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Minimalist PHA 3% + Biotic Toner Review

PHA or polyhydroxy acid is a new exfoliating ingredient which has gained popularity in the skincare industry. There are very few brands in the Indian market which use PHA in their products. 

Minimalist have come up with their own PHA and biotic toner.

Polyhydroxy acids are very gentle in order to exfoliate the dead skin cell layers of the skin. It helps in getting  a clear complexion by removing the debris and unclogging pores.

Many brands use various ingredients for exfoliation such as alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acid, lipohydroxy acid etc. 

People who have sensitive skin and are reluctant to use AHA or BHA can try PHA in their skincare as it is gentle enough for sensitive skin and for beginners.

Coming to the product details-

What does the product say-

This is a daily gentle exfoliating toner which contains gluconolactone (PHA), a gentle ingredient to remove dead skin cell layer and act as a humectant. The product is formulated with prebiotics and probiotics which help in improving the good microflora of the skin.

Ingredients- (from the website)

Aqua, Gluconolactone, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Methylpropanediol, Inulin, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Saccharide Isomerate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Salicylic Acid, Allantoin, Trehalose, Glycerin, Sodium Polyglutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Lysine, Histidine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Threonine, Serine, Glutamic Acid, Proline, Glycine, Alanine, Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Cysteine, Ethoxydiglycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate

Price- 399 INR.

Quantity- 150 ml

Shelf life- 1 year


The product comes in a dark colored plastic bottle with a flip top.

Texture and consistency-

The toner is colorless and has a runny water like consistency.

Directions of usage-

According to the brand the toner can be used both morning as well as evening after cleansing your face. For application, pour the desired amount of the product on a cotton pad and gently apply it on your skin. Another method is to take a few drops of this toner and gently pat it on your skin until fully absorbed. Then you can follow up with your serums and moisturisers.

My experience with the product-

As I have stated earlier, there are very few Indian brands which provide PHA in their ingredient list. Minimalist products are free from any artificial fragrance and essential oils which make them gentle enough for sensitive skin. 

This toner contains 3% PHA which helps in controlling sebum production and unclogging pores. 

The combination of prebiotics and probiotics helps in maintaining the good microbiome of the skin. Prebiotics serve as food for probiotics or the good microflora which helps in improving the defense mechanism of the skin.

It also contains niacinamide which is a skin brightening ingredient and salicylic acid (BHA) for reducing comedone and pustules on the skin.

The toner is formulated with hydrating ingredients such as polyglutamic acid,xylitol panthenol, anhydroxylitol, xylityl glucoside to prevent water loss from the skin. 

The combination of amino acids such as arginine, lysine and histidine helps in repairing the skin and promotes elasticity.

I do use exfoliating toners for myself as they are really good for preparing the skin for the next steps. 

Regarding the usage of exfoliating toners I avoid applying them everyday as too much exfoliation can lead to damage of the skin barrier and can irritate your skin. Whenever using any type of chemical exfoliation, giving your skin some rest before the treatments is the best way to get maximum benefits from it. 

The best time for using chemical exfoliation is at night as they make your skin sensitive to the UV rays which can damage your skin further if not taken care properly.

Hence,for me the application of this toner was limited to only 2-3 times a week only at night. 

While using this toner I started experiencing some bumps on my skin the next day. I tried quitting it for a few days and once my skin was healed I applied the product again to test it out but the result was the same. Everytime I used this toner, my skin reacted badly to it resulting in the appearance of tiny bumps on my face which were visible on my chin, jaw and forehead. 

Finally I have stopped using this product completely as it didn't work well on my skin. 


  • Good ingredient list.

  • Fragrance free.

  • Essential oil free.

  • Contains PHA.

  • Contains niacinamide and salicylic acid.

  • Prebiotics and probiotics help in improving good microflora of the skin.

  • Travel friendly.

  • Affordable.

  • Easily available.


  • Gave tiny bumps on my skin every time I used it.

Will I repurchase it?

No. One con was enough for quitting this product.

Hope you found the post helpful.

Thank you for reading.

Take care.

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