Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

Review: LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

A moisturizing cream in a liquid form

A
9 '
Intro
At a glance

Discover my detailed review of a surprising product from the Korean brand LANEIGE, the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, a moisturizing cream as liquid as water!

A product as liquid as water to replace your moisturizer? This is the claim from the Korean brand LANEIGE, with its Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, a product so innovative and popular right now in Korea that the brand is struggling to keep it in stock!

I will never stop being amazed by the technology (and marketing) of cosmetics.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a lab creates an innovative product, and even a brand new category of cosmetic product.

Clearly, this is one of the reasons why I am still so passionate about cosmetics, even after almost 20 years working in this industry!

At the moment (and for several years now), cosmetic innovation often originates in South Korea. So you won’t be surprised to learn that the product I’m going to introduce today is a Korean product.

This product is unlike any other: it’s liquid like a toner, and even if you can use it as such, it’s not really a toner.

The country that introduced the complex skincare routines with sometimes more than 10 successive steps is now all about a much more minimalist routine, sometimes composed of just one single product, able to replace several steps.

Korean beauty consumers love their liquid skincare products (toners, essences…), but these are generally used as “pre-care” products to provide deep skin hydration.

They’re usually paired with a thicker moisturizer that is supposed to “seal” all this hydration and also provide protection for the skin.

LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer is like a hybrid toner/cream, able to combine all these steps in just a single one.

I tell you more in my review below!

Skincare Do you need an essence? Recently, probably under the Asian beauty influence, a new product appears on the radar of the skincare addicts: essence. Like a kind of “beauty water” or “liquid skincare”, an essence is a hybrid liquid product between a toner and a serum. Read more
Close
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

The “skip-care” trend:

For several years now, K-Beauty has been characterized by the layering, this complex skincare routine which can go up to 10 steps, where products with more or less fine textures are layered for optimal skin hydration.

However, in recent months, a new beauty trend has emerged in South Korea: the “skip-care” trend.

Skip-care is a new approach in skincare routines. This time, it’s a focus on the essential, and you can skip the steps considered unnecessary.

This more minimalist skincare routine consists above all of using more targeted products, with higher concentrations of active ingredients and innovative hybrid textures, which allow them to be more effective.

At the end of 2018, the first “liquid moisturizers” were released, capable of toning, moisturizing and protecting the skin in just one single product. These are watery liquid products that can replace 3 steps in your routine (essence, serum and moisturizer), using multifunctional ingredients, that can be effective across several layers of the skin.

As often in South Korea (and elsewhere), major cosmetics groups have the means to quickly identify emerging trends and respond to them immediately.

Amorepacific, which is the largest group of cosmetic brands in South Korea (you can compare it to L’Oréal or Estée Lauder), indeed launched at the end of 2018 the first hybrid product responding to this consumer demand: LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer.

I must admit that at the beginning, I was a little surprised by the fact that Amorepacific chose LANEIGE to release this product, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to try it.

I haven’t had a fantastic experience with other LANEIGE skincare products I’ve tried in the past (I love their makeup though). Their skincare products are generally very innovative, but they often focus more on the texture and user experience than the formulas: the choice of ingredients IMO.

Taking a closer look at the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, I quickly realized that it was still the case for this product, but the notable difference is that, despite a formula that looks very simple, I was definitely convinced by the result on my skin.

Close
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

Product presentation: LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

The LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer was launched last autumn in Korea with a very specific concept: to combine the fresh and light effect of a toner (in Korea, they call them “Skin”) with the long-lasting moisturizing properties of a cream moisturizer.

You can already find some very fluid and relatively liquid moisturizers (emulsions or fluid creams) but none before this one had such a liquid texture.

Because the innovation of this product is definitely its texture: it’s a completely liquid product, watery even, and with just one single phase.

I insist on this last point because it contains many water-soluble ingredients as well as oil-soluble ingredients and generally, these don’t necessarily mix very well naturally (think of a vinaigrette sauce, for example, you have to shake it constantly so that it stays mixed. If you leave it for a few minutes, the two watery and oily phases separate.)

