Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Two Toners I Love

pixi glow tonic liz earle instant boost skin tonic review

Toners. For many years, I followed the famous skincare steps - cleanse, tone, moisturise - without ever giving a moment's thought as to why I might be bothering with that middle step. I just did it, unquestioningly, throughout my teens, possibly harbouring some vague notions about opening and closing pores as if they were little doors all over my face. Now that I understand a little bit more about the whys and wherefores of using toners (or, as many tend to be named these days, tonics), I make better choices about which ones to use when, and believe my skin is vastly improved by them. I thought I would tell you a little about my two absolute favourites. I can't pretend to have tried and tested hundreds, or to know lots about the science of skincare, but I know what I like. These two work for me and I love them.

Exfoliating toners were a bit of a revelation to me when I discovered them, and now I am a total convert. If you aren't familiar with the product, Pixi Glow Tonic is often hailed as an alternative for the pricier P50, and comes with the Caroline Hirons stamp of approval, which is usually a good reason to buy something in my eyes. I love how gentle this feels on my skin; the oil-and-alcohol-free formula feels refreshing and light, and does not strip the skin, or feel harsh in the slightest; I don't even experience any tingling. Instead it is packed with ingredients that nourish, such as soothing aloe vera and ginseng, which supplies oxygen to the cells. Glycolic acid sounds like a scary ingredient, but the right kind of acids are actually fantastic for your skin, and its job here is to get rid of dead skin cells, revealing the fresh glowy skin beneath. This means it is a great help if you want to reduce the appearance of imperfections such as sun spots, or scars left behind from blemishes. A quick swipe of this after cleansing in the evening keeps my skin looking and feeling fresh, and I think my skin looks brighter and more even when I use it. Plus I love the delicate scent - just like talcum powder! This used to be a bit of a pain to get hold of, but the website has been consistently in stock for a while now, so hopefully that has changed. 

I am a long-time devotee of Liz Earle's, and their Instant Boost Skin Tonic is no exception. A different type of toner, this one is all about the hydration, and adds a layer of moisture to freshly cleansed and/or exfoliated skin. Basically, aloe vera, chamomile and cucumber soften, refresh and sooth the skin, whilst making it smell all floral and pretty. Perfection. Seriously, I use this every single day, without fail, either after or instead of an exfoliating toner. I have two bottles in stock for when the one I am using is empty because what if I ran out? I have been addicted to this toner for seven years, which makes me feel old, but it is just true love. It makes my skin feel so soft and kind of plumped up - if you are someone who ever feels tightness after cleansing you need this in your life - and calms my skin down if I've been using a scrub or a mask. This is available in a spray bottle, but I like the twisty top version - a little nib pops out and I can easily control the flow onto my cotton pad. 

Do you use either of these toners? What's your favourite toner?

Pixi Glow Tonic available here (£16), Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic available here (£13.25).

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