Top 28 Best Japanese Toners to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 28 Best Japanese Toners to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

We don’t know when it started, but Japanese women are known–have been known for a while–for beautiful skin. And walking around Tokyo, you can’t help but think “where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.” While there’s no one factor that makes one’s skin what it is, we’d hazard a guess and say skincare is important.

The Japanese skincare routine has quite a few steps. There’s cleansing; then the first step after cleansing is toning. To help you ease into Japanese skincare, we ordered the 28 most popular toners※1 from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited an specialist and had her compare the following:

  1. Application (How It Feels on Skin)
  2. Hydration

This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese toners. We also consulted our specialist about skincare–for example, we asked about how to properly put on toner and the order in which we should apply toner, lotion, and essences. We share all this information at the end of the article, so stay tuned.

※1 化粧水: toner

Table of Contents

Introducing the Expert Who Lent Us Her Knowledge

This time around, we borrowed the expertise of a skincare specialist, who’s a well-known face both in magazines and on the web.

Aiko Kawakami
〈Aiko Kawakami〉

Skincare Specialist

She's a skincare specialist who's got over 20,000 consultations under her belt. She approaches skin with a combination of scientific evidence and experience, using her knowledge of dermatology and cosmetic ingredients to help women become even more beautiful, down to their fingertips.

She's the representative of the board of directors over at ANSEM (Association of Nail & Skin Experts Maestro) and an instructor at the JCLA (Japan Cosmetic Licensing Association). She's also made numerous media appearances.

How to Choose Japanese Toner – Buying Guide

We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but first we’d like to introduce two things you should look out for when choosing toner.

Actually, it doesn’t really matter how “moisturizing” a toner is. Because of how the human body is constructed, it’s difficult for liquids to permeate skin. Well, then, if we aren’t supposed to care so much about hydration, then just what are we supposed to pay attention to?

① Get Toner with a Texture and Scent that Appeals to You

Get Toner with a Texture and Scent that Appeals to You

At the end of the day, it’s best to choose toner that just feels good. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to texture, so when possible, try out the testers at the store or take a few samples home. Depending on the brand, you can get light toners that disappear into the skin or heavier toners that leave you a bit sticky–and one isn’t necessarily better than the other.

And you’d be surprised at how many people stop using a toner because of its fragrance. A lot of toners have that “cosmetics smell,” like getting a whiff of the makeup section at Macy’s. So we recommend you make your purchase after you’ve checked for scent and how your skin feels after application.

Aiko Kawakami
Skincare Specialist
Aiko Kawakami's comment
I recommend choosing toner based on its texture and scent. It has an effect on what comes after—how easily your serum goes on, for instance, or how long your makeup lasts.

Fragrance will actually travel all the way to the hypothalamus, where it affects the secretion of hormones—it's a valid factor to consider when making your choice.

② Look for Something Moisturizing

We know we said that checking for hydration isn’t that big of a priority, but there’s no point in choosing a toner that’s all water and no humectants, right?

Check for a Hydrating Ingredient or Two

Look out for a Hydrating Ingredient or Two

It’s helpful to at least know what ingredients are supposed to be hydrating. Here are some of the more popular ones in Japan.

  • BG: Butylene glycol retains a lot of water, but it’s not as sticky as glycerin. It’s a type of polyalcohol※2 and is found in many cosmetics and skincare products.
  • Glycerin※3: Another type of polyalcohol, said to be the most absorbent. Other forms and names include glycerol and diglycerin.
  • Sodium hyaluronate※4: The salt form of hyaluronic acid, which is produced by the body to moisturize skin. Though similar often used interchangeably with hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate is smaller, allowing it to more easily penetrate skin. It becomes more effective when applied in conjunction with glycerin.
  • Collagen※5: Also produced by the body. In its original form, it’s a protein fiber that cannot be effectively absorbed by the skin. It permeates farther after it has been broken down into low molecular weight collagen.
  • Trehalose※6: A type of sugar. Because of its outstanding ability to retain water, it’s used as a moisturizing ingredient in many cosmetics.