With this product, Amorepacific R&D teams (to which the LANEIGE brand belongs) used a new technology, the Cream Blending Technology ™, which allowed them to obtain this unique watery texture.

The concept of this Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer is also very interesting. This product aims to bring hydration to all layers of the skin.

Indeed, you can say that a toner/essence and a day/night cream are both moisturizers, but these different categories of products don’t hydrate the skin in the same way. 

A toner or essence usually has a very liquid texture and, therefore, targets the hydration of the deep layers of the epidermis with “humectant” ingredients (= which retain moisture in the skin like a sponge).

When it comes to their composition, this product category generally consists of one single watery phase, with water-soluble ingredients inside. This explains why, in general, this type of product is always quite liquid.

Moisturizing creams, on the other hand, act mainly on the surface of the skin, to prevent this moisture from evaporating by using “emollient” ingredients (= which contain fatty substances) that seal all this moisture and form a protective layer to give the skin a feeling of long-lasting comfort.

In short, a moisturizing cream helps to prevent the skin dehydration by restoring the hydrolipidic film, the skin’s natural protection.

A moisturizing cream has indeed a composition inspired by the hydrolipidic film. It’s an emulsion with an oily phase (= oil-soluble ingredients, such as natural or synthetic oils) and a water/aqueous phase (= water-soluble ingredients, such as natural extracts, but there are many others).

This emulsion is made up of the mix of these two phases, and usually, this is made possible by “emulsifying” ingredients which make the mix of the two phases homogeneous. They also allow them this mix to last over time and not to break.

However, due to the thicker texture of the oil-soluble ingredients, it’s very difficult to obtain a completely liquid texture.  The oil-soluble ingredients must be extremely fine to be able to disperse in the water phase without thickening it.

Close
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

Amorepacific/ LANEIGE was able to obtain a completely homogeneous and super thin mixture of these 2 phases with a watery liquid texture.

It’s a product that is similar to a moisturizing cream in its function but not in its form!

The purpose of this product is indeed to moisturize and protect the skin. Unlike a toner or essence, it can be used alone and the skin will be deeply and long-lasting moisturized.

The Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer contains many nourishing ingredients in its formula to provide comfort and protection to the skin, but its liquid texture allows it to also provide deep hydration of the epidermis.

It’s more suitable for dry or very dehydrated skin because, despite its liquid texture, the feeling on the skin left by the product is quite rich. This liquid feels almost “cushiony” when you apply it on the skin.

Before trying it, I thought it would be a great product to use in the summer, but now I’m not so sure… My skin is combo, so it takes a while to absorb and it leaves a slight “greasy” film on my skin for a few minutes.

It comes in a glass bottle that I find very elegant and simple. I’ve always been a fan of LANEIGE’s visual identity. In my opinion, it’s both refined and modern, and the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer packaging definitely feels that way!

The size is 150ml, so I feel like the bottle will last me a long time.

My experience:

The Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer is a super versatile product, you can use it in many different ways! I tried all of them to see which one I preferred.

You can use it:

as a unique skincare product, for a super simple routine:
You can use after cleansing and patting your skin dry. Just pour a few drops of the product into the palm of your hand (between 3 and 5 drops) and apply them to your face and neck by dabbing. After a few seconds, the product is absorbed and leaves the skin comfortable and protected.
In this case, it replaces the toner, essence, serum, and moisturizer. Perfect if you don’t have time to do a complete skincare routine or if you come back home super late!

I enjoyed using it this way from time to time, but I must admit that as a complex skincare routine enthusiast, I wouldn’t do it all the time, I’d be too frustrated!

instead of your essence if you have dry skin or require more comfort than usual:
Especially in winter, if it’s very cold, or if the skin is damaged and needs a repairing product, the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer is perfect to add an extra layer of comfort and protection to your routine without weighing down your skin. In this case, you can use it after your toner, and before your serum, oil and/or moisturizing cream (instead of your essence).

