I feel proud of myself for getting E into using and loving this toner.

A little bit of a side story:  E used to scour his face with 70% rubbing alcohol after shaving. Although men’s skin is thicker, I still think alcohol is too harsh for his face. I told him to use alcohol-free toner but he insisted that alcohol is better because it can kill bacteria. If you must know, E is a bit of a germophobe.

It so happened that I usually keep VMV Superskin 3 Toner handy for crazy skin situations. He tried it and he didn’t care too much for it because it just feels like his beloved alcohol.

Although VMV Superskin 3 is still technically, alcohol (50%), it is several notches better because it has tretinoin and clindamycin phosphate (i.e., topical antibacterial stuff) in it.

If there is one word on a label that can get E to use a skin care product, it’s — *ding! ding! ding!*antibacterial! It didn’t say that exact word on the label but I did spend effort getting my geek on and explaining to him what clindamycin phosphate does: kill acne-causing bacteria.

The whole time, I feel like I’m sneaking veggies to a kid, only I’m sneaking skin care to an alcohol-loving macho man. Now, if only I can get him to apply sunscreen every day. Would you know of an antibacterial sunscreen?


What I like most about this product is that it is a no-BS anti-acne product. E used to get a pimple every so often. He’s lucky he only gets one pimple at a time – even luckier now that he doesn’t get any pimple at all. We attribute it to the toner.

Aside from the clindamycin phosphate (that kills P. Acne bacteria), the toner also has tretinoin that also helps fight acne. It works by making skin cell turnover faster keeping the pores from getting clogged.

Most people experience skin purging and flaking when they first use products with tretinoin. E didn’t experience that. His skin didn’t even get drier. It just stopped getting pimples.

One time he told me he wishes that he’d known me when he was in college. But it wasn’t because of anything aaaawwwww-ingly romatic. He just had an acne situation back then and had he known about this toner earlier, he would not have gotten acne scars. The thing is, when he was in college, I was still a high school student and I didn’t know VMV existed.

More on tretinoin; and a caution

Be warned if you want to try this product. Almost all people who use tretinoin for the first time experience dryness and/or irritation of some sort. Be it flaking, purging, redness, or something that resembles a rash.

I didn’t experience those with this product because I was already using tretinoin cream for more than a year when I used it. I might write an elaborate post on my experience with tretinoin one of these days. It makes an excellent addition to a skin care routine because it also prevents premature wrinkles.

Read the note. It contains very important stuff.
(Checkout the 2-year shelf-life. Nice!)

Now, we nitpick

If there’s one thing I dislike about this, it’s the packaging. The bottle that it comes in doesn’t have a pump or something that can help regulate the liquid as it is dispensed. Think: alcohol bottle that doesn’t have a tiny stopper thingy with a needlepoint-sized hole in the middle. One time, I almost spilled everything on myself, so be careful.

The instructions say not to soak the cotton pad. But how can you do that if the bottle opening is a centimeter wide? To remedy this, I decant the toner in an opaque glass atomizer.

By the way, I recently discovered that Zalora carries VMV. And many of the VMV products on the site are currently on sale, yay! VMV seldom holds a sale in their physical stores, and most of the time, it’s only a 1-day sale. I am bummed that this toner isn’t currently in stock. I was hoping I can get it at sale price.

If you’re thinking of buying, it’s always conveniently available at Watsons.

It’s somewhat expensive for a toner (around Php 600+) but I think it’s worth it. The 100 ml. bottle lasted for 6 months with E and I sharing it. I only use it for bad breakout days though.

We will definitely repurchase, and purchase, and purchase this forever and ever, amen…


Hi, I’m Rae and I am a scatterbrain. I am in my 30s and I write in this blog from the Philippines. I spend a tiny portion of my time de-stressing with makeup and skin care. Email: scatterbraintures@gmail.com | Instagram: @scatterbraintures


  1. I’m using it now and developed a rash of some sort looks like a bunch of acne and it’s so itchy. :( i’m using the one with monilauri and mandelic acid. I’m gonna try using it 2x a week again as it instructs me to do so, hope my skin gets better. :(

    • I have been using when I see bumps slowly ‘erupting’ on my skin.

      I wish they bring back the old solution. I like that more.

      I haven’t tried using this every day but if I would, I’ll take your experience as a guide and start slow.

  2. Hi i just visited vmv alabang branch earlier ,the formulation of their toner has already changed , it already had mandelic acid on it , any reviews on this new formulated toner? Tnx for feedbacks

    • Oh no, really? I tweeted @VMVPhilippines but I haven’t received a response yet.

      Anyway, the variant with mandelic acid had been released in the US for a while now (maybe because Retinoic Acid requires prescription there). There’s still not much reviews about it. From googling, I’ve only found this: http://www.dermstore.com/product_Superskin+2+Monolaurin+Plus+Mandelic+Acid+Toner_35896.htm

    • ed lucille alpuerto Reply

      hello. i have aLready been using the new toner reformulated to monolaurin + mandelic acid. so far so good. totally no breakouts plus luminous skin. i love it. you should try it!