In addition to these, many brands are also coming out with new and unique hydrating ingredients.

※2 多価アルコール: polyalcohol (Polyalcohols are often used in skincare as humectants. They readily absorb and retain moisture.)

※3 グリセリン: glycerin

※4ヒアルロン酸Na: sodium hyaluronate

※5 コラーゲン: collagen

※6 トレハロース: trehalose

Ethanols Do Not Equate to Dry Skin

Ethanols Do Not Necessarily Mean Drying

You might’ve heard sometime, somewhere that toners that contain ethanol are dehydrating. However, ethanol is not a drying ingredient by nature. It might feel like it’s tightening up your skin, but that does not necessarily equate to dehydration.

Therefore, don’t feel like you have to avoid all toners that include ethanol. At the very least, we’ve tested all of our toners (some of which contain ethanol) for hydrating power–and hopefully, that gives you some piece of mind.

Aiko Kawakami
Skincare Specialist
Aiko Kawakami's comment
It gets a bad rap because it feels like it's tightening up your skin, but ethanol that is used in cosmetics is neither an antiseptic nor dehydrating. That's because ethanol that's used in disinfectants and ethanol that's used in skincare must be present in different concentrations.

If you are allergic to alcohol or have atopic dermatitis, then ethanol is of course out the question. However, usually, ethanol is plentiful and easy to use, so many people should like it.

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

Now to introduce the 28 most popular Japanese toners that we ordered and the process by which we tested them.

{The Products We Tested}

  1. naturie Skin Conditioner (ナチュリエ スキンコンディショナー)
  2. est the lotion (エスト ザ ローション)
  3. d program moist care lotion (d プログラム モイストケア ローション)
  4. HABA Deep Moisture Lotion (ハーバーディープモイスチャーローション)
  5. Sofina jenne Moisturizing Toner for Combination Skin (ソフィーナ ジェンヌ 混合肌のための高保湿化粧水)
  6. Nihonshu no Keshousui – Sake Toner (日本酒の化粧水)
  7. Curél Moisture Lotion II (キュレル化粧水II しっとり)
  8. Cezanne Skin Conditioner High Moist (セザンヌ スキンコンディショナー高保湿)
  9. Hada Labo gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid (肌ラボ 極潤 ヒアルロン液)
  10. MUJI Light Toning Water High Moisture (無印良品 化粧水 敏感肌用 高保湿タイプ)
  11. LITS Moist Lotion (リッツ モイスト ローション)
  12. Sofina beauté Moisturizing Toner (ソフィーナボーテ 高保湿化粧水 しっとり)
  13. IPSA The Time R Aqua (イプサ ザ・タイムR アクア)
  14. acseine Moist Balance Lotion (アクセーヌ モイストバランス ローション)
  15. RMK Skintuner Treatment (M) Extra Moist (RMK スキンチューナー トリートメント (M) エクストラモイスト)
  16. Suhada Shizuku Placenta Toner & Essence (素肌しずく ぷるっとしずく化粧水)
  17. MINON Amino Moist Moist Charge Lotion I (ミノン アミノモイスト モイストチャージ ローションI)
  18. ETVOS Ceramide Skincare Moisturizing Lotion (ETVOS セラミドスキンケア モイスチャライジングローション)
  19. Nameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone Toner (なめらか本舗 豆乳イソフラボン配合の化粧水)
  20. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (SK-Ⅱフェイシャル トリートメント エッセンス)
  21. Aqualabel White Up Lotion II (アクアレーベル ホワイトアップ ローション II)
  22. Albion Medicated Skin Conditioner Essential (アルビオン 薬用スキンコンディショナーエッセンシャル)
  23. FANCL Moist Refine Lotion I (ファンケルモイストリファイン化粧液I)
  24. Red B.A Volume Moisture Lotion (Red B.A ボリュームモイスチャーローション)
  25. Astalift Moist Lotion (アスタリフト モイストローション)
  26. Rice Force Deep Moisture Lotion (ライスフォース ディープモイスチュアローション)
  27. ORBIS u Lotion (オルビスユー ローション)
  28. Arouge Moisture Mist Lotion II (アルージェ モイスチャー ミストローション II)

We then tested for each of the following things:

Test ①: Application (How It Feels on Skin)
Test ②: Hydration

Test ①: Application (How It Feels on Skin)

Application (How It Feels on Skin)

First, we looked at application, plain and simple.

