How I removed my dark spots! – Naruko Taiwan Magnolia Toner EX Review

practically bottomless

Name: NARUKO Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Toner EX

Type: Toner

Amount: 150ml/5.25fl.oz.


Water, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Saccharide Isomerate, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract – Magnolia Bark, Plantago Major Seed Extract – Broadleaf Plantain, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-80 hydrogenated castor oil, Chlorphenesin, Michelia alba extract – Taiwan Magnolia, Tranexamic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Lemon oil, Triethanolamine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnolia grandiflora – Southern Magnolia, Ethylhexylglycerin, 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Kalanchoe spathulata – Kalanchoe, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract – Licorice Root, Scutellaria – Skullcap, Peucedanum Ostruthium Leaf Extract – Masterwort, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract – Gingko/Maidenhair, Artemisia Umbelliformis Extract – White Genepi, Leontopodium Alpinum Extract – Edelweiss, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract – Chamomile, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract – Green Tea, Carnosine, Sodium Polyacrylate, Arbutin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Tremella Fuciformis Extract – Snow Fungus

Ingredient features: 5% Niacinamide (vitamin B3), plant extracts (magnolia, broadleaf, kalachoe, licorice root, skullcap, masterwort, gingko, white genepi, edelweiss, chamomile, green tea, snow fungus), tranexamic acid, vitamin C, sodium hyaluronate, arbutin.

Not for those who are sensitive to: Butylene glycol, essential oils (lemon), triethanolamine, etc.


Shitty lighting + Crappy camera zoom + Glorious MS Paint


  1. Summary
  2. Pros and Cons
  3. Texture
  4. Smell
  5. Usage
  6. Claims
  7. Additional blab
  8. Where to buy
  9. More pictures



Feels Yay, will repurchase.
Does it effing work? Yeah.
Texture Watery.
Packaging Kinda bad. Wish it was a pump bottle.
Smell Strong, magnolia smell.
Finish A hint of stickiness.
Good for
  • Brightening dull/uneven skin, dark spots, sun damage.
  • Dry to oily skin.
  • Day and night-time use.


  • Does actually brighten skin.
  • Easy enough to spread.
  • Absorbs fast.
  • Effective ingredients for brightening. (5% Niacinamide, Tranexamic Acid, Arbutin, Licorice, Vitamin C)
  • Does not contain a lot of acne/irritation triggers.
  • Cheap for 150ml/5.25fl.oz.
  • Great for the body as well.


  • Strong fragrance, that lingers for more than 5 min.
  • Not that hydrating.
  • It’s an opaque bottle, can’t tell how much is left.
  • You can’t open it to re-purpose the bottle.
  • When you don’t use a cotton pad, it drips down the bottle.
  • It has a hint of stickiness when drying.
  • Can’t squeeze the bottle to get every drop.

First Impressions

WTF does it feel like?

It has a thin watery texture that spreads easily. I might be imagining it but it gets a bit sticky when it’s in the process of drying. Not sticky when completely dried.

Comparisons: Thinner than Hada Labo Gokujyun Moist Lotion. A biiit thicker than Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence.

WTH is that smell?

It smells of magnolia grandma perfume. I’m not very fond of the smell as it lingers for a while as well.

How the fudge do I use this?

Morning and evening daily after cleansing, or first essence if you have one. The bottle says “Pour onto cotton pad and pat gently.” I’m too lazy for cotton pads, so I use my hands like a savage and it drips down the side of the bottle. In my routine, I put it between my FTE (Secret Key as of this post) and my Hada Labo Gokujyun. I also like to apply it on my darkass legs and arms.

Despite its amount, you are recommended to use it within 6 months.


What it promised us:

Product Claims How I feel
“For all skin types. Recommended for dull, aging and tired skin.” Can agree with the skin types thing. But this will not hide the fact you haven’t slept in 3 days cramming for your finals.
“Tightening” No noticeable effect.
“Brightening” YES.
“Firming” No noticeable effect.
“Removes Dullness and Gives Whitening Effect” Removes dullness to a limited extent.
“Delays Aging, Moisturizes and Repairs” I will get back to you on this in 20 years. Not that moisturizing.


Additional Blab:

After learning about Holy Snails Shark Sauce (and despairing at the price per ml), I was searching for alternate products to combat my sun-beaten face and stumbled on this toner, which contains 5% Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Tranexamic Acid, Arbutin, Licorice, and Vitamin C, all great ingredients for fading tans/PIH.

In September 2016, I had a massive whitehead below my mouth that I popped. After squeezing out its innards, I put a band-aid on it thinking it would help (lol). The next few days, it healed and gave me a large dark spot. (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) The pictures are blurry af but the PIH faded away in only a few weeks thanks to this toner!

Other than my face, I use this on my legs and arms. I also try to remember to apply some on the edges of my lips because they are reaaally pigmented. (Not sure if it’ll do anything though.)

My routine when I used this product:

Morning Night
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence
NARUKO Magnolia Toner NARUKO Magnolia Toner
Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion
Avene Skin Recovery Cream Rosehip Oil + Avene Skin Recovery Cream
Biore UV Rich Watery Essence Human Nature Acne Defense Gel as spot treatment.
Tretinoin 0.05% 3 times a week.


Okay, stfu already. Where do I buy this?

Btw, NARUKO is a Taiwanese brand. It’s found in some physical stores (like Watsons) in most Asian countries, and has online stores in USA, Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines, to name a few.

Amazon: 18.99USD

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