Thursday, 12 August 2010

Toners - Which ones??

Following yesterdays post about toners - here's a quick guide to a few of my current faves and some trusty reliables.

Starting from affordable 'cheap as chips' up to middle priced - I won't spend £££ on a toner. A treatment lotion - absolutely - but a toner. No.

L'Oreal Age Perfect - Mature Skin
This toner retails for around £4.69 for 200ml and being in the 'mass' category you can sometimes find it on offer in the big chemists. And it does what is says on the bottle. Very refreshing and leaves the skin soft and smooth. I have some of this decanted into a mini-spray bottle on my desk - for hot weather AND hot flushes?
If you're on a budget - this is for you. *The Mouth Recommends

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

Liz Earle's Instant Boost Skin Tonic retails for £11.50 for 200ml.  In a world where toners are being forgotten and discarded (not MY world you understand!) this is bucking the trend. Sales are up and continue to grow.
It contains organic aloe vera, natural vitamin E and rose geranium - but if you are a 'natural' freak - it is not completely natural - and claims otherwise are misleading. Check your inci's. Does absolutely leave the skin refreshed, plumped and hydrated. Also available as a spritzer - very handy.

Clarins Lotion Tonique - Camomile
Clarins Lotion Tonique comes in two flavours - Camomile and Iris and retails for £16.00 approx - you can buy it as a kit with the suitable cleanser and it comes up a bit cheaper. The Camomile is for a dryer skin and the Iris is for combination. But they are much of a muchness in my opinion. I should probably use Camomile but I prefer the smell of the Iris. Both toners contain alpine herbs and really do soften, plump and in my opinion - nourish. NOM.

Lancome Tonique Douceur
This retails at £20.00 for 200ml and is here for my mum. She has used this for over 20 years and swears by it.  Again alcohol-free, it contains pineapple as an anti-inflammatory and papaya extracts to hydrate. She is a woman 'of a certain age' and her skin is a marvel. This obviously contributes to that.

Gatineau Nasturtium
Gatineau's Nasturtium retails at £21.00 for 250ml - but if you are a fan you can get salon sizes cheaper on QVC.  This is aimed at a more combination skin as the nasturtium flower extract rebalances the skin. Leaves skin plump and fresh.

Darphin Intral Toner
Darphin Intral Toner retails at £26.00 for 200ml. I love a bit of Darphin and I love this toner.  If
like me you suffer from sporadic outbreaks of redness, or basically any inflamation whatsoever - this is the toner for you. It instantly calms, takes away redness and really does leave the skin soft, smooth and nourished. Lush.  *The Mouth Recommends

What about you? Have I missed any of your favourites? Let me know!


  1. Oooo... Im so on form! Haha. I have the Liz Earle one and I love it and I recently bought a L'oreal one, L'Oreal Visible Radiance Renewing Gel Toner, which Im really liking too. I would definitely like to try some of the higher end toners.

    How long after applying your toner do you apply your moisturiser?


  2. You don't! You obviously then apply your treatment serums/gels/lotions and THEN you apply your moisturiser! ;)

    I go in fairly quickly - seal that moisture in stat!

  3. I was hoping you'd say Liz Earle as I loev it!

  4. I normally apply my toner, then my eye cream, facial serum then moisturiser. I apply mine near enough straight after each other. I was just wondering if maybe Im supposed to leave a bit of time between each one though?


  5. Great suggestions, but how do you apply yours? I now apply a la John Gustavson, I dispense with the cotton wool pads and pour a little into my hands and apply rather like a serum (albeit a very thin one). At the moment I am mostly using Nude clarifying and Alpha H liquid gold, but have used LE and Gatineau.

  6. creeps off silently to buy a toner so I can join in.


  7. I'm going to start using my Mir Rose Water more regulary. As in every day...

    I was also sampled with this one from la prairie it's a bit fancy. Any good ya reckon? xx

  8. Thanks for the recommendations! I would love to try the Liz Earle.

  9. Jo - you can pile them on - no problem. the gap should come between moisturiser and foundation. Leave it at least 5 minutes.

    Lipstick Mamma - I have applied it like that in the past but tend to now apply with cotton wool and then spritz on top. Sometimes the same one but usually something different.
    I just like the feel.

    And lovely Katy - I would call that a tonic rather than toner - and would apply it straight after toner. I'd like to see a full inci though. We'll do on your questionaire!

    Thank you all for commenting. xx

  10. I also have a couple of toners on the go, at the moment. I’m currently using Elemis and Decleor (both for dry/normal skin).

    The Darphin toner does looks nice, but I shouldn’t really buy it, as my beauty products’ spending has gotten completely out of hand!

  11. I love the Elemis Balancing Toner (Lavender). I apply by spraying a light mist over my face and then use cotton pads.

    When I'm low on funds and I've run out of Elemis I think that Simple do a great toner x

  12. I'm very slow to the party I know. But I have recently just become a little more interested in toners - which I will elaborate on in my entry to the EH giveaway!
    I have two questions: L'Oreal is a fab price but is for mature skin. Are there any in this price range they have any for younger skin that you recommend?
    Also, you mentioned to Katy that the La Prairie one is more of a tonic than a toner, yet Liz Earle's toner is called 'tonic' on the bottle! How are skincare numpties like myself supposed to tell what's what? :S xx

  13. Howdy Little Miss H!

    Any in that price range are fine - just try and avoid alcohol. Go for Avene, Vichy, Le Roche-Posay - all nice.

