Friday, November 3, 2017

REVIEW: Merumaya Treatment Toner™ with Vitamin C

Say the words 'treatment', 'toner' and 'vitamin C' in a single sentence and you'd have me hop around with excitement. That's exactly what my intentions were going in with this toner from UK-based brand Merumaya. So, let's get to know this toner well.

Why I purchased it
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, the three magical words got me excited. I'm always looking for something more in a toner apart from the basic function of wiping away any leftover residue post cleansing and bringing the ph of the skin to the optimal value of 5.5. I want my toners to be almost pre-serums or essences. And this one seemed to fit the bill, as per Maleka's (the brand owner) description on her site and the many positive reviews.

Aqua (Water), Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Betaine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Maris Aqua, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Cellulose Gum, Hydrolyzed Algin, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citronellol, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate Parfum (Fragrance).

Star ingredients
Betaine: This ingredient stood out for me as I have seen it in several K-beauty skincare products. Betaine is a naturally occurring amino acid which acts as an anti-irritant and is responsible for maintaining moisture. It is also a non-sticky ingredient, a must-have in my books as I constantly struggle with high humidity in Mumbai.

Vitamin C: The finicky antioxidant that you want to own for its brightening, collagen-building, sun protective qualities, but also one that requires utmost protection as it's highly prone to oxidation. In short, Vitamin C provides great skincare properties but if exposed to light or air, turns a pale yellow to a vivid orange depending on how much oxidation has taken place. Oxidised Vitamin C not only stops providing skincare benefits but also causes damage to the skin, according to some reports. This toner contains Ascorbyl Glucoside, a stabilised, natural vitamin C which activates on contact with the skin, providing slow and sustained benefits.

Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid again is a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies which helps retain suppleness and is a magnet for moisture as it can hold 1000 times its weight in water. This ingredient unfortunately depletes with age which is why babies look young and supple and older people lose that quality.

Packaging and user experience
The 128 ml product comes in a see-through plastic bottle that has a press-down lid--and this is where the product let me down. While the brand says that the toner contains a stabilised form of vitamin C, mine has turned a pale yellow after a couple of months' use--this despite having stored it away from light and air, in a closed cabinet. Thankfully, I had already finished using 3/4th of the product as I love it that much but I think the see-through packaging is a complete let-down especially because the vitamin C seems to have oxidised. The yellow colour is more pronounced at the neck of the bottle. See below...

On publishing this blog post, Maleka, the incredibly helpful owner of Merumaya, provided a clarification regarding the yellowing of the toner's content. This is her comment:

"First I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on our products. I really do appreciate it. I sent it off to one of our team of Cosmetic Scientists for his response to your comments about Vitamin C degradation. "Any yellowing is down to the acids rather than the Vit C. Acids are prone to a bit of yellowing. We know it's not Ascorbyl Glucoside as that ingredient only becomes Vit C (ascorbic acid AFTER contact and reaction on the skin. So it won't oxidise in the bottle. I hope that helps all your followers to feel perfectly reassured that what we said is true. It is encapsulated. Thanks again and I hope you will keep trying and sharing your thoughts about our products - you write exceptionally well. Fluid, factual and yet very personal. Regards to you all Maleka x Founder of MERUMAYA"

I thank Maleka for being so proactive with responding to reviews and concerns stated by users such as me. This is what sets her brand apart from the run-of-the-mill ones who don't even bother to show a face let alone address concerns. So, all in all, we don't need to worry about the 'yellowing'.

User experience wise, there is not a single fault that I can find with this product. The press-down lid is user-friendly as is the lightweight plastic bottle. The toner carries the same signature Merumaya scent present in all other products in this line, which is a delight to the olfactory senses.

Price and where to buy
The toner is priced at 16.5 GBP, which translates to 1395 INR. Like its sister toner, the Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner reviewed here, this one is also pricey when compared to most Indian toners. But I feel the value this toner provides is much more than the average toner you'd find in the Indian market. Both toners can be bought at

Worth the hype?
The Merumaya Treatment Toner is completely worth the hype. Go for it if Vitamin C is something you like to incorporate in your routine minus all the typical inconvenience associated with it.

I feel like I have covered quite a few toners over last several posts. I hope to write about other exciting products very soon. Stay tuned!