Do You Tone?

I’ve had a mixed history with using facial toner. I didn’t use it, then used it religiously as part of the “very scientific (aka plastic sliders on a white box) Clinique 3-Step method, then read that it was useless if you already had a good cleanser, so stopped altogether.

Recently however, as I started learning more about Asian skincare and all of its steps, I started thinking that I might want to use a toner again. I’ve tried a few out from both Asian and Western brands and while I’ve had mixed experiences with both, I can definitely report that adding a toner back into my routine was a good decision! It’s a bit gross yet satisfying to see the extra grime on the cotton ball and toning also seems to help prep my skin for moisturizers.

Today I wanted to share with you one of my most positive toner experiences. So positive in fact, that I finished an entire bottle and have purchased a new one (re-purchasing to me has always been the ultimate beauty product endorsement).

Presenting… Mario Badescu’sΒ Glycolic Acid Toner.Β In short, this is the best toner I’ve tried so far! It hits all the main points for me – no alcohol (too drying on my skin), a short list of natural ingredients (basically aloe, grapefruit, water and glycolic acid), and very reasonably priced. The toner is $18 for a large bottle which lasted me six months with daily use.

I use this toner at night because I’ll usually layer a heavier facial cream on top. I have pretty sensitive skin and it hasn’t irritated my face, but if you have very sensitive skin I might recommend the seaweed version.

Anyway, toner is back in my skincare routine and I think it is here to stay. How about you…do you “tone”?

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  • Elin
    October 3, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I love MB!! my favorite was their healing cream but they discontinued it :(( If you find it you must try it out!

    • Katherine
      October 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

      I’m reading reviews about that cream now and it does sound good! Why did they discontinue it??

    • Kim
      October 3, 2013 at 10:33 am

      I see a healing powder via hautelook ending tomorrow. Not sure it’s the same thing.

      • Katherine
        October 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

        Thank you for the heads up on the Haute Look sale Kim!

  • Tabitha
    October 3, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Oh no, never, I need things to be simple in life but when I was 13/14 mum took me to buy my very first cleanser toner and moisturiser it was a very special moment.

  • Anna
    October 3, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I don’t tone (or use cosmetics at all) because I have ultra sensitive skin. The thought of experimenting is scary, but I recenty gave into Chanel make up and haven’t gone back. I don’t know what it is about Chanel chemists, but my skin hasn’t complained at all. I’ve heard good things about MB, so I think I’ll give it a go. The price point is quite reasonable as well if the product does as well for me as it did for you.

    • Katherine
      October 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

      So good to hear you’ve had positive experiences with Chanel! I need to remember to pick up some items from their White line next time I’m in Duty Free.

    October 3, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Since I discovered Shu Uemure cleansing oil, I’ve given up on toners. It does such a wonderful job in thoroughly cleansing my face. When environment demands, I am devoted to Mario B toners. Currently, I have the Aloe Vera toner in my frig. It works well with my Retin-A regime. When I take my next break from Retin-A, I may have to try Gylcolic Acid version.

  • Kim
    October 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for the review! Been thinking of using toner again. It’s actually on sale via hautelook,ending tomorrow!

  • Elaine
    October 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Same here! My relationship with toner has been on and off. I also did the Clinique 3-Step method when I was younger. And I stopped toner completely for 2-3 years. But after my mom and friends advice, I’m starting to get back into my toner routine.

  • Ella Pretty Blog
    October 3, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I’ve also been using a glycolic acid toner – after reading all the rave reviews of Alpha-H products, I tried to look for something similar. I ended up using Proactiv’s Toner – (I do NOT use the rest of their “system” though – I just buy the individual toner bottles). The ingredient list for the toner seems very similar to the one you posted – so I’m going to have to check it out, because it can be hard to track down the Proactiv Toner by itself (they ALWAYS try to sell you the whole kit!).

    I love the improvement glycolic acid has made in my skin – it’s definitely a great ingredient to incorporate into skincare.

