Review: Laneige – Phyto-Alexin Hydrating & Calming Toner

Where to purchase: Stylevana: LINK / Olive Young Global: LINK

Yesstyle: LINK (Discount Code: CVQFZA

Price: ~£24

NOTE: I have reviewed the Phyto-Alexin Ampoule HERE

Volume: 320ml

Made in: South Korea

What is it?: A Lightweight, Watery Toner containing Phyto-Alexin.

What does it do?: Aims to hydrate the skin and protect the skin from external aggressors.

Supposedly Good for: All Skin Types, Especially Sensitive Skins

What I think: I would agree! This would work on Sensitive Skins, especially Oily Skins and those living in Hot + Humid weathers.

NOTE: If you want a thicker toner that’s more moisturising, then the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner Plus may be a better choice for Dry Skins (My Review is HERE).


Vegan?: No (Vegan + Cruelty-Free Dupe = The ELMT Advanced Calming Solution Review HERE).

How Long does it last?: 36 months before opening, 12 months after opening.

Packaging: Plastic, Sturdy Bottle with a Flip-Top Cap – It’s very easy to dispense product (I don’t have to wait and shake the bottle etc) which makes it quick and easy to use in a rush. I can also squeeze the bottle to get product out faster. I will say that it makes it easier to dispense TOO MUCH product and run out quicker as well.

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Directions: Apply at the first step of your skincare routine. Soak a cotton pad and swipe the face. You can actually use cotton pads to create a DIY mask to soothe the skin.

How I use it: I apply this in the PM – I normally apply 2 layers i.e. the first layer, I swipe the face with a cotton pad to remove any excess dirt and oil. This works quite well with a watery thin toner like this as with thicker toners, it gets quite messy. Then, the second layer I apply with a cotton pad helps add some hydration to the skin.

  • The product doesn’t leave my skin extremely dehydrated, as long as I add 2 layers instead of just 1 (to prevent TEWL).

What are Phytoalexins and what do they do?: Phytoalexins are found in Plants – they are used by plants to prevent Microbial Pathogen Infection. They are therefore 1. Antimicrobial and 2. Antioxidative (To reduce pathogenic infection of the plant). So Laneige wanted to use Phytoalexins and apply them in skincare in terms of using them to bothe soothe skin inflammation + protect the skin from irritation. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find papers applying + using Phytoalexins on skin, so I think this is quite a unique thing to Laneige who have probably patented the ingredient for use, so I can’t really discuss if this ingredient does work on skin the same way it works in plants. Regardless, this ampoule contains Soybean and Black Bean Extract which are soothing (to boost the effects) as well as 5 types of HA to hydrate the skin – so at least Phytoalexin’s aren’t the only thing being relied on in this product.


Key Ingredients: Glycerin – similar to the skin’s structure, so this helps reinforce it. Panthenol is soothing. The Soybean Extracts are emollients. The Phytoalexin/s added helps protect the skin from external aggressors. Seat water is used as well as regular water, I’m guessing because sea water provides some more minerals to the skin.

Full Ingredients: Sea Water, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Water, Panthenol, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sprout Extract, Glycine Max (Soybean) Seed Extract, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Leaf Extract

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Texture: Very watery and lightweight! This has no oily or sticky finish. The skin can breathe, and this absorbs quickly! It does provide some hydration to the skin (especially if you add 2 layers). This doesn’t ball up either. It simply runs down the hand.

A translucent, watery liquid!


It doesn’t take long for this product to absorb!

Does this sting if the skin is sensitised from shaving/ heavy retinol use?: It does tingle if the skin is sensitised. I would rather recommend the Skin1004 Ampoule (Review HERE).

Summer or Winter?: Summer (for both skin types)

Layerable?: Yes!

Video Swatch:

Hopefully you can see how watery and lightweight this is!

Fragrance?: No added fragrance and/or essential oils (This smells of nothing either).

Good Under Makeup?: Yes it’s fine (As it doesn’t form a film on the skin).

How long have I been using this?: 3 Months (And I will continue to use until completion – I think that will take me another month).

The Effect?: Relatively Hydrated Skin that’s not aggrevated or irritated.

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What I like:

  • Fragrance + EO Free
  • Relatively Hydrating
  • Did not aggrevate my skin
  • I like that soothing ingredients have been added (not just dependant on the Phyto-Alexin aspect, but also added Panthenol)
  • Sturdy Packaging
  • Lightweight
  • Not sticky or tacky
  • No greasy finish
  • Layerable
  • Big bottle to make up for the amount of product one could potentially use up quite quickly.

What I don’t like:

  • Not that Hydrating
  • Not that Moisturising


Overall Rating and Conclusion: 3.9 (Almost a 4) / 5 – A Very good, simple Toner. I’m glad it’s got some soothing ingredients including Phytoalexin/s + Panthenol, and I also appreciate that this is fragrance + EO free. Is it the most hydrating toner I’ve ever tried? No. But, it’s lightweight and layerable – my skin can breathe when using this and it’s very good to use to swipe the face to remove excess dirt and oil. Of course I’d appreciate additional Peptides, Niacinamide or gentle exfoliating acids, BUT I understand that this was made mainly for sensitive skins and to soothe the skin.

I do think this is very well suited towards oily, dehydrated and sensitive skins living in hot and humid weather. I think this is an elevated version of other basic watery toners (Although the ELMT Hydrating Toner is also something I’d recommend if you preferred a Vegan + Cruelty Free, basic water, soothing Toner HERE).

Out of all the Phyto-Alexin Products I’ve tried, I’d say this is second to the Ampoule HERE.

Would I repurchase?: If I required a simple, basic toner then yes I would repurchase! I also appreciate that this comes in a large bottle so I can be generous with the amount I use to swipe the face twice.

Dupe?: The Muji Toners are Dupes in terms of texture, as well as the Soon Jung Toner (Review HERE). I actually think the Rovectin Lotus Water Toner is very similar in terms of texture (Review Coming Soon!).

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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