Albion Skin Conditioner
This toner/face-mask hybrid, formulated out of Job’s tears (also known as pearl barley), is what they call a “generational” product in Japan, because it’s used by grandmothers, mothers, and daughters alike.
This product’s uniqueness lies in its dual-use formulation: it’s an opaque, milky-white toner that you can use as a skin conditioner and
face mask. Albion sales ladies will actually not let you buy this product unless they are confident that you understand its best use. This means that you must patiently sit through a 25-minute, hands-on tutorial, ending with you sitting in the middle of a department store, looking somewhat like a molting mummy, with thin cotton layers soaked in the toner, applied all over your face as part of the mask demonstration. But, suffering the brief humiliation is worth it when you consider the results: supple, super-soft, plump and refreshed skin that is cool to the touch. It's also great for acne-prone skin because it will soothe irritation without causing more breakouts. It has an immediate effect on redness, and acts as an absorption primer for moisturizer so that it melts directly into the skin. During the demonstration, the Albion sales ladies tend to leave one patch of your face untreated as a “pre-treatment” example, and the difference “pre” and “post” is staggering.
Albion’s customers are such fanatics of Asia’s #1 best-selling toner that they actually pressured the brand to manufacture its own cotton pads, after customers complained that ordinary cotton pads were not absorbent enough and wasted too much of the precious tonic. This product is also something of an Asian YouTube sensation: if you search for Albion, multiple instructional and “haul” videos come up.
Essential Skin Conditioner, $120, available at Amazon
Photo: Via Chasingelixer.com