Whew chilllle, this is going to be a long one because there are different types of "toners" these days. Originally a toner was something that was claimed to restore the pH balance in your skin, however in modern days that isn't usually what it's made to do because almost all cleansers are pH balanced already. Toners offer so many beneficial things for the skin depending on what your needs are, they also provide a base to draw your serums in even deeper.
We're going to start with exfoliating toners aka acid toning aka my favourite thing.
Shout out to Stephanie Nicole + Caroline Hirons who introduced this to me about 2-3 years ago, without them, I would not have this blessed acid toner in my life. I'm going to make the attempt to do this quick review justice. This is a really strong acid toner that will give your skin a great exfoliation and help control sebum production, breakouts, pigmentation, brighten the skin/even out skin tone, give the skin a perfect radiant glow. There are 3 different sizes you can buy at all different price points with the largest (250ml) being the best value. If you're in Toronto or able to travel, One 2 One Studio at Eglinton Ave W & Avenue Rd which will save on the shipping costs.
P50T has niacinamide to help reduce irritation, redness and ultimately soothe the skin, and lactic acid + citric acid to exfoliate the skin. They also use vinegar as the preservative.
There is another version that I've tried called PIGM400 which as you might've guessed is primarily targeted to people with hyperpigmentation they want to get rid of. For me personally, I didn't have extensive pigmentation I needed to get rid of, so I found myself gravitating towards the P50T instead. PIGM400 has lactic, mandelic, citric and salicylic acid + niacinamide and ascorbic acid.
If your skin is more on the sensitive side and maybe you are acne prone as well or have pigmentation you want to get rid of, and the BR P50T is out of your budget or sounds too harsh for your skin, this is a great (cost effective) alternative. It is a lot less strong, but, it's still very effective. Some By Mi is a Korean skincare brand, and they have a 30 days miracle line, I've bought the moisturizer & the toner, however I only really enjoyed the toner. The toner contains AHAs, BHA & PHA, as well as niacinamide, tea tree leaf extract and papaya extracts. They're really focused on keeping their products free of anything that may irritate the skin, which I really appreciate with Korean skincare brands. For a full list of things they exclude and all the information + before and after photos, click here.
As always, I will include The Ordinary because 1) I love their products and 2) they're so inexpensive, but don't compromise their formulas to be ineffective. This truly gets the job done for those who have oilier skin + acne prone skin. When I had acne, glycolic acid was my holy grail ingredient and this was the holy grail product to perfect my skin.
There's not much that needs to be said about this because by now everyone and their grandma has heard of this brand, heard of this product, heard how amazing it is and likely, already tried it and continue to repurchase it.
And now for hydration!
This is probably something that once again everyone has heard of. It's something everyone has used and it's a cult favourite. Caudalie's Grape Water is 98% grape water and 2% grape juice. This helps hydrate the skin and plump it. You can use it in place of your toner or you can use it throughout the day for a boost of hydration, including on top of your makeup. When I worked at Sephora, this was the go to mist everyone would use throughout the day just for a quick burst of hydration. I swear we went through way too many cans. #SorryNotSorry.
First, the full name of this product (Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion) is far too long, I really need all brands to just simplify the names before launching if it is more than 3 words.
Second, this is what I use whenever I have redness. Currently, it's not as often anymore, however in the beginning of the year + prior years, I had a lot more redness in my face and this was my go-to. The mega-mushroom (reishi) that is used in this, completely calms the skin and reduces all signs of redness. I know so many people with rosacea, acne, and people who had skin treatments like laser or chemical peels that left their skin red, used this and it reduced it significantly. It also contains fermented chaga mushroom which is a naturally occurring probiotic. I think I've gone through 4 or 5 bottles of this over the years, so it's definitely a favourite.
This is definitely going to be the priciest one for hydration, however, it is completely worth the splurge. This is a mist that is solely packed with multiple antioxidants + hydraters. Antioxidants work as a protector against pollution and other free radicals in the air that causes signs of aging, along with correcting minor fine lines.
If there is one mist that I would recommend out of all of them, it's this one. If you're in your 20s, you probably do not need this. However, if you have damaged your skin and you're in your 20s, this may be a great purchase for you too. I found it worked great for my skin and I'm 24 (at the time of writing this), however, I have heard a lot more mature clients appreciate what it does more.
This is the second item that I can only find available on the brands website, so it is in American dollars. DHC is a Japanese skincare brand that, much like the Korean skincare brands, tend to leave out anything that may irritate your skin.
CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10, is a powerful, vitamin like, fat soluble, molecule that is naturally found in the human body. This is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the signs of aging. Again, a product that isn't for my age group and people past 30 would probably see a lot more results, however, I did find my skin to have an overall smooth appearance to it. I went through 2 bottles of this in 2019 and think it's a must-need for anyone that has damaged skin.
And that's it for my best toners of 2019!! As always, leave your own favourites in the comments, I love trying new products - don't forget to mention why you love them! And let me know what you think about any of my mentions, if you've also tried them.