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Let’s Talk Toners (and essences)! πŸ’§

I used to think toners and essences were an unnecessary step in a routine but in the past few years I’ve tried some products that completely changed my mind! A brief note on the toner vs essence debate first though. Originally, toners were describing lightweight often exfoliating products and essences were the thicker more hydrating products but now many companies use the terms somewhat interchangeably. For the purpose of this post, I’ll be calling them all toners, but I’ll note which ones are exfoliating.

YuWy user profile picture

YuWy

Oily/Sensitive

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1

Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion

If you’ve seen any of my other posts here you’ve probably seen me song praises to this toner. It’s one of my ultimate favorite products. I seriously can’t describe how much I’m in love with it

Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion product review
Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion product review
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YuWy


Oily/Resilient

Pure hydration in a bottle. If you’re always looking for more hydrated (ie healthy) skin or lookong for a way to add just a little more hydration to your routine, I’d highly reccommend this. I use it as a toner after my cleansing and my skin feels instabtly hydrated. It has a thick jelly texture that I really like and a little goes a long way. This will be on my shelf forever.

Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion

Rovectin
Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion

star rating

4.7

(423)

favorite

1014

2

Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

This product has kind of a cult following in the k-beauty sphere and honestly? It’s totally deserved. This is a great toner for texture and hydration

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YuWy


Oily/Resilient

🐌 Initial thoughts: The texture! It’s incredible; thick and hydrating with a little bit of stickiness that allows you to go for either a dewy look or a more satin/matte depending on what you layer. It feels very hydrating upon application too. 🐌 Overall rating: 9.5/10 This is the second most hydrating toner I’ve ever tried (just behind the Rovectin skin essentials lotion) but it has some additional benefits from the snail mucin that make my skin look so smooth. This is definitely something I’m keeping in my rotation and I highly recommend it. I haven’t seen much change in dark spots yet, but I’ve only used it for three weeks so I have high hopes.

Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

COSRX
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

star rating

4.6

(2995)

favorite

6023

3

Safe Me. Relief Essence Toner

My favorite lightweight hydrating toner! Excellent for layering under heavier serums or even under another toner in very dry months. It plays nice with everything I’ve ever tried to layer it with too

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YuWy


Oily/Resilient

I’m pretty critical of toners and essenses just because I believe many of them are all talk but this is one I plan on keeping on my shelf. Just like the other products in this line it’s a godsend for soothing irritation while still providing hydration. I’ve been using it after cleansing and I feel my treatments soak into my skin better after I use this. It also immediantly takes away that most cleansing tightness I get sometimes.

Safe Me. Relief Essence Toner

make p:rem
Safe Me. Relief Essence Toner

star rating

4.6

(145)

favorite

122

4

SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner

Very similar to the P:rem toner but fragrance free!

SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner product review
SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner product review
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sheglowsandblooms


Oily/Sensitive

I am really impressed on how this basic toner immediately re-set my skin. I was suffering from a damaged skin barrier, and it did its wonders to soothe and hydrate my skin! I have also observed that it: - Lessened my redness - T-zone less oily - Soothe my breakouts - prevented my pimples to form PIH Texture wise, it's watery, but once you've applied to your skin you'll have that "slip" feel I really recommend this if your skin is sensitized from using a lot of actives, or if you have a damaged skin barrier!

SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner

ETUDE
SoonJung pH 5.5 Relief Toner

star rating

4.6

(346)

favorite

709

5

pH Balance Calming Toner

I’d classify this toner as a medium weight toner. Not nearly as thick as the Rovectin or COSRX toner, but thicker than the P:rem and Soonjung

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YuWy


Oily/Resilient

Very solid light/medium weight toner. Hydrating and nonirritating. I noticed subtle descreased redness and less drynes throughout the day.

pH Balance Calming Toner

Pure'am
pH Balance Calming Toner

star rating

4.8

(177)

favorite

139

6

Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner

If you’ve never tried anything from the manyo bifida line and you’ve had issues with your skin barrier in the past I’d highly recommend giving it a try! I’m curently using the serum, but this toner is also a great option

Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner product review
Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner product review
Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner product review
Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner product review
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august.serenade


