Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: Etude House Skin Mal:Gem Toner - Smoother

It's been a long time since I've changed toners. The Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner has served me well. It got rid of the pimples I kept getting from clogged pores, and it's been in my morning and night time skin routine for the past 3.5 years. But around half a year ago, I started getting pimples again. Nothing big, maybe 1-2 clogged pores that turned into pimples on the sides of my face, but there was always one there! I was hoping Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner would save me, but unfortunately, it didn't do anything this time. And then I remember one of the previous commenters (sorry, I forgot which post it was or else I'd write your name here!) suggested I try Etude House's mal-gem line of toners.

Description (from
  • Formulated with fruit mix, panthenol, orchid etc.
  • Makes skin feel luxuriously soft and look radiant
  • Removes dead skin cells and makes skin soft, smooth and elastic
  • Effectively softens and remove blackheads, deep sealed dirt and oil from the pore
  • Paraben free, artificial pigment free, benzophenone free, animal nature material free, mineral oil free
  • After cleansing, apply a proper amount to your face with cotton
My impression:

As usual Korean skincare descriptions like to make a simple toner sound like it can perform miracles. Just like the Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner, this toner is your usual western style toner, it's consistency is like water and you put it on a cotton pad and wipe it on your face. It's not your usual Korean style toners that are more like thick gel and you just spread it on your face like cream. The Skin Mal:Gem line has 5 toners: fresh (for oil control), smoother (for exfoliation), moist, deep moist, and essential (combination skin).

Since the reason why I switched toners was because I wanted to get rid of those pimples and whatever was clogging my pores, I chose the smoother toner because it exfoliates, which encourages sloughing off dead skin. And I just say it's done it's job. It's been 6 months and the pimples have pretty much disappeared. I do get a clogged pore occassionally, but they haven't grown to a pimple for the past 4 months. And I haven't changed any other part of my routine (though that will change soon..but more on that another day).

So that's why I've decided to switch my routine toner to this one. As to the claims that it makes skin soft and elastic, I haven't found that to be the case. The amount of blackheads on my nose remain the same. But I agree that by minimizing pores and getting rid of my pimples, it makes my skin smoother.


Removes eye makeup with one rub = less tugging on eyes = good
Cream-based so not drying for the eyes
$11 for 250ml on eBay

Quality: 4/5 because it did exfoliate and got rid of my pimples but doesn't do any of the other claims
Value: 5/5 because it's $11 for 250ml!

Repurchase? Yes, if I plan on continue using toner. But I'm about to change my routine so I might not use toners anymore (more on that later)! 

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