Friday, 21 June 2013

Exfoliating Toners: Clarins Gentle Exfoliator and REN Clarifying Toning Lotion Review


I couldn't be more excited to write this post! The products I am about to review made a massive difference to my skin and I have never experienced such a dramatic change! I am sure that you are familiar with some exfoliating toners, especially the "hard to get" Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 or Pixi Glow Tonic. I wish I could purchase them easily, but to be honest... I am not so determined to get my hands on them anymore and I am happy with my current toner routine. My skin has been transformed, thanks to REN Clarifying Toning Lotion and Clarins Gentle Exfoliator.

The new generation of toners is designed to exfoliate, thicken the dermis, decongest, tighten pores and smooth the skin at the same time. They are not a pointless step anymore. They are essential in a  good skincare routine and the sooner you starts using them, the better :)

How do they work? They slough off dead skin cells with a mixture of acids - gentle enough to be used daily and strong enough to keep your skin looking fresh and beautiful every single day! I am not kidding - you will see the difference the next morning! I started with a very gentle option - REN Clarifying Toning Lotion. It isn't the strongest exfoliator, but I wasn't sure how is my skin going to react to this kind of product. If you've never tried something similar, or have sensitive skin, it might best the best choice.



I featured this exfoliating lotion in my favourites post and I still use it every single day. To start my new toner routine, I used it at night time for 2 days and added it to my morning routine on day 3. I am now 3-4 weeks into my new regime, and use the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion every morning and go for something stronger at night time. I decided to do it this way, because I was paranoid that a stronger product might not be the best idea, if I expose my skin to the sun during the day etc. 

My current morning routine consists of cleansing with a tiny amount of Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, followed by REN Clarifying Lotion, a spritz of Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, Hydraluron, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, Ole Henriksen  Truth Serum Collagen Booster and L'Occitane Angelica UV Shield with SPF 40.

The idea behind using two toners is to prep the skin with the acids in your exfoliating toner and add moisture to the skin with a hydrating toner. To "apply" REN Clarifying Toning Lotion, I use a cotton wool pad, lightly soaked in the product, and sweep it allover my face, under my eyes and on my neck.  For the second toner, I either use another cotton wool pad, or lightly spritz my face, depending on the type of dispenser on the bottle. I would definitely recommend following this two steps with Hydraluron. It is an amazing product and it helps to draw moisture to the skin. I can't live without it! Seriously.

REN Clarifying Toning Lotion is very gentle on the skin, but it makes a visible difference from the first use. It unclogs pores, makes my skin feel smooth and reveals a clearer, fresher complexion. It also helps to balance the skin,minimise sebum production, prevent breakouts, decongest and tone.  Amazing multitasker!

Active ingredients include Salicilin, Glycolic Acid, Tartaric Acid and Flavonoids.

I expected exfoliating toners to sting, but both of them feel surprisingly soothing! I am officially addicted!

Ingredients: Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Water, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Leaf Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Quadrangularis Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Alcohol Denat., Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfite.




This toner is stronger than REN Clarifying Toning Lotion and I use it every evening, after removing my makeup with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and cleansing with Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. First of all - don't be put off by the info on the packaging. It states that the toner should be used 1-2 times a week. I have been using Clarins Gentle Exfoliator every day for the past 2-3 weeks and I am perfectly fine. My skin feels amazing and I actually stopped exfoliating with mechanical methods. I don't think I will ever use a scrub again. I simply don't need it! 

Clarins Brightening Toner is suitable for all skin types and it feels extremely soothing. It has a thicker consistency than the REN toner and feels really silky. I look forward to sweeping it across my face every evening :) I use one cotton wool pad for it and use on side allover my face and the other side under my eyes and on my neck. It leaves my skin smooth, super soft and perfectly prepped for the rest of my routine. At night time, I follow with Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, Hydraluron (again), Effaclar Duo, a face oil (I switch between 5 different ones) and an anti ageing moisturiser. Sometimes I apply an overnight face mask as well.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator encourages cell renewal, so it seemed like the perfect night time treat for my skin. It also helps to strengthen the skin's resistance to wrinkles and brightens the complexion.

Just like the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion, it tightens pores, reduces sebum production and  helps to decongest and balance the skin.  I am completely blown away by it!

One bottle should last for 2-3 months of everyday use, making it an absolute bargain!!! 

You can currently buy it for £20 from Escentual (saving you £5). 

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner Ingredients

Below are the toners I am currently using (L-R): Jurlique Rosewater Hydrating Mist, REN Clarifying Toning Lotion, Clarins Gentle Exfoliator, Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic.

Overall, I am super impressed with REN Clarifying Toning Lotion and Clarins Gentle Exfoliator. I use both every single day and I will definitely repurchase them in the future. You don't need both, you can use either of them twice a day, or once a day, but this routine is perfect for me.

If you haven't tried an exfoliating toner before, please do! You will love the effects. I am really happy with my skin now. It is clear and fresh, with a healthy glow and less breakouts and my makeup looks ten times better. Adding this step to my skincare regime was the best thing I have ever done for my skin! I think that the prices of those two toners are very reasonable and I am more than happy to pay £20 every 2-3 months, to keep my skin looking amazing. I hope I don't sound big headed, but I am seriously happy with my skin right now, even when I have an occasional breakout. 



*PR samples

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My Exclusive June Advertiser is Vicki from www.alifeofgeekery.co.uk
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