Most of the toners that ‘cross my desk’, as such, are rubbish in that one of the first ingredients in their list is alcohol. (You’d also be amazed as to how many big brand ‘hydrating’ body lotions are riddled with it too.) The reason why slapping ‘booze’ on your skin is so bad for you is that it ends up drying you out in the long-term while causing damage to your cells. (For more info on this, pop on over here.)
British brand REN, however, have a new Clarifying Toning Lotion that’s one of the good guys. While it does list alcohol in its ingredients list, it’s pretty much right at the bottom, meaning it’s in a concentration that isn’t going to mess with your skin.
Other plus points? Aside from the fact that its cruelty-free and doesn’t make use of ‘nasties’ like parabens and what not (Ren means ‘clean’ in Swedish), it also makes use of a host of natural chemical exfoliants (willow bark, lactic acid, glycolic acid ect) to gently loosen the ‘dead’ bonds between your skin cells. This way, it helps to reveal brighter, fresher-looking skin.
I’ve been using it for a week now and like that it helps remove any make-up my facial wash managed to miss. While my skin can get a bit sensitized from time to time due to all the different products I’m constantly playing with, it didn’t sting or irritate my face.
Still, as far as the whole ‘exfoliating’ thing goes, just be aware that it’s meant to be used on a daily basis so its action will be mild. If you’re looking for a serious chemical exfoliant consider something from Environ’s Intensive AHA range.