Kombucha in a toner? | Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner Review

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner

Kombucha is a popular fermented drink, but it also found a use in skincare. I'm not surprised, since products of fermentation are rich in nutrients for the skin. Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner is a Kbeauty toner based on fermented Green Tea from Jeju Island. Is this your next favourite toner? 

What's a toner?  

A toner is usually a water-like product that contains additional ingredients like panthenol, hyaluronic acid or even AHA or PHA acids. We use it after cleansing to make sure that the pH of the skin is balanced (pH around 5.5). 

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner

Do I need toner in my routine? 

Back in the day, toners were used after soaps and cleansers to balance the pH of the skin. Nowadays, lots of cleansers have the right pH so we mostly use them to provide additional moisture to the skin.   

Why should I go for Kombucha?  

Kombucha (also known as tea mushroom) is a fermented black or green tea. Kombucha is not only for your gut microbiome but for your skin microbiome too. Kombucha is popular in China, but also in Russia. It's a source of amino acids, enzymes, polyphenols and B-group vitamins.   

About the brand  

Kaine is a Korean skincare brand. The name Kaine comes from a Greek word that translates to "new". Kaine is a vegan brand and the main focus is to promote a conscious and harmonious way of living and include them in skincare products. Kaine is not only a cruelty-free and vegan brand. This company donates a portion of its profits to animal rights organizations. Kaine takes care of the environment as well. The packaging is based on PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) materials like plastics and glass.    

I'm not a fan of EWG, but Korean brands including Kaine are still using EWG as a way to show people that the brand is using clean ingredients. Remember that even water is a chemical and you shouldn't be scared of ingredients, instead resource of a product is more important.    

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner - Packaging  

The version of Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner I was testing is renewed ones. The change is in the packaging since this version is created out of 100% PCR PET (Polyethylene terephthalate). This bottle comes in a paper box. I enjoy the fact that the tip of this toner limits how much toner you pour onto your hand or cotton pad.  

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner - Texture & Scent  

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner has a brown, liquid texture that reminds me of tea! And it makes sense since the main ingredient in this product is tea ferment. The scent is very characteristic and funny, it doesn't remind me of anything, but it has a scent.  

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner - Ingredients  

Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Glycereth-26, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Cynanchum Atratum Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Glyceryl Glucoside, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Dextrin, Allantoin, Glucose, Beta-Glucan, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hyaluronate  

Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment is a product derived from black tea. It has smoothing and anti-ageing properties. Water hides in cosmetic products under names such as Aqua or Eau. It's a solvent, but it's not your regular drinking water. Water in skin care needs to fit some standards. It should be clean and free from minerals, microorganisms or other substances. Usually, water makes up the majority of the content of the product. Propanediol is also known as natural glycol - an alternative to propylene glycol. Propanediol is a solvent with additional moisturizing properties. It makes the product smooth to the touch. It can even improve the effectiveness of active ingredients. Glycerin or Glycerol is a humectant. Its origin can be natural or synthetic - depending on the product. It protects TEWL (transepidermal water loss) and naturally occurs in the skin. It's one of the NMFs - natural moisturizing factors. It's practical in hair care. Glycerin won't clog your skin or irritate it just the opposite - it protects your skin from irritation. Dipropylene Glycol is a solvent with moisturizing properties. 1,2-Hexanediol is a synthetic solvent and preservative - it protects products from microorganisms by boosting other preservatives. At the same time, it can moisturize the skin, and it has no unpleasant effects on your epidermis. Betaine is an amino acid. In skincare products, we use it for its moisturizing properties. Betaine keeps the water balance of the skin. It makes wrinkles appear less visible, and it soothes irritated skin. In hair care, betaine doesn't only moisturize the hair. It makes hair soft and shiny. Betaine in cosmetics usually comes from sweet beetroots. It naturally occurs in the skin and hair. Glycereth-26 is a synthetic emollient and humectant. Even the name reminds us of glycerin - it's not a surprise since Glycereth-26 is related to glycerin. It has thickening properties. Chondrus Crispus Extract or Carrageenan Extract is a polysaccharide derived from Chondrus Crispus, red algae. The other name of this algae is Irish moss. It's a moisturizing ingredient that leaves a film on the surface of the skin. It's a source of beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. It also works as a thickener. Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract or Sugar Cane Extract is a moisturizing ingredient. It's a source of calcium, iron and vitamins. It's also a source of AHA acids. It's recommended for acne-prone skin. Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract is a source of polyphenols and caffeine. It's an antioxidant that improves blood circulation. Cynanchum Atratum Extract is an anti-inflammatory ingredient. It has a soothing effect and it might have some anti-aging properties. Cynanchum Atratum originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine (it's called Bai Wei). Sodium Hyaluronate or sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. It's a form of hyaluronic acid and naturally occurs in the skin. Sodium Hyaluronate has strong water-binding properties. Sodium hyaluronate combined with elastin and collagen is like a scaffolding for the skin. It has hydrating properties and leaves a hydrating film on the skin, but sodium hyaluronate prevents skincare products from drying. Althaea Rosea Flower Extract or Common Hollyhock Flower Extract is supposed to moisturize and soothe the skin. In herbal medicine, this plant is considered to be an emollient with soothing properties. Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid is a low-weight humectant. We have to remember that not every molecule can get through the skin surface and lower molecule HA can penetrate the skin deeper and bring moisture inside the skin. It's a natural polymer that binds water in the skin to prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss). 

