My earlier issue-raising :


My most recent updates :




Here are a few updates on the alien substance found in the Alcohol-free Witch Hazel Toner, manufactured by Madre Labs and distributed by iHerb. I will first list the respective feedbacks from iHerb and Madre Labs, and then move on to the chemical analysis of the product.








(1) Feedback from iHerb, the seller :


Below is the email I received from iHerb's customer service. (I just eliminated the name of the person in charge, thought it was unnecessary in explaining the course of the matter.) They immediately apologized for the alien substance and promised to process a full refund of the corresponding item. They also requested that I contact the manufacturer for questions regarding the contents, which I did. I believe that this is a relevant and sufficient measure to be taken by the intermediary seller such as iHerb and intend to raise no further questions as long as the refund takes places properly.


********************************* Customer Service

Jan 26, 13:23

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize that you received your order with a substance that you are not aware of. We have processed a full refund for the damaged merchandise. You will receive another email confirming of the refund to your credit card. That credit will usually post to your credit card with in 2 business days. Please contact the manufacturer for any questions regarding the product or its contents.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Thank you



(2) Feedback from Madre Labs, the manufacturer :


As for Madre Labs, it seems that it will take more than a single email to straighten things out. Below is the response email from the brand's customer support. To sum it up, they claim that the substance is aloe sediment that may be caused during shipping, not glass fibers. They also strongly refute my glass fiber suspicion. I understand that such allegation is a matter of importance to the manufacturer and that they may feel the need to oppose strongly. But as long as there were circumstancial reasons for the user to feel such suspicions, I wish they had backed their claim with tangible and reliable proof. (Meaning, you might have done better vidicating yourself in details, instead of asking ME "how glass got into the product"... I have other words to describe this email but I'll save them, for objectivity's sake.) Well, I have my analysis and conclusions, which I will elaborate later on, in this posting.





Thank you for your email.
We are very sorry to hear that you allege that there are glass fibers in our Toner.
We can assure you that there are not glass fibers in our toner. 
Who and when did you contact iHerb as we have not been contacted by them as of yet?

Why would you share something with many others prior to contacting us first?


Our Madre Labs Toner does contain Aloe and the Aloe solids do precipitate out after sitting for a long while (e.g. during shipping), but this is not glass.  Why do you assume it is glass? 
We use a significant amount of Aloe and we do not use ingredients that will ensure the Aloe solids willsty in solution as these types of ingredients are not considered ' clean/natural '.
  • Why do you assume what you are seeing is glass?
  • How would glass get into our toners?
Please get back to us at your earliest possible convenience as the info you are sharing is not accurate.
Customer Support 




(3) Analysis on the suspected particles


Madre Labs was wrong in saying that the disputed substance was aloe sediment.

But so was my husband in estimating it to be glass fiber or other inorganic ceramic fiber.

(This is why I said "suspected" glass fiber and added that more in-depth lab test is needed.)


Benzoic acid crystal

That's what it turned out to be.


For more detailed chemical explanation, coming from my husband's view :



But for those who just need the gist of this all, here it is :

The substance was "Benzoic Acid," confirmed at a confidence level of 93%

This should normally not exist in the product, according to the given formula, and may have been created by a chemical change in Sodium Benzoate.

Suspected reason is the amount of Sodium Benzoate used or the temperature at which it was formulated.

Benzoic Acid may cause irritation to the human eye. There are also opinions that it may cause skin corrosion but I have hold off this part due to controversies among experts.

Advice? If you detect these fibers, do not use the corresponding product on your skin, especially near your eyes or any sensitive areas.



So, Madre Labs, the substance was not glass fiber and our preliminary suspicion was unfounded. But it was certainly not aloe precipitate, either. And it nevertheless remains that the substance may cause irritation to the human eye (and I believe, to the skin as well, but I shall leave this part out.)


