July 03, 2013

The Ultimate Laneige Water Bank Skincare Line Review

Hi everyone! Its been a while since I last wrote a review so today, I'll be giving my thoughts on three products from a popular Korean skincare brand, Laneige. I've been using the Water Bank Essence, Water Bank Gel Cream and the Water Bank Moisture Cream from Laneige since January 2013. Does it work just as beautifully as it is packaged? Let's find out! :D

I was encouraged to try this skincare line after seeing so many positive reviews online who stopped short of saying they achieved perfect luminous skin like Song Hye Gyo's in the ads after using Laneige's products. Who wouldn't want skin like this?? I had to try it! T actually wanted this before I did because she's such a sucker for nicely packaged products. Haha! I will be reviewing these products based on how well they stand up to Laneige's claims and how they work together as a system.

(For all skin types)

What Laneige says:
"Twice stronger 24-hour moisturization keeps skin from dryness and dullness and ample moisture from Natural Moisturizing Factors smoothes and energizes rough skin. Mineral Water in Water Bank regenerates the skin and fills inside the skin with ample moisture."

The Water Bank Essence comes in a glass bottle with a pump and cap. The pump makes it very hygienic to use and it dispenses just the right amount of product. I use two pumps for my face and neck. This product is meant to be used after cleansing and toning. It has a clean, refreshing scent. I don't really know how to describe the exact smell but for me, it's quite pleasant. Nothing overpowering. As you will see in the next few photos, it has a runny gel texture that is easily absorbed by the skin. I like how my skin feels moisturized and dewy after I use the essence.

However, this does not give 24-hour moisturization as Laneige claims. When I apply this at 9AM, my cheeks start feeling dry a little after lunch time. I also used this prior to a flight. I tend to get really dry skin inside the plane and I'm always horrified to see how rough my skin suddenly looks in the lavatory mirror an hour into the flight. This product did not help keep my skin hydrated and protected from the extremely dry cabin air.

(For Normal Skin and Combination Skin)
What Laneige Says:
"A gel-type moisture cream that soothes the skin with a cool and invigorating texture. Supplies moisture and soothes the skin with a non-sticky, refreshing texture."

The gel cream, as the name implies, is a lightweight gel product. It comes in a jar, which might not be ideal but don't worry. There is no need to dip your fingers inside. Laneige has kindly provided us a tiny spatula. This is thicker than the essence and takes a little bit more time to absorb. Some gel products feel sticky so I am happy to report that this product doesn't feel that way. You have to be careful mixing this item with products outside this line though. I have some products (like sunblock and foundation) that don't work well with this gel cream. Putting it on top of the other creates little white "balls" that look like lint.

(For Dry Skin and Normal Skin)
What Laneige says:
"A moisturizing and hydrating cream for soft and plump skin. A 24-hour long lasting moisture cream with strong hydrating effect and a rich texture to refine rough skin into smooth radiant skin."

The Laneige Moisture Cream is opaque white as compared to the first two products which are transparent. It also comes with a spatula. From the name, you'd think that this is a heavy cream best suited for cold or dry weather but its not. It's actually a very light cream that goes on very easily. This is my favorite product out of the three. It doesn't interfere with other skincare products and I have no problems applying make-up right after this. If I had to buy just one product from the Waterbank line, it would be this one.


Based on 4 months of use, I can say that the Laneige Water Bank line does provide moisture and hydration. It's perfect for summer because the products don't feel heavy or sticky. I would recommend this for younger girls who would like to prevent fine lines caused by dryness but not for mature skin as it doesn't provide long-lasting hydration. It may also work on sensitive skin as I did not break out from using these products.

The Waterbank line is a nice starting point for skincare but I don't think it lives up to its hype. It's really nothing special. Sorry girls but if you want "Korean dewy skin," you'll have to look elsewhere. There are better products out there that do more than just provide a couple of hours of hydration. If you can get it on sale in Korea, it might be a good option but otherwise, it will be better to check other products.  (i.e. my Naruko gel products were at par with Laneige's)

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Thank you for reading! :)

About The Author

We're sisters in our early twenties, both with normal/combination skin, and a common love for makeup, skincare, and fashion.


