Simple, blue, beautiful packaging. Decent, affordable prices. Effective, gentle ingredients. Um, remind me again why I hadn’t tried anything by Pyunkang Yul until this moment? It’s true, there are so many brands and so many options out there, but Korean brand Pyunkang Yul really do make products which stand out from the rest in the sea of products.
Until I tested out Pyunkang Yul’s famous mist toner, I had never used any of their products at all. This is possibly because they’re not as easy to get a hold of in Europe as they are elsewhere, and even less so in Spain, where I live. We have a K-beauty shortage – if it doesn’t have a panda on or come in the shape of a tomato, you can forget it. The trendier, more effective brands tend to get bypassed until about five years later when somebody finally cottons on.
For this very reason, I was happy to meet the two beautiful ladies behind Koss, a brand new online Asian Beauty store, which just so happens to be based in the city I too call my own, Barcelona! When I met the founders, I was impressed with the philosophy behind the store – they didn’t want to go the easy route, and simply offer what everyone else was offering. On top of that, they were keen to offer planet-concious products, not tested on animals. We spoke about brands which I had only dreamt about seeing in Spain up until then, such as Hyggee, BanoBagi, iUnik, and of course, Pyunkang Yul, which they told me they would be selling online. The Mist Toner in this review was generously provided by Koss, but this review does not contain any referral links, nor have I received any payment for writing it.
Pyunkang Yul is an oriental medicine clinic in South Korea, and their skincare products aim to be the most gentle and safe for skin. They select their ingredients, not based on being fashionable and trendy, but with skin in mind, helping you to find your skin’s optimal balance. Their range is extensive, including toners, serums, oils, and creams. All this also comes at affordable prices which won’t break the bank. Let’s take a closer look at the Mist Toner together.
Coptis Japonica Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate
One of the things I like a lot about this product is its minimal ingredients list. It’s short straight, and to the point! Coptis Japonica Root Extract makes up 91.9% of the mist. This ingredient is used in traditional medicine, and it is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, along with helping to condition the skin, and providing the skin with a hearty dose of anti-oxidants. This ingredient should, in theory, help to hydrate and calm the skin.
One advantage of such a minimal ingredients list is that it favours those with sensitive skin. Long ingredient lists can be tricky to navigate for those with reactive skin, so minimal means you not only have less in the product to be triggered by, but you should find it easier to pinpoint your trigger should you have any reaction at all.
The mist also contains sodium hyaluronate, which helps your skin to retain moisture and keep hydrated – especially useful for those with dry, or dehydrated skin, like me!
Packaging and price
I find the blue colour of the Pyungkang Yul simple but beautiful, almost like a part of a stained glass window, or antique glass bottles. The Mist Toner is made from sturdy plastic, with a nozzle top. This particular size is the 100ml, retailing at Koss for €18.95. To give you an idea of how long that might last, I’ve used it 2-3 times a day for the last month and a half, and I haven’t hit the mid-way point yet. While I love mists, I regularly forget to use them, and I don’t take them with me everywhere, so I’ve largely been using this as a toner rather than a mist.
The mist nozzle itself is really the stand out part for me of this product. The mist comes out super fine, drenching your face with light, easily absorbable droplets, and providing you with an instant cooling sensation. It doesn’t drizzle or come out in big droplets like some mists I’ve used, and it hasn’t yet failed me or started working strangely – I really like the fine, fresh mist layer it puts out.
Now, the performance. How have I been getting on with this product? I had actually heard that this product caused some people to dry out, so I was wary of that at first, but from the very beginning I’ve had no dryness problems whatsoever. It’s perfect for my skin and I’ve been pleased since the start. My skin gets on very well with sodium hyaluronate, so I wasn’t surprised by that at all, but I was more interested by how the Coptis Japonica Root Extract would work with my skin.
The answer seems to be well. As a hydrating toner, this has worked nicely for me. I enjoy using it after cleansing, and it’s super convenient thanks to its mist format. It makes my skin feel fresh and alive in the morning, and in the evening, especially after a hot, long day, it gives me some of the refreshment I need. I quite like layering it between my other skincare steps, too, to provide some extra hydration and keep my skin plump and prepped throughout the day.
My skin leans more on the normal side than the dry in summer, but dehydration and redness that results from it is a year round problem for me. With this as a part of my routine, I’ve consistently had brighter, plumper skin, with less redness, which is a surefire sign for me that I have the hydration I need. While I admit the toner can’t provide this hydration on its own, and it needs to work with other products to really stand out, I am impressed with the base which it provides me with, and the hydration boost it gives my skin.
Would I purchase this myself? Yes, I would. This toner is not just functional, it is convenient too – why can’t all toners be sprays? Tipping out that little bit too much is a thing of the past, and all-round application has never been easier thanks to that fine mist nozzle. The price is decent, too, and for the time it’s lasted me, it works out at less than €10 a month, which is usually what I’m prepared to spend on a part of my skincare routine. Overall, I’m happy with this toner, and will be sad to see it finished when the time comes.
Thank you once again to the wonderful ladies at Koss for the opportunity to try Pyunkang Yul for the first time – now I’m sure it won’t be my last!