I’ve been meaning to write my Etude House Collagen Moistfull Freshener review for ages now, but I kept getting distracted by other products. My bottle is finally giving up the ghost after four months of daily use, so I figured that I’d better my butt in gear and take photos for a review before it was all gone!
According to the new English-language Etude House website (which calls this product “Moistfull Collagen Skin” rather than Freshener or Toner, just as a PSA), this is a “Mild facial toner with rich texture gently removes facial residues while supplying collagen and moisture to improve complexion health and look.”
Full review past the read more!
You’re supposed to apply it in the classic gently-wipe-and-pat with a cotton pad routine, but I found that it works well to just apply it with your bare hands and pat it into the skin. This greatly extends the lifespan of your bottle, since there’s a lot of wasted product that gets absorbed with the cotton pad. To be specific, I used it with cotton pads only for the first month and used up half the bottle – but then I switched to patting it on with my hands and the second half lasted three more months! So if you’re trying to save money/product, I recommend skipping the cotton pad. I certainly didn’t notice any difference in effectiveness in between the two methods.
The texture is a clear, slightly viscous watery gel. I forgot to take a picture, but the top of the bottle is one of those small-opening style bottles, so you kind of shake it onto your palm or cotton pad in droplets, without having to worry about a ton of product pouring out. You can see that it’s not super runny as it mostly stayed intact in its droplets on my hand when I was taking the photo, rather than spreading everywhere. The amount on my hand is how much product I use for my entire face and neck.
I then pat it all over my face, mostly focusing on my neck, cheeks, and forehead, with a lighter touch on my chin. Then I just pat-pat-pat until it absorbs, which is very quickly. The product isn’t sticky at all, if you end up feeling sticky you know that you’ve tried to use too much of the toner. It should apply lightly, pat on easily, and absorb within ~30 seconds at most.
This is my hand after I’ve patted in the toner, you can see that it doesn’t make my skin look shiny or sticky, just hydrated with a bit more radiance. If you’re really staring closely, you can see that the little crevices in my hand’s skin look less pronounced, most likely because they’ve been filled/plumped a bit from the toner’s moisturizing properties.
I find that serums, creams, etc, all apply very easily over this toner. Since it absorbs so fast and doesn’t leave a sticky or tacky residue, just smooth skin, this isn’t surprising.
I did not experience any breakouts, irritation or clogged pores while using this toner, which is really great!
Here are the ingredients:
Water, Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract, Natto Gum, Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Behenyl Alcohol, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Caprylic/Apric Triglyceride, Caprylic/Apric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Poly-Glyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Propylene Glycol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance
Now, it should be stated that collagen as a topical skin treatment… probably doesn’t do very much. While some people claim that taking it orally can help with skin (I do take this supplement, which is supposed to improve your skin, but I actually continued taking it because it helped my knees – though my skin does seem a bit more clear/soft, I ascribe that to the other ingredients), using it topically doesn’t actually rebuild collagen, despite many product claims. You can read a bit more about topical collagen in skincare here, but I just wanted to state that up-front.
The “Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract” is more commonly called Baobab Tree Extract, which you’ve probably seen advertised in a lot of Asian skincare items. It’s present in my favorite Dr. Jart+ gel cream, as well as the rest of the Collagen Moistfull line. It’s a skin conditioning/emollient extract, with some signs of anti-inflammatory properties, which made it interesting to my sensitive skin. If you enjoy going in-depth, this link will probably be to your liking.
Alcohol in skincare is controversial, with some people saying that it always, 100% is absolutely unforgivable as an ingredient, while others feel that in a well-formulated product, it’s fine and even can be beneficial. If you want to spend some time reading the two opposing viewpoints duke it out, you’ll also want this post (pro) and this one too (con) to get a more complete view of each camp’s reasoning.
Personally, I subscribe more to FutureDerm’s idea that alcohol can be beneficial in well-made products, but damaging/drying at too-high concentrations. I’ve used and loved a lot of alcohol-containing products, but I also went through a phase where I thought that maybe alcohol was the problem with some of my skin woes and used only alcohol-free products for a time. I did not notice any benefits to my skin from cutting it out of my “skin diet” and after doing more reading, I decided that I would not get myself worked into a lather about something that wasn’t even confirmed to be problematic.
Moving on, according to CosDNA, only four ingredients trigger any warnings, and they’re all low risk. Butylene Glycol (1 for acne), Cetearyl Alcohol (2 for both acne and irritation), and Carbomer (1 for irritation). These are all incredibly common skincare ingredients, they just provoke reactions for some people. For me, none of them are problematic. PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer has a red marker but no warnings, and the comments on its page mention that it’s likely just an error as it’s not known to cause problems.
Fragrance is low on the list, which I always like to see. The scent of this product is a light, fresh scent. Hard to explain but it’s shared with the entire Etude House Collagen Moistfull line (or at least everything that I’ve tried so far, which is the peeling wash, the cream, and this toner) – I personally find it very pleasant and refreshing. I’ve seen some people call it citrus, but I don’t get that at ALL. To me, it’s just a somewhat sweet but mostly fresh/clean scent. I like it a lot, actually, and would probably buy a lotion or conditioner that smelled like this!
So with all that out of the way, I also don’t think that this is any sort of wonder product. I feel like it’s a solid choice for a toner if you’re just looking for a hydration boost and the minor radiance level-up that can come with such a product, and the fact that it applies so easily and absorbs quickly is also a big plus in its favor. I have no complaints, but I also don’t feel like it had such an effect on my skin that I’ll shrivel up and die now that my bottle of Etude House Collagen Moistfull Freshener is gone. Don’t lie, I know that you all thought of a product that WOULD make you feel that way, right?
I know that this might come off as damning with faint praise, but that’s really not the case. I feel that this is a good product that lives up to it’s stated goals of giving light moisture. If that’s all you need, congratulations, this may be your HG toner! However, I still have some skin concerns that I want to iron out, so I’m still going to try some other toners in the search for The One. If I don’t find anything that I like as much as this freshener, I’d have no problems repurchasing this as I know that it’s good quality.
I mean, I’m pretty picky. I WILL stop using a product if I think it’s not cutting it – and as you can see, there’s only a teensy-tiny bit left in this bottle! I feel like that alone should imply a positive review from me 🙂
WHERE TO BUY:
- $19.99 at Pretty & Cute
- Starting at $14.52 on eBay
- $12 at Etude House
- $18 at Soko Glam
- Starting at $12 on Amazon
As covered in the site disclaimer, referral links are present in this post – thanks a ton if you use any of them to make purchases!