Facial toners, the watery kind you use right after cleansing, have had a bit of a resurgence lately thanks to the increased availability of gentle, non-astringent, hydrating formulas and the popularity of the now-famous multistep Korean skin-care regimen. With this increased consumer interest and the multitude of toner options available, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to hack the category...and that time has come. Not surprisingly, it’s South Korean beauty brands that are leading the innovation: Meet the powder toner.
Powder toners are liquids (stay with me here) — available in both traditional toner-bottle format and as facial mists — with “powder” mixed in to the formula. They all look rather sludgy in the bottle, with clear liquid on top and a white, thick layer on the bottom. When you shake them, they turn a cloudy, milky color.
After three of these curious products crossed my path within two weeks, I knew it was time to investigate. Charlotte Cho, the founder of Korean beauty e-commerce site SokoGlam, confirmed my suspicion that this product is up-and-coming. (She’s tried several.) “It's basically a way for oily skin types to stay hydrated — hydration is one of the main tenets of Korean skin care — all while minimizing pores and shine,” Cho says.