PHAs! What are they? Do I need them? Review: Luminous Licorice Toner by Skincity Skincare.

Hello beautiful people!

Today I’m going to talk about PHAs, which are important acids, and then review the Luminous Licorice Toner by Skincity Skincare. If you don’t know the brand yet, I wrote about the company in my first post.

  • What are PHAs? Do I need them in my routine?

So, what exactly are PHAs? In skincare, we surely find a lot of acronyms. In this case, it stands for Polyhydroxy Acids. They are chemical exfoliants, and some of the most used ingredients are Lactobionic acid and Gluconolactone, which you can find in the toner I’m reviewing today.

PHAs, acting similar, but more gently than AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids), can guarantee you smoother skin and an even skin tone. How do they do that? By gently exfoliating dead skin cells. They also help to prepare the skin layers, in a way that the following products can penetrate better into the skin.

PHAs, however, work on a surface level, so they don’t go into deep as AHAs/BHAs (alfa- and beta-hydroxy acids). However, it is still advised to wear high SPF with it. (You have to use SPF every day anyway 💜)

No one forces you to have PHAs in your routine, but if you have sensitive and dry skin, you can get the benefit of exfoliation without irritation. (love the rhyme tbh) It’s much better and more delicate than physical exfoliators like scrubs 😒.

Luminous Licorice Toner

  • Introduction & Ingredients

So, let’s have a closer look at the Luminous Licorice Toner by Skincity Skincare.

I bought the travel size, because I have never used PHAs before, and in general, I don’t buy the full-size product online if I didn’t have the chance to patch test it first. To be honest, it’s an amazing price point: €9 for 50ml and €27 for 200ml. Considering the great ingredients, it’s money well spent. Of course, you can find cheaper products, but are they really good, with an overload of fragrance and alcohol? NOPE! Wait until you see the INCI list. 😍

Here you go:

Aqua, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Lactobionic Acid, Gluconolactone, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid

I wasn’t lying! Such a heavenly formula! As you can notice from the first ingredients, it’s mostly PHAs. Then you find Panthenol, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, to moisturize and soothe the skin. Towards the end of the list, we can find natural products, like Green Tea (Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract) and Licorice (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract). Let’s remember also calming Chamomile, and Centella Asiatica, a must-have ingredient with anti-inflammatory agents, and anti-aging properties like sodium hyaluronate. As you can see, the product is fragrance-free. The pH value is 5,5. 

  • Packaging

The product is in a plastic bottle. The toner is easy to get out, and it has 12 months of life after opening. On the back, you can mark if you use it in your AM or PM routine. It also tells the basics about the product:

Active ingredients: Probiotics, PHA, Licorice Root Extract

Skin goals: Balanced, Hydrated, Soothed

It is advised to just pump the toner directly to the palm of your hand and pat on clean skin over the face and neck. As it is a perfect starting point, just follow up with other products. Remember to use SPF protection during the daytime!

  • My experience

I bought this product after it was recommended by Skincity team. I wouldn’t have bought it myself, but now I am happy I did it. The color is transparent and the product absorbs REALLY quickly, I had to take this picture super fast! It feels like water, so it’s not sticky at all.

This toner is gentle, it definitely hydrates and soothes your skin, and it leaves it SO SMOOTH! I’ve never had such soft skin ever, what is this sorcery??? 🔮

The best part is, that you don’t need a lot of product to make it work. If you have dry skin it is advised to use many layers, but for me, one is enough. I took the product pictures today, which means I have used it daily more or less for 1 month, and still, I’ve used so little – yet it works! Amazing!

  • Vote


My vote is 5/5 moons!

I really have nothing bad to say about this, nor I can find any flaws or advice for improvements! Well done, Skincity Skincare!

Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments!


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