We rounded up volunteers from several departments and had them try out all the products. They then talked about things like if they liked the texture and the fragrance, if the packaging was convenient, and so on.

The Big Takeaway: We were Partial to Pump Bottles, Light Formulas, and Heavenly Smells

The Big Takeaway: We were Partial to Pump Bottles, Light Formulas, and Sweet Smells

Lighter textures slid into skin, just like that. There was no sticky residue, and it left our face feeling soft and smooth. Pump bottles were just overwhelmingly easier to use than bottles with screw-on caps.

In particular, it seemed like RMK’s toner was universal; many of our staff gave it two thumbs up for both its texture and fragrance.

Test ②: Hydration

Hydration

Next, we looked at how hydrating the toners were.

We used a moisture analyzer and compared the state of our skin before application to its state one hour after application.

The Big Takeaway: Thicker Formulas Tended to be More Hydrating

The Big Takeaway: Thicker Formulas Tended to be More Hydrating

Toners that were noticeably more heavy (some so thick, they felt like gel) were a cut above the rest–when it came to hydrating power at least. Unfortunately, the opposite held true as well; the lighter a toner was, the less moisturizing it tended to be.

Hydrating toners also tended to count BG, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid among their ingredients.

Aiko Kawakami
Skincare Specialist
Aiko Kawakami's comment
If you don't like to feel oily, try using toners that contain glycerin or diglycerin. And if you're looking for hydration, rather than being fixated upon hyaluronic acid and glycerin, look for ingredients like glycogen. It's a polysaccharide made up of sugars that store water.

The Final Verdict: Top 28 Best Japanese Toners to Buy Online

Now to introduce the 28 best Japanese toners available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from D to A+.

28. Nihonshu no Keshousui – Sake Toner

Nihonshu no Keshousui - Sake TonerNihonshu no Keshousui - Sake Toner

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Price: $6.19

Don’t Like Sake? Then You Won’t Like This Toner

Depending on how you feel about Japanese sake, you’re going to think one of two things: a) this toner smells great or b) this toner stinks of alcohol. (Our volunteers leaned towards the latter.) It also wasn’t very hydrating. Don’t buy this one just because it comes in a 500 ml bottle.

Application D Hydration C
Overall Score D

27. Albion Medicated Skin Conditioner Essential

Albion Medicated Skin Conditioner EssentialAlbion Medicated Skin Conditioner Essential

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Price: $45.05

Unique Scent Might be a Deal-Breaker. Formula’s also Thin but Sticky

This smelled like old skincare, back in the days where they couldn’t do much about scent. It was thin, but it left behind a sticky residue. The packaging was also pretty retro (and not in a good way).

Application D Hydration B
Overall Score D

26. Cezanne Skin Conditioner High Moist

Cezanne Skin Conditioner High MoistCezanne Skin Conditioner High Moist

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Price: $15.00

The Bottle’s Huge–We Just Wish It Had a Pump. Great for Toner Masks

Cezanne’s toner came in a generous size, which is why it’s popular. However, because the bottle was so big and there was no pump, it was hard to control how much comes out of it. You can use it for toner masks, however. (For those unfamiliar with toner masks, they’re basically DIY sheet masks. Give it a Google!)

Application C Hydration D
Overall Score D

25. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

SK-II Facial Treatment EssenceSK-II Facial Treatment Essence

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Price: $179.00

So This is All the Hydration the Almighty SK-II Has to Offer. At Least It Feels like You’re Using Expensive Toner

SK-II’s toner felt nice. It was light, but hydration was only so-so. It came in a tall bottle, so it wasn’t that easy to get product out. It also had a strong fragrance, which was hit or miss.

