Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner
hydrating toner,  Pyunkang Yul

Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner

the claim

The Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner is formulated for acne prone skin to soothe with centella asicatica, control excessive sebum production with willow bark extract, hydrate with five weights of Hyalyronic Acid and gently exfoliate with AHA and PHA.
Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner

the science

Two exfoliating agents are employed by this toner. Gluconolactone is a Polyhydroxy Acid that functions like an AHA (eg. glycolic acid) but is far gentler due to a larger molecular structure and hence inability to penetrate the skin as deeply. According to dermatologist Dr. Rubin, reduced absorption only barely reduces effectiveness (around 6%). Willow Bark Extract contains salicylic acid, a BHA and natural exfoliant that’s used as an acne treatment due to its ability to help skin shed dead cells and clear pores. Astringent properties are also thought to soften and loosen dry, scaly, or thickened skin for simplified removal.
Accompanied by it’s four components, Madecassoside, Madecassic Acid, Asiaticoside and Asiatic Acid, Centella Asiatica Extract offers proven soothing properties. Traditionally used in Asian medicine for its healing ability, it’s a diverse ingredient offering anti-inflammatory benefits to ease irritation and acne while restorative behaviour stimulates new cell growth, builds collagen and improves circulation. Supporting this function with excellent antioxidant content and soothing properties are Honeysuckle and Japanese Camellia Extracts.
Due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties, Tea Tree Extract has been used to treat acne and skin infections. Its ability to remove excess oils from skin by pushing out stale sebum deep within pores can help prevent blackheads and acne forming. Furthermore, natural astringent properties are also said to diminish the appearance of large pores, behaviour that’s further strengthened by Sage Leaf Extract.
The formula also contributes a good amount of moisture to the skin. Ingredients responsible include Glycerin, Panthenol and Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in various molecular weights for maximum impact and plumping. HA occurs naturally in the skin, a humectant that has the ability to draw over 1000 times its weight in moisture from the atmosphere to keep it supple and fresh. Revitalizing the skin’s outer surface layers gives it a smoother, softer and hydrated appearance. Furthermore, in enhancing the skin’s ability to hold water which naturally reduces with age, HA also helps retain firmness.

the ingredients

Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Gluconolactone, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Asiatic Acid, Asiaticoside, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Madecassic Acid, Madecassoside, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone, C12-14 Pareth-12, Sodium Citrate, Disodium Edta, 1,2-Hexanediol
Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner Ingredients

the analysis

Running the ingredient list through the CosDNA tool confirms an all green, gentle product.
Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner CosDNA Analysis

the packaging

The Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner is packaged in a simple clear plastic bottle with dropper opening and screw top lid. It comes in a solid protective cardboard box.
Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner Packaging

the application

In the first step of your skincare routine, moisten a cotton pad and gently wipe it along the skin texture.

the scent

The Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner is free of added fragrance and has a subtle natural scent that is very short lived.

the cost

A 150ml bottle of the Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner has a recommended retail price of USD$18.00.

the availability

The Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner is available on Korean skincare online retail stores such as Style Korean and Yes Style.

