One of the struggles with the typical regular beauty routine is finding the right toner. Or, at least that’s one of my struggles. I’m picky. When it comes to toners, I want one that doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy, but rather refreshed and moisturized. There are some toners that I’ve tried that leaves a heavy/oily feeling on my skin – those are my nonos. Back in April, Etude House in Hong Kong had this promotion going on, where if you had this coupon you would be able to get a free sample of their new cushion (which I completely forgot the name to). The product that they used to prep my skin was the Wonder Pore Freshner, which is what today’s post is about!
I’ve been using the Wonder Pore Freshner (yup, freshner – the correct spelling is Freshener) as the toner for both my day and night routine. I am sure there are tens, and thousands of reviews on this product already since it has been out for quite some time (the one I got is the newer and improved version, which has 10 benefits instead of 7, and claims to be the “Ultra Pore Solution”. And as always, I am late to the game.
Disclaimer: This product was purchased with my own money and I am not being paid to write this. My review, images, impressions and thoughts are all my own, unless stated otherwise. While this product may or may not have worked for my skin, it may or may not work for yours – remember, your mileage may vary (YMMV)!
Links: Affiliate links will be marked with an **. I currently do not have any affiliate accounts anywhere yet.
Total rating out of 5: 4.0
Quickie (for people like me who look things up at the store)
– Tingly and refreshing feeling from the peppermint
– Can kind of see some of the oils/dirt
– Easy to use
– Feels light on skin
– Alcohol-based (can be bad for some)
– Less effective over time
Will I buy it again
Probably not. The sad thing with toners is that there are so many in the market that I tend to jump from one brand to another because I want to try all the different ones out there.
Description of this product
‘Total solution product that effectively cleans the inside and outside of pores with its special peppermint extract.’ (Found on Etude House)
Price (Subject to change)
~$16USD, bought mine for 180HKD
The packaging is very “Etude” – for those who are fan of Etude House, you’ll know what I mean. It’s cute, cartoony, and in a nice shade of sky blue. The container is also plastic, but quite sturdy and solid. The box that it came with (which I didn’t photograph because I threw it out once I got it..) has a list of ingredients on it, plus what it says on the bottle itself (the 10 benefits, and why this product is sooo amazing, or so they claim).
It’s a pump nozzle, so you have to use a sort of cotton pad, otherwise it will be hard to apply. Some people prefer spray on toners, and others prefer no pump to pump, it really doesn’t matter to me because it’ll end up on my face anyways.
What this does
This product is branded as the “Ultra Pore Solution” where it can achieve 10 different results in 1 product (10 IN 1!!). These are the 10 things that it promises to do: Balance skin’s ideal pH level, Refine skin tones, Keep the elasticity of the pores, Remove skin surface’s dead skin cells, Cleanse pore insides with cooling effect, Deep cleanse pores, Minimize appearance of pores, control a large amount of sebum, Moisturize inside and outside of skin, Complete smooth glass-like texture. At the back it also claims that it is “the Wonder Woman for Your Pores, More Powerful!” – super cute way of describing it, but it might over hype or set the bar too high for itself?
When I purchased this product, it came inside a box that included special cotton pads that were made just for this toner, where it had holes on the surface to help with exfoliation (sadly I used all of them up back in HK, so my review will be based on my plain jane cotton pads from Daiso). It is recommended to use this twice a day (day + night) and eventually, you will notice a difference? It’s supposed to help out mainly with your pores.
WATER, ALCOHOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, BETAINE, MENTHA ARVENSIS EXTRACT, VACCINIUM MYRTILLUS FRUIT/ LEAF EXTRACT, SACCHARUM OFFICINARUM (SUGAR CANE) EXTRACT, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) FRUIT EXTRACT, CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) FRUIT EXTRACT, CHAM- AECYPARIS OBTUSA WATER, GINKGO BILOBA LEAF EXTRACT, ACER SACCHARUM (SUGAR MAPLE) EXTRACT, GENTIANA LU- TEA ROOT EXTRACT, ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM EXTRACT, ARNICA MONTANA FLOWER EXTRACT, ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM EXTRACT, GLYCERETH-26, GLYCERIN, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SODIUM HYALURONATE, ACETIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL
(From Etude House)
While looking up reviews on this product, I found musicalhouses, and honestly, I think she does an amazing job of going through the ingredients (better than I’ll ever be able to!). So if you want a super in-depth analysis go check out that post!
Similar to my previous posts, I ran this through CosDNA to see if there are any ingredients to look out for. What I noticed, was that there were a lot of plant and fruit extracts in this product (which can be good or bad, and also something to look for if you have allergies). The most important extract that makes this product tingle is the Mentha Arvensis Extract or Peppermint Extract. I couldn’t find anything on this ingredient at all, maybe it hasn’t be thoroughly tested for any benefits/cons yet – for now, I know that it gives that light refreshing feeling after applying the product.
