Sunday, October 4, 2015

NoTS 28 Remedy Balancing Toner Review

There are quite a few Kbeauty websites out there nowadays, which is pretty crazy considering how few of them were available to us just a few years ago! It's tough to know which ones are reliable and which ones aren't, and even more difficult to find some of the more niche brands. I was recently contacted by a website called "Q-Depot" to do a review for them and talk a little bit about their website and what they offer. Since they were completely new to me, I figured they might be to some of my readers as well. I noticed that they carry some lesser known kbeauty brands, one of them being NoTS, so I decided I'd love to bring a spotlight to their brand as well as get myself a little more acquainted with them!

About QDepot:

Their Vision:
"To be the Internet's most secure and trusted platform offering top-quality, eco-friendly and branded beauty-related products at best prices, with ease, trust and quality, coupled with the best customer care."

    -Free shipping worldwide for orders above $69.00 and free 30 Days Returns
        -Any order below USD 69.00 will have a very low flat rate starting at $2.99
        -They stock over 15,000 products and 25+ brands (and growing!)
          -Genuine and fresh products directly shipped from their warehouse in Korea.

       They also carry Cruelty Free brands including: Etude House, Laneige, Mamonde, Sulwhasoo, IOPE, Hera, Innisfree, NoTS.

Q-Depot also dnated 3% of their net profits to social causes, which is awesome!

To learn more about QDepot, Read their "About" page HERE.

So let's talk a little bit about NoTS as a company before we hop into taking a look at the toner!
"Dignity of skincare. Natural Functional cosmetic brand NoTS. It's reliable since only the best and safe ingredients are used. It's a cosmetic company established in 2011. Created by beauty experts' consistent research and effort, while only using nature-friendly materials and scientific formula. These different technical skills will resolve your skin concerns. Formulated with high-quality, natural materials and skin scientific techniques, NoTS products will improve basic skin problems and promote skins protective ability."

I especially take interest in the words "safe ingredients" and "using only nature-friendly materials." We'll talk about that in a bit, though.
From Q-Depot:
The 28 Remeday Balancing Toner is one of the most popular products from NoTS that provides moisture balance and improves the skin's complexion and condition. It is recommended for all skin types as it deeply provides hydration and nutrients to the skin, removes excess sebum, improves skin complexion, lessens wrinkle formation and also heals acne spots and pigmentation. This Korean skincare product also contains adenosine and niacinamide, which help heal damaged and troubled skin by providing elasticity and proper nutrition. It's also known for giving an amazing skin improvement upon regular use. It has complete clinical trials and was featured and used on the Korean Plastic Surgery show, "Let Me In."

    KPDA approved for whitening, anti-wrinkle functions
    Proven effective for skin improvement in clinical tests

Adenosine and Niacinamide help to tone up loose skin  with radiant vitality, And 10 Times HF Complex and patented substances make the skin moist and soft.

28 Remedy Balancing Toner showed statistically significant (p<0.01) improvement of acneic skin as assessed by dermatologist's visual evaluation using GAGS and by scanning evaluation on overall severity during clinical trials.
(cosDNA Analysis of Ingredients)

While this is a large and vast ingredients list, I see lots of really great fruit and vegetable extracts as well as different types of bark extracts, aloe, adenosine, etc. But what I also notice is alcohol, Triethanolamine, and triclosan. Eesh. For a high end/more expensive toner, I was really hoping not to see stuff like that!

However, since I am a blogger- I put my skin at risk on the reg so that I can bring you the scoop on products. Having said that, I will openly admit I did not look at the ingredients of this toner before I tested it on my skin. If I had, I may have been a little more hesitant. Even so, not everyone is sensitive to the same ingredients as I am. I know that alcohol isn't as terrible as people make it out to be, but it's probably not the best ingredient to include in a high-end skincare product. For me in particular, in small quantities I have absolutely no issue with it and have seen no negative effects on my skin. You may not fair the same- that's what makes skincare so tricky to review! What works for me, may not for you. So keep that in mind whenever you're looking at a review, or even looking at ingredients lists. You don't want to take them too seriously, otherwise you start getting paranoid about anything and everything. And that is really no fun.

Having said that, triclosan is something I'm not comfortable with in my skincare. That's just me personally, though. There are many schools of thought that believe that its not at all harmful to use in skincare, especially if you have troubled or breakout-prone skin. (see paula's choice) There is also lots of other information on triclosan that speaks a very different story. (see here) (and here). The concerns are usually over higher levels of triclosan in personal care products, but since there's no actual way of knowing exactly how much is used in this particular product, it left me feeling a little uneasy. Since NoTS is a higher end brand, it really just left me wondering why they couldn't leave this controversial ingredient out entirely, or replace it with something else.

I don't want to go too much further into "ingredient scariness" because there's always two schools of thought over almost every controversial ingredient when it comes to personal care products. Whether it's parabens or preservatives- some people will tell you to avoid them entirely, while others will say they're harmless. I would say to use your own discretion, and use the things that work for you.
So let's get on with the review of this toner, shall we? As I said, I tested this product out before looking at the ingredients list- which I highly recommend against- but since I am always doing 10 things at once I tend to get a little scatter-brained and forget things more often than I'd like!

The NoTS Remedy Balancing Toner is a bit different than most toners you might have in your stash. It's not a liquid, but a very light, almost watery gel- consistency. It's housed in a tall, skinny tube with a pump top- so you could easily use a cotton round or your fingers to apply this.
The toner itself doesn't have much of a scent at all, which is nice. It feels quite cool on the skin, and smooths out and absorbs very quickly like a typical liquid toner. There was no tingling or irritation immediately after application, but I did feel that the toner made my skin feel a bit tighter once it had dried.

