25 years later, Laneige’s bestselling Water Bank range gets even better


By Wei Yeen Loh

25 years later, Laneige’s bestselling Water Bank range gets even better

The memo is in: 2019’s It-glow to sport is healthy, luminous skin stemming from a well-tailored skincare routine—think investing on serums, essences and creams for that I-woke-up-like-this glow, instead of layering on highlighters and dewy-finish makeup. But acing that kind of enviable luminosity is determined by a plethora of factors, whether it’s the food you eat, the amount of beauty sleep you get, or even the kind of essences you’re feeding your skin on the daily.

Last month, I headed to Shanghai for Laneige‘s official Water Bank event as the brand launched the latest reformulations of its bestselling Water Bank Essence and Cream EX. The adjective “bestselling” shouldn’t be taken lightly here—this bottle is the brand’s most popular (and most sold) product, and its efficacy is backed with more than 25 years of research and development.

This time around, the Water Bank’s all-new look and formula comes with a tagline that’s very much in line with this year’s glow-getting look: luminous skin that’s radiant to boot. I’m not talking merely plump skin that doesn’t look dry—think well-hydrated skin that’s able to stay moisturised all day long with a lit-from-within glow.

Taking hydration to a new level

Functional solutions are what I appreciate in skincare—it’s great when a product imparts a suffused glow to the skin, but acing a lasting radiance/glow is another matter altogether. Chances are, moisturising products could result in either a shiny (sebum-filled) finish by the end of the day, or insufficiently-hydrated skin after a long day in an air-conditioned environment.

What makes the Laneige Water Bank line a winning functional solution for the skin lies in the impressive ingredient list. The formula’s Green Mineral Water is packed with the minerals from six “super vegetables” that were chosen for its nutrients.

The Water Bank Hydro Cream and Essence has kale, watercress, beet and minerals such as potassium, sodium and calcium to enhance the skin’s moisture capacity and accelerate skin regeneration. The Water Bank Moisture Cream and Essence’s list of powerhouse greens include Brussel sprouts, artichoke, lima beans and minerals (zinc, manganese and copper)—all antioxidants that help with skin barrier recovery.

If this sounds like a delectable smorgasbord of food, it’s because it really is—for the skin, that is. During Laneige’s Water Bank press presentation in The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan, I had the opportunity to learn more about the new range from Susie Yoon, Head of Laneige HQ’s Product Development team:

The importance of keeping skin moisturised:

“When the skin’s barrier is weakened, the skin’s oil-water balance gets disrupted, which leads to many skin problems. This is why we decided to focus on fundamental skin issues that would care the skin by producing moisture and also retaining moisture, rather than giving temporary moisturising solutions.”

“Until now, Laneige’s Water Bank line continues to activate NMF (Natural Moisturising Factor) in fortifying the skin’s self-moisturising function so that the skin self-produce and sustain moisture. This helps the skin to 1) produce moisture within the skin, 2) retain moisture without loss, and 3) purify the skin for a clean, transparent complexion.”

What sets the updated Water Bank range from the previous range:

“The largest difference would be the ingredients and functionality of the products. The latest Water Bank products are incorporated with minerals extracted from vegetables—specifically picked for outstanding moisturising properties and safety on the skin. Secondly, garden cress is one of the main ingredients in the lineup—it has 30% stronger antioxidant properties compared to vitamin C, and helps to remove active oxygen and harmful elements from the skin too.”

Other Laneige products that would pair well with the Water Bank line:

“The Water Bank line is a basic skincare product line that helps prevent or improve all types of skin issues by going back to the basics by truly moisturising the skin. Thus, using the anti-ageing Perfect Renew line or the whitening White Dew line products with Water Bank products will give the best synergy to the skin.”

“The Laneige Water Bank range has expanded with optimal solutions for different skin types. Got dry skin that can’t hold the fort? Opt for the Water Bank Moisture Essence and Cream EX that has pseudo skin lipid components to better retain moisture. Those with oilier skin types can take on the Water Bank Hydro Essence and Cream EX, a less-rich but equally as potent alternative duo to moisturise skin thoroughly.”


I’ve got easily parched skin that’s not the best when it comes to retaining moisture, so naturally, Laneige Water Bank Hydro Essence and Cream EX were my go-to picks. I use the Essence twice a day, and the Cream EX only in the evening right before I tuck in.

First thoughts: The Essence feels richer on my skin that the previous formulation, but it absorbs pretty quickly—I didn’t need to wait long for it to completely sink into my skin before applying the next product. The Cream EX felt like a silky cocoon to keep moisture intact, with a smooth texture that doesn’t leave a greasy residue.

Afterglow: I quite like how my skin looks in the morning upon waking up—dewy (not exaggerating here), as though I had indulged in a sheet mask the night before. It’s been almost a month since I’ve converted, and I’m pretty impressed with the results—no breakouts or comedones, which sometimes happen when a moisturiser is a tad rich for my skin. I’ve gotten compliments on my skin recently and I daresay it’s attributed to this duo. One thing to note is that both products come with a slightly subtler fragrance that’s less overwhelming than the previous formulas.

The new Water Bank range is available at Laneige outlets and beauty counters this July 2019.

Laneige’s annual Waterful Sharing Campaign initiative begins this July with an aim to raise a total of RM60,000 for rural communities who have zero access to clean water. With every purchase of the Laneige Water Bank Hydro or Moisture Cream EX from Laneige outlets and beauty counters, RM10 from each sale will be directed to the fund to aid the installation of water pipes, pumps and filtration systems in rural villages. Drop by the Water Bank Avenue in Pavilion KL Centre Court from now to 30 June 2019 to learn more.

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