Does face toner work? Yes, but:


I’m officially in my late twenties, I think. What’s 26?

Evidently it’s old enough to need a real deal, effective skincare routine – but young enough to skip the filler and botox.

While I can’t say I’ve ever had terrible skin, I woke up one day to more dryness and less glow than I was used to and felt like this. Now I’m here to share the secret that turned it all around for me.

You guessed it – TONER. The old lady favorite, only overshadowed in popularity by the classic Noxzema cold cream in a blue tub. I remember my grandmother using it, seeing it on the glass vanity table and thinking – why bother? It’s just another step.

But it’s so much more. Sloughing off that top layer of skin let’s my serums and potions soak in remarkably more, and heaven knows I paid enough for them.

The only (costly, timely) problem is that unfortunately, it’s not a one size fits all solution. I’ve tried a few brands and formulations now, religiously rummaging through Caroline Hirons’ blog for the best of the best products. Even Saint Caroline, my skincare fairy godmother, led my poor dry skin astray a few times. But to be fair, I’ve never met her for a consultation and that’s the risk you take with online reviews.

She lives and dies by acid toners – glycolic, lactic, AHA cocktails, etc. – and so I did what any newly branded “mature skin” owner would do and bought some. Out of the few I tried, I really loved the simplicity and care put into The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. My skin had SO much glow – but it proved to be a bit too much for the dry skin on my cheeks. So I stopped that.

For a while after, I didn’t do anything. I think it’s important to give your skin a breather, so back I went to just oil cleansing and moisturizing. But as it’s winter, it wasn’t long before my skin needed that extra “oomph” from toner. And back, I went! This time around, I’m using a vitamin E toner  from the Body Shop that’s working wonders. Smooth skin, exceptional glow, and most importantly – no red skin freakout after use as it’s formulated for sensitive skin.

This is all a long way of saying that while yes, finding a toner that works for you is 👏so👏damn👏worth👏it👏, it’s also a bit of a ball ache. But a ball ache is a small price to pay to deny your mortality for the next 10+ years, you know?



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