The thing is, this is just a $4 product which I don't mind so much wasting. (and iHerb is offering a full refund anyway) Also, I have used it just once, and (though that one time usage was irritating to the skin) there was no actual and sustainable damage done. I'm good here. But I strongly feel against the unrestrained distribution of a product that may cause harm to many unaware customers, so I will see that corrective measures are taken.


I will get back to you via email.







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  1. 2015.01.27 13:42 nama  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    하하 마드레랩 쟤네도 웃긴다. "How would glass get into our toners?" 그건 지들이 증명해야지 고객한테 증명하라고 할 문제가 아니지 않나?

  2. 2015.01.27 14:53 sephora  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    마드레랩의 고객대응 이메일 톤이 너무 무례하네요. 걔네가 질문만 잔뜩적어놓는것도 보는제가 짜증이 확나는데 취조하는말투는 뭔가요? 제 페북에 퍼가고싶은 충동이 확 일어나네요. 자몽님 화이팅!!!

    • 배자몽 2015.01.27 14:57 신고  댓글주소  수정/삭제

      답변 이메일 보내면서 더 갈궈주고 싶은 충동을 참느라 손꾸락이 근질근질... 이슈 포커스를 위해서 참았습니다만 ㅋㅋㅋ 글래스 파이버 의혹을 제시하니까 허둥지둥 당황해서 그랬다고 일단은 생각하려구요. 다음번 답장을 보고 추후 대응 톤을 정해야겠어요.

  3. 2015.01.27 18:17 이리  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    뜬금없게도 아이허브에 대한 호감도가 증가했습니다...

    • 배자몽 2015.01.27 19:13 신고  댓글주소  수정/삭제

      저두요. 환불 조치도 빠르게 이루어졌네요. 그나저나 마드레랩스는 한층 더 빡치게(?) 하는 이메일을 날려주었군요. 허허허. 바쁜 일 좀 마치고 또 올려봐야겠어요.

  4. 2015.01.28 09:33 알 수 없는 사용자  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    "For objectivity's sake"
    ㅋㅋㅋㅋ마드레랩스의 이메일 보고 놀랐어요. 어투가 너무 투박해서 고객응대 이메일을 이렇게 써도 되나 싶어서요. 다음 업데이트도 기대할게요 감사합니다 :)

    • 배자몽 2015.01.29 16:13 신고  댓글주소  수정/삭제

      노노노노노~ 이 글에 등장한 첫번째 이메일은 양반이었어요 ㅋㅋㅋ 그 후의 일들도 조금 전에 정리해서 올렸으니 시간 날 때 한번 보세요 :)

  5. 2015.01.28 10:35 nama  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    미국은 희한하게 판매자는 교환환불 굉장히 쉽게 해주는데 제작사한테 연락하면 이렇게 잡아떼면서 시작하는 경우가 많더라고. 까딱하면 고소당하기 쉬우니까 자기네 잘못 인정하는 멘트 안 하려고 기를 쓰는듯. 그래도 마드레랩같이 땍땍거리는 이메일은 올만에 봐서 어이가 없네. 답장 새로 온 거 올려줘봐요 이번엔 사람 어떻게 열받게 하나 궁금해.

  6. 2015.01.29 13:45 익명  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기


    • 배자몽 2015.01.29 16:15 신고  댓글주소  수정/삭제

      포뮬레이션이 가장 단순한 축에 속하는 토너가 이러니... 화장품 고르기도 참 힘듭니다;;; 현대사회를 살아가는 사람으로서 어쩔 수 없는 고충이랄 수도 있겠지만;
      그나저나 원글 내용이야 어찌 됐든 첫 댓글? 환영합니다! 호홋 :)

  7. 2017.09.02 05:13 ana  댓글주소  수정/삭제  댓글쓰기

    Oh,my God! I just bought it!! To use it or not to use it?? Mine doesn't have any of these particles

    • 배자몽 2017.09.21 09:46 신고  댓글주소  수정/삭제

      Well, all of this happened like two years ago and I obviously never purchased any Madre Labs items since... so can't really tell. But yours seems to be OK, with no visible particles and all.

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