Homegrown, holistic and clean beauty brand, Kumuya, has just launched two new products and we were given the opportunity to review one of them, the Meracle Nutri-Essence AHA & BHA. Read on for our full review.
It has been some time since local beauty startup, Kumuya, first launched her first 2 award winning serums which we reviewed back in 2021 and absolutely loved. Ever since then we’ve been waiting with bated breath to try out their next product from them and now, the wait is finally over!
Kumuya has just launched 2 new products in April, the Meracle Nutri-Essence AHA & BHA and the Saturate Nutri-Moisturiser, both of which were sent to us for review. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the Meracle Nutri-Essence AHA & BHA in this article but do sign up for our newsletter and stay tuned for our full review of the Saturate Nutri-Moisturiser.
All Skin Types, Acne-prone, Enlarged Pores
Liquid type daily chemical exfoliating and nourishing essence with a natural and barely noticeable herbal fragrance. Contains AHA & BHA to help slough away dead skin cells and draw out impurities from the skin’s surface and deep within the pores.
Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Red Algae, Oarweed, Spirulina
Pregnancy-Safe, Alcohol-Free, Fragrance-Free, Clean Beauty, Vegan, Cruelty-Free.
$49 (US$ 36), 100ml/3.38fl oz
Kumuya brings together traditional plant based ingredients with modern scientific research for a nutritive skincare line that combines efficacy and a balance with nature.
Skin Context: Combination and slightly Acne Prone
So, I’m pretty much your typical combination skin type with relatively dry cheeks and an oily T-zone. While the degree of oiliness can fluctuate with the humidity and ahem, that time of the month, I don’t typically get extremely oily skin although I do struggle with the occasional acne break out and slightly enlarged pores.
I do use dedicated exfoliators that contain both Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids but have not tried them in daily exfoliators which is what the Meracle Nutri-essence is. This gave me the additional impetus to see if there are any advantages in exfoliating daily over using dedicated exfoliators twice a week.
Appearance: Colourless Liquid with a Barely Noticeable Scent
Like most liquids, the Meracle Nutri-Essence is a colourless liquid that comes in a 100ml/3.38fl oz, olive green and transparent PET bottle with a screw cap that’s 100% recyclable. The design of the bottle itself was really pretty in a classic sort of way and the dispenser had a little attached plastic stopper that prevents any leakages which is a thoughtful touch since it is a travel-friendly size.
I had previously reviewed Illuminate Nutri-Serum and Rejuvenate Nutri-serum Concentrates. Natural, lightweight and wonderfully hydrating, Kumuya’s serums had a really sophisticated and luxurious natural fragrance that comes from the nutrient-rich essential oils that make their serums so potent. Unlike those serums, which I absolutely love, the Meracle Nutri-Essence has a much milder almost unnoticeable scent that reminded me of the smell of a crisp sea breeze.
Application: Soak a cotton pad or apply it straight onto your skin
The bottle had an orifice reducer (Yes, that’s what it’s called) that controls the amount being dispensed making it easy to get just the right amount onto a cotton pad or into my hands. I liked that the nozzle itself had a tiny little stopper that prevents the bottle from leaking when you carry it with you on your travels, a simple idea and a nice touch.
Being a liquid, the essence was easily soaked up by the cotton pad. I know some of us don’t like to use a cotton pad in order to reduce waste but since this is an exfoliating essence, I would recommend using a cotton pad as the gentle wiping action helps coax the dead skincells, dirt and other impurities off your skin enhancing the long term results.
Nevertheless, this is a chemical exfoliator and you can also apply it directly onto your skin. I allowed the essence to sink into my skin for about 5 to 10 minutes to allow it time to penetrate the dermis to soften dead skin and loosen sebum and other impurities that might be clogging my pores. Kumuya says that you can use this in both your morning and evening routine but I chose to use it once a day in my evening routine so as not to over-exfoliate.
Results: Naturally Soft and Silky Smooth Skin
Both the cotton pad and direct method worked equally well for me although you might want to skip the cotton pad if you have sensitive skin that reacts easily to rubbing. Because the essence gets fully absorbed and has a mild scent, after 5 to 10 minutes it is barely noticeable on the skin which I liked very much.
I could also really feel the difference in my skin’s texture which felt soft, smooth and all ready for the next steps in my skincare routine. I would rate the results of this exfoliating essence quite highly as the results were not only astounding but it felt natural - naturally hydrated, naturally soft and naturally smooth. It did not feel like I had applied anything to my skin!
What's In It?
The Meracle Nutri-Essence AHA & BHA, unsurprisingly, contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA), along with some nourishing marine inspired active ingredients. AHAs work on the surface of the skin to improve the appearance of acne scars and other blemishes while BHAs penetrate deeper into the skin to unclog pores which is great for those with oily and/or acne prone skin.
The AHA in this essence is Lactic Acid which helps encourage shedding on the surface of the skin revealing healthy and brighter skincells. I am a huge fan of Lactic Acid which has an additional benefit over other AHAs. In addition to improving the texture and appearance of your skin, it can also keep your skin naturally hydrated.
Salicylic Acid (BHA) on the other hand penetrates deeper into the skin to break down and remove dead skin cells, oil and bacteria. It also helps loosen the attachment between skincells to encourage shedding and the formation of new skincells. It's a common and proven active ingredient that is often used in products for acne prone skin and oily complexions.
In addition to the exfoliating ingredients, the Meracle Nutri-essence also contains a number of anti-ageing and nourishing ingredients. Here are some of them that might be worth noting:
- Red Algae - Its extracts are rich in skin healthy proteins, vitamins and antioxidants, and is typically used to help clarify and clean skin complementing the exfoliating ingredients.
- Oarweed - Rich in protective antioxidants, it also contains Vitamin B3 that helps lighten dark spots and works with the exfoliation to improve the overall appearance of the skin.
- Spirulina - Soothes inflammation, improves skin tone and encourages cell turnover to help promote youthful and radiant skin.
- Marine Spring Water - Drawn from 200m deep and purified, it contains skin healthy minerals that soothes the skin, absorbs toxins and promotes hydration.
- Hyaluronic Acid - Little introduction here needed, our old friend, Hyaluronic Acid promotes hydration in the skin and helps to plump the skin up improving the appearance of acne scars.
Verdict: Definitely Try It!
It’s also a great product that’s effective and not overly harsh and the results are absolutely undeniable. Regardless of whether you already use chemical peels regularly or if you’re new to them, the Meracle Nutri-essence has something to offer everyone. As a daily exfoliator, it isn’t as potent and is a great introduction to chemical exfoliation for those who are apprehensive about giving it a go. And if you already do regularly exfoliate, a daily exfoliator in a nourishing essence is a time saving alternative that ensures you never forget to exfoliate.
I’ve always loved how much thought Kumuya puts into their product range unlike the mass market kbeauty stuff. The ingredient mixture is really well thought through with actives that complement the exfoliation process and soothe any unintended effects of exfoliating. The scent of this essence is also deliberately mild so as not to clash with the fragrances of your other products and the tiny little stopper that prevents leaking is also a nice touch. It’s little things like that that make Kumuya such an exciting brand and I can’t wait to see what’s next from this homegrown, Singaporean brand!
The Meracle Nutri-essence from Kumuya, $49 (US$ 36) is now available on www.asianbeautyx.com.
About the writer
Stacy Liu, an American-born Chinese, is the beauty editor at Asian Beauty X obsessively writing about new beauty launches, the best hair products, and the skincare formulas that really work for every skin type.