This review contains affiliate links* Let’s talk about my latest K-beauty obsession: the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner! This Korean toner is quite different from the usual Asian beauty toners: it’s an antioxidant powerhouse perfect for sensitive, oil- and blemish-prone skin types!
It seems that K-beauty toners are somehow my most reviewed category here on the blog, probably because I adore them so much! Today’s review is, yet again, from that category, but the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner is unlike any of the thick, super hydrating Korean toners that I usually go for and yet – I have been loving this new addition to my skincare routine.
I had the immense good fortune of being able to experience Isntree products “in the flesh”, so to speak, at the Beauty Düsseldorf trade expo last March. The natural K-beauty brand has been trending ever since our favourite Asian beauty skinfluencer, René aka Gothamista, recommended some of their products. And, well, one of those products was the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner, which had been on my wish list ever since Gothamista showed it in one of her videos.
Originally I had enforced a strict “no buy” rule upon myself for the Beauty Düsseldorf, since I knew that I’d otherwise be way too tempted to spend money I really didn’t have. But, well, the thing is – Isntree had these really, and I mean really good trade expo discounts, and so I decided to treat myself to just this one item. Ok, ok, I actually wanted to get two items, but the second coveted product – the Isntree Hyaluronic Water Essence* – was already sold out.
I’ve been using the Isntree Green Tea Toner for almost a month now, so I feel I can give you a thorough and honest review by now!
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner – the Basics
The Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner has been formulated with blemish-prone, oilier skin in mind, promising to help reduce excess sebum and calm down aggravated skin, thanks to the addition of 80% green tea leaf extract from Jeju Island. Like I mentioned earlier, this isn’t your average K-beauty toner, since it doesn’t have the usual, gel-like consistency. It reminds me more of Western toners, with a watery consistency and overall not as deeply hydrating ingredients – thus, the “fresh” label, hinting towards a more refreshing, light effect on the skin. The formulation of this toner, however, is nothing to scoff at!
Here is the list of ingredients for the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner:
“Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Water, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Beta-Glucan, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxyacetophenone.”
What I really love about Isntree products are their – dare I use that word? – “clean” product formulations: the Green Tea Fresh Toner is free from any alcohol or fragrance, and contains a number of great plant-derived ingredients, from soothing blueberry extract to skincare superstar centella asiatica extract, and my beloved, skin-brightening licorice root extract. And, of course, the high concentration of green tea extract, which is known to be an antioxidant powerhouse, is amazing! Green tea has been used to soothe and soften skin in many Asian countries for a long time, and it is rare to find such a pure, high concentration of it in a skincare product.
Hydration is provided mostly through beta glucan, a humectant similar to hyaluronic acid. The toner, by the way, does not contain hyaluronic acid, which is rare for Asian toners. So, if you have a sensitivity towards HA, the Isntree Green Tea Toner may be a good alternative for you.
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner – Why I Love It!
So, I love this toner – a lot, in fact. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, since it felt so watery and light – would this really “do” anything for my dehydrated, oily combo skin?
The first thing that struck me about the Green Tea Fresh Toner was its colour: it really looks exactly like freshly brewed – slightly over-brewed, in fact – green tea. Its colour is a dark brown, just like strong green tea.
The Isntree Green Tea Toner does not have much of a scent, just a very faint smell of tea if you really strain your nose. I have read some people’s complaints that the toner stained their skin, but I haven’t experienced this at all, and my very pale skin would definitely show staining.
I use the toner mostly in the mornings, since it feels so refreshing then. Isntree recommends using a cotton pad for application, but I usually just pour a bit into the palm of my hand, rub it in-between my palms and then apply it to my face that way. The watery texture means that the toner sinks into my skin almost instantly, leaving it feeling very smooth and somehow more awake. I feel that the Green Tea Fresh Toner does a particularly good job refreshing my skin after cleansing, and I have noticed how much calmer it seems since I’ve started using the toner.
I still often pair this with a more hydrating toner like my trusty Hada Labo Lotion, but especially now that the weather is becoming warmer, I find myself being fine with just the Green Tea Fresh Toner in the mornings. It’s just so lovely on slightly flushed or aggravated skin, and I do find it quite hydrating, just not as nourishing and rich as the thicker Asian toners. I can’t say that it has helped keep blemishes in check, however, so it’s not a miracle cure if you suffer from acne.
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner – the Bottom Line
If you have oil-prone or sensitive skin that can feel overwhelmed by heavier textures, then this beauty may become your new best friend, especially for the warmer months of the year. I would consider it a perfect summer toner, with its water-like texture and zero stickiness. It really does feel like you are putting strongly brewed cold tea on your face, which I personally adore.
I think those of you with drier skin could also enjoy this toner as a skin-soothing tonic, though you may need an additional, strongly hydrating serum or a second layer of a thicker toner to get all the hydration you need. All in all, this is a new favourite of mine and a purchase I most definitely do not regret!
Let me know in the comments: What’s your current toner fave? Have you tried any Isntree products yet?
Take care guys!
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