  • Christine Brightside
    October 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I have tried many toners (also expensinve ones), and after a couple of years trying I found out that the best for me are simple water sprays such as Evian and Avene thermal sprays. I also kinda “enjoy” the last bit of evidence on the cotton ball πŸ˜‰ I use Bobbi Brown’s lathering tube soap as cleanser, still the best for me after years, and finalize cleaning my face wirh Evian/Avene thermal spray. I clean with cotton, and them leave a second layer of spray on the face for 2-3 minutes before applying a cream – love this moisturized feeling and I am happy to get it just for a bargain!

    • Katherine
      October 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Thank you for sharing your process! The Evian/Avene spray method sounds very refreshing and also natural. It’s awesome to find a simple routine that works for you that you don’t have to change.

  • Adele
    October 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Sounds like a fab product. I always tone, but like you don’t want anything too harsh on my skin so as not to irritate.
    Happy Friday Katherine xoxo

  • nvie
    October 4, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Another fan of Avene Thermal Water spray! Clinique’s toner, with alcohol was a disaster on my face when I started using their 3-step systems when I was 18. Gosh! I broke up all over but didn’t realise it was the toner for almost a year. I have been a loyal Jan Marini user since then and switched to MyBody range about 2 years ago. By the way, there’s no toner under Jan Marini nor MyBody.

  • Alyx
    October 4, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I’ve gone through two bottles of the Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner, but have always wanted to check this one out. The Clarins Bright Plus HP Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel is on my list too.

  • Tierney @ The Preppy Leopard
    October 4, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Small world! I actually just started using this duo a few weeks ago, and I’m so hooked that I went out and bought like six other Mario Badescu products. They’re amazing.

    One thing to note with this specific set–you might purge. A lot. My skin got so bad at one point that I almost went crying to my dermatologist. But, when you use products with gycolic acid, they speed up your skin’s turnover so you start breaking out with pimples today that you might not have gotten for another week or so.

    Thankfully, after about three weeks, my skin’s starting to calm down again. The parts that aren’t broken out are so soft and smooth.

    I also really recommend their seaweed night cream, their whitening mask, and their healing mask.

    • Katherine
      October 4, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you for the warning! I think I did a bit when I started but it has calmed down. So funny to hear that we are using the same products πŸ™‚

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    October 4, 2013 at 6:27 am

    I haven’t used toner in decades. Ooops! Will check it out right now.

  • Modestine
    October 4, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I also have an on again off again relationship with toner. I started using a Korean one from the Face Shop which also has a short list of ingredients + glycolic acid. I actually prefer pouring it in a fine mist spray bottle and using it that way. I find that it evenly distributes the product and feels refreshing. Then I’ll wipe with a cotton square- the BEST ones are from Sheseido.

    • Katherine
      October 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      I’ve heard great things about the Face Shop! I should try out some products one day.

  • Sophie
    October 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I always use toner and tried many over the years. My personal favorite was the SK II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion until I found a cheap alternative, Thayer’s Witch Hazel with Rose Petal. Thayer’s is cheap and works great. It also have a faint smell of roses which I love πŸ™‚

  • Naaj Rona
    October 6, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I have recently added toner to my routine but still getting used to it. most of the time i tend to use it because it’s the new addition so i forget a lot. The one i am using is the lush one.

    Naaj Ronas Lifestyle

  • Sash
    November 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    thanks for sharing!..i have super sensitive skin also!! i’ve started using witch hazel by dickinson’s which i believe are also alcohol free and economically friendly πŸ™‚ so far it’s been 2 months and its decent although i dont know if i notice a change to the annoying monthly blemishes that i get (some people on amazon swear witch hazel changed their skin forever)… i might have to try this MB one!

  • Sash
    November 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    oops sorry dickinson’s is the alcohol one!.. i meant THAYERS!

    • Katherine
      November 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I have Dickenson’s too! I don’t have the rose petal but want to add that after I finish my existing bottle πŸ™‚