Application C Hydration D
Overall Score D

24. naturie Skin Conditioner

naturie Skin Conditionernaturie Skin Conditioner

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Price: $11.99

Go Ahead and Use Huge Amounts at Once, but Don’t Expect Much Hydration

The price of this toner, which features Job’s Tears as a main ingredient, has people buzzing about it on social networks. However, it wasn’t that moisturizing. The bottle itself was soft, which meant product kept spurting out. We also didn’t enjoy twisting the cap on and off.

Application C Hydration D
Overall Score D

23. HABA Deep Moisture Lotion

HABA Deep Moisture LotionHABA Deep Moisture Lotion

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Price: $39.78

Finally, a Bottle with a Pump. Not for You unless You Like Thick Toners, Though

This had some hydrating power to it, but it was thick; we’d say it felt more like a serum than a toner. Skin was a bit tacky after application. You won’t be thrilled if you prefer light toners.

Application C Hydration C
Overall Score C

22. MUJI Light Toning Water High Moisture

MUJI Light Toning Water High MoistureMUJI Light Toning Water High Moisture

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Price: $19.90

Screw-on Cap was a Bit of a Pain. Also Felt Sticky, Despite Not Being that Hydrating

As expected of MUJI–the bottle was simple and clean. We just wish we didn’t have to screw the cap on and off. It also bothered us that the toner left behind a sticky residue when it didn’t even really hydrate our skin.

Application B Hydration D
Overall Score C

21. Suhada Shizuku Placenta Toner & Essence

Suhada Shizuku Placenta Toner & EssenceSuhada Shizuku Placenta Toner & Essence

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Price: $17.60

Felt like Gel, yet Hydration was Just Average

This was so thick, it was pretty much gel. Because it features placenta in its formula (and on its label), it left skin tacky after application. Hydration was decent, so we’d like this toner if only it’d tone down the stickiness.

Application C Hydration B
Overall Score C

20. Nameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone Toner

Nameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone Toner20. Nameraka Honpo Soymilk Isoflavone Toner

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Price: $6.72

Feel and Hydration were Both Decent. Low Price Tag Makes This Toner Easy to Turn to

The packaging, let’s call minimalist. It felt fine to use and was decently hydrating. It’s available for cheap, so this toner might appeal to you if you’re just getting into skincare and don’t want to dish out the big bucks yet. But we can’t see why anyone would ever need to use this one in particular.

Application B Hydration C
Overall Score C

19. acseine Moist Balance Lotion

acseine Moist Balance Lotionacseine Moist Balance Lotion

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Price: $44.32

It’s Alcohol-Free and Fine on Sensitive Skin, but the Bottle’s Hard to Hold

There was no alcohol in this toner, so it’s a good one to try if you are sensitive to alcohol. It was light in texture, which makes it refreshing for the summer, though it might not be enough for the winter. The bottle was also so big it was awkward to hold.

Application B Hydration C
Overall Score C

18. Curél Moisture Lotion II

Curél Moisture Lotion IICurél Moisture Lotion II

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Price: $13.83

We Appreciate the Pump. Hydration and Application were Good Enough–Nothing to Write Home about

We liked the packaging; it was simple and it had a pump. Curél meant for its formula to be used by those with sensitive skin. It’s also alcohol-free, in case you’re allergic. But, when it came down to it, hydration and application were just… okay.

Application B Hydration C
Overall Score C

17. Arouge Moisture Mist Lotion II

Arouge Moisture Rich LotionArouge Moisture Rich Lotion

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Price: $24.59

Nothing Really Stands out about How it Feels or Moisturizes. We are Impressed by the Fact It’s a Spray-on Mist

Arouge’s toner was the only mist toner we tested. We just spritzed it on our face, where it moisturized without missing a spot. However, we didn’t find it to feel particularly amazing, nor was it particularly hydrating.

