Saturday, October 8, 2016

REVIEW: Sidmool Skin Science Sparkle Toner

In my previous post, I spoke a bit about toners--whether you should even bother with one, what a noted skin doc had to say, and my own opinion. From this post onwards, I want to dig deep into each of the toners I use, and what makes or breaks the deal for me.

Cleansing toners
Cleansing toners my favourite type of toner as it takes off any leftover residue post cleansing. We all have post-cleansing residue, it's just that it's not very obvious on the skin, which is why I like to swipe across a cotton pad soaked in a cleansing toner, over the face and neck area. Sometimes, I even go further and swipe a fresh cotton pad on my arms. Try doing it, I bet you'd be surprised.

Sidmool is a Korean skincare brand that promises advanced and clinically-proven ingredients such as Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Astaxanthin, Ginseng and Sea Buckthorn. The brand also promises high concentrations of active ingredients, which means they don't put in anything (like water, which is usually the first ingredient listed on a toner) that will dilute the efficacy of the product.

Just look at this inci list:Ingredients: Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces Ferment, Saccharomyces/Astragalus Membranaceus Root Ferment Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Magnolia Kobus Bark Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Betaine, Astaxanthin, Wild Ginseng Root Extract, RH-Oligopeptide-1(Human Oligopeptide-1), Copper Tripeptide-1, Lecithin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Water, 1,2 Hexanediol, Olibanum, Adenosine, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate

Fermented skincare ingredients
You will see a lot of fermented ingredients on this list and for a good reason. Fermented skincare is a huge trend in Korean skincare, which is popular for its experimentation with strange-sounding ingredients (snail slime, donkey milk, bird's nest anyone?). Anyway, fermentation is a process by which yeast helps produce enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants, which by way of fermentation get super-charged and hence, are able to benefit the skin immensely.

This inci list promises Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces Ferment and Saccharomyces/Astragalus Membranaceus Root Ferment Extract. 'Saccharomyces', which literally means 'sugar fungus' is the scientific name for the yeasts used in fermentation, specifically baker's yeast. The history of fermented skincare lies in the youthful hands of workers who were brewing sake for many years. The men were old but their hands were freakishly young, soft and wrinkle-free. The first product to use the fermentation technology in skincare was SKII in its Pitera essence.

Coming back to this inci list, you will also see that glycerin is the ninth ingredient on the list whereas in most toners, it's the first or the second. Suffice to say, the first eight ingredients were enough to make me click that Buy button.

Packaging and user experience
The toner comes in a pump style bottle. The packaging is faultless and I like how the bottle is clear so you can see how much product is remaining. The product has an earthy petrichor-like aroma, which I find pleasing. Sidmool recommends that you pour a little amount on your palms and rub it on the face. How incredibly impractical! I use it with a cotton pad. The toner cleans the skin really well but leaves it a bit tacky. The tackiness dissipates after a minute or so.  

Price and where to buy
Usually, I put in info about price and where to buy the product. But let me warn you, this product is incredibly difficult to source if you're living outside of Korea. Prices differ on where you buy it from. So, if you're considering getting it, please do a thorough research. I had purchased it via a third party called Avecko, who purchased it directly from Sidmool.

Worth the hype?
So, was this toner worth the hype? Nope, it wasn't. Even after using the bottle way past its halfway mark, I couldn't see any difference in my skin. With such classy ingredients and their supposedly high concentrations, I had expected a lot more out of this. At best, the Sidmool Skin Science Sparkle Toner is a maintenance product, so I had to demote it from the treatment toner to the cleansing toner category.
In my next post, I will talk about Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion. Stay tuned!


  1. I loved this review more so because I always felt toners were a useless add on (now i realize maybe was using the wrong brand without looking at the ingredients). I have read and heard a lot about Korean beauty standards of how they are way ahead of the rest of the world. Like BB creams were used decades ago in Korea before they were introduced in the west. Men equally take care of their skin as women which is still 'taboo' in other places. Beauty products should be used by all and be available for all is their mantra hence the products are sophisticated and quite affordable (in Korea) unlike the way cosmetics are over priced in other countries. You dig deep into other Korean products and you will be pleasantly surprised. I have friends who travel from the US to Korea thrice a year just for beauty treatments and refill their vanity kit. This tells it sure has something to it!

  2. Hey Rutu, I have heard the same about toners that you can absolutely do without them. And it makes sense too. But I can't do without cleansing toners, as you know with Mumbai's pollution, you need something more than a cleanser to get thoroughly clean skin. And yes, I completely agree that men too should use beauty products-why the discrimination. But for that the mindset has to change. Hey, let's go to Korea for shopping beauty products, what say? :)

  3. I've been very suprised with this toner. Was shocked to see what was left on the cotton pad after using it. Skin feels refreshed and cleaner,ready for the next layer of cream. Love it!

    1. That's the best feeling ever, isn't it? I'm glad this toner is working out for you. :)

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