Freshel Moisture Lotion almost became my holy grail toner


My current favorite toner is Freshel Moisture Lotion and I can totally see myself emptying it. In fact, it’s already half-depleted by the time this review is out. Liking a toner came as a surprise to me because I’d stopped using toner religiously for quite a while.

Freshel Moisture Lotion
Freshel Moisture Lotion

I didn’t appreciate that most toners these days gravitate towards being moisturizing than refreshing. As such, their texture can sometimes be slippery or sticky and obviously, that’s not what I like in a toner.

Is Toner trying to become a Moisturizer? 

The new trend of toner wanting to become a light moisturizer confuses me a lot! I often wonder why I needed a toner to moisturize my face when I would be following up with serum and real moisturizer. “Why are toners trying to steal the job of a moisturizer?”, I’d thought.

These moisturizing and often sticky lotions also disrupt my beauty routine. For instance, a vitamin C serum should be applied after cleansing and toning. But I didn’t dare apply a hydrating toner in case those sticky layer acts as a barrier and affects the PH and potency of my concentrated Vitamin C serum.

Gradually, I found myself not using toner at all. But that changed after Freshel Moisture Lotion came into the picture. 


About Freshel Moisture Lotion

Freshel is a product line under the mother brand, Kanebo. Both brands originate from and are made in Japan. I bought Freshel Moisture Lotion in Malaysia Watsons at Rm63 and it came with 200ml of clear liquid. The smell reminds me of SKII although it has been at least a decade since I last touched SKII (it didn’t work for me). So I may be wrong about the smell.

Freshel Moisture Lotion
Freshel Moisture Lotion

Did you know?

It’s common for “toners” from Japan and Korea to be known as lotion. 

Toner from Freshel came in three variations to suit different skins’ needs and they are:

  • Whitening Lotion N – for brightening
  • Moisture Lotion N – for hydration
  • Ex Moisture Lotion N – for extra hydration and care for aging skin

This review is for “Moisture Lotion N”. Before we move on to the review, let’s see what Freshel Moisture Lotion promises to achieve:

“Moisturizing ingredients quickly penetrate into all areas of stratum corneum with a thick and velvety sensation. Realize non-greasy, smooth and full skin that is full of moisture”

Other than moisturizing the skin, Freshel Moisture Lotion N also claims to promote supple firmness. Jump to the next section where I’ll summarize its goods and bads. 


What’s Good about Freshel Moisture Lotion? 

1. No Pimples Flare-up

Freshel Moisture Lotion is safe on my pimple-prone skin. I’m more than half-way through the bottle and so far have never gotten any pimples from it. I’m adding this to my newly-created pimple-safe list.

2. Refreshing & Light

The liquid was light and clear. I was able to “cleanse” and wipe with a cotton pad and observe if there was any residual makeup that the real cleanser couldn’t remove.

Freshel Moisture Lotion
Freshel Moisture Lotion

3. Hydrating but not over-doing it

I know I just said in my earlier paras that I didn’t like hydrating toners. You know what? I only realized Freshel Moisture Lotion’s hydrating qualities half-way through using the bottle.

That was when I re-read its instructions (in preparation for this review) and learned that this toner can either be applied with a cotton pad or poured directly onto the palm and patted on. It was only after I tried the pat-on method that I realize Freshel Moisture Lotion does come with slight stickiness which lasted for a few minutes. My skin felt lightly-moisturized and I do skip moisturizer on days when I was lazy. 

What moisture ingredients does it contain?”

Freshel Moisture Lotion contains Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Castor Oil and Collagen.

4. Fragrance-free and Colour-free

Those with sensitive skin or prone to allergies should be happy to know that Freshel Moisture Lotion is fragrance-free and color-free.

5. Nice Packaging

The packaging was light and functional. When I poured the liquid onto my palm, the right amount would come out each time. Brilliant! That’s really precise and I appreciate their thoughtfulness.

The print on the bottle also didn’t come off after many months of usage, unlike some branded products that I was using. 

Freshel Moisture Lotion
Freshel Moisture Lotion


What’s Bad? 

1. Contains Alcohol

I was extremely pleased with this toner until I saw that it contained alcohol. Actually, my skin has been perfectly fine using products that contain alcohol since two decades ago. However, I just turned 40 and this seems to be the juncture for me to start using gentler products, just to be on the cautious end. Therefore, the fact that it contains alcohol deters me from including Freshel Moisture Lotion as my holy grail toner.

To be fair, alcohol is listed as the 12th item in its ingredient list, meaning it exists in very small quantity. So I believe it should be fine for most, especially when Freshel Moisture Lotion is paired with other moisturizing ingredients. It didn’t cause any dryness or flaky skin for me and honestly, I wouldn’t have known that it contained alcohol if I didn’t scrutinize its ingredient list.

“Is Alcohol really that bad?” 

Some research claims that Alcohol can help with product absorption and promote comfortable application (e.g. prevent stickiness). If my skin type is normal or oily like I was in my younger days, I wouldn’t be bothered whether a product contains alcohol or not. I’ve been told that I look younger than my actual age, so I guess using alcohol products from 18 till now didn’t age me prematurely. :P

2. Not Available in Singapore

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe Freshel Moisture Lotion is not available in Singapore. I got mine in Malaysia Watsons. It’s also available online.

You should definitely consider getting this when you travel to Japan or Taiwan. I’ve added this to my lists below:


Ingredient List

For those who are into the science behind beauty products, here’s the full ingredient list of Freshel Moisture Lotion.

Freshel Moisture Lotion
Freshel Moisture Lotion


Recommended For…

If you are looking for a clear and refreshing toner that offers hydration without triggering pimples, Freshel Moisture Lotion may be worth a try. It also may appeal to those who hate color and fragrance in their beauty items. For those with extremely dehydrated skin, do take note that this product contains alcohol. Rating: 4/5.

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