I first tried Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb by accident on a whim: I had just run out of my daily moisturiser, and stopped by Sephora to find a replacement on my way home from work. I figured I'd find something I liked enough and move on with my life, but just as I was about to reach for something random, I spotted the Belif tub and immediately recognised it.
Not one but two beauty influencers I follow and wholeheartedly trust with my skin had recently posted about how much they loved the Korean beauty brand’s Aqua Bomb (it was Dana Omari of @igfamousbydana and Matt Woodcox of @dirtyboysgetclean, in case you're curious), so I was influenced to see whether it lived up to the hype.
It's been a few months — and multiple tubs — since that fateful Sephora trip, and I'm enthused to confirm that it very much does. I now get why both Dana and Matt were so obsessed, and can confirm that Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb deserves its whopping 4.5 average rating on Sephora.
Gel-based and lightweight, the Aqua Bomb doesn't clog pores, cause breakouts, or provoke excess oil production, but is actually super moisturising and gentle enough that it won't irritate my skin. Since my skin is simultaneously very oily, sensitive, and red (love you, rosacea), this means the True Cream Aqua Bomb is one of the few moisturisers that check all of my personal boxes when it comes to combatting my skin concerns.
Also worth noting? It makes the perfect replacement for Neutrogena's discontinued Hydro Boost Gel-Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra-Dry Skin (it's been quite the heated discussion on skin care Reddit).
Belif as a brand has since become one of my favourites, since its formulations are so unique: The K-beauty brand was inspired by Scottish botanist Duncan Napier's apothecary research, and each of its products feature and harness the power of herbal remedies, and are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic preservatives, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, and ingredients from animals.
I know, “herbal remedies” might sound-old fashioned: I imagined a garden gnome mixing skin care formulations in a witch's cauldron when I looked it up. But that's not the case here with Belif. Instead, the brand takes this ancient herbal approach and combines it with modern Korean skin care — it was developed and is still produced in South Korea — making it the best of both worlds. In fact, its herb and antioxidant formula, which consists of lady's mantle, malachite, plantin, and oat husk, smooths and soothes my rosacea-ridden complexion while its potent formula also minimises the appearance of pores, removes free radicals from the skin, and boosts hydration.
Also of note? If you like to layer skin care, the Aqua Bomb works remarkably well as a base or makeup primer. The lightweight and nonsticky consistency makes a perfect base for foundation, powder, face serum, and SPF.
Months later, I'm so grateful for that day in Sephora — and my eerily accurate memory to recall what people post on their Instagram Stories. It's the first gel-based moisturiser I've tried that provides ample, nongreasy hydration and improves the skin from the inside out, so go ahead and consider this an #influenced success story.
Danielle Sinay is the associate beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @daniellesinay.
This story was originally published on GLAMOUR US.
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