Application B Hydration B
Overall Score B

16. Rice Force Deep Moisture Lotion

 Rice Force Deep Moisture LotionRice Force Deep Moisture Lotion

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Price: $80.00

Carries within it Rice Power Extract No. 11! Feels, However, Exceedingly Normal

This contained Rice Power Extract No. 11, which was the first ingredient recognized by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as able to improve the skin’s ability to retain water. And yet it felt… OK. Hydration was OK. Application was OK. There was a lot of ethanol, so the toner evaporated quickly and didn’t leave skin tacky. However, it smelled slightly of alcohol.

Application B Hydration B
Overall Score B

15. Astalift Moist Lotion

Astalift Moist LotionAstalift Moist Lotion

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Price: $34.40

Thanks for the Generous Amount of Product. Now, if Only It weren’t So Sticky

We liked the pump and the sheer amount the bottle contained, leaving us to apply toner to our heart’s content. However, we weren’t thrilled with how thick the product was or the slight stickiness that lingered after application. You may or may not like the citrus scent and the red formula. Hydration was so-so.

Application B Hydration B
Overall Score B

14. d program moist care lotion

d program moist care lotiond program moist care lotion

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Price: $28.54

Absorbs into Skin without a Trace. However, Hydration was Below Average

The formula was a bit thick, but it absorbed right into our skin, leaving our face smooth but not tacky. There was almost no scent to it, which is a godsend if you don’t like strong fragrances. We also found the transparent pink bottle charming, but unfortunately, we couldn’t overlook this toner’s subpar performance when it came to hydration…

Application A Hydration D
Overall Score B

13. ETVOS Ceramide Skincare Moisturizing Lotion

ETVOS Ceramide Skincare Moisturizing LotionETVOS Ceramide Skincare Moisturizing Lotion

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Price: $36.89

Blends Right into Skin and Makes Itself at Home. Might Not be Enough for Stressed Skin

You know by now we don’t like these kinds of bottles, but we did find the natural lavender scent soothing. It absorbed quickly. The texture was more light and silky–rather than damp and sticky–which means this toner’s suited for oily skin. Those with dried or stressed out skin may need something more moisturizing.

Application A Hydration D
Overall Score B

12. est the lotion

est the lotionest the lotion

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Price: $99.66

Sinks, Slowly and Steadily, into Skin. And yet Hydration was Sorely Lacking

The bottle was beautiful, the scent subtle and refreshing. It wasn’t overly sticky, but was just a bit dense, causing it to absorb slowly into the skin. Because it’s so slow, you might only have time for this toner at night. Don’t use it on busy mornings. This was also the least moisturizing of the products we tested.

Application A Hydration D
Overall Score B

11. MINON Amino Moist Moist Charge Lotion I

MINON Amino Moist Moist Charge Lotion IMINON Amino Moist Moist Charge Lotion I

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Price: $18.95

Lightweight Formula, but Leaves Skin Feeling Plump and Soft

Even though the toner felt light, it soaked our skin, leaving our faces feeling plump and soft. That’s why we thought MINON’s Amino Moist would be hydrating, and we were surprised to find it was not. On another note, we initially liked the pump because it was small enough to be used with a single hand, but then we found out product tended to spurt out of it.

Application A Hydration D
Overall Score B

10. LITS Moist Lotion

LITS Moist LotionLITS Moist Lotion

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Price: $17.36

Hydrating, Despite being a Cheap Drugstore Cosmetic. You’ll Love It as Long as You Can Get over the Smell

It was slick and a bit thick, sinking slowly into the skin. It was also kind of sticky, but properly hydrating–and since it’s so cheap, you can use as much as you want. This toner smelled slightly of alcohol, which we didn’t like. The bottle also wasn’t transparent, so it’s difficult to tell how much product you have left.

Application C Hydration A
Overall Score B

9. Sofina beauté Moisturizing Toner

Sofina beauté Moisturizing TonerSofina beauté Moisturizing Toner

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Price: $22.58

Hydrating, Despite being Lightweight. We’re Partial to the Floral Scent

It was decently hydrating, but the formula was light and thin. We personally were all for the light floral scent. This toner didn’t leave skin tacky and we felt properly moisturized; when we looked at the numbers, we found it was just a bit more hydrating than average. This is good for spring and summer, but might feel lacking during dryer months.