      • Hey Ed. I agree! It’s good. Just bought a bottle last month :D

        Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Ack I just read this! So that VMV toner has tretinoin. I don’t read labels, I really suck at following instructions, heh. So that must be why I don’t break out a lot anymore.

  4. Too bad, if you check VMV’s website, iba na formulationg ng SuperSkin 3 toner: Monolaurin + Mandelic Acid na. OT: Do you still use Olay Age Protect?

    • I think you went to the US website. If you go to vmvhypoallergenics.com.ph, they’re selling the clindamycin + retinoic acid variant here.

      Yep, Olay Age Protect is among the moisturizers l rotate. :)

    • Whooops, my bad, I was replying via email and I didn’t check the ph site first. It does indicate mandelic acid just as it did in the US site I refer in the past. But that info was there since years ago and they never changed it. But that particular variant, the one with mandelic acid, was never sold here. It’s always the clindamycin phosphate + retinoic acid variant that’s available. Just bought a bottle last month.

      They can’t sell the latter in the US because the above ingredients are prescription products there.

  5. Both, but I feel that it's 'anti-aging' that motivates me to use it. Coz actives other than tretinoin work for my breakouts too.

  6. a bit off track but since you mentioned tretinoin — I remember you previously talking about retin-a… do you still use retin-a creams/ointments?

  7. I don't know any sunscreen with anti-bacterial properties. My husband uses Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen spf 50 on his face everyday before going out. He says it lessens air dirt sticking to his face…

  8. I use Body Shop's vitamin C peel on my husband. He loves it hehehe

  9. I have tried Cure. Maybe it's just me but i didn't notice anything spectacular with it

  10. Finally… I comment! I too am a disciple of decanting skincare and makeup if the dispensers are not well-thought-out.

    I'm thinking… do you have derma topicals around the house? It almost always uses this screwcap that has a tiny hole so baka it might fit the VMV bottle. I have one around, it's on a clindamycin product too, so if I ever decide to try out VMV clinda I must save my current clinda bottle's the screwcap.

  11. serendipity0017 Reply

    I super love reading your reviews Rae! Thanks for mentioning that Zalora carries VMV. I have always been curious of the brand.

  12. Hi Kat, haha, I haven't seen an antibacterial sunscreen yet. But E already read this post. Hindi ko daw sya mapapagamit ng sunscreen on a daily basis.

  13. Hi Gellie! Ang mahal nga ng Cure. Me and my friend are considering buying it, tapos nagpapaplano na kami bumili ng tiny container from beabi so we can split it. Php 1,500 is just too much if we end up not liking it.

  14. Hahahaha. That sneaking vegetables part is priceless. *giggles* I want to try this too but it's way over my budget and I'm scared of possible irritation too. And I have never heard of an anti-bacterial sunscreen before. Hihi. Can you let me know if you find one?

  15. Gellie Abogado Reply

    You've got persuasion skills! Hahaha! I'm glad that K actually takes skin care advice from me so all's good. He knows it's not his forte so he leaves it all to me. Hahaha! I wanna try this out but it's just pretty inexpensive. You know how so kuripot I am. But in case get bad breakouts, will definitely check this one out. I also want to try the Cure Aqua Gel something. But it's even MORE expensive. lol


  16. so cool that E listens to you when it comes to skincare products, my boyfriend is not open to those things. he naturally has good skin but he needs to take care of it more. btw i like your header “macho mondays” :D

  17. Sunscreen with antibacterial properties! Your husband is funny. Ako naman I try to avoid antibacterials so that they don't develop resistance. Love, love VMV. <3

  18. It's nice to know that it worked for him. I don't have luck in toners, even the mildest ones, they tend to irritate my skin. I envy BF's skin, as he rarely (as in once in a blue moon) gets pimples and he is just washing his face with Cetaphil, that's all. If only they have samples of this, like the ones in sachet, I would surely try it.

  19. Men are so sneaky. They like to pretend that they don't like all this girly stuff so you go all out in convincing them. Then, once they see the results, they go more metro than David Beckham.

  20. Shevasherapy Reply

    Bin has been getting a lot of pimples lately and my usual toner doesn't work for him. Is this available in a smaller bottle? Maybe this will work on his pesky pimples.

  21. Hi Ile, that didn't work. Speaking of bb creams, my work friend who used to tutor Koreans in speaking english told me that many Korean men wear bb cream.

  22. ilevillegas Reply

    I just checked Zalora and I noticed the packaging makes VMV looks more like meds rather than beauty products.

    Hmm.. I was able to convince bf to use sunscreen by scaring him about skin cancer. then I got him to use bbcream by convincing him that it's just tinted sunscreen. :)

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