Have you read my review of the Joseon Dynasty Cream? If not, head on over and give it a read because the Secret Key Starting Treatment Cream is a really good dupe for the Joseon Dynasty Cream, and guess what? It’s cheap, cheap!
My skin type
Acne scars taking over!
Pores getting larger!
What it’s supposed to do
This cream is supposed to be effective at moisturizing, improving elasticity (aka anti-aging), and includes whitening ingredients. Speaking of ingredients, it’s got lots of plant extracts, which makes me feel more natural. However, it’s also got silicons. I took a look at both ingredients list and there are a lot of similarities between this cream and the Joseon Dynasty Cream.
Water, Glycerin, Squalane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Betaine, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl Ethyhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch hazel) Leaf Extract, Acorus Gramineus Root/Stem Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eleuthero) Root Extract, Sucrose Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, C12-14 Pareth-7, PEG-100 Stearate, rh-oligopeptide-1, Ceramide 3, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Octyldodecanol, Adenosine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance
How I use it
The Secret Key Starting Treatment Cream is a bit tricky. While it’s called starting treatment cream, I found it slightly difficult to use at the beginning of my regimen because just like the Joseon Dynasty Cream, it pills. This cream does not want to share with others. Many websites say to use this cream as the last step in your regimen, but I would say use a heavier moisturizer after this or a sleeping mask. Like the Joseon Dynasty Cream, it’s not actually very moisturizing, like say, the equally lightweight Erborian Bamboo Creme Frappe or the Hada Labo Alpha Milk. I generally use this as a first moisturizer, after I have used essences and serums.
How long I used it
I have been using this off and on since January. Immediately after I received it, it went out of stock and disappeared from American retailers for a while! Since it’s so cheap, I would suggest stocking up on these when they come in stock if you like it.
So the brand has made some anti-aging and whitening claims… As far as elasticity, I don’t think one jar of this stuff is going to give anyone with lines in their face any spectacular results. My face does feel very soft after use and it smells very similar to the Joseon Dynasty Cream. So many similarities! It’s definitely a great dupe for the cream. The only difference is with the Dynasty Cream, it’s sort of gooey (probably due to the honey extract), while the Secret Key Cream is not. I am sure with continued and consistent use it would brighten up my skin a bit, which is what niacinamide usually does for me. And yes, it does moisturize, but only slightly. Folks with dry skin might give this a side-eye but it does feel nice on the skin. Again, it pills and doesn’t like things layered on top of it, so be aware of that.
On a scale of 1-10, this cream is a 5. I’m pretty neutral about using it and it generally lives on my nightstand for really lazy nights when I just wanna go to sleep.
Where to indulge
Amazon | Beautynetkorea | Koreadepart | Ebay