Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer
Laneige’s Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer skips most of the pitfalls of what makes a bad toner, and although this is a good product, it’s relatively basic, so falls just short of being great.
Housed in a clear bottle (we’ll get to that in a moment), this lightweight, fragrance-free liquid has a slightly milky texture that’s refreshing and hydrating, yet not overly emollient. Because of its “just right” feel, it’s a good fit for all skin types. It absorbs quickly, and dries without a sticky feeling or any sort of residue after.
A look at the ingredients show this has reliable hydrators, including glycerin and meadowfoam seed oil. There are also a couple of antioxidants in the mix - green tea extract and vitamin E – which are always welcome additions.
Although this doesn’t contain many of the harsh ingredients (like denatured alcohol, witch hazel, or menthol) that many traditional toners have, it’s also short on beneficial ingredients. The ones mentioned above are all good, but there are a variety of toners that offer skin much more, including a robust complement of antioxidants and even peptides and ceramides.
While we’re glad this doesn’t do any harm – and in fact, does do some good – we just wish there were more to write home about!
*Note: because of this product’s clear packaging, it’s best to store it out of direct light to protect its delicate antioxidant ingredients from breaking down in the presence of light.
- Milky, lightweight toner feels refreshing and soothing on skin.
- Dries without feeling sticky.
- Skips the harsh ingredients found in many traditional toners.
- Fragrance free.
- Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
- Clear packaging means this should be stored out of direct light.
A 2-in-1 hybrid that preps and softens like a toner and moisturizes like a cream for maximum hydration benefits in one simple step.
Strengths: SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum sun protection; utilization of some intriguing melanin-inhibiting ingredients.
Weaknesses: Highly fragranced formulas put skin at risk of irritation; use of see-through bottles and jar packaging weakens the potency of the beneficial ingredients; claims for mineral water dont stand up to the research; despite a higher-than-average drugstore price point, Laneige products arent superior to their competitors.
Laneige is a South Korean brand owned by high-end cosmetics company, AmorePacific. Launched in 1994, the story behind this brand centers around mineral waterwhich they tend to label Optimal Mineral Waterharvested from the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. They allegedly spent 20 years perfecting its scientifically engineered properties for skin and, according to Laneige, this superior water is the secret to hydrating, protecting, and revitalizing skin.
Heres what we really know: All water thats included in cosmetics, regardless of the source, must go through a rigorous purification process, and there isnt any research showing that water from any one source is better for skin than water from any other source. More to the point, repairing and hydrating skin is not as simple as adding water. Even Laneiges highly touted mineral water wont retain moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is reinforced with ingredients like antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredientsall of which are required or the water just evaporates. So, does Laneige deliver in that regard? Yes and no.
The problem is that their products tend to include beneficial ingredients right alongside potentially irritating ingredients (including fragrance), which detracts from what the good ingredients would otherwise be able to do for skin. In some cases, the jar or clear bottle packaging further impedes the potency and stability of the formula because many of the superstar ingredients break down in the presence of air and/or light.
As far as Laneige makeup goes, at the time of this review they sell only a BB cream in the United States, but it is also plagued by the inclusion of potentially irritating ingredients.
In the end, despite their highly touted Korean brand prestige and steeper-than-average mass-market price point (the line is sold at Target stores in the United States), Laneige ends up being more about marketing fluff than whats actually good for skin. Beyond the mineral water, Laneige products would have merit for their anti-aging prowess, but their inclusion of potential irritants and the use of packaging that compromises the stability of the beneficial ingredients renders the products generally unworthy of consideration.
For more information about Laneige, visit www.us.laneige.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.