Application A Hydration C
Overall Score B

8. Sofina jenne Moisturizing Toner for Combination Skin

Sofina jenne Moisturizing Toner for Combination SkinSofina jenne Moisturizing Toner for Combination Skin

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Price: $29.50

Wraps You in the Scent of Flowers and is Properly Hydrating. Worth More than Its Price

The formula was a bit dense. However, it wasn’t sticky at all–we’d say it was refreshing to use. It also was hydrating, which was exceptional at this price point. When we applied the toner to our cheeks, we caught a whiff of flowers. We also found the packaging quite classy.

Application A+ Hydration C
Overall Score A

7. Hada Labo gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid

Hada Labo gokujyun Hyaluronic AcidHada Labo gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid

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Price: $9.50

Amazing Quality for the Price. The Formula’s Heavy, but It’s Also the Most Hydrating

This toner’s thick and will take time to absorb completely. Our face felt slick for what seemed like forever… However, this was the most hydrating out of the 28 products we tested. Our skin was so soft and plump afterwards, it felt like it would suck our fingers right in. It’s available in Japan for less than 1000 yen ($10). Get it if your number one priority is hydration.

Application C Hydration A+
Overall Score A

6. Aqualabel White Up Lotion II

Aqualabel White Up Lotion RAqualabel White Up Lotion R

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Price: $12.36

Gives You Soft, Smooth Skin with None of the Stickiness

This had that Goldilocks texture–not too light and not too heavy, not sticky but leaves your skin soft. Aqualabel says this is a “Moisturizing & Whitening Toner,” and we won’t argue with that claim. It was more hydrating than average. The packaging was nice, though nothing amazing… It did smell quite strongly of alcohol, which might be a deal-breaker for some.

Application B Hydration A
Overall Score A

5. IPSA The Time R Aqua

IPSA The Time R AquaIPSA The Time R Aqua

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Price: $48.32

Absorbs Quickly–Leave Skin Noticeably Softer within Seconds

Ipsa’s already gotten its share of good reviews. Here’s another one. First, the most obvious–the bottle had character. We liked that. The formula was light, so it sank quickly into our skin.

It was more hydrating than average, and right after we used it, our skin felt soft and plump. There was also no odor. This is a moisturizing toner that can appeal to the masses.

Application A Hydration B
Overall Score A

4. FANCL Moist Refine Lotion I

FANCL Moist Refine Lotion IFANCL Moist Refine Lotion I

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Price: $13.37

Feels Light and Refreshing, but Don’t Worry–It Moisturizes. However, Might Not be the Most Cost-Effective

This was a lighter formula, more suited for spring or summer. Though FANCL’s toner may feel a bit lacking during the dry season, it did attract and retain moisture.

We can’t really vouch for the price–it was 1500 yen (~$15) for 30 ml–but at least it’s compact enough to take onto travels. You won’t have any trouble emptying the bottle, so it’s worth buying this toner just to try it out.

Application A Hydration A
Overall Score A

3. ORBIS u Lotion

ORBIS u Lotion

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Price: $37.40

An Anti-Aging Toner that’s Earned Its Fair Share of Glowing Magazine Reviews. Targets both Aging and Dehydrated Skin

If there’s a best 10 list in a Japanese beauty magazine, you can be sure ORBIS u is on it. And it’s not just empty praise either; this toner felt amazing on the skin and excelled in hydration. It’s got a rich, dense texture; after application, our face felt plush and plump. It directly addresses the problems of aging and dehydrated skin.

The cap was also made for no-fuss opening, and that small feat of design made our lives a lot easier. ORBIS is constantly evolving, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Application A Hydration A
Overall Score A

2. Red B.A Volume Moisture Lotion

Red B.A Volume Moisture LotionRed B.A Volume Moisture Lotion

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Price: $77.44

Hydration is Top Class! A Gel Toner that Leaves Skin Shiny and Supple

It was a gel so, yes, it was dense, and it took its time sinking into skin. Its hydrating power was only second to Hada Labo’s gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid. It left skin supple. We were lulled by its soft, fresh scent, reminiscent of Japanese plum.

