see), and it felt rough to the touch, like it needed moisture ASAP.
The cauliflower mushroom skin toner had done something completely different. It had left my skin feeling smooth to the touch, and when I pinched some of my leg skin between my fingers, the crumpled paper appearance had drastically reduced.
My skin felt renewed and looked and felt younger.
I was very impressed. And also shocked that I had never seen anyone writing about this product because it’s incredible! I don’t know if it’s because the name cauliflower mushroom doesn’t sound appealing in English or because the packaging is a lot browner than the orchid’s pretty purple packaging (which I’ve commented on before in my review of the orchid eye cream vs. the perfect 9 eye cream).
The Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Skin/Toner is the best exfoliating toner for anti-ageing needs I’ve ever come across.
I don’t say it often, but Holy Grail alert! And I’ve had it sitting in my cosmetics drawer for months and never used it!
I wish this toner was more accessible to the UK market.
I wasn’t planning on doing this, but given how good this toner is, I am going to compare it to the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peeling Exfoliator in a separate article.
Wow. So let’s look at the other products:
Innisfree Jeju Orchid essence vs. Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom vital serum
Essence and serum are sometimes used interchangeably but actually, they can sometimes be different things, such as in the Innisfree Soybean Energy range, where there used to be a (now-discontinued) serum which was different to their mega-amazing bestselling Soybean Energy Essence (which I swear I will review one of these days). Usually, however, “serum” is the English translation of “essence” which is a shame because essence is a prettier word. In the case of these two products, the word is interchangeable.
An essence or serum is sort of like someone put all the active ingredients of a cream into a container without any of the moisturising or hydrating properties. Sort of.
I’ve been using the Innisfree Orchid Essence on my face for several months, now and if I’m entirely honest, I’m not very impressed with it. I spent ages researching which products to get to replace the Soybean Energy Serum which is now discontinued and was my favourite product ever. The research I did said Orchid was just as good.
I’m sorry if you’re a fan of the Innisfree Orchid Essence and I know it’s one of their bestselling ranges alongside the green tea seed products, but honestly I don’t like the Orchid Essence and I don’t feel like it’s doing anything to my skin. All told, I’m glad I got it in an Autumn Festival sale rather than paying full price for it.
So the bar was pretty low and tl;dr, the Cauliflower Mushroom essence was a lot better. I’m not rushing out to buy a full-priced bottle because there are so many serums out there to choose from and I don’t think it’s the very best, but at the same time I felt like it was at least doing something for my skin. It left my face feeling soft and hydrated.
I didn’t use the essence on my arms and legs because the bottle is a miniature and it’s even smaller than all the other miniatures in this set, so there isn’t much product.
Innisfree Jeju Orchid Lotion vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Lotion
After my shower, I did put the Orchid lotion on my left arm and leg, and the Cauliflower Mushroom lotion on my right arm and leg. The Orchid lotion was thinner and came out of the sample bottle very easily, whereas the Cauliflower Mushroom lotion led to me doing the Innisfree Miniature Bottle Dance, which is where I spend about ten minutes tapping the mouth of the open bottle against my hand until enough product comes out to actually use.
If you’ve ever had an Innisfree gift set, you’ll know EXACTLY what I mean. They don’t put anything in a squeezy bottle.
Anyway after many minutes I got the Cauliflower Mushroom lotion out of the bottle and applied it to my arm and leg. It was honestly worth the wait. The Cauliflower Mushroom lotion was instantly hydrating and made my skin feel smooth. The paper bag appearance when I pinch my skin was totally gone, and I credit the Cauliflower Mushroom skin/toner and lotion combo for this.
For a lotion, the effect was very impressive.
Innisfree Jeju Orchid Cream vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Face Cream
This is the last pairing in this review and I am not sure I need to really write it, at this point, because if you’ve been following this article, you can clearly see what I’m going to say. Except I’m not.
I have been using the Orchid cream for a few weeks on my face. I hadn’t opened the Cauliflower Mushroom miniatures set until today.
The Cauliflower Mushroom face cream is not as startlingly good as the Perfect 9 eye cream, which I think is my favourite Innisfree product right now. The Cauliflower Mushroom face cream is richer than the Orchid face cream, though, and which one you prefer will depend on your current skin needs.
It was super clear-cut that the Cauliflower Mushroom Skin/Toner, lotion and serum was better than the Orchid range, but when it comes to the face creams, I’m not so sure that’s the case.
The Cauliflower Mushroom face cream is a lot richer than I currently need, and my skin wasn’t able to absorb it very well, suggesting it’s aimed at ladies who are ten or fifteen years older than me. The Orchid face cream was largely ineffective. Both creams left my face feeling weighed down (if that even makes sense) and over-saturated, and neither addressed my anti-ageing needs especially well.
So when it comes to the face creams, I wouldn’t buy full sized versions of either of them. And I’m glad I didn’t (I almost bought a full size pot of the Orchid one).
Need a toner? Cauliflower mushroom. Need a lotion? Cauliflower mushroom. Need an essence/serum? Cauliflower mushroom. The Cauliflower mushroom range does these products extremely well.
But if you need a daytime face cream, I would suggest you keep looking, because neither of these quite hit the mark for me.