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

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

23 comments:

  1. I'm going shopping tomorrow and am definitely going to pick up this Clarins toner. I'm super excited to try it after hearing so many rave reviews. Glad it worked well for you! :) xx

    http://anna-blush.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh I haven’t come across Ren, but sounds great. It sounds my fav out of them all. Might have to go check it out now xx
    http://heroineinheels.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Beautiful - I love reading your posts on a Friday afternoon with my cup of coffee. I just love Clarins, I am using their foaming wash with Shea butter just now. I think I will look for this toner the next time I am in Boots. As for Liz Earle - i'm totally not on the band wagon yet - I better hop on. Do not own any products at the moment - I know, it is shameful. I'd also like to thank you for your lovely comment on my 'Know me Better' post. Very kind. Enjoy your weekend. Love Laura xxx ❤ Scottish Lass ❤

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just received my Clarins toner, hoping for great results sounds like something my skin needs! x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post Sandra. I'm currently using the mario badescu glycolic toner which is really making a difference to my skin!I really want to try the Clarins toner though as it sounds brilliant xx

    Zoe | Sweet Electric

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm interested to try out the Clarins though I didn't realise alcohol was the second ingredient! Might check out the REN one as well since you say it's gentler. Your post also reminded me I should give my Jurlique rosewater spray a bit more loving :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was very surprised to see alcohol in the Clarins toner, because it feels amazingly soothing and hydrating.

      Delete
    2. Great to hear :) Must be counteracted with all the other nice ingredients in there. Will definitely check it out!

      Delete
  7. Great post! I love the idea of exfoliating toners at the moment and I'm trying desperately to get home of the Pixi Glow Tonic! xo

    www.tattooedtealady.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Clarins toner is NOT available here in Asia (or maybe just here in the Philippines!). I've heard great raves and reviews about this product and apparently the SA in Clarins said they get quite a few inquiries about this product but they don't carry it! GRRR.

    ReplyDelete
  9. these sound amazing! i have been on the hunt for an easily accessible exfoliating tone and actually tried one from Pahot which was only £16, and i dont think i'll ever go back to a standard 'pointless step' toner! i love how much smoother my skin feels, and can actually feel my other products working better as well! great reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks a lot for this post! I will definitely try both, especially since I am a huge fan of REN cosmetics

    ReplyDelete
  11. These sound so good! The only thing I worry about is the eye area - I take it it's safe to use there, since you use the clairns one on the under eye? Xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used both of them around my eyes and they are perfectly fine. I usually react to eye makeup removers etc, so I am pleasantly surprised :)

      Delete
  12. these sound lovely, i just want to say that your photography is especially pretty in this post, love it! xo
    http://cloudsandcuticleoil.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ooh great post Sandra - you sound so excited :) Need to get in on this toner business x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Would the REN toner be suitable for very fine skin? I don't have oily skin or suffer breakouts but have been reading about these extra steps. The Clarins one seems to cover what my skin would like but with alcohol in it I don't think I would be happy using it :(
    Do you think the REN one would help with fine lines like Clarin's states? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My skin is quite sensitive and both toners worked wonders, without irritating it at all! I am not sure if REN's option is strong enough to help with fine lines, but the Clarins one definitely does. I can see a massive difference under my eyes - the skin feels very smooth.

      I wouldn't worry about the alcohol content in the Clarins toner, because the formula contains glycerin, making it feel very soothing.

      Unless you are allergic to alcohol, your skin shouldn't feel dry or irritated. I was actually surprised to see alcohol on the list.

      Delete
    2. Thank you very much. Clarins are normally good with samples hopefully they have a sample of this. I have never used a toner with alcohol which is the bit that worries me as my Skincare brand rule it out completely I am still tempted after reading your blog. Appreciate your prompt reply

      Delete
    3. Thank you very much. I will see if I can obtain a sample from Clarins. I have never used a toner/lotion with alcohol, it still worries me but a sample and result might change my mind! Appreciate your prompt and helpful reply

      Delete
  15. I love the Ren one too! I did consider the Clarins one, but was a bit nervous about it. I am looking for a rosewater mist that does not have alcohol in too - why does that get added to everything!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lovely post! I've finally decided to try an exfoliating toner after reading about them for quite a while, and I'm headed straight down to Boots now to pick up the Clarins one! x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your comment. If you have an important question, you can contact me via Twitter: @TheBlackPearlB

PS. I approve all comments manually, so giveaway links and other spam comments will be removed.

Love xxx Sandra

01 09 10