Chemical Exfoliators are really the only ones for me. Since discovering Alpha-H Liquid Gold a couple of years ago, I have not used a manual exfoliator (grainy one!) since! I have been blown away with the effects of Liquid Gold, but quite honestly get withdrawal symptoms on the days I don’t use it, my skin always yearning for that bright, smooth polished skin. The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner* (£25) has satisfied that craving I am pleased to report I am able to use it every other evening, when I am not using Liquid Gold.
This toner is slightly thicker than other toners I have tried in the past, which makes it easy to apply to a cotton pad without using too much. It has a lovely fresh fragrance that many Clarins products have which makes it very pleasant to use. I sweep it all over my face and down my neck, after cleansing my face. Although thicker than water in texture, it is not sticky at all and is absorbed by the skin quickly. I have combination/oily skin that is quite dehydrated and acne-prone and have experienced no sensitivities or breakouts with this product. It actually feels quite hydrating too as it is very gentle on the skin and in no way stripping at all. I would say that it would be suitable for sensitive skins too as it does not sting or irritate in the slightest.
It contains Tamarind Fruit Acids that help to eliminate impurities, remove dead skin cells and boost cellular renewal, and also White Nettle Extract that helps to tighten pores. I would agree that it does all off these jobs extremely well. My skin is left softer, smoother and firmer. It is also brighter and feels more balanced and I seem to be experiencing less breakouts (I am using this in conjunction with Clarins Lotus Oil too, so could be the combination of both products, review of this to follow soon!). A major benefit of this for us combination-skin gals is that flakiness is a thing of the past, so you won’t be battling between oily skin and flaky patches any more! The nights I use this, I will follow it with a hydrating toner such as Liz Earle Skin Tonic, followed by Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil* and finally a nourishing moisturiser like Origins Night-A-Mins.
Comparing it to Pixi Glow Tonic (post here), which I also love I would say that this is more gentle making it suitable for more sensitive skin types, Glow Tonic tends to tingle a little. The thing I love about the Clarins is that it is more hydrating and for someone with dehydrated skin, this is a massive plus. It smells nicer and of course is so much more readily available but the effects on the skin are pretty similar. I love them both!
Using an exfoliating toner such as this, has become an essential step in my skincare routine and I would urge anyone that doesn’t use one to try it for yourself. It has made a dramatic difference to the way my skin looks and feels and it will forever have a place on my bathroom shelf!
*PR sample sent for consideration of review.