Sample Selection Saturday | Etude House Skin Malgem Smoother

AMtoPM Etude House smoother.jpg

I’ve been outside lately and it’s made my skin so raggedy and lacklustre.

I’ve also been pretty dry, when my skin isn’t all shiny, but I’ve been short on time so I haven’t had the chance to tackle these issues. Two issues = two different products = two more things I need to add to my nightly regime: an exfoliator and a toner.

When I thought of this sample, I thought I had stumbled upon the perfect product by pure coincidence.

Sadly, this product was far from perfect. Far from advertised, even.

what is it

Skin Malgem is an Etude House five-product line. The smoother is an exfoliating toner.

Malgem, or 맑음 in Hangul, translates to “rain” in English. That is, according to Google Translate. Google Translate has steered me wrong before, causing this really awkward moment when a coworker of mine had to pull me aside and tell me one of the greetings I would use didn’t exist.

So yeah.

Thankfully, the alternative translations – again from Google Translate – include lucidity and serenity.

An awesome promise built right into the name. Calm and clear skin?!


A toner that can help soften and buff away dead, dull skin? Gold in a bottle!

Ahh, if only these claims were true.

In brief: the good and the ugly

The good:

On a pad, the alcohol smell of the toner is almost nonexistent. It’s a decent toner, if you take out the exfoliating expectation out of it.

The ugly: 

Whew! My nostrils are burning. Why, you ask?

I opened the bottle.

The alcohol in this toner is overpowering. It’s the second ingredient. Second to water.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Actually I do! I was expecting this to act like a gentle, liquid version of an italy towel. I was expecting small eraser bits of dry skin to be gently buffed away and uncover smoother, brighter skin. No such thing happened!

I don’t know who to blame, myself or Etude House. We could probably go halfsies on the blame game.

My skin didn’t look brighter, or smoother. It looked the same, albeit drier.

If Etude House didn’t label this an exfoliating toner, I probably would have purchased it. Since it’s a bit drying, it’s great for the summer.

But they did label this as an exfoliating tone. For me, it was a massive fail.

Would I purchase?


Etude House’s Skin Malgem Smoother can be purchased online.


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