Pyunkang Yul Acne toner and Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore toner review / comparison

Pyunkang Yul Acne toner 150ml

In keeping with my Korean skin care obsession this comparison was overdue for a while now. I tend to use products up completely before giving an opinion as most products don’t deliver that fast. I want to mention that this was my first product from Pyunkang Yul, having not tried anything from the brand previously. I purchased this as I was going through an acne flare up (mild one but still) and wanted to see if this would live up to its claims.

So first off, the company claims. This multi-functional toner gently cleanses the face, removes dead skin cells, controls sebum production and minimizes pores. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory formula is perfect for acne-prone and sensitive skin.

I have to say I was very impressed by this toner. This is a rather uncommon toner on the Asian skincare market as most of the toners they market are for hydrating the skin. This one is similar to a lot of western toners that we know over here. It is meant to be the next step after cleansing and it will take any remaining dirt off the face as well as help with pores and sebum. The first thing I noticed is that is indeed gentle. Having rosacea I am always on the lookout for an acne product that doesn’t dry out the skin and causes it to feel tight. I have not only used this as part of my skincare routine every night, but also when I have done a facial for myself (extraction and all). Since I have pores in that little triangular area under the eye that sits right next to my cheeks, this inevitably got on my rosacea affected areas. It did not sting at all. This product has anti-inflammatory properties which is true. The redness following the extraction went down way quicker than usual.

The other aspect of the toner is that it claims to reduce pore size and mattify the skin. I have noticed the mattifying effect during the day a few hours into wearing foundation. Normally as I have a fairly oily forehead, it starts to shine at the 4–5-hour mark. While I was using this toner, that shine was very minimal, and it almost looked like a healthy glow. I was happy to see this as I have to use blotting papers to get rid of the excess oil otherwise. The pores didn’t really change with this product even though it contains niacinamide, an ingredient which is high up on the list.

The ingredient list is particularly good. It contains niacinamide as I have mentioned before which certainly helps in regulating oil production but not present in high enough concentration to reduce pore size in my opinion. Then there is willow bark which has a compound called salicin. This is where salicylic acid is derived from. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It also soothes irritated skin. It also contains Forsythia Suspensa Fruit extract and Centella Asiatica. Both plants are antioxidants, with the added benefit of centella being incredibly soothing. They even managed to squeeze in Copper Tripeptide which is a good anti-aging ingredient.

I am impressed! It lasts a long time (150 ml) using the traditional Korean/Japanese cotton squares that hold product very well but does not waste it. I would certainly use this again if it came to an acne flare up, which luckily, I didn’t have for a while now. I feel that it is suitable for those who also have rosacea as it is gentle and non drying, which is hard to find in a product dedicated to tackling acne.

The price is quite decent in my opinion, or 150 ml I payed around £13. Not bad considering how gentle it is.

Innisfree Jeju volcanic pore toner 200ml

This is a funky product. At first when I received this, I thought the stuff inside has gone off as the liquid had a cloudy appearance to it. I quickly read the instructions and it said to shake the bottle. The cloudy stuff inside is volcanic clusters. This ingredient is meant to absorb sebum due to the high sulphur content and mattify the skin. This is also an anti-acne toner of the ‘western kind’, meaning it is not meant to hydrate the skin but rather to provide a last step in your cleansing routine, taking care of excess shine and pores.

I can confirm that it does the job it’s meant to do really well, minimises shine and regulates sebum production and does not dry out the skin.  I would, however, not recommend this to rosacea sufferers, unless you have a very mild form of it and it is under control, probably not even then. I say this as the ingredient list has alcohol in it, which I must have overlooked somehow when I purchased it. It also has perfume in it, not overpowering but if you are allergic or sensitive to it then this isn’t a good idea. Lastly, it has citric acid and lactic / glycolic acid also listed further down, not in massive concentrations but if you have rosacea this must not get in contact with the affected areas. I have had no problems with this until I had a flare up and have accidentally wiped over part of my cheeks, close to my jaw line with it. It did not burn or sting, but the skin got visibly redder.

There are no other ingredients in this apart from the colloidal sulphur and volcanic ash that are beneficial for the skin and frankly for those two I don’t think this is worth trying if you also have rosacea to deal with. Price wise this is around £14 for 200ml, depending on where you buy it.

If it came to choosing between these two then I would definitely choose the Pyunkag Yul. This is currently the only product I have tried from them, but it impressed me so much that I have ordered a few other items to try (reviews will be coming up). It’s great in terms of ingredients and how gentle it is even though it might not be as good a bargain in terms of £/ml. If you have rosacea skin and also suffer from acne, I’d say you can’t go wrong with this.

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