If you’re wondering what this is, and your mind is going “Refresh Water? What’s that and how do I use it?”
Well, this refresh water is multifunctional – the concept is similar to that of Son & Park’s Beauty Water. It can be used as a cleansing water, as this contains surfactant, which is PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides listed quite high in the ingredients (third on the list) or as a toner to refresh the skin or to pick up any residue left behind after cleansing. It could also be used as a mild exfoliant in your routine as it has both AHA and BHA, or put in a spray bottle as a refreshing mist throughout the day.
However, it is stated on the box that this Refresh Water is to be used primarily as a
Clean Up Peeling Toner:
I haven’t tried the Son & Park Beauty Water so I cannot compare this Refresh Water with that but I’ve seen people comparing these two, saying that the ingredients lists are very similar but this Refresh Water has a higher concentration of the surfactant used which is the PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Pentylene Glycol, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Xylitol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Decyl Glucoside, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Octanediol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Tagetes Minuta Flower Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, Origanum Vulgare Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Bark Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Saponaria Officinalis Leaf/Root Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Salicylic Acid, Maltodextrin, Tocopherol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract
This contains AHA which is citric acid and BHA which is salicylic acid, as well as a lot of plants oils and extracts: tea tree leaf oil, orange peel oil, lavender oil, sunflower seed oil, nutmeg oil, bergamot fruit oil, grapefruit peel oil, centella asiatica extract, thyme extract, lavender extract, rosemary extract, and many more. This has a mild enzyme extracted from soybean and is free from paraben, sulfate, & silicone. Salicylic acid and tea tree leaf oil are both anti-acne agents so I think this would work for oily people to control sebum and remove excess oil on the skin surface. This also contains soothing ingredients such as rose water and aloe leaf juice.
As written on the box, this is a pH 5.5 peeling toner labelled as a refresh water that is formulated to clean up all remaining dirt and old keratin from the skin.
Texture and Smell
This Refresh Water has a clear, runny texture that feels so lightweight. It absorbs into the skin fairly quickly, takes a short while to really sink in and it leaves a slightly tacky feeling. I was expecting a bit of a slip feeling but couldn’t notice any. I don’t feel any sting or tingling sensation. The scent is not subtle, to be honest. It smells like lemongrass? Grassy smell, for sure.
How to Use
You can use this as cleansing water to remove any light makeup from your face as the first step of the routine, or as the first step after cleansing which is as a toner or also as exfoliant, or put in a spray bottle as a mist. Personally, I prefer to use this as a clean up toner:
My midday routine
My PM routine
The first time I cracked this open I think that the smell can be off putting but it’s good that they don’t have any added fragrance or parfum. I love how this gives a super clean feels after I swiped it across the face with a cotton pad. It doesn’t make my skin feeling tight or taut and it’s not drying but it’s not that moiturising either. I have tried it as a cleansing water and it takes off eye makeup pretty well, but for liquid lipsticks it does not seem to work pretty well.
After using it for some time I think I prefer using my other micellar waters or cleansing waters or cleansing oils or balms as I feel more “cleaned”. This one does an okay job but I think it’s too gentle for that purpose for me. Maybe only on days when I don’t put on makeup; only sunscreen? However, the brand itself labels this as a clean up peeling toner so I do not expect this to work as a cleansing water. This is just out of curiosity since I have read some reviews saying that they love to use it as cleansing water.
I love to use this after cleansing as the dirt and grimes that this toner picks up got me like “woah!” especially when I use a towel with a microfiber fabric. It claims to “clear all remaining dirt and old keratin from the skin” and it does that. Skin feels extra cleansed and as for my case, the residue that’s left from my face towel. This makes a great choice to really remove dirt + dead skin cells for people who uses gentle cleanser and would love to have a clean-up toner to make sure skin is properly cleansed. This can boosts the effectiveness of other skin care products applied subsequently as there’s no longer keratin or anything on the skin. I also love that it feels lightweight but I think some people may not like the slightly tacky after feel.
Besides, it is also pH5.5 so using this after cleansing can balance the skin’s pH level. This also has tea tree oil and salicylic acid so it can fight acne as well as remove excess sebum on the skin for better absorption of other skincare products applied later in the routine. I think people with oily skin can use this sebum removal toner as part of the acne fighting regime.
I have also used this as a mist to refresh my skin and while it is great as a quick afternoon pick-me-up, I only prefer this on my no makeup days because when I spritzed this on my face over makeup, it kinds of ‘wet’ it and my makeup slightly “moved’, I feel? Plus I find it to be quite a hassle to decant the Refresh Water on a new spray bottle when I can straightaway use other ready-to-use mists.
As an exfoliating toner, I don’t really feel the effectiveness as I am a user of higher strength acids so this doesn’t really feel exfoliating to me but it might be a top pick for mild exfoliation product to be used by absolute beginners or for those who want to exfoliate on the daily so they want it to be really mild.
My rate: 5/5 love it as a clean up toner on days when my skin feels extra oily and grimey