As mentioned earlier, this toner has a lot of claims attached to it. The biggest ones being whitening and acne-control. I used this toner for 6 days morning and evening and I was able to notice a very slight "evening" to my skin tone. Redness was lessened noticeably, which I liked very much! The acne-control however, was a bit of a different story.

As always, I want to point out that there is no way for me to know for sure what causes a breakout since I have hormonal skin. Here is what I can say: I have been using the same set of products in my morning/evening routines for about 3 weeks now with nothing being switched out. My skin has been looking pretty damn good- very few hormonal breakouts and looks pretty moisturized and healthy overall. I had finished up my Secret Key Witch Hazel toner, so I slid this one into it's place.

The first few days it seemed to be working fine. I wouldn't say I was overly impressed with it's performance, but it was helping control oil and didn't seem to irritate my skin at all. However on day 9, I started to notice something a little strange: a small breakout on my forehead. I chalked it up to possibly hormone things, or maybe I slept face-down on my pillowcase and didn't wash it as soon as I should have.
 I thought this toner might be the cause, but I did continue to use it to see if the breakout would clear up, or if it would get worse etc. I stopped using it after 2 weeks. The breakout didn't get much worse, and while I didn't get any new abnormal breakouts during my use of this toner, I decided to stop using it and go back to one that I knew worked well with my skin.
 There are a few acne-triggering ingredients in this product, even though it's supposed to fight against acne- so that made me a bit worried. Even with the questionable ingredients, I personally think that if my breakout was caused by this toner, it was most likely due to one of the natural ingredients, if anything at all. I know my skin really dislikes ginseng, so it's possible there's another natural ingredient out there that doesn't play nice with my skin that I'm not aware of yet.

As for the whitening anti-aging claims of this toner, I did notice my skin becoming a bit more even-toned in terms of color. I get redness on my cheeks, chin, and around my nose and I did see that this did noticeably even out those areas. I didn't see any anti-aging benefits, although for me they would be more preventative than anything else.

Having said all of this, I have also read some great reviews of this product that I translated from Korean websites, and it was also (as mentioned above) favorably discussed/used on a Korean plastic surgery show. While that could have been, and most likely was a sponsored product, it still seems to be looked at favorably overall. Even so, I can only go by my personal experiences with this product for this review in particular.
Overall Thoughts
 Honestly, I'm having a hard time coming to a conclusion on this one. While I am not a huge fan of the ingredients list in this high-end product and I didn't have the mind-blowing results while using it, I have also seen some really high praise for it. I try to remain as objective as possible when writing a review, while also sharing my experiences, so I suppose you should just weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself! While I do have acne-prone skin, it's more because of hormonal issues, so maybe this toner is suited more toward acne-prone skin or oily skin that isn't hormonal. If the ingredients list doesn't bother you, and the long list of good ingredients are appealing, then by all means give this a try. Especially if you're looking for a toner that is whitening and anti-wrinkle, as many of the Korean reviews I read on this product had many good things to say about this product in regards to those things.

I have done some research on other NoTS products and many of them seem to include a wide variety of really nice ingredients and formulations, so I'm not sure why this toner ended up with a few icky ones. Regardless, this isn't a toner I would repurchase again for myself personally, although I am interested in checking out more from this brand after taking a look at their entire product line!

If you're interested in checking out more from NoTS, you can see more of their product line on the Q Depot website!
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post does not contain affiliate or referral links.


  1. thanks for sharing such an amazing review. Well, i am not much familiar to NoTs but i had shopped with Q-depot few times and i really love their best customer support which you hardly see in K-beauty stores. Agree they have a wide variety of brands and products. Free shipping and free samples are just amazing.

  2. It's definitely exciting to see more Korean products becoming more accessible in the U.S. The 30 day money back guarantee also sounds very generous.

  3. Any idea when this product will be available in USA. Also, how is it better than Vitamin C serums or moisturizers already available in the US market?

  4. I have to say, I got this in my Ipsy bag, and I absolutely fell in love. My skin has looked radiant, even-toned, and I was able to go my whole period without my usual breakouts. It's the first product I've gotten in my Ipsy bag that I've ended up actually purchasing. My one issue is just the price; it's more expensive than I'd like to pay sadly. Also, it's not very easy to find! Do you know of places I can find it less than $60?

    Thanks for the review!

  5. thanks for sharing such an amazing review. I absolutely love this product. I've been using it for a month now.I get complements daily and told that my face looks so clean, hydrated and bright. I am so happy with my complexion now

  6. I've been looking all over for this toner but they don't have it in Canada yet :(. I can't find anything quite like it here either. I like the watery-gel consistency as its very easy and to apply. Glad that it comes in a pump bottle as well. I hope they sell this in Canada soon...

  7. Dermessence has most essential nutrients that this formula has and that act directly and indirectly in combating again signs from the inside out. for more information please visit

  8. Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing review about this awesome product. I am in love with this balancing toner. It's a pure bliss really and also it's not so much expensive at all. Thanks a lot once again for introducing us all with this toner. Best wishes and Regards.

  9. how about the herbs that can do as the above explanation?

  10. Good stuff.It willbe helpful for me.I also interested to share these tips with my cousins.Thanks for this amazing post.