Pyunkang Yul’s Luxury Toner

By Kate Limond
24/04/2024 | Read time: 5m

Or is it a serum, really?

I’ve been intrigued by the Pyunkang Yul Black Tea Deep Infusion Toner for a while. I’ve been using Pyunkang Yul products for ages and they work great.

Whilst I’ve thought of them as a more budget friendly brand, using their Intensive Repair Cream showed me that they can formulate a luxurious product with premium ingredients.

That’s not to say the more cost effective products aren’t very good, because they are! Their Essence Toner is ideal for calming sensitive skin as it has a short ingredient list that is designed to be soothing. I have used quite a few of bottles of it since my K-Beauty journey began. You can read the review here.

But I’m pleased to see products from them that will multitask because they’re packed with ingredients that work for a variety of concerns.


I’m impressed by this: although it has a gel-lile texture, it dries so well! I’ll talk more about this later on.

In some ways, this Pyunkang Yul Black Tea Toner is more of a serum gel texture, not quite what you would expect from a toner. Don’t let that put you off if you have oily skin, you could actually consider using this instead of a serum. And if you did, it’s a super cheap serum given it’s 150ml!

If you have drier skin and toner feels like it evaporates on contact with your skin rather than doing anything much, this toner would be a great choice as it is deeply hydrating with some lightly moisturising effects as well.


I like tea in all its forms in Korean skincare. You’ll find green tea in a lot of products for its antioxidant content, plus reducing oil production or in my case, reducing acne.

Isntree has a very popular green tea line too!

And then there’s the less common fermented black tea found in this Pyunkang Yul product. As much as I absolutely love the Dr Ceuracle, I do prefer a gel texture, especially as it gets closer to summer.

This has got to be one of the longest ingredients lists I’ve seen for a toner and sadly I can’t cover everything here!

Needless to say there’s a whole host of beneficial plant extracts for antioxidants, niacinamide, peptides and ceramides. Plus all the hydrating ingredients you’d expect and some moisturising ingredients.


The packaging is an art piece! I don’t want to ruin the surprise if you order it and don’t know how it is packaged but this is one of the fanciest things ever.

The bottle has a practical pump that works really well – this is partly why I think of this as a serum toner. How often do you get a pump with a toner?!

As usual, I put it through some rigorous tests: I like to find the limit of a product where it’s too much or not enough. I always want a reference point so that I know the best way to use a product. I do try a lot of products so I have a lot to choose from but I prefer to use things that work really well together so I can get the best out of my routine.

We all like super plumped glass skin and it’s annoying when your skin starts to feel dehydrated throughout the day. Reapplying sunscreen is actually a really good hack for this, as well as being necessary for UV protection! However, some sunscreens are more moisturising than hydrating, so it helps if you have a proper level of hydration to begin with.

Trying one (generous) layer of the Pyunkang Yul for my morning routine with the Isntree TW-Real Bifida Ampoule is a great combination. My skin felt well hydrated all day. These two together worked within my time constraints, drying quickly enough so that I don’t have to rush my routine.

One layer of the Pyunkang Yul by itself is manageable for my dehydrated skin if I’m going to be inside all day. I definitely found I wanted something extra if I was going to be outside and the Isntree gave me that boost.

Going to the other end of the scale, four layers of the Pyunkang Yul dried fine with no stickiness, which surprised me: not only because it dried relatively quickly but also because it’s a serum texture so I’d expect it to get sticky.

Of course, I did have to wait longer for four layers to dry than I would if I was using a more watery toner. However, that’s not a deal-breaker for me as it didn’t take ages and there was no stickiness!

Because I find this toner intensely hydrating, I don’t think four layers (or more) is necessary, even if you’re not using any other toners or serums. I just like to push a product to its limit of efficacy – that’s not to say you couldn’t use more that’s down to you to decide! I tend to do a couple of layers as that works well for me.

My unpredictable neck had no issues with this toner. I’ve talked before about how my neck can find watery textures difficult but the Pyunkang Yul is gel-like and soothing.

I think it helps that the Pyunkang Yul has such a wide variety of antioxidant, calming and moisturising ingredients in addition to being hydrating. And don’t forget niacinamide which is essential for barrier repair in my opinion.

All of this together makes it super soothing on application and over the longer term. I think this will be a really nice product to use as the weather warms up because it feels slightly cooling on application.

Furthermore, if you struggle with sensitive skin and the acids or retinol isn’t for you, you may well see effects on fine lines with this, particularly if you combine it with the Mary & May Calendula Peptide Ageless Sleeping mask.

This is one of my favourite combinations as it helps plump out the sleep creases on my chest. All I can say is that if you don’t know what I’m talking about, good for you! If you know what I mean, it might be time to invest in some extra plumping products!

Final Word

Whether you consider this a fancy toner or a great value serum, it’s well worth checking out!