[REVIEW] Etude House Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner (Before and After)
What you get: 80ml, or 180ml, or 350ml
Ingredients: Water, Propanediol (Solvent + Moisturizer/Humectant) , Glycerin, Betaine (Moisturizer/Humectant) , Panthenol, Madecassoside, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol (Solvent), Butylene Glycol (Moisturizer/Humectant + Solvent + Viscosity Controlling) , Ethylhexylglycerin (Preservative), Carbomer (Viscosity Controlling + Emulsion Stabilising), Polyglycerin-3 (Moisturizer/Humectant), Disodium Edta (Chelating + Viscosity Controlling)
Glycerine: Widely used as a quality Hydrator (occurs naturally in skin and its chemical structure attracts water). You can find this ingredient in most good skin-replenishing products.
Panthenol: Moisturizing (penetrates deep into the layers and gets converted into Pantothenic Acid (B5)) + Possibly Anti Acne (B5) + Wound healing (‘‘Promotes skin cell proliferation’’) + Anti-inflammatory (‘‘Help reduce the appearance of UV-induced redness and may alleviate the itchiness associated with dermatitis.’’) + Skin barrier protection (B5 is involved in the creation of lipids, which themselves play a significant role in preventing moisture loss from the top layer of the skin)
Madecassoside: Derivative of Centella Asiatica Extract: Wound healing + hypertrophic scar healing properties + promotes collagen production (Acts as an Antioxidant). - ‘‘Madecassoside can also help in burn wound healing through increasing antioxidant activity and enhancing collagen synthesis.’’
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green tea): Antioxidant (Polyphenol) + Anti-inflammatory (Polyphenol) + Antimicrobial (Catechins)
Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract: Antioxidant (Flavonoids baicalein, Oroxylin A, and Wogonin) + Anti-inflammatory (Inhibits substances and growth factor related to macrophage proliferation) + Antimicrobial (flavonoids and phenolic acids) + Prevents hyperpigmentation (Inhibits Melanin forming activity of Tyrosinase)
[Claims put together from e-pamphlet]
Soothing care. Protection of skin barrier and maintenance of hydration (Panthenol), soothing effect for irritated skin (Madecassoside): Soothing care. Protection of skin barrier and maintenance of hydration (Panthenol), soothing effect for irritated skin (Madecassoside): Soothing care. Protection of skin barrier and maintenance of hydration (Panthenol), soothing effect for irritated skin (Madecassoside): Panthenol is associate with skin barrier protection as it promotes lipid production, a class of these lipids (ceramides) are essential to skin barrier functions (see the in-depth ingredient list above), which makes this product interesting if you have a compromised skin barrier that you're trying to fix: think redness, flakiness, tightness, itchiness, fine lines, increased breakouts, or even rashes. When you're suffering from all of these things, your primary course of action should be to stop using all your products and switch them out for one or two very hydrating and skin-barrier supplementing ones. Personally, I always get random pimples on my face, particularly when I get my period. While using this toner, I didn’t get any, so skin barrier wise it delivered its claims. However, when it comes to hydration and moisture level, that was another story. Now yes, the nature of the toner makes it so that you can layer it on without the risk of it clogging down your pores. Still, the more you layer it on, the stickier it gets, and my point here is that the level of hydration you'd achieved with layering on this 3 or 4 times can be achieved by just one layer by toners like the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner. The same point can be made about the skin-barrier-building-up functions: yes, this toner has some, but there are more efficient ingredients out there like Niacinamide, which would build it up more effectively since it directly influences ceramides production (think products like The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%). The only advantage that this toner would have over other products is its pH level. Otherwise, there are better things out there to use for a compromised skin barrier. The equivalent of skin barrier protection and hydration of this product would be like sucking on an ice cube when you're thirsty: it will alleviate your thirst, but not very efficiently. As for Madecassoside, although it has some antioxidant properties, I wouldn't go as far as to say that it has soothing effects. Soothing properties are anti-inflammatory properties that would calm down irritated/red/sensitized skin, and Madecassoside doesn't exactly do that. The only product I've ever recommended for soothing down skin is the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream. The point is: All these claims are valid except for the soothing one, but there are better products out there, although this one is okay if you're on a budget and your skin issues aren't too extreme.