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner

Hyaluronic Acid is an ingredient loved by everyone! Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the skin. It's a glycosaminoglycan or GAG. What does that mean? It's a long polysaccharide - nothing else than sugar, and we all know what sugars do in the skin. It's not different from Hyaluronic Acid - it acts like a humectant. One HA molecule is supposed to hold up to 1000x heavier molecules than this one single HA molecule. Hyaluronic acid can have different molecular weights - smaller molecules are usually more hydrating than bigger ones. Panthenol is a humectant. It prevents skin from TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss). Panthenol is also known as vitamin B5, and it helps with inflammation. Panthenol can soothe the skin irritated by preservatives, scent ingredients, and chemical sunscreens - it might have a meaning for lipids in our skin and skin barrier. It speeds up the healing process. It's good to use it after sunbathing. In hair care, Panthenol has moisturizing properties. If you have problems detangling your hair or hair growth go for Panthenol. It is good to mix it with niacinamide and zinc oxide. You can see it in products for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis. Hydroxyethyl Urea is urea's derivative. It's a water-soluble humectant. Higher amounts of this ingredient might be exfoliating. Glyceryl Glucoside is a humectant. Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer and quite a large molecule. It works as a thickener and emulsion stabiliser. Ethylhexylglycerin is a preservative with subtle moisturizing and antimicrobial properties. Butylene Glycol is a common ingredient in products. It's not only a solvent. We use butylene glycol because it helps with the penetration of active ingredients, protects products from drying and moisturizes skin and hair. This ingredient can prevent hair loss and make your hair stronger. Tromethamine is a synthetic pH adjuster. Dextrin is an emulsifier with stabilizing properties. Allantoin is an ingredient that naturally occurs in our bodies, but brands usually go for the synthetic form of this substance. It comes from comfrey or soybean roots. It's a humectant with soothing and wound-healing properties. Glucose is a monosaccharide - a simple sugar, and we all know that sugars in skincare are nothing else than humectants. Beta-glucan is a polysaccharide. It can come from yeast, seaweed or fungi. It's one of the best humectants with soothing properties. It might help with reducing wrinkle visibility on the epidermis. Some sources say it might be an antioxidant. It's good to mix it with niacinamide and retinoids or use it after skincare treatments to heal the skin quickly. Beta-glucan leaves a film on the skin to prevent TEWL and lock the moisture inside the skin. Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate is a big molecule related to hyaluronic acid. It leaves a moisturizing film on the surface of the skin. Tocopherol is an antioxidant known as Vitamin E. It's an oil-soluble vitamin that fights free radicals and makes UVB protection and natural lipid barrier stronger. It's good to mix it with vitamin C for better effects. Oily skin might react with pore-clogging to vitamin E. It is not true that vitamin E works as a preservative or helps with scars. Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate is related to sodium hyaluronate. It boosts moisture in the skin and elasticity. It helps prevent skin from TEWL (transepidermal water loss). Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate is a smaller version of sodium hyaluronate. ULMW Hyaluronic Acid (ultra-low molecular weight HA) penetrates skin more easily than Hyaluronic Acid. It's a good moisturizer that prevents skin from dehydration. It works in deeper layers of the skin. Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer is related to sodium hyaluronate. It's a good moisturizer. Potassium Hyaluronate is a hydrophilic ingredient that prevents TEWL (transepidermal water loss). It's a synthetic humectant.  

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner

How does Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner work?  

I guess you can spot that I barely ever comment on toners. Why? Because there's not much to say about products like this. You can go wrong or right with toner, and Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner is a good example of how you can create a good toner and base it on 60% fermented green tea.  

Usually, the main ingredient of toner is water, but Kaine decided to use a different solution. Aesthetic packaging mixed with formula rich in fermented tea, 1% panthenol and hyaluronic acid-related ingredients is an answer to problems such as skin dryness. The formula is very liquid, and it has a specific scent, but for me, it's not a problem.   

I wouldn't say it's a toner that lasts me a long time like Klairs, but it's still a good toner which I use daily and I see myself buying another bottle of it. It's more like a toner for daily use or summer than a rich toner that I can use during winter.  

How to create a toner mask with Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner?  

Step 1: Soak pads in Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner - you can do that in a bowl or just pour toner onto the pads. 
Step 2: Apply pads onto your cheeks - you can find great pads for that on YesStyle like Pyunkang Yul 1/3 Cotton Pads*, Missha Cotton Pads* or Klairs Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad*. Korean pads are a bit different from what we know in the US & Europe. 
Step 3: Leave pads for at least 3 minutes.    

How to use Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner in the 7-skin method?  

The 7-skin method is not as popular as a few years ago, but if your skin is dehydrated you might enjoy it. This shouldn't be done every day or twice a day but 1-2 times per week is the maximum and I prefer to do it when my skin feels pretty bad. You can use toner or essence to do it, the main point of the 7-skin method is to hydrate your skin. 
Step 1: Clean your face, but don't use a towel or paper towel to remove water after cleansing from your skin - just gently tap it into your skin. 
Step 2: Rub your hands together to warm them up. Add toner to your hand, and gently tap it into your skin. 
Step 3: Wait a few minutes until your skin gets a bit dry, and repeat this step. Depending on your skin, you might need between 3 to 7 layers of the toner. 
Step 4: Apply serum after toner.     

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner

Where to buy Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner and how much does this toner cost?  

Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner* costs at this moment $15.54/150 ml on YesStyle*. The regular price is $22.20/150 ml.   

Have you ever tried Kaine Kombu Balancing Ampoule Toner? What's your favourite toner?



*** This product was created in collaboration with YesStyle
even though it still shows my personal opinion on the topic and product. This post contains affiliate links, they are marked with * symbol. Using affiliate links help me pay my domain ***

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