This Asian-owned watermelon toner leaves skin supple


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I’ve been hoarding toner since I’d first started getting zits as a teenager because it often came with an acne care set, but I had never really understood what it was for. Glow Recipe’s new Watermelon Glow Pore Tight Toner gives a whole new meaning to the skincare category.

If you haven’t heard of Glow Recipe, you may be living under a rock. The K-beauty-inspired brand is known for infusing real fruit into its skincare products to give your skin the glow of your dreams. Its first fruit-infused banger was the cult-favorite Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, and the watermelon theme is alive and well in the brand’s newest PHA + BHA pore-tightening toner. Plus, this skin-loving product is meant to replicate one of Korea’s most popular facial treatments, per Glow Recipe founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang.

“We chose to do this because we were very inspired by the Korean facial treatment called aqua peel facial,” Lee said. “Like its name, you’re getting a peel/pore treatment while infusing hydration all at the same time.”

Lee and Chang also found that toner was being skipped in people’s skincare routine due to its harsh alcoholic ingredients that can strip the skin of natural moisture. The founders’ intent was to treat the Watermelon Glow toner as a first step to ensure any other products to follow in your skincare routine would penetrate the skin.

Shop: Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner, $34

Credit: Glow Recipe.

“BHA is oil-soluble, so it will go in deeper through your pores and it will dissolve any sort of gunk that you have in your pores and make sure that’s cleared away,” Lee explains.

This toner does more than just exfoliate the skin. Instead of using alcohol, the Poly Hydroxy Acid (PHA) that is featured in the toner ensures that moisture from the hyaluronic acid, cactus water and watermelon in the toner is locked in. And according to Sarah and Christine, hydration in every skincare step is the “Korean beauty philosophy.”

“Every step should have as much hydration benefit as possible,” says Chang. “So, we’re setting the tone in the first step by hydrating, building that healthy foundation and also clearing away anything that has built up on your skin before moving onto your next step.”

For those skincare nerds who already have Glow Recipe’s entire line and wonder how this toner fits in with the brand’s existing routine, there’s an answer for that, too. Sarah and Christine recommend that after using your cleanser or their Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser, you can either throw on the brand’s Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist and toner or skip misting and use the toner as a first step leave-on treatment. After that, you can apply the Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask and move onto the brand’s Pineapple Bright C-serum to brighten the skin from dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Finally, you can seal in all that moisture with either the Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream or their Pink Juice Moisturizer.

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