Review (Pyunkang Yul): Essence Toner

The Skincare

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  • A toner made for sensitive skin individuals, only using 7 ingredients!
  • A ‘water free’ toner made from 91.3% Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract (an oriental herb).
  • Fragrance free toner.
  • Uses oriental herbs to to restore the moisture barrier on our face.
  • What does an “Essence Toner” mean?:  Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner will hydrate the skin similar to that of an essence; restoring the moisture lost from cleansing.

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Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract (Milk vecht root extract), 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Arginine


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Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract: 
  • A Chinese herb used to protect the skin from sun damage through having antioxidant properties.
  • Research has shown that the root of the this herb has been found to have UVA absorbing compounds which could protect against sun induced skin damage.
  • In a study comparing Marshmallow Root Extract and Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, both root extracts were shown to reduce UVA sun induced damage, however, Marshmallow root extract offered better protection against UVA induced damage. Interestingly, Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract was also found to be ‘genotoxic’, meaning this root extract was also found to cause damage to our DNA when exposed to UVA rays …
  • Additionally, you should also note that I only mentioned UVA sun induced damage, neither Marshmallow Root Extract or Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract prevented DNA from getting damaged from UVB rays.
  • In terms of applying this research into real life settings, this research suggest that both of these roots can protect against UVA sun induced damage. However, due Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract possibly increasing UVA induced damage, Marshmallow Root seems to be preferred in terms of skin care application than Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract.
  • It should also be acknowledged that Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract is a potent antioxidant, exhibiting strong anti-inflammatory properties on the skin.

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  • If you have sensitive skin and are prone to break outs; almost every skin care product you try breaks you out, ingredients like Butylene Glycol or Carbomer can potentially be the reasons why.  Butylene Glycol and Carbomer are used in Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner (and too be honest in almost every single skin care product I have encountered), however, unless your skin is super sensitive (acne everywhere), these two ingredients should be ok to use.
  • Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner also contains a silicone ingredient, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane. If you’re interested in the silicone debate in skin care I wrote a section about silicones in this post.


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” An essence toner with anti-inflammatory properties, while also providing moisture to the skin  “

Scent (5/5): Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner has a minimal scent of ‘Chinese herbs’, but nothing invasive to the the nostrils. The scent fades immediately upon application to the skin.

Texture of the product(5/5):  I love the texture of the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner. The texture is thick, but also watery, allowing it to smoothly glide on the skin.

Application(5/5):  The application of Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner is great. The essence and toner consistency of this product allows it to absorb quickly into the skin. This product also wasn’t tacky or sticky when I applied it to my skin.

Quality of product (3/5):  The research I have read about Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract (the main ingredient used in the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner) has many known benefits when the root is brewed and orally consumed; drunk as a herbal tea. In terms of application onto the skin, this ingredient is a potent antioxidant and a strong anti-inflammatory agent (I can testify to this). In saying that, the research does suggests that Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract could protect against UVA sun induced damaged, but it can also increase the chances of UVA damage to DNA. I personally think that there is not enough research to suggest the efficacy of this ingredient. They are ingredients like green tea or marshmallow root extract that are much more safer to use until more research about Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract is published. Eventhough they’re is some benefits of Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, given that this ingredient could also damage our DNA; supposedly being genotoxic, I personally will stay clear from this ingredient until more research is done.


  • I used the entire 200ml of  Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner, and I can say that this product added some moisture to my skin and helped with my inflamed acne.
  • I really like the texture, scent and application of the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner.
  • In my opinion, I am a bit skeptical to the main ingredient Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, especially when they are ingredients in the market that have been shown to do so much more, i.e, green tea extract.

Recommended for:

  • Oily and Inflamed skin.

And as always, take care of your skin.


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All products are purchased with my money. I am not sponsored to review any products. I am however a proud affiliate with WishTrend*, and I truly adore how they promote good skin health. All opinions are 100% honest, and written from my personal experience.

Irritants are flagged from skin care database: CosDNA

Cosmetic ingredients information was accessed from public domains (unless referenced in-text). More detailed information can be found on:TruthInAgingPaula’s Choice

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2 thoughts on “Review (Pyunkang Yul): Essence Toner

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