Review: The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner & Emulsion | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

28 September, 2013

Review: The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner & Emulsion

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Today I'll be doing a review of a couple of basic skincare items I purchased: The Face Shop's Calendula Eden Essential Toner & Emulsion. I've been using these items as part of my daytime skincare routine for the past three weeks, and I think that's enough time to get a good feel for them. This review was requested by Tessia when I posted a pic of my last Sasa haul, so I hope you find some of the info useful!

The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner and Emulsion

In case you've never heard of The Face Shop, it's an inexpensive Korean brand of skincare and makeup. They actually have several storefronts in the USA, including three right here in New York - I'll be honest though, it's often cheaper to get stuff online if you're outside of Korea.

The Calendula Eden emulsion and toner are part of a multi-step moisturizing regimen. There is also a matching cream and essence, but I didn't get those this time because this line is new to me and I wasn't sure if I'd like it, plus I have other creams and serums I'm enjoying at the moment. If you're not familiar with what Korean-style "toner" and "emulsion" are, it basically means a liquidy skin softening step (usually applied with a cotton pad or the fingers) and a very lightweight creamy lotion.

Here are the properties of the toner and emulsion as according to

The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner/Emulsion contains full extract of calendula. The botanical complex formula quickly replenishes skin with moisture to relieve dry, rough or sensitive skin. It is also effective in balancing out normal skin, firming skin and boosting the healing of acne scars. To conclude, it regulates the oil secretion of skin, diminishes the appearance of acne scars as well as flecks, tightens pores and firms skin. With long-lasting effects, it keeps facial skin delicate, and translucent and elastic all day long. Suitable for all skin types, it is especially suitable for dry skin, skin with acne scars, and sensitive skin.

Now, I ran into a little problem while trying to test the legitimacy of these claims - I couldn't figure out what the product's ingredients were. They are printed on the back of the bottle, but 100% in Korean, so I can't understand most of it. I even wrote to The Face Shop asking for an ingredients list but never got a response. I did manage to find a listing for the emulsion on COSDNA, but it's several years old so I have no idea if it's still accurate. Sorry sensitive skin people! If you know where to find this info please let us know in the comments.Here are a few ingredients I was able to glean from the product descriptions: Calendula extract, hyaluronic acid, Iris florentina, Rosemary

Update 25/10/2013: I did finally hear back from The Face Shop regarding the ingredients of these products. Here's a full list:

Calendula Toner: Water,Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methylparaben, Octyldodeceth-16, PEG-75, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Fragrance(Parfum), Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Lilium Candidum Flower Extract, Borago Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, Carbomer, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Triethanolamine, Benzophenone-4, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

Calendula Emulsion: Water, Glycerin, Butylene, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Mineral Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Behenyl Alcohol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Propylparaben, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Fragrance(Parfum), Isohexadecane, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Lilium Candidum Flower Extract, Borago Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Benzophenone-9, Polysorbate 80, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Squalane, Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

With that being said, I took a risk and used this despite not knowing the full list of ingredients, so I can tell you (anecdotally) about my experiences. First of all, let's take a look at the toner:

Don't know if you can see it on my palm - this is a very very light, very watery toner. This is actually much lighter and much less slippery than some of the other Korean toners I've tried - it's not super-hydrating, but I feel like it does create a nice base for absorbing whatever you put on next (usually serum or the emulsion). And it absorbs very quickly, which is good for those in a hurry! And now the emulsion:

The emulsion is also on the thin side, but a lot more moisturizing than the toner. I feel like folks with oily skin might be able to get away with just using the toner and emulsion and not another cream after, but creamy emulsions sometimes break acne-prone people out so I would be careful if that's you. Check the ingredients list for any potential acne triggers!

General impressions and perceived effectiveness:

First of all, this line has a wonderful scent. It's sweet and floral, but not overwhelmingly so. I don't like putting ridiculously perfumey things on my face because they make me sneeze, but in this case the scent is just pleasant.

I found these items to be softening and moisturizing, but I'll be honest - I don't really see any difference in terms of reducing scars or the appearance of pores. I did find them soothing - if my face was feeling tight or inflamed from a breakout they helped hydrate me without exacerbating the problems.

