This product was sent to me by StyleKorean for review purposes. I was not paid for this post but please note that affiliate links are used on my blog. These go towards supporting Oh My Stellar and future content.
For those who are passionate about sustainability (and vegan, cruelty-free skincare), then this kbeauty brand will be right up your alley! Toun28 is a relatively new brand, having launched back in 2016, and take a fully sustainable approach to their packaging. They even teamed up with StyleKorean for the Ugly Soap Project (a Green Week special) where they have made their ‘soap scraps’, or less than perfectly shaped ‘seconds’, available for just under a dollar – cutting down waste and saving you money.
Toun28 is now available at StyleKorean, and their prices are pretty good too. Today I’ll be reviewing their pH Balancing Toner, Lip Balm L2 (Unscented), Trouble Care for Sensitive Skin and Trouble Care for Dehydrated-Oily Skin. I had a bit of a mixed experience with these products, which I’ll discuss in depth, but I am still very impressed by Toun28 as a whole – and, of course, love their brand values.
Keen to try them out? Then let’s just right into this review!
pH Balancing Toner (100mL) | USD$12.60 (on sale from USD$14)
Starting out with a product that I am thoroughly enjoying is the pH Balancing Toner. This is a fairly simple formula which claims to be nourish, helping to maintain the pH balance of skin after cleansing, as well as protecting from external irritation. Other main selling points include:
- Contains small hyaluronic acid molecules to help penetrate deep into the skin layers
- Uses FDA-certified sun salt for 0.9% saline balance, aiding in refining akin texture
- Features 50% Organic Hibiscus Flower water rich in Anthocyanin and Vitamin C to deliver rich nutrients to the skin
The toner comes in an uncoated paper unit carton with a rustic aesthetic – brown, recycled paper and matching brown letterpress print. The design is simple and fuss free, which really ties into the Toun28 brand values. It’s also something that would really appeal to an eco-friendly audience.
Opening it up, you’ll find that the toner is housed in a glass bottle. Most of the Toun28 products actually use paper packaging, so that they are fully recyclable. However, the formula of the toner was actually more difficult to control and store, and so amber glass was used as a convenience alternative – which is still a much better option than plastic. Something to note is that the tinted glass is used because the Organic Hibiscus Water ingredient is prone to discolouration from light exposure. If you are decanting this product, either for travel or similar, it’s recommended to avoid transparent bottles.
Another small detail that I really like on this bottle is that it uses an aluminium cap (again, not plastic) which also has the Toun28 logo embossed.
On the flip side though, this bottle has a regular stopper but no pump dispenser – it’s fairly common for toners, but I find this particular formula more viscous and harder to dispense.
I’ve been mostly using this in my night routine, though it would work well during the day too. Overall, it has a watery texture with slight viscosity – it pats and absorbs into skin easily, and would be a good product to layer up too. The toner gives a good boost of instant hydration, working as a solid base to layer the rest of your skincare, as well as keeping skin supple and balanced.
The only real issue I have with this product is that it can be hard to dispense. Since there’s no pump, you are meant to pour the toner out – but the viscose texture and stopper means that that can be a bit difficult. I did eventually get used to it though. It’s hard to get enough product out to saturate a cotton pad but Toun28 actually recommend to apply directly with your palms for optimum pH balancing.
Overall, I’m enjoying this and would continue to use it. It may not be something that I would rush to repurchase for myself, but I would definitely recommend it for people with sensitive skin due to the simplicity of the formula and functions.
Here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A nourishing pH balancing toner to hydrate and refine skin
- Clean and simple formula
- Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin
- Environmentally friendly packaging (plastic-free)
- Absorbs well and is easy to layer up
- No noticeable scent/fragrance
- Instant hydration
- Bottle can be hard to dispense from
- Very simple formula – some people may want more from their toner
- PRICE POINT | 5/5
- PACKAGING | 4/5
- TEXTURE | 4/5
- ABSORPTION | 5/5
- HYDRATION | 4/5
- SKIN REFINING | 2/5
OVERALL RATING? 8/10
THOUGHTS? This toner delivers on most of it’s claims – it is hydrating and re-balances skin very well. The only benefit that I didn’t notice much of was skin refinement, though this has been a persistent issue as I have very enlarged pores. The main thing to keep in mind is that this has a very simple; it’s suitable for sensitive skin, but doesn’t have any extra skin benefits (i.e. brightening, anti-wrinkle etc).
Lip Balm L2 (Unscented) | USD$8.10 (on sale from USD$9)
And after that, we have the Lip Balm L2 – which has a natural and vegan formulation that contains ingredients all from edible raw materials. It has a formula that is so clean that it can be applied on babies too, so it really is suitable for anyone. The texture of this lip balm is quite soft, clear of pigmentation and with a natural, satin finish.
This particular variant is unscented (though may have a light cacao seed butter scent from the ingredients), but you can also check out the L1 version, which has a vanilla scent made from allergen-free natural extracts.
Something to note about this product is that it is made with butter and oils (instead of petroleum) and so may melt at temperatures above 30 degrees – Toun28 doesn’t recommend carrying this around in your pocket, though I think it will be fine in make up bags as long as it isn’t too hot out. Just something to keep in mind.
So I love the packaging for this and I think they’ve struck a great balance with making it both environmentally friendly and simple. The unit carton has an interesting hexagonal box shade, with an added flap on top to allow for English information to be printed. Again, this is made from an uncoated recycled brown paper with a simple design. It’s understated and has a rustic appeal.
