January 29, 2016

May Coop Raw Sauce Review

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

May Coop Raw Sauce1

May Coop Raw Sauce is now available at Sephora and Sephora.com much to my delight. I actually heard about May Coop Raw Sauce a while back ago as it was featured on Get It Beauty which is a Korean show (You can locate plenty of versions of it online with English subtitles. It’s one my fav watches!).

May Coop Raw Sauce is a cult favorite product in Korea and now that Sephora is becoming increasingly saturated with K-Beauty and Skincare it’s no great surprise they launched this popular item in stores.

This is an essence that actually acts as a 3-in-1 formula and performs the functions of toner, emulsion and essence all in one. Essence is a very important step in my own skincare routine as well as one that isn’t to be missed in a Korea girl or guy’s own routine. Korean’s and many other Asian countries such as Japan tend to embrace a 10 or more step skincare routine which I’ve adapted myself as it really works for my drier skin and I hold it responsible for the fact my skin remains fairly youthful, blemish-free, and smooth. I think Essence is one of the more important steps in any skincare routine as it preps skin for moisturizer, adds extra hydration, and allows for skincare products to absorb more fully as well as allows skin to retain moisture. Some of my personal favorite essence products are Dr Jart’s Ceramidin Liquid (Review), Hada Labo Rohto Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, Sana Hadanomy Deep Lotion (Review), Biore Lotion Toner, and Hada Labo Tokyo Anti-Aging Hydrator (Review).

I think injecting Essence into your skincare routine can be an enlightening experience particularly if you have drier skin. It allows other products such as serums and moisturizers to absorb more fully plus it adds so much moisture to skin and allows it to retain that moisture.

Let’s take a look at May Coop Raw Sauce.

May Coop Raw Sauce

I’m happy to say that this comes in two sizes one of which, the one I purchased, is a 1.35 oz bottle for $14. This is a nice way to try the product out with spending a lot of money and getting a feel for the formula as well. Strangely enough this is 93% maple tree sap which is apparently is packed with nourishing botanicals and antioxidants that support cell regeneration.

One thing I always find strange about both Japanese and Korean products is how heavily scented they are. This has a light refreshing fragrance but the fragrance is pretty strong. Many sources state that fragrance is a big no for skincare because it breaks down collagen. I personally don’t mind fragrance in my skincare but many sensitive users or those who are very, very serious about their skincare don’t like it for a good reason. Considering how very, very serious Asian women are about their skincare I’m somewhat surprised that so many brands have such highly fragranced skincare options.

May Coop Raw Sauce3

Raw Sauce is a clear slightly thick liquid which can be applied using your fingers and hands. The bottle suggest a cotton pad but any fan of essence knows this is a horrible way to apply the product. You want to apply a good amount into the palms of your hands and gently press it into your face. As you press it’ll absorb and you can later follow up by gently rolling your fingers across your face for full absorption. I call this method palming, it’s one I use to apply BB Cream as well. I simply take the palms of my hands and gently press them to my face to apply. You’ll find that this formula is a lot like Hada Labo’s (if you’ve used it that is!) in fact your hands will stick to your face a little as you apply. It’s not a super instant hydration feel but more of a slightly tacky one that sets to a soft, smooth feel. It’s also one that creates a layer over your skin that allows moisture in but not out. You’ll find with daily use your skin will look smoother. You’ll also find your complexion looks brighter and dullness lessens due to the fact you’re retaining more moisture. You’ll also find that your moisturizers and other skincare as well as makeup applies more smoothly and absorbs more easily. That’s the joy of an essence.

I wouldn’t say May Coop Raw Sauce is my favorite essence product but it is a great introduction into the unusual and very beneficial world of Korean essences.


Get it at Sephora and Sephora.com.

Do you use essence in your skincare routine?

May Coop Raw Sauce4

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Denise

    I think sometimes things get lost in translation, but there’s no way I’m putting something called “Raw Sauce” on my face. It reminds me of that snail secretion fervor a while back. It all sounds like it belongs in a textbook of gynecologic disorders!

