Holika Holika’s Fairy Water Pure Aqua Skin is a toner I grabbed while in Taiwan and had the chance to visit a Holika Holika store. Holika Holika is a Korean brand with an adorable fantasy aesthetic and products at a range of price points, and the Fairy Water line is a very budget-friendly one. Pure Aqua Skin is a toner intended to hydrate and revitalize normal-to-dry skin (they offer a similar Pure Fresh Skin toner for normal-to-oily) and is formulated with sensitive skin in mind.
I went into Holika Holika pretty blind and was really very pleased to find such an affordable toner, as I was trying to bring a range of Asian skincare products home with me but didn’t have a whole lot of money to play with. The store was running a sale and I bought the toner at half-off, which I believe brought it down to around $7, which happens to be around the same price that it’s available for online at Korea Depart.
In the store I saw both the Pure Aqua Skin and Pure Fresh Skin toners on the shelf next to each other but had no idea what differentiated them. One is in a purple bottle, and the other is in an aqua blue bottle, but they smelled the same and I couldn’t see any indication in the labeling. It wasn’t until I combed through the internet looking for an ingredients list (another piece of information missing from the bottle) that I learned that they were intended for different skin types.
The consistency of the toner is pretty interesting. It’s thicker than every other toner I’ve ever used, and though it’s still definitely a runny fluid, it is able to suspend a few bubbles in the bottle if shaken. The bottle doesn’t have an open mouth, it has a smaller hole with a removable plug and needs to be shaken in order to dispense the toner. Because of its consistency, I forego the use of a cotton pad and shake it directly into my hand and apply it to clean skin. Two shakes usually does it.
It dries on skin in a timely matter, and doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. It does help hydrate, which is something I generally look for in a toner, and leaves the skin feeling somewhat plump. It adds a light layer of hydration to freshly cleansed skin, which I believe is a good way of keeping skin in good shape. I’m not the kind who believes that toners are part of the cleansing process, and have had the best experience with toners that are built to nourish. This one stands out not necessarily as an exceptional performer, but as the cheapest hydrating toner I’ve tried yet, and it does the job. That’s worth something.
When I was in the store and sniffing the two toners, I thought they smelled like rosemary. Now that I’m sniffing it at home, I think I smell a gentle herbal scent with a bit of lemon. The formula is advertised to be free of artificial colors (it’s clear), artificial fragrance, benzophenone, mineral oil, alcohol, and parabens. Online, I see that floral ingredients are highlighted, including chamomile, snowdrop, edelweiss, magnolia, and daisy. Unfortunately, I can’t find a full ingredients list on any English sites.
The packaging for the Fairy Water line of products generally comes across as cheap and very youth-oriented, but the low price point means that the line is indeed a good fit for youngsters. The toner works well for me, too, and I don’t really have a bad word to say about its performance. From what I see, the best place to buy this to buy this online in the US is Korea Depart which sells it for $6.96, but it’s also on Amazon for $14.99. The bottle contains 170 ml, or 5.75 oz.
All in all, this was a cool product to try and the price is hard to beat. Do you have any favorite Holika Holika products? Have you dipped your toes into the Asian beauty market?