Brighten your day: Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner

Ever since Caroline Hirons came out and announced that what we should be using is not one but two toners in our routine – essentially one for treating and one for hydration – it seems the blogosphere has gone toner-mad. Or, more specifically, exfoliating-toner-mad. And, not to be one left out of the hype, I wanted to get in on the action. Worried that daily chemical exfoliation/over-exposure to Alpha-Hydroxy Acids would ravage my already overly sensitised skin, I began to research a more sensitive skin-friendly option.

Clarins’ gentle exfoliating toner is probably the Ronseal of toners: it does exactly what it says on the tin. Post-evening cleanse, I like to daub some of this on a large cotton pad and go willy-nilly all over my face with it. First time I used this I was a little disappointed; I know I said I wanted gentle, but I still expected a little tingle associated with other similar AHA-based treatments. I felt nothing, except maybe a bit refreshed and any post-cleanse tightness was washed away. And on I went with my nightly regime, thinking no more of it.

Now, I’m not going to come to you all giddy and skipping and saying oh my God it was a miraculous overnight transformation, I went to bed a mere Plain Pauline and awoke a Beautiful Butterfly. This is a gradual treatment, perhaps because the concentration of active ingredients in this is slightly less than in the more potent Pixi Glow Tonic and the like. But over time and with consistent use, this toner serves to brighten the complexion and smooth over any of those annoying skin-coloured bumps which never want to die. Even my stubborn acne scars that have lived for years on my cheek have begun to slowly make their retreat. Indeed, I think my skin is clearer and more even now than ever before, and I think it’s in part thanks to this little wonder; I certainly notice a difference when this is left at home, and when condensing my regime in a little bag to take on my travels, this is a core part of my collection.

I use this nightly with absolutely no adverse effects – indeed the only downside to this dosage is the fact I use the product up more quickly, and at 125ml it is smaller than Clarins’ standard toners – which is a testament to the gentleness of the formula, but I would say to use this 2-3 times a week as instructed at first, and then scale it up over time. In fact, I rather fear this could be a little too gentle for some, for those who like a little bite to their exfoliants, but it’s a treatment that will prove beneficial for everyone. A bottle lasts about 3 months, and for the benefits I am planning to buy again and again and maybe even again.

My conclusion? Go, go, go my friends… Smoother skin awaits you *dramatic flourish*!

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner – link – £20 RRP £25

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