Review: Unitec Advance Hydrating Essence

This product has been on my want list ever since I spotted it on Tina’s blog (review here). Then, Paris just had to review it one year after Tina did (check it out here). I just knew I had to land my grubby hands on one.

And how do I do that, seeing this seems to be only available in Taiwan??

Imagine my glee when the husband decided to buy us tickets to Taiwan after the wedding… for our honeymoon!! #besthusbandever

Turns out he knew I have been eyeing a lot of different makeup and skincare… Mostly Japanese brands but he’s wary of taking me to Japan due to the levels of radioactivity there… I know we’ll be getting a lot of flak for saying this, but we have many relatives advising us against heading there and as much as I love Japan, I don’t want to risk starting off on a bad note with said relatives.

So… Unitec’s Advance Hydrating Essence. A cheaper version of Hydraluron (comparison post coming soon!), alcohol and fragrance-free, it’s a dream come true for sensitive-skinned ladies! Allow me to digress a little. We spent one-week in Taiwan, I bought two bottles (the large 120ml pump bottle one – they were on buy one get one free!) on the first day and by Day 3, I bought more… two more small bottles and two more on Day 5 in Taiwan.

It is that good. Post wedding (sorry, I have to keep making references to this as my skin was really in a bad state after the big day), my skin was really bumpy and reactive – it was plain irritated all the time. Upon arriving in Taiwan, it was already very late (a little towards midnight) and we took a taxi to our hotel.

Guess what was across the road from our hotel? COSMED!!! Cosmed is a pharmacy similar to Guardian or Watsons at home. I immediately sprinted (yes I did) across the street and dashed into the store in search of this product. Desperate is me. =D

And it was my lucky day night! I picked up two large bottles, because I have that much faith in whatever Paris has to recommend and went back to the hotel, had a nice long shower and slathered this on. I apply this underneath my thicker SK-II serums (Repair C and Stempower Essence) as this is very watery. Paul* commented it feels just like water, just ever so slightly more viscous in texture.

But surprise, surprise… I woke up to less bumps on my skin! Is it Taiwanese air? Is it Taiwanese water? Or more likely… Is it the Unitec Advance Hydrating Essence working its magic on my angry skin??

Paul* thinks the fact that our wedding is over also helped my skin recover… It’s been a stressful two weeks. Haha! But my skin felt smoother, and it’s not silicones at work. After cleansing, my skin still felt soft and smoother to touch.

It’s amazing. Yes, even though it says use only two-three drops, I used up to three pumps on my face and neck. I don’t rub it in though, I spread on my face and neck and wait for it to sink in. It takes a while for the essence to sink in if you use three pumps, but if you only use one pump like what I’m doing now, it absorbs really quickly and you can move on with your skincare routine. If you have relatively good skin, toner, this essence and moisturiser is all you need. But if you, like me have skin issues… I like to apply another serum over the Advance Hydrating Essence for an extra kick.

One thing to note though. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but should I only apply this product and not layer on moisturiser / other serums after, the Unitec Advance Hydrating Essence gives me bumps. A very strange phenomenon but as long as I apply something on top of this serum, it works perfectly fine. So dear readers, do please layer on moisturiser on top of this Essence to avoid those strange, unsightly bumps! The bumps go away after a day or two… As long as I apply something on top of it!

That little con aside, I have since given two bottles to Mum (she loves it too) and another two to dear friends of mine. Will I repurchase? In a heartbeat. But unfortunately, I’m not based in Taiwan. Am now trying to coax the husband into taking me to Taiwan again, but we’ve got to save up for bigger things as with marriage comes greater responsibility, lol.

Here’s the ingredient list:

Honestly, I dread the day when I’ve used up the very last drop of this. In the meantime, I suppose it’s time to look at an alternative… I’m eyeing Antipodes’ Hosanna serum. Or the Aesop Oil-Free Hydrating Serum. Do you have a favourite hydrating serum? Fire away your recommendations!

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