The older sample set (left) includes, from left to right, this Gentle Balancing Lotion 15mL/0.5fl oz., Gentle Cleansing Foam 10mL/0.38oz., Intensive Facial Contour Serum 4mL/0.13oz., and Gentle Nourishing Emulsion 6mL/0.20fl oz., versus the newer set (right) with Cleansing Cream 9mL/0.29oz., another Gentle Cleansing Foam 6mL/0.23oz., Gentle Protective Emulsion SPF20 5mL/0.16fl oz., and another Gentle Balancing Lotion 12mL/0.40fl oz.
This is a slightly viscous and moisturizing lotion (toner) that you can apply with either a cotton pad or just pat it directly onto bare skin. I use a cotton pad with this in the morning, and it's the only time when I use a cotton to apply lotion now. Since coming home to a much drier climate from super humid Taipei, I wanted to give my skin a break at night and so resumed pressing SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion directly onto my skin like I did in Japan.
It has a similar scent to the Gentle Cleansing Foam, also feminine but much less matronly. Due to its moisturizing nature it goes on slightly sticky and will remain so for about 5-10 minutes until fully absorbed. If I accidentally apply too much, it remains sticky for longer, taking longer to absorb. It makes my skin soft and comfortable, exactly as it's supposed to.
Older versus newer samples. I much prefer glass bottles in terms of reusable storage. They may be more fragile than plastic, but they easier to sanitize, don't leak plasticy stuff into your skincare, and when you absolutely don't need them anymore they can be recycled.
Ingredients for the older Gentle Balancing Lotion sample (left) versus the newer one (right).
Here's the Japanese sample from the mook.
Ingredients in Japanese. Care to volunteer a translation? ^.^