    • Ally

      Everyone is entitled to put whatever they want on their faces, because well, it is your face. However, I think missing out on a potentially wonderful product with the potential of being a staple in your routine because of its name, is slightly close-minded. As to the “snail secretion,” it may sound “nasty” or “weird” to non-Asian consumers, but the benefits of snail secretion when applied topically are real and wonderful, so much so that it is a staple in many people’s routines (especially those who dabble in Asian skin care). Also you have to remember these are not so much marketed to westerners as they are to their original markets, which would be Korea, Japan, and to some extent China and Taiwan, so they are named (much like western products and brands) specifically to sell to a certain populous or to attract consumers to buy it (which is why a lot of Korean brands use the words “moist” in their product names, even if the name is not completely grammatically correct. Ex: Etude House named a product “Moistfull Collagen Cream” even though the word “moistfull” does not exist). At the end of the day, you do you, but I think refusing to use products because of their names, even if their ingredient effectiveness is proven and continuously tested, is doing yourself and your skin a great disservice.

      I guess there will be more product for me then.

      (On a side note, these product names are not “lost in translation,” that it what they were named originally. Again, to sell to specific demographics. Also as someone who knows quite a bit about gynecologic disorders, I can assure you that the words “Raw Sauce” or “Snail Secretion” are not very common in disorder names.)

  • Grace

    I’ve been using the raw sauce and enjoying it! What other essences do you recommend?

    • Isabella Muse

      I listed all my favs in this post Grace 🙂 you can consider those recommendations for ones I use and love. Hope this helps?

  • Kristi

    This is HG status for me. I can tell when I don’t use it, as my skin is drier, duller. I use this every night in combination with a face oil, and it’s smooth as a baby’s bottom in the morning!

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s a great one. I particularly like how much brighter my skin looks when I use it 🙂

  • Ashley

    I had a sample of this and LOVED it but opted to buy Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin liquid because I loved the cream so much. How do they compare? Which do you like better?

    • Isabella Muse

      They are pretty different Ashley. I like the Dr Jart better as it’s a little thicker and a bit more hydrating 🙂

  • JCz

    Hi Muse! Great review. I also bought the smaller size and I find that there’s plenty in there for quite a few uses. I like it, but I also got a sample of Belif’s Hungarian Water Essence. Have you tried that one? If you haven’t you should give it a go. I haven’t compared ingredients side-by-side so I can’t speak to that, but for me, Belif’s essence is a bit lighter in scent and texture, which makes it more pleasant to use. Plus the pump is more convenient, but the downside is you can’t see how much product is remaining in the bottle. Tradeoffs, I guess!

    • Isabella Muse

      I have not, I’ll have to try it out! I don’t mind that! Just shake it and that gives you a general idea eh? 😀

  • Katherine T.

    Oh nooooo !! Thanks for posting the ingredients list. I’ve heard about this and wanted to try it, but it’s fragranced AND alcohol is the 2nd ingredient. My skin just can’t take it

  • breyerchic04

    I tried Raw Sauce and didn’t like the alcohol content. It doesn’t really seem to do anything for me, or make me glowy in any way. So meh for me. I do use the US version of Hada Labo Replenishing Hydrator and like it a lot. But I’m giving the Gokugyn Lotion one a try, it’s cheaper on amazon right now so let’s see if it’s any different.

    Also have you tried out the Dr Jart Ceramidin gel cream? I haven’t tried the liquid yet but the gel cream is amazing for me!

    • Isabella Muse

      I think the saddest thing about essences from Asia is the alcohol and fragrance :-/ 🙁 Yup, I reviewed it a while ago 🙂 Great stuff!

  • Jay

    This essence makes me oily throughout the day. Everything looks great at first but then I’m a greasy mess before lunch time. Maybe I should use it at night only? And I actually have a similar product in my backup stash from Hada Labo!

    Have you tried the Boscia cool blue hydration essence? It’s been on my Sephora wish list forever.

