Review: Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera Toner

Sorry for the posting hiatus–I was on a trip in the British Isles for a week and a half, (which was absolutely lovely).  I brought enough sheet masks to do one each night, although I wasn’t brave enough to actually use one on the plane. I didn’t want to embarrass or freak out the teenagers I was chaperoning, who were seated next to me.

Trying to be a minimalist (ha!), I had only a carry-on, which meant minimal liquids. It was tortuous, I will admit, to pare down my daily routine. However, it did give me a chance to put my latest product I’m reviewing through a final test of sorts.

[Side-note: I am actually very good at packing and always bring back a new pair of shoes *in their box* back in my carry-on. Yeah. It’s all about rolling your clothes. And shoving things into any available space. Lots of shoving involved.]

In terms of skincare, I brought with me only decants of the Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera Toner and the Cosrx Snail Advanced 96 Mucin Power Essence for hydration during the day. (I also brought a decant of the Scinic Honey AIO, but I only used it at night since it doesn’t play well with sunscreen/makeup.)

I’ve been using the Holika Holika toner since mid-March, so I had a feeling it would be good to travel with. How does this toner compare to my favorite toner, the Klairs Supple Preparation toner? Scroll down to find out!

 

Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera Toner

Cosdna analysis

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The toner comes in a sturdy plastic 200ml bottle. It’s quite a good size for the price, and the pump works great. One pump is enough for my whole face. My only complaint is that it’s very difficult to tell how much is left in the bottle–you can’t even get a hint if you hold it up to the light. You basically have to shake it to guess.

 

The Claims

“Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera Ultra Toner contains Ceramide, a component of the cell membrane, which helps your skin lock in moisture. This product also contains Rucola extract that strengthens your skin’s barrier, and keeps it healthy all day long! Great for those with dry and sensitive skin. This product contains no harmful ingredients that cause irritations.” (From the Holika Holika ad)

Ingredient list: 

water, butylene, glycol, betaine, glycerin, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, propylene glycol, dimethicone, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, peg-20 sorbitan cocoate, gylcosyl trehalose, hydrogenated starch hydroylsate, diphenylsiloxy phenyltrimethicone, triethylhexanoin, polyglyceryl-10 myristate, polyouaternium-51, glyceryl polymethacrylate, aleuritic acid, yeast extract, glycoproteins, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, panthenol, cetearyl alcohol, gylceryl stearate, stearic acid, ethylhexyl isononanoate, phytosteryl/isostearyl/cetyl/stearyl/behenyl dimer dilinoleate, cetearyl glucoside, hydroxypropyl bispalmitamide mea, glycine soja (soybean) sterols, meadowfoam estolide, ceramide 3, hydrogenated polydecene, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, ceteareth-20, glyceryl citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate, glycosphingolipids, ceramide 6 ii, eruca sativa leaf extract, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, caramel, disodium edta, tromethamine, citrus aurantium, bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol

  • Betaine: A humectant and anti-inflammatory, this ingredient is ideal for using after a harsh exfoliator (or just to soothe skin).
  • Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate: Otherwise known as licorice root extract, this acts as a soothing agent for skin.
  • Panethenol: Sometimes called pro-vitamin B5, panethanol is a humectant used to attract and hold moisture.
  • Ceramide 3; Ceramide 6 ii: Ceramides are the substances found in the membranes of skin cells, and they help to strengthen cells and prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss).

Basically, this toner claims to go beyond just hydrating and soothing to help strengthen skin to keep moisture in.

 

The (Personal) Evidence

I began using this toner in mid-March, so I’ve had a chance to test how it performs in cooler spring and warmer summer weather. I purchased it in late winter after seeing it in the top spots on glowpick.com, a Korean cosmetics and skincare site where users rate various products by type. My first non-sheet mask Asian Beauty purchase was the Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera Cream, which I loved and used several jars of before FOMO took complete hold of me and I lost my damn mind:

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If you haven’t read the blog that this meme is based on, please go to Hyperbole and a Half and read every single entry. Then come back. You can thank me later.

(I’ve also purchased the emulsion in the Skin & Good Cera line, which I am excited to try out this upcoming winter.)

The toner itself is on the thicker side, but has a lot of slip to it thanks to the silicones in it. Still, it absorbs quite easily and quickly and leaves zero tackiness. This surprised me given the consistency of the liquid, as I am used to toners being much more watery.

The color isn’t clear but it’s also not like a milky toner. Erm….I’ll let you look at the picture and decide what it reminds you of because any comparison I come up with is that of an unflattering bodily fluid.

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It’s a thick enough toner that it’s not actually rolling down my hand. It would stay just just like this if I didn’t rub it into my hand.

There’s a very light, fresh scent to it that disappears quickly. If you’ve tried anything else from the Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera line, they all seem to have the same scent. I don’t mind it.

This toner is not one that you can really use for the 7 skin method: it’s just too thick and nourishing. I can usually put on two layers before my skin can’t absorb anymore. That’s fine with me because after two layers my skin feels “full” and doesn’t need any more hydration. I can’t wait to try this in the winter.

I tested the Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera toner in a variety of ways: I used it as my only hydrating step between cleansing and moisturizing during the day, and I used it as my primary means of hydrating on my trip. What I found is that it easily passed every test I threw at it. My skin not only felt hydrated but felt soft and smooth thanks to the number of emollients in the ingredients.

In thinking about this toner in comparison to the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner, I have to say that I really like both of them, but for very different reasons. The best way that I can describe them is that they are both soothing and hydrating, but the Klairs toner is more soothing in a cooling sort of way, almost like aloe, whereas the Holika Holika toner is soothing in a way that putting on lotion on dry hands is soothing.

Personally, I think that both toners have a place in my routine. I think if you are looking for a thicker hydrating toner that absorbs quickly, the Holika Holika toner would be great for you. It would also be a great toner for people with damaged moisture barriers or any kind of damagedor very dry skin.

So, will I buy this product again?

Rating Scale: 

  • Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
  • Yes. I enjoy this product enough to purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.
  • Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I’d use it if someone gave it to me.
  • No. I won’t use this again and will probably bad-mouth it to others.
  • Hahahahaha. Nope. Noooooooope. Not even if you paid me.

The Verdict: Yes. I enjoy this product enough to purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.

Overall, I think that I prefer the Klairs toner on a daily basis, but want the Holika Holika toner around for nights when I use my AHA or during the winter when my cheeks get chapped from shoveling (::shudder::). But it’s too nice out to think about that right now.

 

Where you can buy:

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