[REVIEW] Son & Park Cleansing Beauty Water and Skin Toner

I have a lot of trouble emptying my skincare products, but if there’s one (facial foam and makeup remover aside) that I NEVER have a problem finishing, it’s definitely my toner.

I may be rather lazy when it comes to skincare (no 10 step skincare routine for me pls), but I always diligently use toner. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, since I get the chance to try out new toners and brands!


Product Description

This multi-tasking toner and cleansing water has quickly become a cult favorite, as well as a 2015 Soko Glam Beauty Award Winner! It creates a clean base for the next steps in your skincare and makeup routine. Originally created by master artists, Son & Park, Beauty Water lives up to its name.

The Beauty Water is not just a cleanser but it mildly exfoliates with willow bark and papaya extract to help sweep away dead skin cells, revealing brighter skin tone and smoother texture. Lavender water, rose water, and orange fruit extract impart a subtle hydration so your skin can be prepped to absorb the next skin care steps, while adding in a bit of moisture. 

Beauty Water can be used in the morning to create the perfect canvas for makeup application, midday as a refresher, and night after cleansing to whisk away remaining impurities. For normal, oily, dry, and combination skin types. Beauty Water has a pH of 4.5, effectively resetting the skin’s natural pH after cleansing.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 32 (Althea)

Image credits


Ingredient List

Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Pentylene Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Xylitol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Water, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit/Seed Oil, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Rose Flower Oil, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil, Thuja Occidentalis Leaf Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Laveder)Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita(Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Mentha Rotundifolia Leaf Extract, Mentha Spicata Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Origanum Majorana Leaf Extract, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, 1,2-Hexanediol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Sodium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Octanediol, Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Protease, Alcohol Denat., Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol

If you have been an avid reader of my blog (haha who am I kidding), you will know that I am very wary of ingredients such as alcohol, butylene glycol, and fragrance.

Despite the presence of both butylene glycol, denatured alcohol AND alcohol, the good thing about this product is that it does not seem to contain artificial parfum (despite its strong smell, which I will talk about later), and contains my favourite witch hazel.


Packaging: I love, love, LOVE simple packaging like this. Everything about it screams professionalism, doesn’t it? No frills, simple, and straightforward – exactly how I like my skincare to be.

Texture: As with my experience using toners, this pretty much felt just like water. I’m not complaining about that though, because I love skincare stuff that gets absorbed easily by my skin.

Smell: This is probably one of the rare few times that I have to dedicate a section to fragrance for my toners, because this is one thing I simply have to point out. I was skeptical when a friend told me she didn’t like the smell of this because it was too strong, but I finally realized she was right when I tried this out myself.

I’m actually very surprised that this toner contains no artificial fragrance at all, because it smells exactly like perfume. I find it a little incredulous that the smell is from the natural fruit and flower extracts, because the smell is so overpowering. It doesn’t actually smell unpleasant, but it’s just very strong and sweet, and I’m really not used to it. Most of my previous toners (Muji and COSRX) all never had this kind of smell.

Effectiveness: This product claims to moisturise, cleanse, and exfoliate your skin. It sounds a bit like an exfoliating toner/astringent, but it’s actually something that you can use everyday, both morning and night. I’m quite surprised that it does work as it promises, and despite containing ingredients that my skin hates, I’ve actually not broken out as I feared! If anything, I do see that my skin looks brighter and more hydrated over the few weeks that I have been using this.


Final Verdict

I’m a little undecided on how much I like this: it works fine, but the smell is making me feel rather unsettled. I don’t know how much I like it, and how much it’s affecting my judgment of this product. If this toner from Son & Park didn’t have such a scent, I’m sure I would love it to bits.

Some of the ingredients here also rattle me: all that alcohol, really? What if my skin really does break out one day?

I know this toner/beauty water is well-loved among many, and is one of those holy grail products that a lot of beauty bloggers promote, but I feel so conflicted about it that I don’t think I will be repurchasing after I’m done with this bottle (and the travel sized one that came in the set).


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

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[REVIEW] COSRX Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner

If there’s one skincare product I use everyday (and twice a day at that!), it’s definitely toner. I actually emptied my previous COSRX toner in just a few months because I was using it so diligently, so I had no choice but to get a new toner. I was actually quite happy that I had the chance to try out a new toner because the COSRX one wasn’t very effective towards the end, so I got this one from COSRX instead.

(Anyway as a side note, I love COSRX’s skincare products. I’m not endorsed to say this but just really wanted to put it out there that this brand is seriously good for your skin.)


Product Description

This highly concentrated Centella Toner provides relief to irritated, specifically and sensitive stressed-out skin while replenishing lost moisture.

Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner is made of skin friendly plants extracts and calming botanical ingredients to relax and comfort stressed-out skin. This gentle toner contains Centella Asiatica Leaf Water 10% and mineral water from JEJU 82% which effectively improves skin condition while providing vitamins and minerals. It’s suitable for sensitive skin.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 22.90

Image credits


Ingredient List

Mineral Water, Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Panthenol, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethyl Hexanediol

The top ingredient in this toner is mineral water, which is kind of worrying because it feels as though you’re probably just spraying plain water on your face. On the other hand, it is very comforting to see that this toner is free of irritants and has kept ingredients to the minimum – more ingredients don’t necessarily mean that the product will do more for your skin.

If you’re curious as to what Centella Asiatica Leaf Water can do for you:

When applied topically, Centella extract is effective in treating wounds. In a 2012 study, researchers found that Centella extract facilitates the healing of incisions and burns. Centella not only promotes collagen production but also inhibits inflammation that leads to scarring.

Collagen production? Healing of wounds? Inhibits inflammation? Consider me sold!