    Tonic/toner - depends on your thinking really - but a traditional toner would be hydrating and a 'tonic' should have more benefits to the skin... but its swings and roundabouts to be honest! Companies will call it what they want!

    If you ever want advice on the spot just nudge me on twitter!

  14. Hi Caroline,

    I have lots of Loreal's skin perfection micellar waters on backup from before I started reading your blog.. I will now only be using them as my first cleanse to use them up. I am wondering if it can be used as a toner as it has no alcohol and has glycerin. Ingredients: water, hexylene glycol, glycerin, poloxamer 184, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, disodium edta, polyaminopropyl, biguanide.

    I have the Clarins exfoliating toner and am looking into getting one from Avene to alternate with it but can that be used in the meantime? I am ashamed to say that I was using Simple's toner before this so do not have a suitable non alcohol toner that I am happy to use twice a day yet.

    Claire xx

    Claire xx

  15. Hi Caroline,

    I first saw you in an interview with Pixiwoo and have been following you ever since. I love your advice.

    I just wanted to know if those toners would be considered the acid/exfoliating toners or hydrating? Being from Australia, a lot of the products you mentioned in the interview and on here are not always that easy to get my hands on. I went to a Lancome counter the other day though and really liked their toners. I have dry skin with the odd breakout so I was wondering what you thought of the Tonique Confort instead of the Douceur. Would this be a good daily acid toner? I'll list the ingredients at the bottom. I plan to swap this with the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner once a week. Thank you in advance :)


    1. That's not an acid toner. By a long shot.

    2. Thank you. I ordered the P50V lotion :) Very excited to try it!!
      I plan to use it daily followed by the Sukin or Jurlique rose water mist. I plan to also use liquid gold one night a week and the Clarins gentle exfoliatior toner one day a week. Is the P50V ok to use day and night? Or should I add another toner to my routine? Would you recommend getting one of the Lancome toners to mix up my hydrating toner step?

      p.s. I'd love to see an updated serum and moisturiser recommending-type post (with some brands that most countries have access too - mainly Australia :p lol).

    3. Thank you. I ordered the P50V lotion :) Very excited to try it!!
      I plan to use it daily followed by the Sukin or Jurlique rose water mist. I plan to also use liquid gold one night a week and the Clarins gentle exfoliatior toner one day a week. Is the P50V ok to use day and night? Or should I add another toner to my routine? Would you recommend getting one of the Lancome toners to mix up my hydrating toner step?

      p.s. I'd love to see an updated serum and moisturiser recommending-type post (with some brands that most countries have access too - mainly Australia :p lol).

  16. I got the Darphin toner and it is AMAZING (I'm dry and dehydrated, rosacea, approaching 30). The only problem is that I have to put other things on after so I can't keep the fabulous bananas and custard smell that it has!

  17. I like Mario Badescu Seaweed Lotion, all the good stuff :)

  18. Hi, i love reading your blog and always find very helpful advice. I was reading on your toner cheat sheet that you always use two toners, an exfoliating and a hydrating one. I was wondering which two you'd recommend that work well together? Thank you :) Rachel x

  19. Hello!
    I thought I'd let you know that I am currently procastinating anything related to university just to read through every article on your blog (I LOVE IT) and achieve the best from my skin. It all started when I changed my cleaner from foaming gel to balm and BAM! much better skin with less imperfections. So right now I'm trying to sort out my own face routine. I was wondering if Gatineau's tonic in the morning (followed by serozinc) and Clarin's Gentle Exfoliator at night would work well together as toners?
    Thank you!

  20. Hello,
    I thought I'd let you know that I have been procastinating everything related to university just to read through your entire blog and I LOVE IT. It all started when I followed your advice and changed my foaming gel cleanser for a balm and BAM! Imperfections and uncomfort extreely reduced. So now I am trying to sort out my own complete routine and I was wondering if Gatineau's toner in the morning (followed by Serozinc) and Clarin's Gentle Exfoliator at night would work well together?
    Thank you,
    Best regards,

  21. Learning that toning is the first step of the moisturizing process, rather than being the final step of the cleansing process, is an absolute eye opener and completely changes the way I view toners.

    Are you familiar with products by Paula's Choice? If so, which toner would you recommend for 63 year old, sun-damaged (I am a child of the 60s, after all), dry skin? Also could you recommend a serum?

    I've only recently discovered your blog but have already learned a lot, for which I am grateful. very. grateful.


  22. Hello,

    I just finished a Hirons readathon and subsequently changed my skin care routine. Balms and milks with flannel to clean amazing results, added hydraluron before moisturizing even better...Introduced Darphin Intral Toner and it all went to pots back to square 1. What happened? I am 47 sensitive skin with redness on the cheeks, dehydrated. No break outs or acne. What now? leave toner out ?

    Thank you for all the great blogs and videos,


  23. Hello, I just discovered your blogs and vlogs about two weeks ago and I feel a lot more reassured about my double cleanse routine. As I never use make-up, I am freakish about first rate skin care.
    I begin with an oil/milk cleanse, and then use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser. I want to start using balms, but they are hard to come by in French pharmacies. As my skin is mostly normal-dry but definitely DEHYDRATED, I have been using hydrating toners. Do you think I could use a purifying toner followed by a hydrating mist? How about Serozinc as a purifying toner, even though it's a spray?
    I follow the toner with a face oil/serum and then a wet moisturiser. SPF 30 during the day.
    Thanks for all your great posts, and your sense of humour.


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