Review: Missha Near Skin Inner Moist Moisturize Emulsion – and a little lesson on why solid carrier oils may be bad for your skin!

Missha near skin emulsion

Oh, Missha.  How could you do my skin so much wrong?  I had so much optimism for this product!  Even though I knew of the possibility that it would break me out, I still thought that I should give Missha’s Near Skin Inner Moist Moisturize Emulsion a chance because of all the amazing skin-repairing ingredients in it.  Unfortunately, it did break me out.  Horribly.  And has confirmed to me that I am indeed extremely sensitive to a certain type of carrier oils (and I’m sure I’m not the only one).  But for other people this might be their holy grail moisturizer.

I love Missha’s products.  Their BB cream is one of the best out there, and their Sun Milk sunscreens are probably the best I’ve tried.  I love their Time Revolution First Essence and Night Serum.  Plus, I also just bought a bunch of their makeup (which is crazy cheap on!) and I’m amazed at the quality.

Because I love all their products, I decided to start trying another line of their skincare products:  Near Skin Inner Moist.  There are several different varieties in the Near Skin line, but I chose the Inner Moist line because it contained star ingredients that are already present in your own skin cells.  You can read more about it on Missha’s US website, but essentially the Inner Moist line includes Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and 11 Essential Amino Acids that replicate and replenish your natural skin cells.  Consistently replenishing your own skin cells with collagen, ceramides, and amino acids not only helps to rebuild your own skin cells, but it helps slow down the aging process.

Missha’s Near Skin Inner Moist line had the moist complete collection of all these great ingredients in a single bottle (unlike other products that include just collagen, or just ceramides, or only a few amino acids).  I was so excited to try it, even though I knew that this moisturizer also included some other ingredients that I suspected would cause me to break out.

Ingredients: water, butylene glycol, peg-8, caprylic/capric triglyceride, limnanthes alba seed oil, cyclopentasiloxane, butyrospermum parkii butter, squalane, ceteareth-6 olivate, phytosteryl/isostearyl/cetyl/stearyl/behenyl dimer dilinoleate, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate SE, rubus suavissimus leaf extract, stearic acid, silica, dimethicone, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, hydrolyzed viola tricolor extract, peg-100 stearate, polysorbate 60, sodium acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, caprylyl glycol, sodium hyaluronate, saccharide isomerate, 1,2-hexanediol, polyglutamic acid, lecithin, polysorbate 20, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, tromethamine, creatine, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, ceramide 3, hydrogenated polydecene, niacinamide, arginine, histidine, lysine, methionine, threonine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, caprylhydroxamic acid, erythritol, hydrolyzed collagen, inositol, trehalose, xylitol, raffinose, glycine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, disodium EDTA, sodium starch octenylsuccinate, coptis japonica root extract, hydrogenated lecithin, calcium pantothenate, maltodextrin, beta-sitosterol, brassica capestris sterols, cholesterol, peg-5 rapeseed sterol, dioscorea japonica root extract, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, jojoba oil/macadamia seed oil esters, ceteth-24, choleth-24, laureth-8, hydrolyzed corn starch, pyridoxine HCI, tocopheryl acetate, beta-glucan, ceteareth-20, cetyl alcohol, phytosphigosine, polygonum multiflorum root extract, potassium cetyl phosphate, stearyl alcohol, tamarindus indica seed polysaccharide, theobroma cacao extract, squalene, sucrose, phytosteryl macadamiate, phytosterols, tocopherol, chlorphenesin, fragrance.

So here are the ingredients that concerned me:

– butyrospermum (shea) parkii butter

– cetearyl alcohol

– glyceryl stearate SE

– stearic acid

– glyceryl stearate

– peg-100 stearate

– cetyl alcohol

– stearyl alcohol

These carrier oils all have one thing in common: they’re hard at room temperature.  Google the ingredients, and you’ll see that in their raw form, all these ingredients are hard, flaky, white.  When added into creams, they’re whipped in to make the cream nice and thick, but at a microscopic level, they’re still hard, solid oils.  And they immediately clog my pores.  I have spent so much time researching this issue to try to find some basis to back up my theory, but I can’t find anything!  Of course, some of these ingredients are listed as acne-triggers, but I can’t find anything written about solid carrier oils that might cause particular problems.  And I couldn’t find anything about shea butter causing acne.  In fact, there are a lot of people talking about how it works well for acne-prone skin.

But I’ve experimented enough with these ingredients in various products to know absolutely -for sure- that I need to avoid all carrier oils that are solid at room temperature.  I’ve even experimented with pure 100% solid extra virgin shea butter (not a pleasant experience).  Within a few days of using these ingredients, my skin starts to break out in little red comedones.  About a week later is when the bigger cysts start to form.  And it takes so long for my skin to go back to normal.  Which is why my normal skincare is 95% solid carrier oils-free (I’d love to be 100%, but that’s near impossible – this shit is in everything.)