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Packaging: It comes in pretty typical COSRX fashion – simple, clean, and straight to the point. I am a big fan of skincare products that look like these, and I have to say that COSRX really does its packaging very well. The bottle can be slightly cumbersome if you want to pack this into a small luggage or bag, but should fit nicely in most other normal-sized luggages if you’re planning to carry out for travels. If you are worried about the size, you could always pour it into a smaller spray bottle for convenience.

One weird thing about this, however, is that I haven’t been able to spray a lot of product out nicely. It tends to come out in small spurts, and not exactly the mist shown in the product photo. I don’t know if it’s just my bottle that’s weird, because I haven’t seen other reviews complaining about this yet TT___TT It’s not that big of a problem, but obviously it would be better if I could get more product out smoothly, right?

Texture: As with my experience using toners, this pretty much felt just like water. I’m not complaining about that though, because I love skincare stuff that gets absorbed easily by my skin. I don’t like the heavy and oily feeling some products leave on your skin – I can almost imagine my skin clogging up just from that feeling.

Effectiveness: My skin is, unfortunately, a fast and accurate reflection of my health, moods, and life in general. When I’m stressed, eating badly, or spent a day getting burnt in the sun (I honestly strongly advise against this), my face immediately reflects the effects after one night’s sleep. There was a period of time that I was quite stressed, and (unfortunately) spent one day sweating in the hot afternoon sun, so the next day my skin immediately broke out with pimples and red patches.

I’ve had experience using toners that actually made the situation even worse – I’ll talk about that in future posts – but this toner has actually helped to calm my skin down quite a fair bit. I know toners don’t really promise to give you dewy skin, kill all acne etc., but this has been really great for prepping my skin. This definitely doesn’t make my skin itch or feel inflamed when it is dying from the environmental damage inflicted on it.

I’ve also seen a marked improvement in how well my skin reacts to the products in the rest of my skincare routine, where my usage of MISSHA’s Cell Renew Snail Cream actually made my skin glow and my acne scars lighten!


Final Verdict

Another great product from COSRX – though someone really needs to look into that spray nozzle thing. I think I would love this product a lot more if it would actually spray properly.

I also do think that it is slightly expensive in Singapore retail stores (pharmacies), so I would recommend getting your hands on this online instead. I got mine from a Shopee seller for $15 – still not the cheapest toner around, but definitely one that is worth the money.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

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[REVIEW] COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol

One K-beauty brand that I’m super happy I discovered from watching beauty influencers’ (more specifically, Joan Kim!) Youtube videos is COSRX. This skincare brand has never disappointed, and I like how everything is so fuss-free and straightforward – kind of like a drastic change from the usual amazing packaging of K-beauty products, but not a bad change to have once in a while.


Product Description

The Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol is a toner that works hard to hydrate and prep your skin for the next steps in your skin care routine and maintains your pores as a gentle chemical exfoliator.

This formula contains 69.8% Black Bee Propolis to soothe, repair and hydrate skin while inhibiting bacterial growth—perfect for breakouts and acne-prone skin. Natural AHAs and BHAs also aid in controlling excess sebum, clearing impurities and dead skin cells, and helping your skin cells renew so your skin becomes clearer and brighter while maintaining natural moisture-retention.

This is a great toner for sensitive, combination, or oily skin, and especially those dealing with breakouts and acne.

This product has a pH level of 4

Fragrance-free.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 26.90


Ingredient List

Propolis Extract, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, water, Glycolic Acid, Betaine Salicylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethyl Hexanediol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil

I know this ingredient list sounds quite scary, especially when you see alcohol ranked 2nd(!) I had a lot of doubts when I was looking at this product, but the product description seemed to fit what I was looking for. I was hoping to buy a toner that could hydrate my skin while keeping my acne at bay, and this toner seemed to do just the thing, so I took a leap of faith and went ahead with this purchase.


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Packaging: I don’t really like my skincare products to look too frivolous, although I do love pretty makeup packaging. Having something clean and sophisticated gives the impression that it’s more scientifically-formulated, if you understand what I mean haha. I’ve brought this along on my travels and had no problems with leakages whatsoever. It’s not too bulky too, so it can definitely fit snugly into your luggage.

Texture: Like most other toners, it feels just like water, so it gets absorbed by the skin very easily. I’m not too big a fan of the smell, though.

Effectiveness: I have pretty mixed thoughts about this, but mostly positive.

So when I first started using this product, I was going through a lot of stress, bad eating, terrible sleeping habits (all thanks to school) and I felt like my skin might die if I didn’t use a toner that could at least promise to keep my skin looking like it won’t die any time soon. I’m not exaggerating when I say this toner SAVED my skin during those dreary, exhausting weeks. My internal organs might have been dying, but my skin was clearly surviving. It remained relatively clear for weeks with the occasional zits, but nothing drastic!  It was the best condition that I had seen my skin in for a long time, and I really was quite amazed.

However, after I used it for a period of time, it seemed a little like it wasn’t so effective anymore. My lifestyle habits have definitely been improving since then, so I don’t know why I still sprout acne patches so often these days.


Final Verdict

I hate having mixed feelings about a product that clearly worked for me, and which I would definitely want to recommend 😦

I might give this another shot in future with a new bottle (I just finished mine!) to see if I can still make this work for me, because this is honestly the best toner I’ve used in a long time. I do think this will work great for people with sensitive and acne-prone skin – I can truly vouch for this. I’m just slightly puzzled by the reduced efficacy towards the end of the bottle. Maybe something else in my makeup routine is messing my skin up rather than the toner, but it still shows that this toner is not 100% effective at preventing acne. Oh well.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮✮

mustbuy