This is an alcohol-based toner – since Alcohol is actually the second ingredient on this list, was given a 2 on CosDNA. This can potentially cause dryness in the skin, and is not recommended for those with sensitive/dry skin. When I used it I felt a subtle dryness – not too much, which was combined with a slight tingle. My skin is combination oily+dry, and most of the time it is oily at night so it wasn’t too much of a problem for me. I am generally okay with alcohol in my products as long as it’s not in a huge amount, and that there is a specific reason why its used inside the product.
Achillea Millefolium Extract – CosDNA gave this a 3, and from what I’ve read on cosmeticsinfo, there isn’t enough information to say that this ingredient is completely safe. It’s main use is to reduce the appearance of dry skin/flaky skin.
Phenoxyethanol – A score of 4, is an ingredient typically used for preservation (ewg) purposes, and as a stabiliser (safecosmetics) since it doesn’t react with many ingredients. However, on safecosmetics, it is said to be linked to eczema and hives, as well as other potentially dangerous allergic reactions.
Generally, toners are the 2nd step of a skincare routine, so I applied this right after I used my cleanser. I used this product daily for the past 4-5 months both day and night. I HAVE to use a cotton pad to apply due to the way this toner is packaged. And for each use, I do 2 pumps (I’ve tried 1 pump, and it makes it a lot harder to apply onto ze face so I just do 1 – 0.5 pump more – all for my own comfort lol).
Usually, I start by gently wiping the toner everywhere (except eyes), and then pat lightly to make sure I get all of it. Then I wipe the rest on my neck, since my neck is usually gross anyways.
All the feels, and the after
Because of the peppermint extract, it feels quite refreshing. BUT! I did notice that when I would use the toner right after the cleanser, my skin would still feel just a tad bit dry. Just a teeny bit, especially around the dryer areas of my face (cheeks, chin). Oh the woes of alcohol-based toners. Yet I love how cooling it feels on my face. The struggle is real.
Mild, with a hint of alcohol
After using it for almost half a year, I am down to the last 1/4 of the bottle. Something I noticed was that when I first bought this toner, the dirt/debris/gross things on my face were really noticeable on the cotton pad. This could have been due to a mix of the environment in HK, and the cotton pad that they provided. However, after a month of using it, the amount of dirt and oil weren’t as visible anymore. You can see a bit of it when it dries up, but it’s definitely not comparable to when I first used it (and sadly at that time I wasn’t blogging so I don’t have any photos..)
Not sure if you can see the oil, I tried to circle the area that I could see. But as you can probably tell, it doesn’t have much on it.
This is not a bad toner; however it is alcohol-based, so if you have sensitive or mainly dry skin it would be best to avoid this one here. I really like the refreshing feeling on my face, and since my forehead, and nose are the most oily parts of my face, this usually helps with controlling that. This product also is considerably cheap to other toners out there, because for 18USD, you get 500ml, instead of 100-250ml that you may sometimes see. So if you want something that works, but won’t break your bank and can last you for around 6 months, go for it!
7 thoughts on “[REVIEW] ETUDE HOUSE Wonder Pore Freshner”
Awesome review as usual. So in-depth. Love the first photo and how you used the cotton pads to back your title. :)
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Thanks for reading! Haha, I try to be creative sometimes ;u;
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As much as I liked it for how it removed dirt and the ingredients it has, on the other hand the alcohol irritated my skin, so I only used three or four times. It is a shame because it is a good toner. I hope one day EH will bring the non alcohol based version or an alcohol that can be better tolerated by sensitive skins. Love your review!
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Oh noo :( ! I hope it didn’t do anything bad to your skin. I try to stay away from alcohol toners since I prefer brands that use more natural ingredients! Same I loove EH but I hope they’ll come out with some sensitive skin products soon ! Thank you for reading <3
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Ah, such a shame it has alcohol. It’s hard to find a good toner/serum/moisturizer for oily or acneic skin that doesn’t have alcohol …
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Yeah.. I totally agree, especially with a lot of products at EH, and the cheaper kbeauty brands it’s sometimes a lot harder to find alcohol free products 😭
It just irritated my skin, and with all the redness, I thought I may try again, this time by leaving the liquid in my hands to evaporate and then apply it. But to no avail, because the redness continued. Now, if I have a blemish I can put some of this toner with a cotton q-tip and just over the blemish and that’s all. I think that then… it will work and not create problems to the rest of the skin. But well, I gave it away to a friend who was dying to have it! :D So if there is a cream in a narrow tube, that we can rub just on the blemish it would be for sure interesting to have. if not, the version without alcohol, I just hope they will make it one day.
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