This product was gifted to me as an event competition prize. I was not paid for this review and affiliate links are not used in this post.

When I attended the last StyleStory event here in Sydney, I was really lucky to win one of their social media competitions! I’ll be honest, I have won a competition maybe two or three times in my entire life (even including games of bingo), so I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was excited though and was chatting to Lauren (the girl boss/CEO of StyleStory) about wanting to try some of the newer brands that had launched in their store. I have a nice ist of my favourites, but I’m always looking to try new things – especially from smaller indie brands!

From there, StyleStory packed me a generous prize and sent me a bunch of things from a brand called APLB, which originally caught my eye with their super cute and unique puzzle logo design (I know, I know haha). They are a cruelty-free kbeauty brand and, according to the website:

APLB combines scientific prescriptions with results that the eyes can actually see in gentle, natural cosmetics that won’t irritate or sensitize skin. With formulas based on real ingredients – things you can even eat, like eggplant, bee pollen, propolis, honey and plants like centella asiatica, it is dedicated to research clinical solutions for skin problems like dryness, sensitivity, aging, acne and redness.

They gave me a good variety so that I could test out a range of formulas too and I’ll be kicking off this series of reviews with the Eggplant Peeling Pad Toner. This is currently selling on the StyleStory website for AUS$32.95 and you can also check out their entire APLB range there too! Before you do that though, let’s get into this review!

Product Description

The APLB Eggplant Peeling Pad Toner claims to offer 3-in-1 skincare to condense your skincare routine, but retain its effectiveness. These are “unique cleansing peeling pads” that can remove make up and also clear dead skin cells, dirt and sebum from pores (hence, ‘peeling’). In addition to these, it helps to control sebum and oils. Key benefits are:

  • Sebum control
  • Soothes and hydrates skin
  • Natural BHA alleviates skin trouble
  • Gently manages dead skin by exfoliating
  • Deeply penetrates pores to clear unwanted gunk
  • Handy pads are ideal for use at the gym or on weekends away
  • Offers three-in-one care for problem skin, sebum control, and exfoliation

The Eggplant Peeling Pad Toner has a gentle formula that contains a number of star ingredients (like eggplant!). The list (which I have taken from the StyleStory website) includes:

  • Anthocyanin: helps repair damaged skin cells and promote the growth of new and healthy cells.
  • Eggplant Fruit extract: calms and hydrates sensitive skin.
  • Salicylic Acid: has anti-inflammatory properties and is a popular ingredient in acne treatments. It works by exfoliating the skin, causing the cells of the epidermis to shed more readily, preventing pores from clogging up, and allowing room for new cell growth. It is especially effective because it penetrates the follicle, clearing the pores of debris at a deeper level, reducing blockage and in turn, acne flare ups and breakouts.
  • Centella Asiatica: rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids, and numerous potent phytochemicals, this plant extract assists to calm inflammation, speed wound healing, stimulate new cell growth, build collagen, and improve circulation.

From this list, Salicylic Acid and Centella Asiatica are definitely two of my favourites. I’ve had good experience with both of these in the past (the former did a great job at saving my era of epic break outs early in the year), so I’m pretty confident with this product. The use of Eggplant Fruit Extract is totally new to me, but I’m open to it!


I love the packaging design for APLB in general. Their overall aesthetic is minimalist but with a hint of pastel colour and simple typography – all of their products look great placed together, even if they don’t look exactly the same (i.e. they have a very cohesive brand).

For the Eggplant Peeling Pad Toner, the product comes housed in a white unit carton (see above). It has small accents of lavender and a print of the actual tub on the side. The box if made of a good quality matte laminated paper stock with hints of spot UV varnish, which gives it a slightly elevated luxe feel without being over the top. In general, the quality of the unit carton is nice – from the design, the materials and even the shape of it. Although it has a standard cube shape, the base of the box is half glued for extra security.

Opening it up, you’ll find the product housed in a plastic tub – pretty much exactly the same as what you saw on the unit carton. It’s primarily frosted, which gives you a good idea of how many pads you have left inside whilst still making the information (like the ingredients) readable.

It has a lavender purple lid which flips open. I like this because I find it a lot easier than having to twist lids open. However, it’s either the material or contruction of this that is an issue because the joint is pretty stiff – whilst this allows the cap to fully open without flicking back, it can be pretty sudden when you go to close it. I’m not sure how to explain it but basically, the lid snaps closed (and it’s loud haha).

In general though, I like the design and shape of the packaging. I think the quality is great too (except for that snapping lid). Unfortunately, it is a bit heavy for travel though but I’ll give that a pass for the aesthetics anyway.

Personal Experiences

I tried out these peeling pads in a few different ways – by itself as a toner pad, and also as a toner/cleanser with full make up. In general, I think that these work best used like a regular toner pad or after an initial cleanse – for the basic reason that these pads are small. They aren’t make up wipe sized and, unless you’re intending on using three each time, you won’t be able to properly remove makeup (and I would never recommend not using a proper cleanser anyway).

The Eggplant Peeling Pad Toner has a light fresh scent that is pleasant and calming. The individual pads are thoroughly soaked and have two sides – one that is textured for more of an exfoliating effect, and the smooth side to swipe off final dead skin cells and soothe skin.

They do a good job of gently exfoliating your skin – the chemical exfoliant and the textured side of the pad helps to wipe away dead skin and, to a more minor extent, also clear pores. The immediate result is a smooth and baby soft complexion. It’s a great way to kick start your evening skincare routine.

The use of BHA (Salicylic Acid) is great for people with oily and acne prone skin. However, if you’re wanting this for more oil-control and pore clearing benefits, then you will need to be using these more regularly and long term. For me, I think that I will need to use these for much more (at least finishing this tub) before checking back on those effects as I’m not seeing much at the moment.

I have been tossing up between using these or a regular toner and, since they do contain acids, I figured that it would be best to use them interchangeably. The formula of these pads are very gentle though and I can use them every night without any skin irritation. They can be used during the day too but you have to ensure that you’re protecting your skin with proper SPF afterwards (for skin safety reason, I personally choose to only implement this into my evening routine).

At the moment, I’m especially loving these pads for after work. I’m the type of person who cleanses off my makeup as soon as I get home and I want to do some simple and fast skincare afterwards. By using these pads and adding a light moisturiser on top, my skin feels refreshed and soft with minimal effort.

Here’s the verdict!


A tub of 70 chemical exfoliating (BHA) toner pads


  • Gorgeously designed packaging
  • Good quality unit carton and plastic tub
  • Fresh and light scent (doesn’t linger)
  • Immediate exfoliation with a soft finish
  • Doesn’t irritate or sting skin at all
  • Quick and easy to use


  • Lid ‘snaps’ shut
  • Minimal oil control or pore care benefits visible (will need to test out for longer)
  • Heavy and not suited for travel
  • Is insufficient to remove makeup as product claims


  • PRICE POINT | 3/5
  • PACKAGING | 4/5
  • EASE OF USE | 5/5
  • OIL CONTROL | 3/5



The main ‘con’ of this product is that it’s really not useful as a make up cleanser – that isn’t really something I expect from a toning pad anyway but I had to add that into the rating since it’s a product claim. In general, I’m enjoying the immediate exfoliation and softness from this product. I’m not seeing much in terms of pore care and oil control at the moment but will continue to use and see if these effects will be more visible long term.


The Eggplant Peeling Pad Toner is available from StyleStory for AUD$32.95 – they also offer free shipping Australia wide for all orders over AUD$60 so definitely take this opportunity to grab a couple of other skincare essentials!

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