Bounce Cream Is The Mysterious New Trend Your Skin Needs

The Korean obsession with great skin is all about that bounce — dewy, taut complexions that sing with hydrated resilience. There’s even a whole set of vocabulary surrounding this trend, with onomatopeias like “chok chok” (“moist”), “taeng taeng” (“taut”), and “jjon jjon” (“taut” or “moist” in reference to skin) to describe the enviable spring of a flawless visage. If 2014 was the year of the butt elsewhere in the world, in Korea it was about the bounce of an entirely different set of cheeks.
This trend means Korean shelves are full of products with markedly different textures than those of the West. Some of these formulas even jiggle — dare I say, twerk — while others are less literal about the bounce aspect.
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Moisturizing creams rule this category. Of all the steps in the lengthy Korean skin-care regimen, this is one I’ll never skip. As Derek Zoolander put it, “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” To that aim, Korean “bounce creams” aim to be light, refreshing, and above all, ultra-hydrating. While some can melt like butter or jiggle like Jell-O, most have a gel-like, almost watery creaminess similar to Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream. This lightweight texture means they're great for skin types that can't handle the typical heaviness of traditional moisturizing creams.
Intrigued? We’ve corralled our top picks for giving your skin that perky bounce. Keep clicking to get the scoop.
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Photo: Via whamisa.
There are moisturizing creams, and then there’s this. This is my special, unique little star. The texture is so light that when I dip my finger into it, I can’t even detect whether I’ve made contact with the product. For all its souffle-like weightlessness, it packs a plethora of skin-care powers.

Despite the name “water cream,” this formula actually doesn’t contain water, a common ingredient in moisturizers. I find this crazy — it’s just extracts and pure goodness. It’s also made of natto, which is a super gooey fermented soybean. Thankfully, it doesn’t smell like natto. It has a distinctly delicate, fermented scent, which is weirdly pleasant. After application, I can feel a warm tingle on my skin, which makes me think it’s working. But, what I love most is how my skin glows because of it.

So hydrating, so good. It’s my new fave.
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Photo: Via Sulwhasoo.
I absolutely love the rich and subtly springy, yet incredibly silky texture of this lifting cream. It’s almost gel-like — but somehow also creamy. It contains seaweed extracts to penetrate deep into the skin and moisturize. The scent is typical Sulwhasoo: gorgeous herbal notes with a hint of ginseng. Reminds me of my Korean grandma, in the best way possible.
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Photo: Via Cremorlab.
The bounce trend gets literal with this moisturizing cream. The product begs to be poked; it’s just so…bouncy. It spreads like a dense pudding (hence the name), but absorbs surprisingly well given its thick texture. The formula boasts Cremorlab-exclusive T.E.N. thermal mineral-rich water, straight from the springs of Gangwon-do, South Korea, as well as adenosine to fight fine lines and wrinkles. The proof is in the pudding: You’ll get supple skin with a hydrated glow.
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Photo: Via The Face Shop.
This concoction became popular in Korea because of an ad campaign touting it as “date butter.” What the eff is date butter? It’s Korea-speak for moisturizer so good, it’ll get you dates. From The Face Shop — which I consider a drugstore-equivalent brand — this product is interesting because of what it half-promises to do. As a straight-up moisturizer, it’s disappointing. Though it spreads (and looks) just like butter, it’s not as ultra-hydrating as others in this roundup. The smell also feels a bit artificial and overly sweet (and weirdly, not that much like mango).

But, it’s not meant to be used alone as moisturizer. It actually functions as a moisture sealer and should follow moisturizer to lock in hydration. I have yet to understand the science of Sudanese mango seeds as an unquestionably superior moisture-sealing coat, but the packaging claims this product can go for 48 hours. I’m not a huge fan of creating more steps than necessary, but there are hordes of Korean girls who claim this does indeed get them all the dates.
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Photo: Via Elensilia.
This one’s a darling of Korean home-shopping networks. Elensilia is a small Korean cosmetics brand that focuses on snail secretion-based products, which really, people aren’t going to buy unless they're on TV at 4 a.m. But, judge not. Snails secrete mucin to self-heal and repair their broken shells. These reparative properties are meant to wield the same powers on spots and blemishes, while hydrating and plumping skin.

The product is basically a gloppy, brownish gel. I guess the inventors figured that if you’ve already committed to the idea of smearing snail slime on your face, there isn’t really a point in prettying it up. I have never loved snail products, but I can’t deny that this one really hydrates. I like to use it as a mask — usually overnight — to wake up to an intensely moisturized, almost glossy face.
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Photo: Via Etude House.
I was impressed (though not surprised: Etude House’s parent company is Amorepacific, Korea’s cosmetics giant) when I stumbled upon Etude House’s Moistfull Collagen Cream, which is a far departure from the cutesy lip glosses the teenybopper brand is known for. This is a serious, grown-up moisturizer.

The texture is typical for Korean bounce creams — it’s like a sheer, jelly cross between a gel and a cream. It contains baobab-leaf mucus and 30% hydrolyzed marine collagen, two major players in the bounce game. The baobab is a tree found in African savannahs, known for its ability to carry tons of water in its spongy trunk, which makes it insanely drought-tolerant. Its leaf mucus has a hyper-emollient effect, making skin supple and soft. Hydrolyzed marine collagen is a protein extracted from the skin of deep-sea fish that's rumored to have anti-aging antioxidant powers.
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Photo: Via Enprani.
Yep, Bounce Cheese Cream is as weird as it sounds. In Korea, people often describe good skin using parallels with food. To be compared to a boiled egg or mozzarella cheese means you’ve got beautifully smooth, plump skin. The cheese connection doesn’t end there: The bounce cream also harnesses the moisturizing power of whey in its formula.

Thankfully, it doesn’t smell like cheese. Glow Recipe’s co-CEO and cofounder Sarah Lee explains, "We received emails about one of our weekly special items, Enprani's Bounce Cheese Cream; about if the formula smells like cheese. We told them that the texture feels and looks like bouncy mozzarella cheese, and the result of the use is plump, more ‘bouncy’ skin, and customers purchased them right away! We were sold out in less than a week."
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Photo: Via Nature Republic.
This cream is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s got staying power, because it drenches your face in moisture. In all honesty, it pretty closely resembles L'Oréal’s Hydrafresh Aqua Cream in packaging and function, from the gel-to-water consistency to the pink and blue variations based on skin type. But, Nature Republic has also created an additional green option for combination skin.
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Photo: Via Belif.
Belif's formulas are based on the herbal recipes of Duncan Napier, a Scottish botanist from the 19th century. One of its most-loved products is The True Cream Aqua Bomb, a lightweight gel cream that delivers a strong hit of hydration. It contains lady's mantle extract, a natural exfoliant that helps minimize the appearance of pores.
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Photo: Via Laneige.
This cream's getting a lot of hype right now — I've been seeing ads for it all over. According to the brand, one jar of this stuff is sold every 15 seconds worldwide. Like other gel creams, it has a smooth, springy consistency and gets full points for moisture. The formula is centered around mineral water, with extracts of aloe and centaury for nourishing skin. I like that it’s a bit thicker than others, but doesn’t leave behind a sticky, greasy mess as it absorbs.
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