At this point, I have been using the Purito centella green level calming toner for over two months. I realise that there is a lot of hype when it comes to the Purito product range. But interestingly, when I purchased this product, I was simply attracted by its active ingredient of choice. Centella asiatica is something that I have been incorporating into my skincare regime for years now. It is soothing, hydrating, and highly effective. So much so that all Purito had to do to elicit a purchase from me, was list it on their label.
However, since I got my hands on the toner, I have realised that there is a lot more to talk about. Not just with respect to the product, but also regarding the brand itself. And so, this review is going to cover as many bases as I am aware of. In case I miss something, please let me know in the comments. I realise that this conversation is springing forth new branches almost daily. And there is no reason why we can’t continue to add to it.
Centella Asiatica; An Underrated Skincare Favourite
Purito has been accredited with popularising centella asiatica as a skincare ingredient. Interestingly though, it isn’t the brand that introduced me to the active.
Also known as ‘tiger grass’, centella asiatica has been used and revered for its soothing and healing properties. And so, it is quite common to find a great Asian skincare brand, taking advantage of its efficacy. Many years ago, when I first got into Korean skincare, I discovered that it was used a lot in acne specific products. That’s when I first used some COSRX products that contained the active. Since then, their centella water alcohol free toner has been a personal favourite.
In my experience, products that include centella asiatica have been really, really soothing. To the extent that whenever I have a bout of acne, or my skin feels inflamed, I always come back to them.
As a rule of thumb, if you have sensitive and easily aggravated skin, try including a centella product in your regime. Of course everyone’s skin is different, and will react differently. But chances are that once you try it, you’ll be a centella convert as well!
Purito Centella Green Level Calming Toner; Worth The Hype?
To be honest, I purchased the green level calming toner because I couldn’t find my preferred COSRX option. And only since purchasing it, have realised just how much people adore this product.
Korean skin care is generally ahead of the pack. I say this with respect to their formulations of course, but also as it pertains to the industry as a whole. And so, let me just start off with saying that Purito’s reputation precedes it. The brand, while not as established as some others, has been able to curate a notable following. Particularly, in the international market, and among the “beauty influencer” community.
In part, this is because their formulations seem to be quite effective. Simultaneously, Purito has cemented its reputation as a brand that is aware of, and mindful about, its environmental impact. Their products are formulated with this in mind. They also use recyclable, recycled and biodegradable packaging. And claim to donate a portion of their proceeds to organisations focusing on climate change and animal cruelty. Because of this purported ethos, many content creators have been gushing about their product range.
In fact, I would argue that their relationship with their customers, and social media strategy, adds to Purito’s appeal. They are generally more responsive, and active with respect to customer feedback. This isn’t just something that fans have reported, but also something that the company openly admits. And something that we will come back to.
Concerns About Essential Oils…
In a way, I feel like Purito’s “safe and honest” tagline actually puts it under a more stringent microscope.
The first offence that I uncovered boils down to the formulation of the centella green level calming toner, itself. See, when I ordered this, I mistakenly thought that this was the fragrance free version. It isn’t.
It claims that no artificial fragrances were used in the formulation. But, it does include four essential oils. Namely, citrus bergamot, ylang ylang, rose geranium, and rose flower. There has been an increasingly vocal push away from essential oils. I feel that the backlash is at least in part fuelled by how much hype essential oils enjoyed a little while back. Definitely propelled by ill-informed pseudo-science, there was a movement touting their miraculous properties. What everyone neglected to mention, however, was that while they may have some beneficial properties, they can also be irritating. In particular, the fragrant compounds found in such oils can cause individuals to develop allergies.
Now, with a push towards more research based beauty, many stay far, far away from essential oils. However, I think that the backlash should also be assessed with a grain of salt. Personally, there have been times when essential oils have worked for me, and other times when they haven’t. In her review of the toner, Kelly Driscoll does a really good job of analysing the conversation about essential oils. So, I’ll just leave the video here for you.
In a nutshell, it is possible that a product with essential oils does not impact your skin negatively. This boils down to how said oil was produced, and can vary from batch to batch. Because of this, you might react differently to formulations using the same essential oils.
Simultaneously, you might not be allergic to an essential oil at the moment, but develop allergies in the future.
…And Witch Hazel
The other problem that people had was regarding the addition of witch hazel. Again, witch hazel is an ingredient that has been used in a ton of skincare. And, there is some research backing up its efficacy. In particular, it is known for its astringent effects. The problem, to my knowledge, is that when distilled with alcohol, witch hazel can be really drying.
It’s not possible to know whether that is the case regarding this product. With that said, I personally did not find it drying, or irritating. Very much to the contrary, in fact.
My Reactions To The Product
When I realised that I had purchased the version with essential oils, I wasn’t very bothered by it. But, I realise that if you’ve had reactions to them in the past, you might be skeptical. They do have an unscented version of the toner though. (I’ve purchased that recently; watch this space for a review!)
Although I did record my thoughts before, I have since looked around to see what reviews have been like. And my reaction to the Purito toner, is pretty much what I feel the norm has been. It is really soothing, to the extent that I see improvements in my skin overnight. In particular, whenever my skin is irritated, or if I have an inflamed pimple, this product comes in handy.
How I tend to use it is at night, after a double cleanse, and before a hydrating moisturiser. If my skin is really raw (post an exfoliant gone wrong for example) then I also use it in the morning.
When All’s Said And Done…
Admittedly, there were some things on the label which left some people perplexed, and even concerned. But this is where the whole brand ethos that I alluded to earlier comes into play. As a response to customer complaints, Purito reformulated their unscented toner, which now no longer contains witch hazel. So, if you’re concerned about any of the additives in this version, you do have another option.
I have deliberately not mentioned any of the controversy surrounding the recent revelations about their centella unscented sunscreen. The reason for this is that it is something that I am still researching about. Moreover, Purito as a brand is one that I have recently come across. So, I’m not sure what to make of it. I appreciate their commitment to the environment, and their relationship with customers (as I mentioned earlier). But, understanding what to make of the company itself will require more insight about the Korean skincare. If you’re as fascinated and overwhelmed by it as I am, check out Odile Monod’s YouTube channel.
If we just focus on the toner, it is a good product; but it isn’t my favourite centella toner.
Two alternatives that I prefer are the COSRX centella toner, and the fresh flowers mist from Conatural. The latter isn’t a toner, but I use it as such. Both are a bit more price friendly, and neither include fragrance. In fact, they contain some other soothing, antioxidant and hydrating ingredients as well. Conatural even appears to share a similar ethics regarding production and formulation.
All in all, I definitely see why people love this product. But, if the price point is steep, or if you’re not in favour of some of the ingredients; there are alternatives.
Price; Rs. 3199
Amount; 200 ml
Container; Plastic bottle (recycled)
Available At; Beauty Glance, In Pakistan
Verdict; A gentle, soothing toner, an unscented, essential oil free version is also available.