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The Laneige Water Bank Cream was one of those cult product I'd somehow never tried; I'm not sure why, because I love this Korean skincare brand and their simple, super-hydrating formulas! They've launched both a lighter gel formula and a richer balm cream to sit on either side of the original product, so we're talking about all three today...

Let's start with the Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Gel Moisturiser* | £33. As someone with a drier skin type, a water-gel was never going to be #1 for me, but  given we're heading into summer, it still seemed worth trying out! This gel is formulated with a glycerin base; this ingredient is one of the most reliable and trustworthy humectants (i.e. a water magnet) on the market. As noted in the product's name, there's also the more-famous hyaluronic acid in here, but there can't be much considering it's listed after 'fragrance' on the INCI list (this is almost always at less than a 1% concentration, and ingredients <1% in a formula can be listed in any order, so it acts as a bit of a marker in that respect). This doesn't bother me because glycerin is the second ingredient on the INCI list, so is in a very high concentration, so you have those humectant benefits and glycerin is a bit less fussy than hyaluronic acid, but I don't think it should be in the name of the product! This contains jojoba esters, which is a way to get the skin-softening benefits of jojoba oil without the 'oiliness'. There's also meadowfoam seed oil in here, which softens and moisturises the skin whilst feeling very nice and lightweight. There are some antioxidants in the mix, but they all seem to be at <1% concentration.

What you might have picked up from me is that there's nothing wrong with this moisturiser, but for £33 it's a very basic formula, and I can't help but think you could probably get something extremely similar for half the price, or - if you don't mind spending an extra £2 - get a more advanced formula in something like the Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream* | full review. For me, this is nice, it hydrates my skin well enough (though it's not quite as happy and hydrated later on in the day) but it's nothing special. It's not super thirst-quenching, it doesn't have a bunch of 'added' extras' and it's still a mid-priced product. So, for me; this isn't really worth it.

Next, let's talk about the original Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream* | £33. This has been mt daytime go-to because it's that kind of melting-cream texture I personally like on my dry skin when the weather is warm, because it feels like enough but it's still not suffocating my skin. Again, we do have the hyaluronic acid called out in the name of the product despite it being listed after fragrance on the INCI. But, we have glycerin as our humectant right up at the top of the list again. This formula also contains squalane, which is a skin-similar plant-based oil that's great for softening and moisturising the skin, and it's nothing too heavy. We also have replenishing fatty alcohol in this moisturiser, and there's some other good stuff, though it's all at <1% concentration as far as we can tell. Allantoin is a skin-soothing ingredient, Beta-glucan is both calming and hydrating and ceramides help with skin barrier function, so redness and dryness are all kept at bay. I just wish we had more of this good stuff!

That being said, I do just love the texture and feel of this moisturiser; it's more than the sum of its parts. It has this light, airy feel and melts beautifully onto my skin to provide hydration that lasts. It's plumping, it's breathable and it's perfect for warm weather. It gives that healthy, dewy, water-packed feel to my skin and I really like that. This is a simple moisturiser that works for my skin and I can see it suiting a range of skin types (other than those that are sensitive to fragrance), plus - even if the concentrations are low - those added extras could still be helping contribute towards healthier skin in the long term.

Finally, we have perhaps my favourite of the bunch: the Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturiser* | £32.50. You know the drill in terms of the seemingly <1% concentration of hyaluronic acid, but this does actually contain multiple forms of hyaluronic acid and some added extras I think really boost the overall formula. We have squalane and glycerin again, but also a reparative peptide to help with well-ageing, though I couldn't find much information out there on what the recommended effective concentration is, so I'm not sure if <1% is going to deliver those benefits. Ceramides are above fragrance in the INCI list so you can expect to be giving your skin barrier a decent top-up of this fundamental component of your lipid barrier. We also have niacinamide in here, which is again above the 'fragrance line' on the INCI list, so you should definitely reap the rewards from having this multi-tasking ingredient in here. It helps your skin to produce more of its own ceramides and can actually help stop discolouration from spreading through the skin, as well as regulating the skin's oil production.

This has more of a rich balm texture; I definitely use this all over my face, but if you're not overall dry, I think this could definitely be spot-applied too. It's not greasy and I like to melt it down a little with the warmth of my fingers before applying it to my face. I do wish it was fragrance-free because it's intended as more of a healing formula, but it doesn't cause me any issues personally when I use it with my acid or retinoid. It's a nice big hug for my face and it has the added extras that I really appreciate in a moisturiser. I use this as a night cream and it's perfect for that; it's not heavy or smothering, it just creates that layer on my skin that locks in hydration overnight.

Overall, I did enjoy using these products. For me, the Intensive formula has to be the standout, because I enjoyed using it the most (it just feels so comforting on my skin) and because it has the best added ingredients in the highest concentrations. The original cream is also a product I really enjoy for its texture; it's a lovely-feeling simple melting moisturiser that works great on summer days. The gel was never really going to be 100% for me and it has the most basic formula, which is why I would skip it if you have similar skin to me!

Check out the texture action here.

Have you tried any of the Laneige Water Bank moisturisers?

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