As someone who has oily/combo skin, balancing oil production can be a nightmare. Because while the rest of my face stays fresh and dewy, my T-zone stays telling my business. And because I’m still in the early days of my tretinoin journey, my oily production is at an all time high. This means that I’m continually on the search for the next lightweight hydrating product to supply enough moisture but not clog my pores or feel too heavy. For some time my Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner did just enough but I always knew there was something better out there for me. Enter Laneige Cream Skin Refiner.
WHAT LANEIGE CREAM SKIN REFINER CLAIMS
It is a toner with new formula in which a whole bottle of cream is dissolved with safe ingredients to keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
SECRET 1: A cream melts into a refiner. With Cream Blending Technology™ exclusive of Laneige, a jar of cream is dissolved in skin toner.
SECRET 2.White Leaf Tea Water Fortifies Skin Barriers. With White Leaf Tea Water having content of amino acid enriched through the pecialized shadow-growing metho, it strengthens the skin barrier and provides a lasting moisturizing effect
SECRET 3.Mild deep hydration toner. Cream Skin Refiner is filled with mild and safe ingredients which provides moisturizing effects for dry and sensitive skin [Free of PEG surfactant, animal based ingredient, synthetic pigment, triethanolamine and fragrance; hypoallergenic tested]
WATER / AQUA / EAU, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, LIMNANTHES ALBA (MEADOWFOAM) SEED OIL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, POLYGLYCERYL-10 STEARATE, GLYCERYL STEARATE CITRATE, SODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, INULIN LAURYL CARBAMATE, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PROPANEDIOL, DISODIUM EDTA, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL
WHAT I THINK
Let me start by saying that I think the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner packaging is one of the best I’ve seen. I have included it in some of my best toners lists. A frosted bottle with a fitting cap that doesn’t allow for any spills at all. If you’re confused about the name, don’t be. In Korean skincare, toners are referred to as “skin”. In the version of this product marketed to Australia and North America, it’s named Laneige Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer.
The product is a thin milky liquid that is wildly different from your regular (hydrating) toners. This is because the folks at Amorepacific (Laneige’s parent company) melted a cream into a toner with the aid of their Cream Blending Technology. You only need to see the product to believe them on this claim.
This toner is gentle and non-irritating. It helped to get rid of an extra dry patch I had on my chin which was as a result of overusing that infamous peel from The Ordinary. It is especially useful during colder months when you need an extra layer of hydration. It absorbs completely in no time and you can see it instantly working it’s magic just a few minutes after application. It does an excellent job of strengthening the skin’s barrier due to being very hydrating and moisturizing.
But my favorite thing about the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner is not what it contains but actually, what it’s missing. It’s not often you see a product so hydrating and moisturizing that doesn’t contain hyaluronic acid in any way or form.
Instead there’s glycerin which has been overlooked with the ever-growing popularity of hyaluronic acid. Glycerin is a powerfully hydrating humectant and is up there on the ingredients list right after butylene glycol (for skin conditioning). Glycerin is also perfect for sensitive or sensitized skin that doesn’t react well to hyaluronic acid.
While there’s an absence of fragrance, the cream skin refiner smells very nice and luxurious. So it’s probably one of the other ingredients with the smell.
I use this twice daily as a toner. In my morning routine, I use it immediately after cleansing and as a moisturizer under my sunscreen. While at night I use it as a toner, after exfoliating, and after tretinoin (on my tretinoin nights). I use multiple layers of this because my skin gets easily dehydrated and to curb my oil production.
In the colder months, I layer it 2-3 times after cleansing while in the warmer months I apply just 2 layers and some sunscreen before heading out. Doing this ensures a glow that lasts throughout the day. I can get away with doing this because like I said earlier, my skin is prone to dehydration. However, using more than one layer can have you looking greasy real quick. Remember that this is a moisturizer melted into a toner so it’s going to feel quite heavy if overused. Except you’re intentionally going for that.
YAY OR NAY?
HOLY GRAIL. I would absolutely recommend this 100%. I found it powerfully moisturizing and hydrating. If like me you’re always looking to pare down your routine to the barest minimum then this may be right for you. This would also be perfect if you get your actives from other sources and don’t need a heavy duty moisturizer that is going to fix everything in one.
My only gripe with this is the price. Not everyone has over $30 for a toner/moisturizer that don’t do much else beside moisturizing. I mean, I’m totally content with what it does for me but I can’t speak for everyone. So if you have some cash to spare and you’re looking to add in some more hydration to your routine, YAY.