The bottle, conveniently, had a pump, and the design was elegant. We were a bit hesitant about the price, but we think the results are well worth it.

Application A Hydration A+
Overall Score A+

1. RMK Skintuner Treatment Moist

RMK Skintuner Treatment MoistRMK Skintuner Treatment Moist

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Price: $39.22

No Complaints about Application and Hydration. Keeps Skin Lush and Moisturized for Hours

RMK’s already well known for its cosmetics, but who’d think that its toner would also blow us away? Skintuner is meant to be a toner and essence in one. It came in a bottle that was simple, but charming–colored a pale, glittering pink. It was a pump and so easy to use, but a lot of product can come out at once, so just be careful.

The formula was a bit on the dense side, and it seeped slowly into skin, leaving it plush and velvety. It was even more hydrating than ORBIS’s toner, which wasn’t bad itself. It had a refreshing herbal scent that lingered after application. It was well received–didn’t matter the age or background of the reviewer–and earned RMK an A+ for how it applied.

Application A+ Hydration A
Overall Score A+

The Best Way to Use Toner

You went through all that trouble to find a toner that’s right for you–now you have to learn how to use it. Here are some tips and tricks.

Warm the Toner until It’s about Body Temperature, then Slowly Massage It into Your Face

Warm the Toner until It's about Body Temperature, then Slowly Massage It into Your Face

Pour, push, or squeeze some product onto the palm of your hand. Then cup the toner between your palms, warming it until it’s about body temperature. That’ll help it seep into your skin. If you gently squeeze your palms together, it’ll help the toner heat right up.

After the toner’s body temperature, rub your hands together so that product covers the entirety of both palms, then slowly massage it into your face. You want to gently press it in. Don’t slap yourself.

Lock in Moisture with a Good Lotion

Lock in Moisture with a Good Lotion

It doesn’t matter how good the toner is; if you don’t seal it in with a oil, all the moisture is going to evaporate. After you apply toner, make sure you lock it in with lotion. It’d be ideal if you can use a lotion from the same product line, but it’s not necessary.

You can also use a serum or essence to seal in the toner. However, you’ll need a lot of product to do so, so we wouldn’t call it cost-effective. You especially don’t want to do this if you’re using expensive stuff.

If You Use a Cotton Pad to Apply Toner, You Want to Soak It through

If You Use a Cotton Pad to Apply Toner, You Want to Soak It through

If you use a cotton pad to apply your toner, there’s one thing we absolutely want you to do. That’s to make sure there’s not a single dry spot. In other words, when applying toner with a cotton pad, make sure you soak the pad through. You want it to look like the picture on the right, not the one on the left.

It seems like a waste of product, but there’s a reason we’re stressing this. If there is a single dry spot on your cotton pad, then it’s going to soak up healthy oils from your skin. That might actually be one of the reasons your skin is dehydrated.

Of course, the same holds true for toner masks. Make sure all cotton pads are thoroughly soaked before laying them on your face, and remove all cotton pads before they start drying out.

Aiko Kawakami
Skincare Specialist
Aiko Kawakami's comment
There's no point in applying toner with a cotton pad if there's any dry patches on it. If that feels like a waste to you, then it's better not to use cottons pads at all.

In general, you don't want to use cotton pads to apply toner. However, if you have rough hands from chores or the like, then I recommend soaking some cotton pads in toner and making yourself a toner mask.

Summary

We consulted a skincare specialist, purchased the 28 most popular bottles of toner, and tested them all.

Your skin is constantly exposed to irritants–the sun’s rays, wind, air itself–and dries out quickly. Try to keep everything we talked about today in the back of your mind, pick out a good toner, and nurture your skin every day so it can stay glowing and beautiful far into the future.

Original by Yukina Matsuda; Translation by Jasmine Li

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