Laneige Cream Skin Refiner
hydrating toner,  Laneige

Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

the claim

The Laneige Cream Skin Refiner claims to be a toner comprising a whole bottle of cream dissolved with safe ingredients to keep the skin hydrated and healthy. It’s said to offer a significant moisturising effect, particularly recommended for skin that feels tight, dry or sensitive.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

the ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propanediol, Disodium Edta, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopherol
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner Ingredients
CosDNA returns a favourable all green report for this compact 15 ingredient formula, confirming product safety.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner CosDNA Report

the science

Following the humectant powerhouse Glycerin in a short formula comprising only 15 ingredients, there are several fatty acid rich emollients to soften the skin, lead by Meadowfoam Seed Oil. This oil also has been shown to inhibit collagen degrading enzymes in the skin and defend against UVB light exposure for an anti-aging effect.
Rounding the formula are two potent antioxidants in White Tea Leaf Extract and Tocopherol (Vitamin E). Rich in catechins, white tea is the least processed of all the teas, resulting in a higher catechin content. This is because it’s made from young tea leaves grown in the shade and cold brew processed immediately after harvest, boosting its potency. It effectively defends against free radical damage. Additionally, polyphenols protect from harmful UV radiation and amino acids help to reinforce the moisture barrier to improve skin health and keep it looking youthful.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

the packaging

The Laneige Cream Skin Refiner comes in a sturdy frosted bottle with screw top secure lid and dropper opening. It’s presented in a simple cardboard box which contains an information leaflet.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner Packaging

the application

This product can be used in several ways. As a traditional toner, dispensed onto palms and patted into skin until absorbed. As a moisturising mask, by soaking cotton sheets/pads and laying them on the face for a few minutes, then patting for improved absorption. Finally, it can also be siphoned into a spray bottle and used as a mist throughout the day.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner Applicator

the cost

This product varies in price enormously so shop around. You can pick it up anywhere between USD$15 on sale up to USD$70.

the availability

The refiner is available at good Korean beauty online stores including Style Korean and Yes Style, where I purchased mine (Discount code CLAYESSENCE).

the expiry

The product must be used within 12 months of opening and has a shelf life of 3 years.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner Expiry

the performance

This product shot to fame the minute it was released with endless influencer reviews singing its praises. So, I had to try it and see what the fuss is about. Starting with presentation, it’s packaged beautifully in a sturdy frosted bottle with a typical dropper opening. The screw cap secures the product well and gives it a chic appearance.
It claims to be a bottle of moisturizer offered in a toner consistency. This is implied by the title itself – Skin being the Korean term for toner and Cream typically referring to moisturiser. Furthermore, the alcohol/fragrance/essential oil free green grade formula is EWG and CosDNA approved, giving it a maximum safety rating that will appeal to all skin types including sensitive.
Due to the fact that this claims to be a toner/moisturiser hybrid, I expected a thick consistency. I was surprised to observe that it’s in fact very watery in texture and milky white in colour. This aspect reminds me of the I’m From Rice Toner.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner Texture
It has no added fragrance or essential oils and there’s also no scent from the formulation either so very pleasant overall. I apply it as I would a regular toner, dispensing it onto palms and patting it into my skin. I didn’t want to waste product by splashing it onto cotton and using it as a mask (particularly since it’s quite pricey), but this method might be something to consider if you’re particularly dry or dehydrated alternatively are suffering inflammation or irritation. I have a bottle of the mist in my stash so avoided this means of application also. It should be noted that the ingredient list for the refiner and mist are identical.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner & Mist
My preferred use was to layer it like a toner, straight after cleansing, usually preceding an acid and/or watery toner. Optional serum followed, addressing anything but moisture levels, since this is deemed unnecessary when following Cream Skin. I also found essence was superfluous when using it in the same routine as the Cream Skin. One or two layers is more than enough to satisfy my primarily normal skin with combination (T-zone) tendencies. Perhaps an additional layer may be necessary to please dry and dehydrated faces.
Pleasantly, I didn’t experience any tackiness or residue afterwards. A good amount of Meadowfoam Seed Oil gives it a creamy, slightly oily but completely satisfying texture with plenty of slip. It’s a wonderful comfort to the skin without any sense of heaviness or greasiness. It absorbs completely too in short time without any tackiness or residue, the only possible exception when too many layers are applied. There doesn’t appear to be any separation like most bi-phase products tend to display when they settle, (at least not significant enough to be visually noticed). This is likely due to a strong representation of emulsifiers in the formula which successfully keep it together and well merged. However, shaking prior to application is still advised.
I didn’t think this was sufficiently powerful to replace moisturiser, especially at night as it doesn’t form any sort of seal to lock in hydration and prevent TEWL. It could however be sufficient in the AM routine when used with a moisturising sunscreen, especially in warmer weather. In summary, it fulfills claims by providing the benefit of toner hydration with the light moisturising properties of a cream.
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

the conclusion

My skin feels completely comforted by one or two layers of the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner. It’s immediately plumper, softer and more balanced. The effects are more or less instant and quite long lasting. This product is ideal for normal to dry skin types in particular, although lighter layers would also appeal to oilier complexions while sensitive folk will appreciate the gentle formula. I loved it and have every intention of including it in my routine in the future too. It’s one of my favourite discoveries of 2020 and it definitely has my highest recommendation.

the summary

Pros Cons
Safe, CosDNA approved formulation Only available online for Australians
Suitable for all including sensitive skin types A bit expensive
Multiple methods of application
Absorbs effortlessly without residue
Penetrates deeply and moisturises effectively
Comforts irritated skin
Nourishes with emollients to leave skin soft


the references

Laneige Website
Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil Paula’s Choice Skincare



the disclaimer

Please read in context with my disclaimer.


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