the performance

Presented in a clear cylindrical bottle with dropper opening, the Calming Deep Moisture Toner is clear as water with a similar texture and viscosity. It claims several benefits, so I’ll break it down by claim and judge its performance based on its ability to soothe, balance, hydrate and exfoliate.
Soothing ingredients include the family of Centella Asiatica based compounds plus Tea tree and Sage extracts. These are proven ingredients that can calm the skin, the latter two also offering antibacterial benefits to combat acne. As I don’t suffer from acne normally, I couldn’t really put this claim to the test and get convincing results. However, I will conclude that the formulation supports this claim but in practice, I’m not certain how effectively it’s delivered.
Balance is a measure of sebum production. Balanced skin isn’t oily or dry but ideally, somewhere in between. Having normal skin with combo tendancies, (a little excess oil produced around the nostrils), it was difficult to judge efficacy on this front but based on the my experience, I did see a delay in the onset of excess oil produced during the day around my problem area.
Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner
It delivers good hydration but only when layered. I think if applied with a cotton pad or in a single layer straight after cleansing, it does a job of prepping the skin for the rest of the routine, but offers minimal hydration. Some may not be comfortable layering a toner that claims exfoliation properties, but it feels pretty gentle to me so I did. I found 2-3 generous layers necessary to deliver an expected level of hydration. But, having said that, I’d rather separate my exfoliation from my hydration steps so I can control how much moisture I add without risking over-exfoliation. However, given how gentle this is, I didn’t find over exfoliating a risk.
As thin as they get, the texture permits it to be applied with cotton or hands. I usually apply exfoliating toners with a cotton pad and hydrating ones with hands. Although this one offers exfoliation benefits, this effect is very gentle as already mentioned, so either method is acceptable. I’d be curious to know the percentage of Willow Tree Extract and Gluconolactone in the formula, but in their absence, I can only go by experience and it’s predominating gentle. As someone who uses acid toners regularly, I didn’t notice any of the benefits of such products with this toner – no brightening and minimal smoothing. However, the target audience, sensitive skin types, will really appreciate the gentle nature of this one and the ability to apply it daily without the threat of irritation.

the conclusion

In summary, this toner meets target audience objectives. It provides gentle hydration, gentle exfoliation, gentle soothing and gentle balance. This is nothing extraordinary but also nothing that anyone without sensitive skin really needs. I’ll happily finish it as it’s nice but not one I would broadly recommend. Sensitive folk, go for it!
Pyunkang Yul Calming Deep Moisture Toner

the summary

Pros Cons
Safe CosDNA approved formula Only available online for Australians
Hygienicic clean packaging Too gentle to make much impact on skin types other than sensitive
Beautiful lightweight texture and fast absorption
Gentle hydration and soothing properties
Perfect for sensitive skin types
Very affordable


the references

Willow Bark Extract Truth In Aging
The Tea Tree Skin “Miracle” – The 7 Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Body Ecology
Tea Tree Oil Paula’s Choice Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary
Sodium Hyaluronate Truth In Aging
Centella asiatica: The miracle ingredient your skin needs Oh Lolly
Honeysuckle Flower Extract Paula’s Choice Skincare Ingredient Dictionary
This New Skincare Ingredient Is 10 Times More Hydrating Than Hyaluronic Acid Amerley Ollennu
Should You Be Avoiding Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate? The Derm Review
Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Skin Care Benefits of Squalane Caroline Thompson
This One Oil May Be the Solution to Your Major Skin Struggles Erin Lukas
Benefits of Olive Oil for Skin Dr. Edward Group
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits Skin Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid Audrey Noble
Polyhydroxy Acid Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary


the disclaimer

Please read in context with my disclaimer.
This product was provided to me free of charge by Style Korean for review. This post only includes my honest opinion and experience of this product and is in no way influenced by Pyunkang Yul, Style Korean, product suppliers, representatives or any other third party.



    • denise

      Thanks Ledia, for sharing your thoughts on this toner. The PKY essence toner is such a hydration hero that I expected a little more on that front. Nonetheless, this calming toner is a nice prep for the products that follow (and I usually layer a richer toner, essence and serum so there’s plenty of hydration to be enjoyed).

      I like the cream too – perfect lightweight consistency makes it ideal for summer.

  • Helen

    Thanks for a great review! I’m interested in trying a new PHA toner. A question about the ingredients, I can’t figure out what is the AHA component?

    • denise

      Hi Helen,
      That’s a great question. There isn’t a “pure” AHA component to this toner as such. Gluconolactone is Polyhydroxy (PHA), however it’s chemically and functionally similar to an AHA although it has a larger molecular structure so doesn’t penetrate as deeply. Touted to be equally effective without the risk of sensitivity.
      Hope that helps,

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