A few notes on packaging:

Both the toner and emulsion are 150ml and packed in simple but attractive glass bottles. Observe:

The red stripe is not part of the packaging - I accidentally cracked one of the caps and fixed it with electrical tape. So ignore that. :)

I always have mixed feelings about heavy glass bottles... on one hand they feel a lot nicer in your hand and seem "classier" in a way, but I'm always paranoid about dropping them, especially in the bathroom (which is a naturally slippery environment). Another downside of glass bottles is that they are heavy so can be expensive to ship if you're buying them from a website that doesn't offer free shipping. TesterKorea lists the shipping weight of these as 325g apiece - yikes!

The other awkward thing about bottles like this is how the product is dispensed:

Yeah, there are no pumps or anything - just holes on the top. So you have to shake these heavy-ass bottles into your palm, salad dressing style. The opening on the toner bottle is smaller than on the emulsion, probably to prevent all the liquid from spilling out at once, but I actually find it it a little too difficult to dispense the product from that one.

Bottom line: The Face Shop's Calendula Eden Moisture toner & emulsion is a decent basic moisturizer set for the price, especially if you're saving your dollars for a fancier cream and/or serum to use in your routine. The packaging is attractive but somewhat annoying to actually use. I'm undecided as to whether I'll repurchase this or not... I will definitely use it up, but it's not remarkable enough for me to put on my mental "definitely must buy again" list.

Where to buy: I got mine from during a free shipping promotion, which is a good value since the bottles are so heavy. There are also a couple of eBay sellers offering these items with free shipping. You can find this set on other Korean reseller sites (like TesterKorea) for less money, but once you factor in the additional cost of shipping it doesn't end up being so cheap. :/

Have you tried any of The Face Shop's products? What did you think?


  1. Yay was waiting for this review xD

    Sounds very interesting despire the fact the bottles are made of glass and the dispenser sucks,
    but you say you didnt' feel it's scar and pore reducing properties which kinda sucks,
    how long have you been using them for?
    If all it does is slightly moisturize I think I won't give them a try, will rather use the hadalabo medicated toner.
    Thanks for the review :3

    1. I have been using them for a little over three weeks. Personally I don't mind them being so "basic" because I have other, more special serums and creams, but there are probably better options around the same price!

  2. I never tried Face Shop's products but I'd be curious to try something of this brand...
    In my skin care I try to avoid products with a scent because just like you they make me sneeze...I prefer odourless ones !
    I like the glass bottle , but the dispenser should be changed !
    At the moment I don't need this kind of products , but thanks for your review ☆

    Chibilaria ღ Cute Random Lifestyle and Beauty Blog

    1. I know, the dispenser is terrible! I have seen glass bottles with pumps, so it's not impossible. :P

  3. It look like a great product, never tried any hair care Korea products... But I don't like the glass bottle either... It's dangerous if it get broken during the shower...

    1. Agreed. I started keeping these outside of the bathroom because I was so worried about breaking them!

  4. I just looked at mine and they have 20160109 printed on the bottom of the bottle, which I'm guessing is the expiration date? So it sounds like they're good for about three years from manufacture (if unopened). I can't really advise you on what the effects of using an expired face cream would be... generally speaking, if you opened the product ~3 years ago you should probably throw it out, because eventually bacteria will get in there and could cause other problems when applied (acne, infections etc.) If you just opened the bottles recently and they don't look or smell "off" it might still be OK to use though. But that's just a general guideline. My motto is usually "when in doubt, throw it out"

  5. I got this while on holidays in HK at Colour Mix and am really loving the products! Working really nice. My skin feels so hydrated especially when I wake up in the morning!

  6. Alcohol, both of them contain alcohol, is it really suitable for our skin

  7. This is a super-old review, but regarding the alcohol issue: The emulsion contains Behenyl Alcohol, which is a fatty alcohol. Fatty alcohols generally don't irritate the skin unless you have a sensitivity to them for some reason. The toner does contain denatured alcohol (aka "bad" alcohol), but I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand it can be kind of drying, but on the other, it works well as a skin softener and does improve the texture of some cosmetics. Since I wrote this review in 2013 I have switched to different skincare products, but my general opinion is that fatty alcohols = not bad and alcohol denat = tolerable in moderation.