    • Isabella Muse

      Nightly might be best! I didn’t have an issue but my skin is crazy town dry lately! 😀 Ummm I wanna say I have when it originally launched but I’m trying to remember what I thought of that formula lol! So many products and I’m starting to get senile!

  • Francesca

    oh..mygod. how did I not know about these products? I need to try this, obsessing over the idea as I type this.

  • Gabrielle

    I just started using Raw Sauce and really like it. From now on, I’m an essence girl.

  • Annie

    Right now I’m using the Cosrx 96 Snail Mucin Essence (or something like that, the name always mixes me up) and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I also just got the Benton Box from MeMebox and it has their Snail Bee High Content Skin essence but I haven’t opened it yet. Annnnd I have some Skin Food Watery Berry Essence and Toner samples coming from eBay. But I will definitely put the Raw Sauce on my list go try because I have heard a lot about it and that’s a great, affordable price! Entering the KB world is intimidating but I’m slowly learning, and enjoying, the ropes! Thanks Muse!!

    • Isabella Muse

      Aw my pleasure Annie! Btw I used the Skin Food Water Berry Essence too! I like that one 😀

  • Whitney Granger

    Did you ever end up trying Belif Hungarian Water Essence? I’m wondering how it compares to this. I used a sample of Belif’s and while I’m very impressed with the ingredients it just didn’t seem to hydrate my skin that much. I’m waiting for my Raw Sauce to come in the mail now so it will be interesting to compare.

    • Isabella Muse

      I did! I prefer the May Coop formula. Belif’s formula wasn’t quite as hydrating as I had hoped. I ended up returning it. If you really want super moisture I’d go with Hada Labo Rohto Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid, the milk version in particular is a favorite of mine. It plumps skin, smooths, and hydrates very well! It’s sticky but if you apply it correctly and spend time patting it in you’ll be happy with the results. I use it every single night 😀

  • Roe

    I love this essence. I have combination skin and don’t find it dries me. But I am a little worried about the alcohol content for long term. I know it’s just not good for skin. Is it really that big of a deal?

  • Jess

    Hey I was looking at purchasing either the Raw Sauce or the Hada Labo Moisturising Lotion (your other favourite), as you and another skincare YouTuber I enjoy talk about both. Which would you recommend as I only want to get one? I am 20 and have normal skin, slightly oily in T-zone and the occasional dryness. Winter is also coming up so I want to step up my skincare and buy a lotion/essence type thing to add in some extra moisture, right now I am using SKII Facial Treatment Essence but I definitely will not be repurchasing because for the price I do not think I have seen mind-blowing results. I live in a slightly hotter climate being in Sydney, but it is not as humid as very tropical places like Malaysia etc. Thank you for any advice!

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Jess! How are you? I personally prefer Hada Labo but if you aren’t super dry you might want to try May Coop, it’s good moisture but not as super hydrating as Hada Labo’s formula which might be a better option for your normal skin!

      • Jess

        Hey I am pretty good, have been stepping up my skincare and really enjoying your blog! Thanks for answering, I am not super dry but I always felt like you can never have too much moisture haha? Or would the Haba Labo be too much moisture somehow…

        • Isabella Muse

          Good to hear 😀 Thank YOU! 🙂 Glad you’re liking the blog! I’m of the same mentality, moisture is a good thing 😀 Hada Labo is def the more hydrating of the two, it’s a fav of mine, I like the gold label myself but also enjoying the new blue premium range which treats dark spots/hyper pigmentation. If you want lighter, May Coop is a good place to start but if you want to go in full guns a blazing I’d def go with Hada Labo! It remains one of my favs!

  • Lis

    Do you know where I can purchase this? I have it and LOVE it, but they stopped carrying it at Sephora. And I heard that you can get it from Peach & Lilly but after reading the reviews I’m nervous I won’t get back order if I place it.

    • Isabella Muse

      Peachy and Lily does carry it, not sure what you mean about back order? They have it in stock now.