I used it like that at first, but with my combination skin, it was a little bit too much and I had the impression that the products I applied after didn’t get absorbed. But on drier skin types like my husband, it’s ideal and it really brings comfort to the skin!

as an express moisturizing mask:
You soak several cotton pads with the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, you place them on the driest areas of your face, on clean skin and leave them on for a few minutes (up to 20 minutes). No need to rinse, you just remove them and keep on with the rest of your skincare routine.

I really liked this technique, it reminds of a sheet mask! 😉

as a moisturizing mist during the day:
You can pour the product into a bottle with a spray and mist it during the day if the skin suffers from intense dryness (perfect in winter or if you are exposed to heating or air conditioning all day). I wouldn’t be surprised if LANEIGE releases a mist version very soon! ?

I haven’t tried it because, for my skin, it’s probably a little too rich used that way (I’m already shiny during the day, so I’m not sure I want to add more moisture on my skin!).

instead of your moisturizer:
That’s how I prefer to use it! I use it at the end of my routine because I love this texture and my skin stays comfortable all day long with it. I pour 4 to 5 drops of the product into the palm of my hand and apply it by pressing it on my face and neck.
Usually, a single layer of product is enough for me, but if I feel that my skin is feeling extra dry, I don’t hesitate to layer it (up to 2 or 3 layers).

Now, for clarification, I think this product is more suitable for dry, or very dehydrated skin. It can also be great in extreme weather conditions but for a combination skin that is already quite shiny, it may be a little too rich.

For me, for example, if I apply too much, my skin tends to “saturate”. But on my husband’s skin, which is much drier than mine, it’s great!

Close
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

Result:

With the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, I find my skin really comfortable and I also really appreciate the super lightweight texture. It’s also a different way of applying it compared to a moisturizer and I really like it!

I already talked about it in other articles, I started using a stronger retinol product in my skincare routine, so I need “richer” than usual products because my skin is drier right now. But I don’t necessarily want to switch to a very thick and greasy cream. This watery liquid texture is really nice to use for me!

Value for money:

For me, the value for money of this product is great because, with its 150ml and the quantity I use, it will last me a while, probably up to 6 months.

I find that the product packaging is very elegant, I also appreciate the experience of use so its price seems very decent to me.

Depending on the retailers, its price tag varies from $23 to $34.

Close
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

In short:

LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer is a great product and as a cosmetics geek, I definitely appreciate its innovative and unique aspect!

Clearly, I know that given my skin type, I’m not the primary target of this product, but it still works very well on me. If you have a drier skin type and/or live in an environment where winter is particularly harsh, I really think it’s worth considering! 🙂

The LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer retails for $23 to $34, depending on the retailers, for 150ml.

Product Review in detail

Summary

LANEIGE Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

"Using LANEIGE’s Cream Blending technology, the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer reinforces skin’s barrier with amino acid derived from white leaf tea water to offer instant moisture to the skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and soft. Suitable for dry, combination and sensitive skin."

product image

Recommendation

A

A surprising and effective product!

Price

$23 - $34

Details

Packaging
Texture
Scent
Feeling on the skin
Formula/ Ingredients
Efficiency/ Result
Value For Money
Availability

+ Pros

- the innovative aspect of this product, it's a very unique product,
- the texture is insane, completely liquid and yet it leaves you with the same feeling as a moisturizer,
- the application process, very unusual for a moisturizer but very pleasant,
- the simple and effective formula,
- the long-lasting hydrating effect,
- the versatility of this product, it can be used in many different ways,
- it can be used on its own if you want a super minimalist care routine,
- the size, it's a very economical product,
- the fact that it's suitable for sensitive skin (with a short and fragrance-free formula),
- the value for money is good.

