Pink and white vintage milk design, plus brightening effects, plus a light watery texture…yep, I was pretty much sold on testing this toner as soon as I received it. Read on to find out how it worked out for me.
Product received as a gift, courtesy of my friend Brenda at Berrisom. See my disclosure for my policies and collaboration information.
Who are G9 Skin?
G9 Skin are a relatively new company, and a sister branch of Berrisom. They’re affordable and their products are attractive, with cute packaging. They market the ‘G9 Complex’ which is a combination of 9 different extracts (lotus, ivy, pine needle, eucalyptus, oregano leaf, chlorella, hibiscus petal, chia seed, and green tea) which is supposed to protect “skin exposed to the city’s pollution during your busy and tiring commutes”.
After looking at the ingredients lists on the products I received, I felt that some of them had great potential, and I was really interested. Their website is currently only in Korean (they’re busy building up an English site), but here’s the link if you want to check it out.
What is the toner used for?
A Korean style toner is different to Western style. Western style toners are usually much more harsh and astringent, and tend to be used as a second cleansing step (oh god yes I remember dousing my face with alcoholic toners in the vain hope of clearing vicious teenage acne). Korean toners are not the same at all (i.e. no, you’re not going to get that stingy, squeaky feeling that you thought meant your toner was working but was actually probably making your acne worse and damaging your skin’s natural moisture barrier). Korean toners usually have a number of purposes: to moisten and hydrate the skin, and to prep the skin for the rest of your skincare routine. This toner, in my opinion, is more of an active toner, as it’s also aiming to brighten/whiten skin. So I’m using this with the expectation that it will be the first step of hydration, moisten my skin, and provide brightening/whitening benefits.
I’ve been using it as the first step after cleansing, or after my acids, every morning and every night. My testing period was three weeks, but I have continued to use the toner as part of my daily morning and night routine.
A side note on whitening products…
I just want to make a point about Korean ‘whitening’ products, in case you’re not familiar. Products labelled as ‘whitening’ are very common in Korea, and Asia more widely. I don’t like the use of the word ‘whitening’ for marketing purposes. I think it contributes to the idea in this part of the world that white, pale skin is the desirable skin tone, instead of appreciating the beauty in diversity. Of course I’m not saying everyone thinks this way, but it’s definitely a view that still holds some ground. However, to clarify, a Korean ‘whitening’ product itself is not going to change your skin tone to make it more white. Korea has beauty ingredients standards, so don’t worry- no dangerous bleaching chemicals. By whitening, these products mean overall brightening, and also lightening sun spots or pigmentation. In this sense, I love ‘whitening’ products- I’m always looking to even my skin tone and brighten.
Damn cute is what’s up. Pink and white milk inspired (3CE and I’m sure other brands have also used this style). It’s kind of vintage-y and totally adorbs.
The toner bottle is huge. 300ml in a heavy plastic bottle, which I think makes it great value for money. The dispenser is the click up type that opens a gap to pour from (great description hahah…see the photo, I don’t know the name of this type of top). It’s okay and does the job, however because I apply product with my hands, a pipette type top or pump would probably be slightly more convenient.
As I always like to point out, I don’t have a science background, and don’t know the quantities of these ingredients. I’m just making observations and trying to decipher what we can expect from certain elements!
So the standout ingredients for me are niacinamide and milk protein extract.
- Niacinamide is an awesome ingredient for a number of reasons, but most relevant for this particular toner is its ability to brighten skintone and fade hyperpigmentation (yassssss, I hear you say!). It also has proven anti-aging properties too- so yeah it’s a winner.
- Milk protein extract can be good for skin conditioning and nourishment. It’s also supposed to help renewal of damaged or aged skin.
There is also an abundance of extracts, including those from the G9 Complex, which have skin conditioning, moisturising, and antioxidant properties. Some of the ingredients are potentially comedogenic (looking at the oils), and you should always check lists for your own personal skincare needs and problems.
Texture, Scent and Application
The toner is a thick, milky liquid. It has a slightly-thicker-than-water feel, and some slip when you apply it to skin. It has an inoffensive, light, powdery scent that fades once the toner absorbs.
I apply the toner by pouring a small amount into my hands, then patting it into my skin. It absorbs extremely quickly, fully absorbing within around a minute.
I’m really pleased and genuinely surprised with how awesome the results have been. At a basic level, it’s a step I’ve come to enjoy. It glides on easily and absorbs quickly. It’s an instant hydrating layer after cleansing, and feels very comfortable and pleasant on my skin. My skin feels immediately softer and ready for my next steps.
At an active level, however, is where I’ve been really impressed. When I began using this, I was suffering from some reddy/brown PIH around my nose and lip line. It was really bugging me. After applying the toner every morning and night for three weeks, I saw significant improvement in the evening and lightening of these areas.
Here is a (really hideous-sorry) before and after photo of my lip line. They’re not the best quality, and the natural light of my window was a little different on each day. But you can still see the redness around my lips on the above photo, and how much brighter and faded that redness is in the photo below.
It’s the active results that mean I will keep this toner in my every day routine. I frequently have redness and uneven skin tone issues, so I’m always on the lookout for good brightening products, and this is clearly one of them! The fact that it’s also enjoyable in terms of instant skin softening and hydration is a bonus, and the huge bottle is probably gonna last me a while.
Where can I buy this?
It’s a relatively new product, even in Korea, so it’s not the easiest to get hold of just yet (if you can understand the Korean site you can purchase on there).
I know for sure that Beauty Net Korea are selling G9 Skin products, and they ship worldwide. A quick search online also showed me K Beauty Original and eBay (I’ve never purchased K-Beauty items from any of these stores myself and so cannot comment on the quality of their services). However I’d keep an eye out, this company is quickly growing, and I think their products are gonna be more widely available very soon.
Have you used brightening/whitening products? How have they worked out for you?