Apr 15, 2014

Sarah's skincare week: toners

Hello Beauty Friends!

Welcome to day two of Sarah's skincare week.  Yesterday I introduced you to my new favourite cleanser and today is another of my favourite topics (i.e. obsessions) - toners!

I seem to always be on the hunt for a couple of things - the perfect foundation - and the perfect toner.

These are some of the toners in my basket - and the ones I've been using lately - and liking the most.

I use two or three toners - as they each serve a different purpose - in my cleansing routine - both morning and night.

Step One:  Exfoliating Toner

After cleansing, I like to use an acid/ exfoliating toner.  It is really hard to find a good one - especially one that is alcohol free.  I'd love to get my hands on the elusive Pixi Glow Tonic - available only in the UK - but can't bring myself to pay the shipping costs.  In the meantime, I have two that are working pretty well for me.  I'd love to hear any recommendations though!

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
$18 USD at Ulta

This is a "zingy"feeling toner.  Be careful if you have any open sores/ blemishes!  But it does a great job of taking off any dead skin and cleanser residue.  Really a nice toner and great value.  You feel refreshed after using this.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliant Toner
$35 Cdn at HBC

This is a really gentle, nice toner.  It's fairly thick in consistency.  You need to leave this one on your skin for a few minutes to do it's work.  It isn't instantly "wow" but you notice it when you stop using it for a while.

Step Two:  Calming/ Neutralizing Toner

After the first exfoliating toner, I use a calming toner to re-balance my skin after cleansing.  It takes away that "tight" squeaky feeling and also starts to moisturize the skin.  There are LOTS of these on the market.  Lots of people even use just a generic rosewater.  Rosewater is often the key ingredient in these products and is very soothing.

Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris
$33 Cdn at HBC

I've used this toner for a while - you can see how much is left - and this was a special "jumbo" bottle that I got on special over Christmas.  Clarins make three versions of toner and this one is recommended for combination to oily skin.  It is really gentle - I even use it on my eyes without any problem.  It calms my skin - especially if I've done any exfoliating and it feels a little raw.  It's great during the winter months especially.  I find that it does help keep my skin calm and minimize breakouts.  It removes any bits of makeup/ mascara residue that might be left behind.

Step Two-and-a-half:  Moisturizing Spray

OK - so I kind of stretched the two steps a bit.  Technically this is also a toner, but I do like to spritz my skin after toning - just to add a bit of moisture - and quite honestly - it just feels nice!  My skin tends to be dehydrated - so any chance I can get a little more moisture into it is good.  I often use the Avene thermal water spray or the Caudalie grape water spray here.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
$19 Cdn at Sephora

This is an awesome little product.  This is my third bottle - and you can see that I'm halfway through it. I LOVE how this makes my skin feel - soft & refreshed.  If I have any irritation or redness - this calms it right down.  It helps minimize any swollen breakouts (those hormonal things) and it just refreshes my skin so well.  I use it morning and night - and spritz it over makeup to refresh it mid-day as well.

So there you go - my favourite toners.  I think these are such an important step in a good skincare routine.  They make more of a difference than just about any other product you can buy.

Come back tomorrow for Day Three:  Eye Creams!


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