- Cons

- it's not yet available everywhere, you have to order it online,
- the formula is very focused on the texture, it includes many emulsifying ingredients but it's still effective, so ;),
- it's "only" a moisturizing product, it doesn't do much else,
- despite what the brand claims, I don't think it's suitable for oily skin.

product name

Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

brand name

LANEIGE

size

150ml

made in

South Korea

packaging

A glass bottle, very simple and refined, with a plastic cap that can be screwed and clipped on (very practical)

fragrance

Fragrance-free

texture

Completely liquid and in one single phase (no bi-phase here, despite the oily components).

For Who

– dry skin,
– dehydrated skin,
– sensitive skin.

Concerns

– lack of comfort,
– dryness,
– people who want to minimize their routine.

Method

The Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer is a super versatile product, you can use it in many different ways!

as a unique skincare product, for a super simple routine:
You can use after cleansing and patting your skin dry. Just pour a few drops of the product into the palm of your hand (between 3 and 5 drops) and apply them to your face and neck by dabbing. After a few seconds, the product is absorbed and leaves the skin comfortable and protected.
In this case, it replaces the toner, essence, serum, and moisturizer. Perfect if you don’t have time to do a complete skincare routine or if you come back home super late!

instead of your essence if you have dry skin or require more comfort than usual:
Especially in winter, if it’s very cold, or if the skin is damaged and needs a repairing product, the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer is perfect to add an extra layer of comfort and protection to your routine without weighing down your skin. In this case, you can use it after your toner, and before your serum, oil and/or moisturizing cream (instead of your essence).

as an express moisturizing mask:
You soak several cotton pads with the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, you place them on the driest areas of your face, on clean skin and leave them on for a few minutes (up to 20 minutes). No need to rinse, you just remove them and keep on with the rest of your skincare routine.

as a moisturizing mist during the day:
You can pour the product into a bottle with a spray and mist it during the day if the skin suffers from intense dryness (perfect in winter or if you are exposed to heating or air conditioning all day). I wouldn’t be surprised if LANEIGE releases a mist version very soon! 😉 (update September 2019: they released a mist version a few months after I published this review!)

instead of your moisturizer:
That’s how I prefer to use it! I use it at the end of my routine because I love this texture and my skin stays comfortable all day long with it. I pour 4 to 5 drops of the product into the palm of my hand and apply it by pressing it on my face and neck.
Usually, a single layer of product is enough for me, but if I feel that my skin is feeling extra dry, I don’t hesitate to layer it (up to 2 or 3 layers).

Key Ingredients

The formula is quite short and doesn’t contain many active ingredients. The main ones:

Meadowfoam Seed Oil: an emollient ingredient. It softens, protects and helps the skin to retain its moisture for a long time.
White Leaf Tea Water: this water is very rich in amino acids and has the property of strengthening the skin barrier. Ideal for very dry and damaged skin!
Glycerin: a moisturizing ingredient.
Green tea and Vitamin E: two antioxidant ingredients to protect the skin.

The rest of the formula is composed of emulsifiers, which allow the texture of this product to be super liquid without having 2 phases.

Ingredients

Purified Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propanediol, Disodium EDTA, Green Tea, Tocopherol.

Ingredients not included

– alcohol,
– silicones,
– mineral oils,
– fragrance,
– dyes,
– parabens.

Shop for this product

Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer $23 - $34

4 Comments

  1. Ezra Novia Putri says:

    THANK YOU!!! your review is the most helpful so far! my skin type is combination and super sensitive, but my skin is suuuuper dehydrated and I have found nothing to hydrate my skin, even Etude House’s Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner, which is known good for sensitive skin, it made my skin felt so itchy and also irritated my skin sooo bad, I had redness and little bumps all over my face after using it for only one night 🙁 but then I found your review on Laneige’s Cream Skin Refiner, and I decided to buy the travel size, and I totally LOVE it! it’s literally my holy grail product, my skin loves it so much! thank you, thank you so so so much for your review!!! you helped me to find my holy grail product to hydrate and moisturize my skin ♥️

  2. Nikita says:

    I love this product. 🙂

Comments

Leave a comment

Follow us on Instagram