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High up on my list of favorite skin care ingredients is glycolic acid, along with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Two summers ago, my skin felt congested, so I turned to glycolic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), to help slough off dead skin cells and blackheads. With consistent use of glycolic acid in my skin care routine, I finally said goodbye to my congested skin.
Since that experience, I rarely hesitate to try new glycolic acid products. I turned to K-Beauty brand Beauty of Joseon for a new product to add to my exfoliating routine − the Green Plum AHA Bubble Toner.
What is it: An exfoliating toner that gently removes dead skin cells and impurities while keeping skin hydrated.
Key ingredients: Green plum water, glycolic acid, rice bran water and honey extract.
Best to use when: Skin feels dull, rough or congested.
How I use the toner
I’m all about keeping my skin extra hydrated, especially during winter. Even though the Green Plum AHA Bubble Toner is hydrating, I still pair it with another moisturizing toner for maximum hydration. Here’s how I included it in my routine:
Cleansing > Bubble Toner > Hydrating Toner
After cleansing, I apply one pump of the bubble toner on damp skin and pat gently until fully absorbed. Alternatively, apply it using a cotton pad. I find that using the bubble toner followed by a hydrating toner always leaves my skin plumper than usual.
Bubble toner vs regular toner
What makes this bubble toner different than an ordinary toner? For starters, the former is a lot of fun to use! The main difference lies in the texture. While regular toners feature a water-like texture, bubble toners have a rich and fluffy bubble texture, which makes the application process more enjoyable.
I normally expect a mild tingling sensation when using glycolic acid products, but I didn’t experience that when using the Green Plum AHA Bubble Toner. I’ve previously used products with 7% glycolic acid, so I may have built up a tolerance to lower concentrations of this ingredient. With an exfoliating solution of 3% glycolic acid and 25% green plum water, this toner is gentle enough for my combination and acne-prone skin, plus it didn’t cause any irritation.
In addition to green plum water and glycolic acid, the bubble toner is formulated with rice bran water and honey extract to brighten and nourish skin. It also contains portulaca oleracea extract, which has a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on skin.
The bubble texture felt extremely lightweight, and it took a while for the toner to fully absorb, even when I used just one pump. If you decide to incorporate it into your routine, prepare for a lot of gentle patting! Once fully absorbed, my skin felt hydrated and fresh, without any stickiness.
Before adding Beauty of Joseon’s toner to my routine, I was dealing with a few new breakouts. After only a few uses, I already noticed an improvement. My blemishes looked less red and angry, and my skin felt much smoother.
Overall, this is a great AHA toner that I like to use a few times a week to reduce inflammation and improve skin texture. Since I’m used to more potent glycolic acid products, this toner’s lower concentration of glycolic acid was very gentle for my skin but still delivered results! If you’re new to AHAs and looking for a product to introduce to your exfoliating routine, Beauty of Joseon’s Green Plum AHA Bubble Toner is a perfect product to start with.