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This summer, the only skin-care product I've been bathing my skin in more than sunscreen is the Damdam Paradisi Hydrating Essence Mist. I spritz it on basically every time I reapply SPF or I'm in my bathroom and even when I get home from taking my dog to the park. Excessive? Possibly. Effective? Absolutely — in ways I didn't imagine when I first uncapped the essence mist. In fact, I wish I had the foresight to take before and after photos because the smoothness and radiance of my complexion have increased in ways that have made me want to hardly wear foundation. One of my dog park friends even noticed my skin was glowing brighter than usual and asked what my secret was.
As a longtime fan of Japanese beauty products, I was excited to try out a product from Damdam, a Tokyo-based brand that recently launched at Sephora, for the first time. That enthusiasm only heightened when my skin felt incredibly refreshed, hydrated, and happy after spraying the Paradisi Hydrating Essence Mist on for the first time. (Honestly, all skin-care products should come in mist form. It's so simple and invigorating to apply.)
I quickly slotted it into my skin-care routine after washing my face and swiping on Neogen's Real Ferment Micro Toner with a White Rabit Naked Cotton Classic pad to remove any dog park dust that's still clinging to my skin. The mist immediately amps up my skin's hydration levels after all that cleansing.
White Rabbit Naked Cotton Classic
Neogen Real Ferment Micro Toner
After looking up the ingredient list for the Paradisi Hydrating Essence Mist, I was completely hooked. It's relatively short and easy to understand. Only one of its 13 ingredients, namely phytic acid, was new to me. Turns out, it's an alpha hydroxy acid derived from rice that exfoliates skin so gently that it's suitable for sensitive skin, as board-certified dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla has previously told Allure.
I was pleasantly surprised to see willow bark extract, which is a natural salicylic acid derivative, make the list too. This addition is most likely another reason why my skin has been clearing up in ways it wasn't with retinol alone.
The mist is also as lightweight and translucent as water, so its oil content never occurred to me. Cardamom, coconut, rose flower, and grapefruit peel oils spike the formula in low concentrations for moisturizing, brightening, and anti-inflammatory benefits. (They're all at the bottom of the product's ingredient list.) They surely give the essence its gorgeous spiced floral fragrance too.
And on a more emotional note, my friend who was basically my Japanese beauty mentor passed away earlier this year. The other day I almost texted her to ask her for her thoughts on Damdam since she always knew about the best, new products. (And she was one of the most radiant people I've ever met. She was basically a human version of this mist, instantly bringing out the most luminous sides of people with ease.) Every day, I'm reminded of her in new ways, and spritzing on the Damdam Paradisi Hydrating Essence Mist has definitely become one of those little ways I feel connected to her on a daily basis. This ode goes out to you, Hazuki!
You can shop the Damdam Paradisi Hydrating Essence Mist now on sephora.com for $48. A mini version is only available in Japan at the moment, but my fingers are crossed it will come to America soon.
Damdam Paradisi Hydrating Essence Mist
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