Review: Etude House Moistfull Collagen Skin

Isn't it odd how there are so many different names for one product?  Especially with skincare, and even more so in Korean skincare.  A toner, for example, can be called "toner" (natch), or a skin,  freshener, softener, hydrator, lotion, or a myriad of other names.  I wonder if it's an effort to make consumers buy all the things (!), or if everybody wants to distinguish themselves, or the Google Translate just changes its mind depending on what they throw in.  

Today, I will be reviewing Etude House's toner from their Moistfull Collagen line.  They call it a "Skin" on their website, but it says "Facial Freshener" on the bottle.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I've just reviewed the Lotion of this line.  Will the Skin do any better?

Etude House is a pretty well-known Korean road shop brand (sort of like drugstore brand in US, except they have their own stores on popular streets).  Their focus is on pink, girly, youthful cosmetics and cute packaging, but they also have skincare products.  I mean, have you seen their shops before?

From here.
Now, I did not know this.  In fact, since my first impression of this brand was from the Moistfull Collagen line, I kind of assumed their target audience was much older, with worries like wrinkles.  It just looked so serious.  Ha!

Some Etude House cuteness.
Anyway, beyond Etude House's reputation as a teenage, cutesy brand, apparently the Moistfull Collagen line has been super popular the last few years, and is pretty ubiquitous in online stores.

The Description (from the official website):

Mild facial toner with rich texture gently removes facial residues while supplying collagen and moisture to improve complexion health and look.

Dispense toner solution onto facial cotton pad. Use pad to gently wipe all areas of face and neck.

Price: ($$)

I paid $18 for this from Soko Glam, but you can get it here for $12, straight from Etude House.  At ~$0.07 per ml, this is a very affordable toner (compare it to $0.37/ml for the su:m37 Refresher!).  180 mls will last a very long time.  Close to a year with daily use, or half a year with twice daily usage.  I've had my bottle since early October, and there's still a good 1/3 left.  [5/5]


Water, Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract, Natto Gum, Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Betain, Butylene Glycol (1), Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Behenyl Alcohol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol (2)(2), Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Carbomer (1), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Propylene Glycol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance

  • Acne triggers are listed in red.
  • Irritation triggers are listed in orange.
  • Potentially hazardous ingredients are listed in purple.  (Note:  this is according to the rating system on CosDNA, which rates them according to reports from CIR, RTECS, and the FDA on if these ingredients could be harmful with long term usage to the skin, cells, or human body.)

(CosDNA Link.)

Cetearyl Alcohol can be a deal breaker for some people.  It either breaks you out badly, or it doesn't, but it's the biggest trigger on the list with a 2/5 for acne and 2/5 for irritation triggers.  Some people just cannot use products with fatty alcohols.  PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer is red-flagged on CosDNA as potentially hazardous, although it is very low on the list.  It functions as a solvent, and some Googling shows that Paula's Choice ranks it as "Good" and EWG considers it to be low to moderate as a hazard.  Their concern with it is possible contamination from by-products ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, both of which are known carcinogens.  Not flagged as a trigger, but can be a problem for some is fragrance.  Especially when it's new, this product is pretty heavily fragranced.  This product also contains alcohol (4th on list).

Onto the positive side, hydrolyzed collagen is the star ingredient of this toner, and it is 9th on the ingredient list (vs 11th on the lotion).  You cannot just insert collagen into the skin, but used topically, collagen can be a great skin conditioner and moisturizer.

Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract, or Baobab Fruit Extract, is second on the list.  It is considered a superfruit, and contains high amounts of Vitamin C as well as omega fatty acids, and can function as an anti-inflammatory.  Fun facts(!):  the tree has many nicknames, among them dead rat tree, the monkey bread tree, and upside down tree.  I don't know why Etude House didn't run with this, and name this product line the "Moistfull Monkeys".  It would've made more sense to me.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Caprylyl Glycol are both fatty acids, and are either derived from coconut oil, or synthesized.  They are considered excellent moisturizers, skin conditioners, and emollients, but can cause acne or clog pores in some people (although it's not flagged on CosDNA).

Interestingly, there are some nice ingredients found here that aren't in the lotion.  Natto gum, derived from fermented soybeans, is third on the list, and is a pretty nice antioxidant.  Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, and is great for hydrating skin.  Finally, betaine is an anti-irritant and humectant that is shown to be less irritating than even water!

Its pH looks to be about 5, which is in ideal range for a toner.  This is also useful if you are using a high pH cleanser to help bring down the pH on your skin.  [3/5]


Adansonia flowers supposedly smell like rotting meat, but thankfully, this doesn't bear any resemblance to that.  It just smells like some generic drugstore fragrance.  I remember it being pretty overwhelming when I first bought it, but either it's faded with time, or I've just gotten used to it.
Without the reducer.

It's pretty thick.
This Skin is packaged in a translucent plastic bottle with a twist off cap.  It dispenses toner via a reducer style opening.  Which is evil, because this stuff is viscous, and if you keep it in the original bottle, it takes forever to dispense.  I pried the reducer off, and poured the toner into a cheapy spray bottle, and that makes it so much better to use.  The directions say to use a cotton pad, but I just spray some onto my palm and apply with my fingers.


This toner is recommended for all skin types, and hydrates my combination/normal skin pretty effectively.  Prior to this, I had no skincare routine whatsoever, so the change in my skin was pretty dramatic.  It didn't do any crazy smoothing or brightening, but it made my skin much softer than without a routine.  [4/5]

Personal View:

I like this toner way better than the moisturizer in this line.  You get a lot of product for your money, and it's got some decent things in it.  Even though it doesn't have a ton of fancy and exotic ingredients, it has enough to hydrate skin pretty effectively.  I won't rebuy this, as I'm exploring the skincare world, and there are just so many other options out there, but I actually wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to others as a budget-friendly and long-lasting toner.

It really needs a different means of dispensing, as this stuff is really thick, and the reducer hole makes it take forever, but once you put it in a spray bottle, it's much better.  And more travel-friendly!  [3/5]


The Good:  Hydrates effectively, very cheap, lots of product.

The Bad:  Cheap packaging, needs more effective dispenser.  Negative for some:  contains some fatty alcohols, alcohol, fragrance.
  • Price:  5/5
  • Ingredients:  3/5
  • Performance:  4/5
  • Personal View:  3/5
  • Average:  3.75/5