I really like Japanese skin care, because many brands are generally free of irritants like fragrance, coloring etc. It is much more "straight-forward" than many Korean or European products. Tout Vert pays a lot of attention to ingredients that are known to be effective, rather than making many claims and fancy packaging or naming products after fruits/ vegetables.
This Essence Select Gel is basically a moisturizer or serum (depending on skin type). It goes on after toner. It claims to be free of preservatives - though in this list I see 1 preservative...
Here are the ingredients from Taobao (Google translated):
Water, glycerol, methyl gluceth-10, squalane, Australia walnuts, diglycerol,, tocopherol, sodium phospholipids, hydrogenated lecithin, lysolecithin, pentanediol, fat-soluble vitamin C, yeast cells soluble product, heterogeneous oligosaccharides, pca-na, sodium lactate, histidine, phenylalanine, alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glycine, valine, isoleucine, threonine , proline, pca, sphingosine, ceramide, ceramide -3, ceramide 6 II, rosemary, pinaster, grapefruit, dextrin, polyquaternium -51, soybean oil, potassium hydroxide wild soybeans, peas, tocopherol, arrowroot, xanthan gum, astaxanthin, hydrogenated castor oil, cyclodextrin, Curaçao aloe, chlorella, jojoba oil, lecithin, wild carrot, licorice potassium , cholesterol, sodium hyaluronate, carbomer, PVP, sodium ascorbate, ethanol, -6 oligopeptides, oligopeptide -20, -24 oligopeptide, coenzyme q10, fullerene, phenoxyethanol
It might be a little different from the list here : http://www.cosdna.com/eng/cosmetic_9eff189836.html
It also says there is no synthetic fragrances, no synthetic colors, no petroleum-based synthetic surfactants, no mineral oil, no alcohol.
It contains EGF and peptides for repairing the skin's barrier. It also has vitamin C and E along with other antioxidants. Glycerin, squalane, ceramides and fatty alcohols are good moisturizers and also help to protect the barrier of the skin. It contains more than 10 amino acids which is also great for holding moisture.
This is not a real review, but more of a first impression. I have been using it since a short while. Right now my skin is very problematic due to constant weather changes and hormones. I easily get irritated. I cannot wipe my face with a cotton pad without it turning red and angry. So I stick to my simple routine using oil or cream on damp face (no toners).
When I first applied this gel my skin felt quite sensitive. Also, the yellow color of the gel is actually noticeable. One time I had to wipe my face a few hours after using it because I was getting oily and the cotton pad was yellow. So I do not recommend using this product at day time as it adds a yellow color to your face (even though it is really sheer, but still, who wants to be more yellow?)
As I have oily skin (oily, dehydrated, sensitive) I do not need any moisturizer on top of it when I put it on in the evening. It actually feels slightly greasy. Usually I do not like gels, because they leave this sticky film on my skin. I always rinse my face after sheet masks because of this "film". Sticky skin for me means that all kinds of dust from my pillow case or anything that is flying around in the room will stick to it. But this product gives me more of a moisturizing but slightly greasy feeling.
I will test it more to see if it does any miracles - because there are some really impressive, strange ingredients like "Fullerene" in it. So I will get back to this post in a few weeks.
I do not use this product daily. I think it is the best serum to put under a sheet mask. Today I used it under a dollar-store mask and it really brightened my face. The sheet mask helps the sticky gel to absorb better into the skin. I think it is also okay to use under creams - another layer of product will help eliminate the stickyness. This essence gel is very soothing and moisturizing, great for sensitive skin and perfect if I over-exfoliated - which happens often since I use glycolic acid a lot.