This was a product that had once piqued my interest for a really long while. It’s The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner. I first came across it while I was browsing Gourmet Skin Bar, a Hong Kong-based online organic beauty boutique. Kept wondering what it is. It sounds very fascinating but the price tag was quite a hindrance. Though now looking back, the website has the cheapest price, but my opportunity was gone. About a year later after that, I failed to restrain myself (again) and decided to try it.
As a discretion, this product is a little bit tricky to find. The Beauty Chef is an Australian brand and not many international retailers carry it. I had a chance to get it in person at The Detox Market boutique in Toronto last year but decided to give it a pass due to the even higher price tag. It was CAD 80 + 13% tax which comes to CAD 90.40, or almost IDR 1 million. Ouch. However, I kept kicking myself ever since I got back so I was determined to get it.
I had a friend who lives in Australia and he was able to get it for me, except he doesn’t want me to pay for it. Thank you, if you’re reading this, you know who you are! For my second bottle, I had another friend carried it for me from Australia as well. Now that I’m coming to the end of the second bottle, I’m going to have to find someone to get it for me again. I should try Hong Kong this time 😉
There is a comprehensive description on The Beauty Chef‘s website about Probiotic Skin Refiner, but I’m just going to post a short excerpt:
The Beauty Chef’s Probiotic Skin Refiner is an exfoliant, skin hydrator and collagen booster all in one. A bio-active whole food extract created during the bio-fermentation of The Beauty Chef’s renowned Inner Beauty Powders, this revolutionary new skincare product is formulated using a nourishing combination of bio-fermented Certified Organic grains, seeds, grasses, fruits, algae, vegetables and herbs.
Rich in probiotics and lactic acid – an efficacious Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), this self-preserving refiner breaks down dead skin cells, helping to improve cellular turnover as it refines the skin and reveals an improved texture. The lactic acid also helps improve the natural moisturising factors within the skin, while helping to stimulate collagen production and promote a more hydrated, moisturised and plump complexion.
purified water, naturally and organically grown: grains (wheat, rye, oats, maize, brown rice), grasses (alfalfa, barley, wheat), algaes (spirulina, chlorella, dunaeliella salina), seeds (millet, flaxseed, buckwheat), legumes (chickpeas, mung beans, lentils, adzuki beans, soya beans), lemon juice, honey, agave, lactic acid (plant derived), lactobacillus.
To my understanding and point-of-view, this is an acid toner derived from natural ingredients. To be exact, it’s a bi-product from the brand’s Inner Beauty Powders. Not letting it go to waste, they created something amazing with the leftovers. The star here is Lactic Acid. The main Lactic Acid comes from fermented grains, beans, seeds, fruits, etc. There’s also a regular Lactic Acid in the ingredient list. And probiotics. This liquid astoundingly measures at pH 3 on my pH test strip test. Honestly didn’t expect that at all. I was surprised because I find The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner to be on mild side in terms of acid toner. But the acidic level needs to be praised on.
One of the first things that I realize is that I’m grateful that my skin play with fermented ingredients well. If you have adverse reactions from using other fermented-based products in the past, then this product might not work for you. When it comes to fermentation, one might want to compare with the overly marketed SK-II FTE. I won’t go there though because first, I haven’t used SK-II FTE in years because of the insane price tag and its increase every year. Second, my skin then and now is different so it won’t be a fair judgement on my part. Plus, I generally don’t like to make comparisons because I believe each product has its own merits and the experience is personal to the user.
The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner smells.. sour. Yeasty and vinegary. I don’t mind it because well, that’s how fermentation smells like; unless there’s an added fragrance to mask it up. I use half a cotton pad, drench around 2/3 of it then start swiping and patting it on my face and neck. Run it over the lips. What’s left on the pad is brought to the elbows as well. I also like to leave the cotton pad for a few minutes on certain areas of my face that needed more attention (aka pigmentation). Waited for about 5-10 minutes before moving on with a hydrating toner and so forth. Pretty simple really, I treat this just like any acid toner I use.
Acid toner + hydrating toner = a must. There, I said it, again and again.
Lactic Acid in general is my favorite type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells without the harsh drawbacks like Glycolic Acid. My review on Bravura Acid Peels explain more about this particular preference. The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner is also nowhere as drying as other acid toners I’ve used. That’s probably because Lactic Acid is also a humectant; drawing the moisture into the skin. That’s why I never have any problems with it, not even a dry patch anywhere; as long as I use it properly.
If you’re looking for a strong, fast-delivering result acid toner, this might not fit the bill. I, on the other hand, have enough experience with stronger acids and actually looking for milder options so I can incorporate it more often into my regime, still getting the benefits with less consequences. Between the product description versus the results, I find it to be pretty spot on! It definitely refines my skin and reduces texture overtime. With hyperpigmentation, I’m quite certain this plays a part at fading the spots too. The natural humectant quality in Lactic Acid also helps to bind the hydration in my skin and making it stay moisturized.
If I can pack everything in a nutshell, I’d like to think this liquid is doing more than just exfoliating the skin. It also injects good actives and extracts for a stronger skin’s barrier and ultimately, healthier skin when combined with the rest of the skincare routine. That being said, I find that this isn’t suitable to use when my skin has a little bit of blemishes. It didn’t seem to heal them or made any difference. Actually, on some occasions, I feel the fermentation might’ve aggravated the situation instead of the other way around. Not an ideal product to go for. But once everything is clear, I’m free to use it again.
I have always been careful (or tried to) with exfoliating or acid-based skincare products. With several mishaps, I learned my lesson quickly and easily reminded by the mess it could cause to the skin. I tread The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner with the same attitude. However, after using it for a few weeks, I can truly appreciate the mild characteristics it has. This liquid doesn’t tingle on my skin either. My usual restrain is one week of nightly use of any acid products. But, I can go two weeks (still nighttime use) with this liquid and encountered no issues; other than the fact my skin behaving beautifully. Downside, the bottle depletes quicker 💔
As of now, The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner is one of the only three natural acid toners I’ve tried. The first one is Yoshimomo Alpha Beta Toner which is reviewed. These two are the ones that work well on my skin. The third one is S.W. Basics Toner and I’m still having a hard time using it because the vinegar smell is just too strong. Also, it feels very intense on my skin and I haven’t found the courage or the need to use it again. I might have to let my SO try this one to see how it fares on his blemished skin.
To me, The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner is a sophisticated, well-thought-out product; albeit expensive. The combination between bio-fermented Lactic Acid and probiotics is quite genius. I thoroughly in and out enjoy using it. In fact, it took me a year before I finally decide on writing the review. I never have anything like it in my skincare arsenal before and will keep continue using it as long as my bank account allows it 😀