And this is the same experience I had with this emulsion.  I experimented with this emulsion by using it for a solid week, three times.  Yes, it moisturized my skin.  For an emulsion, it’s definitely on the thicker side, more like a cream.  It absorbs nicely into the skin and definitely is very rich and moisturizing.  But after day 3, I noticed little comedones popping up all over my face.  Nose, cheeks, forehead, etc… Then after a week, big cysts started to form along my jawline.  I stopped using the emulsion and went back to using my regular products.

After a week of using my normal skin care products, my comedones cleared up even though my cysts remained.  So, to make sure it wasn’t just a bad coincidence, I started using the emulsion again.  Once again, comedones popped up by day 3.  My cysts got worse and more started to form.  Argh!  I was so disappointed and frustrated to have the same bad experience.  But for the sake of experimentation, I went through the whole process again for a third time, thoroughly ruining my skin.  It then took at least 3 weeks for my skin to completely clear up, cysts and all.  It was such a bummer spending my Christmas in Hawaii hiding the remaining cysts on my face.  And I’m still dealing with some hyperpigmentation!

Solid Carrier Oils:

For anyone dealing with acne-prone skin, I HIGHLY recommend staying away from carrier oils that are solid at room temperature.  I haven’t found anything to back up my theory but I’ve experimented with my own skin to know that I definitely have problems with these types of oils.  And it kind of makes logical sense: these solid oils are pulverized into microscopic pieces to thicken creams.  And while your skin absorbs the ingredients in the cream, it also absorbs these oils.  But these oils can’t really get absorbed into the pores properly because they’re still solid, and therefore they clog the pores,creating a plug to keep the dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria inside the pore.  Your pores should naturally be able to flush the bad stuff out, but it can’t when it’s literally plugged up with microscopic hard oils that you add onto your skin through your products. (NOTE: #2 on the picture below, showing the clog in the pore.)


The term “noncomedogenic” means that an ingredient or product won’t block the pores of your skin.  (BUT you can’t just rely on any product that says “noncomedogenic” and think it’s safe for your skin.  The way ingredients were tested to be “comedogenic” vs. “noncomedogenic” was done in a very primitive and non-effective manner.  Back in the 60’s, a group of scientists rubbed individual ingredients onto rabbits ears, and looked to see if the poor rabbit’s pores became clogged.  I’m sorry, but rabbit’s ears are not human facial skin, and I’m sure it doesn’t create sebum or collect dirt in the way a human face does.  But this very primitive testing method became the basis for our skin care industry regarding the safety of ingredients, and it’s still heavily relied on today.  There’s a long article on Paula’s Choice about this.  I’ll definitely condense it and write more about this issue in another post.  But just know this: just cause something says “noncomedogenic” does not mean that it’s safe for your skin or it won’t clog your pores.)

So do your own experimenting and switch to liquid facial oils or gel-type moisturizers that don’t have any of the ingredients I listed above.  If your skin doesn’t improve after a couple months, then great, that means you’re not sensitive to these types of solid carrier oils.  That’s actually good news because these oils are in everything, and you won’t have to eliminate a lot of skin care products like I do.  But do research and keep experimenting on what could possibly cause your acne.  I bet you’re sensitive to some ingredients like I am.

In the end, instead of just throwing the bottle of emulsion away, I gave it to my good friend Rebecca who is genetically far more blessed than me and isn’t sensitive to any skin care ingredients.  She liked it a lot, and also found it moisturizing, but couldn’t tell if the star ingredients were helping at all.  But I’m sure these ingredients are more for helping long-term, rather than giving just short-term results.  Just thought I would add this little bit for those people who are not acne-prone.


Great star ingredients of Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and 11 Essential Amino Acids, but terrible that it comes with so many bad carrier oils!  I’m so sad that it made me break out so badly.  If you’re acne-prone, I definitely do NOT recommend this product.  But for those who are not, this may be your new favorite moisturizer.  It has a lot of great ingredients that will help replenish and maintain healthy skin cells.

Pros: Great star ingredients of Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and 11 Essential Amino Acids.

Cons: Too many carrier oils that are solid at room temperature.  Caused me major acne breakouts.  😦

Total score: 5/10

Ingredients: 3/10 (Fantastic star ingredients, but terrible carrier oils for sensitive skin.)

Quality: 3/10 (Did not live up to its promises for me.)

Wear: 7/10 (Very moisturizing and absorbed well without being too greasy.)

Price: 7/10 (Good value when on sale on  I got my bottle for only around $11 plus shipping.  Just wish it didn’t break me out so badly.)

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