16 September 2022
Beauty trends in the recent years have swayed away from complicated, excessive skincare regimes to simpler, pared downs routines with multi-tasking beauty products. Think sunscreens that double as moisturisers; or lip tints that also act as blushers…etc.
One product with a similar multi-tasking objective is Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm. Essentially, Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm is a stick balm that functions as a lip balm and moisturiser to touch up anywhere on your face, neck, hair and hands. Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm is viral on TikTok; and fans of this product attest to its instant moisture boost and glow.
According to Kahi’s marketing director, Jake Yi, searches for the Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm skyrocketed from 100,000 to 12 million in just a year, with more than 10 million sticks having been sold since February 2022. Is Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm truly deserving of the hype or just a one stick wonder? Here’s my review of Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm.
Kahi is a Korean beauty brand that was founded in 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Majority of its Kahi’s products were designed on the “untact” beauty trend in Korea at that time. “Untact” products were those that could be applied or reapplied without physical contact- such as balm sticks, sunscreen sticks, and stick foundations.
The premise of “untact” beauty products was to allow the use to apply their skincare and makeup hygienically, without contact from the user’s fingers. This concept of contactless reapplication of skincare as well as heavy product placement in hit Korean dramas have made Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm a runway success.
Before Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm went viral on TikTok, it was featured frequently in K-dramas and music videos by international artistes. Korean actress Kim Go Eun is the face of Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm. The actress was seen using the balm frequently in her dramas, The King: Eternal Monarch in 2020 and and Yumi’s Cells in 2021. More recently in 2022, in Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm enjoyed significant screen time.
And where few Korean beauty products have gone, Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm has been seen in music videos by Ava Max and Doja Cat. I first came across multi-balms while watching another K-drama, called Taxi Driver. The lead character played by Korean actress and model, Esom, frequently used her multi-balm before she went to her meetings. Seeing this got me interested in understanding the appeal of multi-balms in Korea.
This salmon complex consists of salmon collagen, salmon DNA and salmon proteoglycans. According to the brand’s website, this salmon complex “nourishes” wrinkles, improves skin elasticity and hydrates the skin.
The use of salmon DNA and proteins has been discussed extensively on the blog, especially with Rejuran Healer, one of the top trending anti-aging treatments in Asia. Salmon DNA fragments called polynucleotides (PN) and polynucleotides) have been used to improve wound healing for diabetic ulcers and improve graft healing in plastic surgery. However, the effectiveness of salmon PDRN on PN when applied to intact skin remains unclear as literature on this is lacking. So although salmon DNA can be commonly found in Korean skincare, the benefits remain questionable. This blogpost Salmon DNA in Skincare will take your through more the science and details about salmon PDRN and PN when applied to the skin.
Collagen in skincare and supplements has also been discussed extensively in this blogpost Collagen Supplements & Skincare: Do They Work? But if you want a neat summary, collagen in skincare, even if hydrolysed or fragmented, have molecular sizes that are too large to pass through the skin’s basement membrane to be incorporated into the dermis.
Proteoglycans are a type of protein which consist of hyaluronic acid. This protein can be found in the extracellular matrix of the skin to confer skin elasticity and firmness. A loss of proteoglycans in ageing contributes to signs of ageing in the skin. Proteoglycans in skincare may offer some moisturising benefits,
Jeju origin oil
According to Kahi, Jeju origin oil is a combination of oils from schisandra, scion root and gardenia seed and tumeric that have undergone fermentation. Plant oils can moisturise their skin due to their emollient benefits; and can also confer antioxidant benefits to delay signs of ageing.
Filmexel is an ingredient produced by Silab, a French engineering company. Not much is known about Filmexel except from the company’s promotional material. Filmexel is a biopolymer that forms a natural film on the skin to protect the skin as a barrier against allergens and reduce wrinkles.
The Good about Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm
Besides the star ingredients mentioned by Kahi, the balm contains several other plant oils and shea butter. These make Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm a very moisturising and nourishing balm, especially for dry skin. The glow that has won over fans, can also be attributed to these oils too.
I found Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm to be moisturising when used on my lips. However, this was something my other lip balms could also achieve.
The Bad about Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm
One of the points that weighs down Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm is its hero ingredient, the salmon complex of DNA, collagen and proteoglycans. Current data and literature does not suggest that topical application of these proteins can be incorporated into the skin for cell renewal or collagen building.
Secondly, although heavily promoted as one of the star ingredients in Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm, the ingredients that make up the salmon complex are near the bottom of the ingredient list. The first 20 ingredients right up on the ingredient list are a combination of plant oils and extracts, wax and shea butter. This suggests that Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm is more of a moisturising balm, rather than something we can bank on the benefits of its salmon complex for wrinkle reduction. And as you might expect, it felt waxy and occlusive on my skin.
That said, as the product’s website was said to improve wrinkles, I was disappointed to find that my fine wrinkles remained the same. My skin was definitely more moist, but the essential oils, salmon DNA complex and Filmexel did not fill my lines at all, unlike some other moisturisers that could temporarily fill in my fine lines.
I used Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm on top of my skincare throughout the day, but found that it left a heavy feel. On my skin, Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm looked greasy rather than glowy. This balm might suit users with dry skin better. On oily skin it could make you look like an oil slick.
Lastly, would you use a balm on your lips and skin? The balm picks up residue on the skin and lips and transfers this gunk when gliding it on your skin. I felt that Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm was unsanitary for such multipurpose use, especially if it picks up lipstick and makeup residue and dirt and spreads it all over my face. To keep the balm clean, I recommend using it as a moisturiser before sunscreen application; instead of reapplication or top-up mid day to avoid triggering acne.
Verdict on Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm
Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm felt like an overhyped K-beauty product for me. It did not improve any fine lines; and was too waxy and greasy on my skin. Reapplying a balm on your face could be problematic for users with acne prone skin as the product is occlusive and oily; and it involves smearing makeup residue over your skin.
I ended up using Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm as lip balm instead. It felt like a regular lip balm; but at least I could find some use for this. It cost me almost SGD$50; and for a product that ended up like this for me, I definitely will not be repurchasing this.