Evening Skin Care: TIA’M Toner + Serum + Cream Review

The YS Beauty Lab

If I had to count the steps in my daily evening skin care routine (apart from the occasional hydrogel sheet masks and clay facial masks), it would consist of 5 steps: an oil cleanser, foam cleanser, toner, face cream and eye cream. I’ve become accustomed to the constant practice of trying to maintain moisturized and supple skin throughout dry winters, but moving to hot and humid Hong Kong is a different story – my skin has become sensitive with increased sebum production due to the change in environment, climate and lifestyle.

Then I stumbled onto TIA’M, a Korean skin care brand that utilizes safe and natural ingredients to  effectively treat and improve common issues at varying stages of your skin’s cycle. I decided to give two of its bestselling ranges a trial – TIA’M ‘s Aura Milk Face Feeling Toner and cream, as well as My Little Pore Fix Source.  All three products claim to gently exfoliate dead skin cells without stripping moisture, with the Aura Milk boasting skin brightening benefits, and the Pore Fix Source promising to soothe and refine enlarged pores.

 

Aura Milk Face Peeling Toner

What it claims to deliver: Mild daily exfoliation. Nourishes, whitens and smooths out fine lines.

I never skip out on toners. Simply because minutes after cleansing, that fresh and clean feeling quickly dissipates, leaving my skin taut. The main thing I always look for in toners is moisturizing capability and how it feels when fully absorbed into skin. The Aura Milk Face Peeling Toner contains natural NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) derived from lactose to give it its brightening and nourishing quality. What intrigued me the most about this product is it contains AHA, BHA and PHA all in one. According to Beauty Book, unlike physical exfoliators and scrubs, liquid exfoliants are not abrasive as they slough away impurities and dead skin cells without damaging the surface of the skin.

I use the Aura Milk Face Feeling Toner after my usual double cleansing routine at night. A few shakes are needed for the milk extract and peeling complex to fully mix. I usually pour the toner onto a cotton pad until it’s completely soaked. The solution has a milky texture and a light scent that reminds me of Peko milk candy, and glides across my face rather easily, leaving a fresh feeling and instant, supple dewiness.

Does it work? In my case, even double cleansing doesn’t 100% get rid of makeup residue, let alone dead skin cells. But with this toner, I can actually see remnants being peeled away on the cotton pad. I’ve been using it daily, and not once does it make my face feel taut or uncomfortable, and it delivers a fresh after-feel just like many of my favorite toners as well. After every application, a gentle and luminous glow remains even after it has been fully absorbed into skin.

 

My Little Pore Fix Source

What it claims to deliver: Mild daily exfoliation, moisturizing and soothing, suitable for all skin types.

Aside from its natural blue hue, the Pore Fix Source really grabbed my attention with its claimed effects. Just from reading about it, I can already imagine the soothing sensation on skin and can’t help but wonder, “What gives it all these crazy-good benefits?” The answer: This little serum is packed with soothing centella asiatica, conalbumin (glycoprotein from egg whites) to boost skin elasticity, moisturizing sesaflash extracts from sesame, and tannin from chestnut to tighten pores.

Does it work? I tend to use serums bi-weekly instead of daily, mainly because my skin can react badly when too many products are being used at once. Since my skin fluctuates between normal and dry, my pores have never been particularly bad. My Little Pore Fix Source also contains a lot of soothing ingredients, which prompted me to use it every night to speed up its effects. Even so, where there could have been tiny uneven bumps due to active sebum production, this serum was able to effectively smooth out such surfaces after two weeks of daily use.

 

Aura Milk Face Peeling Cream

What it claims to deliver: Mild daily exfoliation. Nourishes, whitens and smooths out fine lines.

The Aura Milk Face Feeling Cream is formulated with liquid exfoliants and milk extract, much like its toner equivalent. What sets this apart from the toner is that it contains 3% PHA, whereas the toner has only 2%. It’s also packed with other brightening ingredients like squalane, niacinamide and moringa leaf extract to boost recovery and strengthen the skin’s barrier.

Does it work? Even though TIA’M recommends the cream to be used twice daily, I usually use it once as a night cream. Its gel-like texture is on the thicker spectrum of creams, so it’s not an ideal candidate for pre-makeup skin care. It also carries a mild dairy smell like other milk-infused skin care products I’ve tried before, but the scent is light and not overly sweet.

I’m not 100% sure of its exfoliating quality, but the cream is very nourishing. I learned from the first week of my trial that a very little of this product goes a long way – I had to blot away the excess from my face due to a constant sheen and stickiness (although it’s non-oily) after application. In spite of its dense texture, the cream seems to absorb well during sleep, and even after washing it off the morning after, my skin remains supple.

 

The Verdict

After incorporating the trio into my evening skin care regimen for 30 days, I feel that my skin’s moisture locking ability improved. Despite not seeing dramatic changes, I’ve noticed areas with uneven skin tone gradually brightened, but there aren’t any significant improvements for hyperpigmentation.

Out of the three, my favorite is the toner. Who wouldn’t love a feel-good product? Its hydrating quality is definitely suitable for dry skin, but I feel its milky texture would work for oily and combination skin types as well. With a low percentage of active PHA, it’s gentle enough for everyday use, and its exfoliating quality is definitely a bonus!

My Little Pore Fix Source isn’t a bad product, but the slight smell of alcohol is a con for me. The formula is quick absorbing, and leaves my skin smooth which is its main strengths. Unfortunately I’ve not really noticed any visible changes on my pores throughout the trial.

Last but not least, the Aura Milk Face Peeling Cream is a gentle and deeply nourishing product. It’s great for dry skin and sensitive skin in my opinion! Although its exfoliating quality isn’t as prominent, it’s fantastic at keeping my skin supple in winter. However, the clingy and sticky after-feel really isn’t my cup of tea. In comparison, I can see myself using the toner and serum throughout the year, but the cream wouldn’t be fit for summer, when a hydrating and non-sticky moisturizer would be preferable.