Cooling effect for heated skin- Cooling Relief™ ingredient relieves stressed skin: Many brands give names to a combination of ingredients, which usually serves to market the product. An example would be 'MultiEx Phytrogen' in the Eco Your Skin Facial Pilates Mask, which is just a particular combination of some of the ingredients present in the list. Cooling Relief™ is just a fancy way to mention a couple of the ingredients here and point out that they have a "cooling effect." I find this to be more or less true. Due to the texture of the product, it is bound to be refreshing and cooling when applied on the face, and since it also has hydrating properties, this adds to the 'cooling effect.' But don't go thinking that this is going to feel like something out of the refrigerator - you're probably better off refrigerating masks or mists for that.
Low pH Formula. Helps skin maintain the correct low pH level. Chemicals with an alkaline pH are detrimental to skin’s protective barrier, making it more prone to dryness and other various external factors. Take care of your sensitive skin with low pH products:
Here’s an excerpt from ‘‘ALL ABOUT CLEANSING & HOW TO CHOOSE A GENTLE CLEANSER’’ by Michelle from Lab Muffin blog: ‘‘Skin is acidic, meaning it has a low pH (around 4 or 5). This is important because a lot of the biochemical reactions that occur in the Skin only work within a narrow pH range. Surfactant-containing cleansers are particularly good at changing skin pH for long amounts of time, meaning that if your cleanser has a particularly high pH, then it’s going to hinder your Skin from repairing itself. High pH also makes Skin swell and reduces its flexibility.’’ So, the bottom line is, pH is important. That being said, most tap water pH lies around the 6.5 or 9.5 margin depending on where you live, so even if you apply a pH appropriate cleanser to your face, you might end up washing it off with non-appropriate pH water.
The point of this paragraph is to make you understand why pH is important in some cases. I don’t care much for it as we’ve been using water on our skins since we started walking on feet, and skin can regulate its own pH. However, if you’re skin barrier is significantly compromised, pH regulation is something you might want to look into. Either way, the fact that this toner lies at a 5.5 pH isn’t something terrible. At the worst, it’s irrelevant, and at best, it gives people a good option of pH friendly skincare.
I've found that applying this toner on my skin alone does not provide me with as much hydration as I would like. I've ended up layering it on 2 or 3 times, and this ended up working. My skin gets a bit too sticky to my likings, but it's not anything uncomfortable. Although my skin looks more hydrated, it doesn't plump up as it does with other toners like the Klairs one I mentioned.
What I like about this toner is that it has non-comedogenic non sensitizing ingredients that are known to work. This isn’t a bad product, and it will supplement your skin with okay amounts of hydration and help keep your skin barrier healthy. At 12$ (on Amazon), it’s very adequately priced, and I think it’s probably one of the best toners priced this way on the market: there are others like it, but they usually contain fragrance or colorants, or other nonsense ingredients.
Would I recommend it? If you’re willing to spend an additional 10$ to get something better, no. But if you want to stick to this price range: definitely. All skin types would greatly enjoy this product: it has very low chances of irritating sensitive skins, it’s watery texture will suit people with the oiliest skins, although dryer skin types would benefit from more hydrating products, they can layer it on if they want to, and acne-prone skins would enjoy the hydration with low chances of triggering breakouts. Finally, for normal skin types: the base of any skincare routine should be hydration and moisture.
I personally would not repurchase it, because 1] I don’t like layering on products and the tacky feeling they leave behind, 2] There are a lot of hydrating products that I much prefer that give me bouncier, more supple skin, 3] if my skin barrier is seriously compromised, this won’t be the most efficient way to repair it (Combining a Niacinamide-based serum and a more hydrating toner work better), and 4] most retailers are selling this at a higher price (which then doesn’t make it worth it). Also, something to note: if your skin looks normal, this won’t make much of a difference in appearance.
Great price/quality ratio
No nonsense ingredients (essential oils, fragrance)
5.5 pH (if you care about this)
Gets absorbed fast (if you’re putting on 1 layer)
Probably won’t revolutionize your skin unless you’ve sensitized it in the past or you’ve never used a toner before.
🌧Score: 3.0/5 ——— An okay hydrating toners with low chances of irritating your skin, it has a nice formulation devoiced of any fragrance (which is rare at this price range). Not jaw-dropping amazing, but just okay, the price tag elevates the score.
+Yesstyle: 16.84$ for 180ml (Link), 27.84$ for 350ml (Link) (If you use my code: DEWILDE you can get up to 5% off on any YesStyle purchase at checkout) (If you use my code: DEWILDE you can get up to 5% off on any Yesstyle purchase at checkout)
+Of the same line: [REVIEW] Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser (Before and After)