  1. This was a great review! I was googling Laneige reviews and I came across your blog...may I ask your skin type? Mine is normal/combination and I read another review that said the moisture cream (not the gel) was too oily. I know you said that your face gets dry after a while (mine usually feels dry after washing) so did these products affect your sebum production at all?

  2. Hi! I have normal/combination skin too! I don't find the moisture cream oily despite living in a tropical country. It's actually a light cream. I enjoy using this more than the gel. Laneige has a heavier cream called Water Bank Intensive Cream (which I've also tried) but to be quite honest, nothing in the Water Bank line is "heavy duty." Even the products that are supposed to target dry skin can be used by those with combination/oily skin.

    I didn't see a change in my sebum production- it neither increased nor decreased it. If your face feels dry after washing, maybe you can try switching to a cleanser than isn't soap based (something that doesn't bubble up). I've used Cetaphil, Physiogel and Aveeno on my face and they're better than many foaming facial cleansers. :D

    I hope this helps! Thank you for dropping by! :)

  3. Thanks for the quick response! I'll definitely keep all that in mind when going for my next Laneige purchase. And I have heard so many people swear by Cetaphil but I have never tried it; I think I'll have to!

  4. great review :) you say its probably best to look elsewhere for really hydrating products: what products are your favourite for hydration or would you recommend??



  5. Hi Jennifer! So sorry for the late reply. I like Dermalogica's Intensive Moisture Balance. I like how it keeps my skin hydrated at night, while sleeping in an airconditioned room.:)

  6. I'm planning to try out more from Laneige, but I'm not sure which cream I should get. My skin type is combination (usually the oily place is my T-zone, my cheeks don't get oily) and I live in Australia. Which would you recommend? Also, is the essence necessary? I'm unsure what the purpose of an essence is so it would be really helpful if you could explain what the essence does.
    Oh and do you know much about the Basic care line? Can you combine that one and water bank?

  7. Hi Rachel! Thank you for dropping by! :) An essence is supposed to be a light but more concentrated product in a skincare line. In theory, an essence penetrates deeper into the skin and works better than a moisturizer. I say in theory because it all depends on the essence. The Laneige Waterbank Essence is nice to have as an additional step but I don't feel that its necessary if you intend to use the full range. I would rather incorporate a serum/essence that has properties other than hydration if all the other products you plan on getting target this concern. Maybe something anti-wrinkle or something for brightening? :D

    I also have combination skin like yours. I use lighter products in the morning and heavier ones at night because I sleep in an air-conditioned room. I haven't tried the Basic Care line but my sister has used the Power Essential Skin Refiner. She liked it a lot. :) You can read her review here: http://littlebeautybar.blogspot.com/2013/03/laneige-power-essential-skin-refiner.html

    Yes, you can combine the Basic Care products with Waterbank. You can also combine them with other products that target other concerns. I've learned from trial and error that its actually best to find great products from different brands instead of using an entire line from one brand.

    I hope this helps! if you have other questions, please let me know and I'll try to help out. Thank you!:)

  8. Is the essence really supposed to go before the moisturizer? I mean don't they go one after the other for better results? I have yet to try it. That's what the counter lady said. I also use the moisture cream. I like it so far cos it doesn't give me oily skin. Thanks for this! :)

  9. Hi Katya! An essence is more concentrated so yes, it is supposed to go before the moisturizer for best results. Here is a link to Laniege's official skin care steps: http://www.laneige.com.sg/product/skincare_steps.jsp

    P.S. I like the moisture cream too! <3

  10. Hi! I like ur review about the laneige waterbank cream and gel. I am interested in trying laneige and found ur blog. I wonder if u use both moisture cream and the gel together? Thank you..

  11. Hi, i would like to know if this products suitable for a sensitive skin as i was having a trouble of looking for a products dat is suitable for my sensitive skin. I had a very sensitive skins which leave small & red blemishes over the cheeks.