Dry/Sensitive

πŸ’š 𝗣π—₯π—’π—Ÿπ—’π—šπ—¨π—˜ I have eczema and the occurence of it getting trigger on my face anytime is normal and a lifetime commitment. So, what I want is to find toner that is mild enough to be used when this happen. I have bought a few toners that claimed it’s mild and safe to use everyday and my expectation goes down the drain after just using it the first time. Someone here in Picky recommended this toner and after I’ve checked the ingredients, there was no β€˜red flag’ with sensitive skin and decided to try it. πŸ’š π—ͺ𝗛𝗔𝗧 π—œπ—§ π—œπ—¦ β€’ A bottle of product that has a function of toner + ampoule which contains high concentration of Bifida Biome which shields the skin from external agressors. β€’ Boosting and hydrating toner, resulting in tones up skin and enhance absorptions of the next step β€’ It also has PHA - Lactobionic Acid (extracted from milk) to help remove debris and pore waste gently (PHA I like!) πŸ’š π—žπ—˜π—¬ π—œπ—‘π—šπ—₯π—˜π——π—œπ—˜π—‘π—§π—¦ β€’ 1000ppm of bifida ferment content (Bifida Ferment Filtrate and Bifida Ferment Lysate) β€’ 10 types of Hyaluronic Acid with different mollecular weights to penetrate into different layers of the skin for deep hydration β€’ Witch Hazel Flower Water - purify, protect and soothe the skin πŸ’š 𝗠𝗬 π—˜π—«π—£π—˜π—₯π—œπ—˜π—‘π—–π—˜ ✍🏼 𝘼π™₯π™₯π™‘π™žπ™˜π™–π™©π™žπ™€π™£ β€’ I use this both in my AM and PM routine daily, after I do my cleansing. β€’ I love layering this one. First, I’ll use a cotton pad, soak it and gently wipe my face. I considered toner as an extension of cleansing, I do this to every toner. Then, I’ll pour generously into my palms, press it on my face and let my skin absorbs it, I’ll do this 2-3 layers. ✍🏼 π˜Ύπ™€π™£π™©π™–π™žπ™£π™šπ™§/ π™‹π™§π™žπ™˜π™š β€’ I got a limited set that come with 400ml + 100ml bottle, the set price was discounted to RM97+ (USD23+). ✍🏼 π™π™šπ™­π™©π™ͺπ™§π™š/ π™Žπ™˜π™šπ™£π™© β€’ This is a clear watery liquid but it has some consistency, slightly thicker than water and from what I read regarding the product, it’s made to have an ampoule texture, that’s why I love using it because I can feel the β€˜ampoule-viscosity’ inside it. β€’ Scent wise - I didn’t detect any scent. ✍🏼 π˜½π™‘π™šπ™£π™™π™–π™—π™‘π™š/ π™π™žπ™£π™žπ™¨π™ β€’ It’s easy to apply and my skin just drinks it easily even with 2-3 layers. No stickiness or greasy feeling. ✍🏼 π™π™šπ™¨π™ͺ𝙑𝙩 β€’ To know if toner did something to your skin, try leaving your face more than 10 minutes right after you’ve finished your cleansing steps. I accidentally did it once, right after I went out from the bathroom, my kids asked me to do something β€˜mummy duty’, then after God knows for how long, suddenly I realised my face so dry + tight.. I look in the mirror and saw that my face was not wet anymore and I’m someone who don’t even practice towel dry my face!~ β€’ I’d let my bare face too long without protection! I quickly put this toner 2-3 layers and I waited for 3-5 minutes before continuing to the next step. Look in the mirror again, I can see my skin looks supple and hydrated, no more dry and tight feeling. That’s when I know this definitely do something for my skin apart from preparing my skin for the next step. β€’ But most importantly, it doesn’t sting! No other sensation and it didn’t make the inflamed skin becomes more red!~ a MAJOR PLUS POINT, yay! πŸ’š π—˜π—£π—œπ—Ÿπ—’π—šπ—¨π—˜ This product use PHA instead of AHA or BHA, which the latter, my skin can’t tolerate it especially in high percentage, I know this from a bad experience. Finally, I found the one toner that safe to be used everyday despite what my skin conditions are. So glad that I made this purchase!~ ✍🏼 π™Žπ™€.. You’re right, you definitely heard the HG bells.

Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner

manyo
Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner

star rating

4.5

(33)

favorite

174

7

Cicapair Facial Calming Mist

This is technically a mist but I use it as a toner (and as a mist throughout the day for a little extra boost). I struggle with redness but I haven’t had luck with the Dr. Jart cica line EXCEPT for this product. It calms my skin within ten minutes or so (and it smells nice)

Cicapair Facial Calming Mist product review
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Renlau


Oily/Resilient

I was surprised at how great this mist is. Normally I’m not a fan of mists that contain essential oils but this mist just works! It instantly calms and soothes my skin. It does not leave it feeling tacky or sticky it sinks into my sink easily. This has been a life saver during the hot summer at calming and refreshing my skin. I’m acne prone and this mist didn’t irritate me or break me out. Over all an amazing mist to keep at hand for when your skin needs calming throughout the day.

Cicapair Facial Calming Mist

Dr. Jart+
Cicapair Facial Calming Mist

star rating

4.4

(29)

favorite

56

8

Light It Up Essener

Very lightweight and I notice mt skin looking a little brighter after I use it. It also feels super refreshing upon application which is so nice in the summer

Light It Up Essener product review
Light It Up Essener product review
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Negin


Dry/Resilient

This little travel size of Sioris light it up essenser came in the December Picky box. Its so cute. The bottle is a mini replica of the big one. It contains ballon flower extract from the root, stem and petals, rose extract, broccoli extract as well as vitamin c , hyaluronic acid and glycerin. It has a mild scent reminiscent of something you smell at the dentists office similar to clove oil. It has a viscous texture, a little thicker than water and is easily patted into the skin. Absorbs quickly and works well for layering. It hydrates the skin well and leaves it hydrated and plump. Haven’t seen any brightening effects but the bottle is too small to be able to asess long term results

Light It Up Essener

Sioris
Light It Up Essener

star rating

4.5

(17)

favorite

7

upvote

4

comment

5

5 Comments

Veracity user profile picture
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Veracity

Oily/Resilient

You just made my wishlist longer πŸ˜πŸ˜„
upvote

2

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0

Immortelle user profile picture
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Immortelle

Oily/Resilient

True πŸ˜‚
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1

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0

messijessie user profile picture

messijessie

Oily/Sensitive

Seriously thank you for this list!!! You did a great job on this list especially for people with damaged barriers & or sensitive skin ❀️
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1

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0