Opening it up, you’ll find that the lip balm is housed in an aluminium tub with the Toun28 logo embossed. The cap twists on securely, and the overall packaging is simple, lightweight and compact. I like the functionality and minimalist aesthetic too!
This is a very simple lip balm, but the formula is nice and I think the natural ingredients are good too. I’m a pretty strong advocate against the use of petroleums too so this is definitely something that I would reach for often. The satin, non-glossy formula is perfect for popping beneath lip colour too, so it can also be used as a lip prep for matte lipsticks.
Since I’m not sensitive to scents (and actually quite like them), I’m curious to try the L1 variant as well. That being said though, I really like the light cacao seed butter scent too – it’s present in the tub but not noticeable once applied.
Here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
An all-natural, unscented lip balm with a clear, satin finish formula
- Simple, compact packaging
- Clean ingredients (can be used for all)
- Satin finish which can be used as a lip prep
- Light pleasant scent not noticable on application
- Low melting point (30 degrees)
- No colour or pigmented version available
- PRICE POINT | 4/5
- PACKAGING | 5/5
- MOISTURISING | 4/5
- FINISH | 4/5
- SCENT | 5/5
OVERALL RATING? 8.8/10
THOUGHTS? I’m very happy with this product. It has a great price point and, whilst it is very basic (no colour pigmentation or cosmetic effect at all), the simple, all natural formula also makes it much more suitable for people with sensitivities. The only issue is the low melting point (as this product actually arrived very soft from postage), but it’s something I’m happy to overlook if it means there’s no petroleum!
One of the signature products from Toun28 would have to be their creams and lotions – which are famously housed in paper sachets.
The first Trouble Care for Sensitive Skin is a cream which targets redness and sensitised skin, through calming and managing pores. It is primarily recommended for sensitive skin, those concerned with redness/irriation, and acne prone skin. This is scent-free and formulated using 10% German Chamomile Oil (or Blue Tansy, to even skin tone and decrease inflammation), as well as Squalene (for moisture) and Centella Asiatica (to soothe and calm).
On the flip side, there is also the Trouble Care for Dehydrated-Oily Skin, which has more of a gel-lotion type formula recommended for dehydrated, oily or sensitive skin (as the name suggests).
This claims to rebalance skin through eliminating excess oil and maintaining moisture in dehydrated areas – it is totally oil-free and contains Guaiazulene (a derivative of Chamomile Oil), as well as Centella Asiatica (to soothe and calm) Niacinamide (to brighten) and Salicylic Acid (to help with the clearing of pores).
Both of these formulas contain natural and gentle ingredients, as well as being cruelty-free and allergen-free.
So the packaging for these really caught my eye when I first received these. In fact, I wasn’t even totally sure of what they were because it’s so unique! The product comes housed in a cardboard unit carton, which has a rustic vibe with no additional print aside from the wraparound label.
Once the label is opened and the box opened, the creams are housed in a paper sachet – these also have a wrap around label, but the additional flat (with english print) can be removed from the perforation. The packaging is mostly biodegradable and recyclable, though does contain plastic in the cap. Although not fully plastic-free, this is very close to it and maintains a good balance between environmentally-friendly and functional.
The sachet packaging is easy to use and dispense from. It’s also very lightweight and compact, making it perfect for travelling.
It’s unfortunate, but these two products were not perfect for me – perhaps I just need to try out a different variant. Notes on the two products are below:
This cream type product has a milky texture that is easy to apply over other skincare. It isn’t overly dense and mostly absorbs on application.
However, I felt like this was too rich and nourishing for my skin. Although it is recommended for acne prone skin, I felt that it had a tendency to aggravate my existing break outs – which may have been due to the use of Chamomile Oil.
Rather than acne-prone skin, I feel like this formula would be better for dry leaning combination skin types.
This one has a very lightweight, lotion formula. It has a bit of slip on application but absorbs quickly. It’s great for layering up skincare as well, though I have been reserving this for my evening routine.
After application, there is a slight residue that forms over the top of skin – almost like a moisture layer. This makes it suitable at night, but does cause make up to pill and become patchy on application. I only use this on no-makeup days.
In addition, I felt like this lotion wasn’t moisturising enough for me to use alone. My skin actually become overly dehydrated (to the extent where my face was stinging) but became much better once I added an additional night cream on top.
Here’s the verdict (for both)!
SO WHAT IS IT?
Creams or lotions housed in recyclable paper sachets
- Environmentally friendly packaging
- Easy to use and suitable for travel
- Natural ingredients
- Mostly absorbs into skin and is suitable for layering
- Trouble Care for Sensitive Skin may aggravate acne
- Trouble Care for Dehydrated Skin is not moisturising enough on its own
- Trouble Care for Dehydrated Skin is not suitable for use beneath make up
- PRICE POINT | 2/5
- PACKAGING | 4/5
- FINISH/TEXTURE | 3/5
- EFFICACY | 1/5
OVERALL RATING? 5/10
THOUGHTS? These are some of Toun28‘s most famous products and so I really wanted to like these. I actually tried them out for longer than usual because I was that determined but, unfortunately, these just didn’t work for my skin! I still think the concept and brand values are great though, so I would be open to trying out others from the brand.
Have you used anything from Toun28 before? I think their brand values are so solid and I really respect all of the work they put into trying to be more eco-friendly. I feel like their packaging style is innovative, unique and speaks perfectly to their audience.
In addition, they have some really great simple products. Although the creams didn’t work for me, I’m enjoying the pH Balancing Toner and Lip Balm L2 – especially the toner. I would love to see them bring out tinted lip balms in the future, as I feel like I would get even more use from those.