Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Favourite Exfoliating Toners

Skincare is one of the hardest areas I find to review on Florence and Mary. I am lucky in that I have ‘good skin’ and aside from the minor complaints that come with age and my smoking habit I’m lucky that the products that come through my door work well for me. When you have ‘good skin’ you can often wonder if the product is really working or is it just good genes at play and beyond user experience, textures and packaging niggles that put together ones opinion, it is often that, my opinion and experience I can share with you. That is why I love acid toning because you ‘feel’ the product working. This might be another of those aspects that fools one into believing a product is doing its bit but nonetheless if there’s one product I tend to throw my money behind its acid toners, specifically acid toning pads.

What is acid toning? Well it’s certainly something that I hadn’t come across until I started blogging and I think it’s safe to say Caroline Hirons has brought it to the forefront with most of us using acids in our daily skincare regimes. In short we no longer need harsh abrasive products to exfoliate the skin and instead can use liquids, that contain acids to resurface the skin. And we can use many of these products daily which helps our pricey serums penetrate the skin and go to work under far better conditions working to improve the texture of our skin.

It’s far better to hear ‘exfoliating toners’ than ‘acid toner’ as a layman as exfoliating is a familiar term and whilst acid is too, it’s more of a negative connotation than to benefit skin. That said the world of blogging has broadened our horizons and we’re becoming more knowledge about ‘acids’, simply an ingredient in our skincare products which will make various improvements whether it’s Glycolic for resurfacing or Salicylic for acne. Essentially benefits you will see from exfoliating toners include brightening the complexion, reducing the appearance of pores and tackling pigmentation.

My favourite method of using an exfoliating toner is the pre-soaked pads I’m sharing with you today. It keeps things simple, no worries when I run out of cotton wool, second guessing how much to use or how long a bottle of liquid will last. I also love exfoliating toner as whilst I like to do this as part of my everyday regime regularly readers know that I can be a little slack, especially after a night out. These toning pads are fantastic for instant quick fixes when I have abandoned my lotions and potions for a day or two and when they really earn their points.

Before I dive in and share my thoughts on the individual products a couple of points of note. As I’ve mentioned my skin is normal, good and not sensitive at all, if you have any specific complaints make sure you pay attention to the different strengths available and patch test. I will cleanse using a flannel and the product I reach for will depend on what I’m looking for on that occasion. Sometimes I need a more aggressive exfoliation, others it’s just keeping on top of things. I reach for a hydrating toner following their application, at the moment the Pixi Hydrating Mist mentioned in this post. Make sure you apply SPF when using acid toners, and for this reason I tend to leave them behind when travelling. Whilst I use SPF regularly and certainly on holiday I’m nervous of causing any unnecessary irritation.

First up we have Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads which are the affordable option at £12.50 for 60 pads. I even managed to pick these up in Superdrug on offer so keep eyes peeled. Nip+Fab claim these are ‘radiance boosting pads’ and contain glycolic acid to resurface and with hazel to help tone. I find these suit my everyday needs as they don’t pack as much of a punch as my other offerings. If you’re looking for entry level acid toning or suffer from sensitive skin these might be a good place to start. I feel like I want a little more so I’m keen to try the extreme version next.

You can doubt whether acid toning came to the forefront of our minds due to Caroline Hirons but PixiGlow Tonic certainly made waves when Caroline mentioned it on her blog. I too jumped on the hype and was able to order the old style pump bottle from their London store. I don’t know if you can blame my early knowledge of skincare or the faulty pump dispenser but I wasn’t particularly wowed on first use and it actually went off before I was able to use and pass judgement properly. Now I have the Pixi Glow Peel Pads* in my arsenal which are making far more of an impression. Containing 20% Glycolic Acid compared to just under 3% in the aforementioned Nip+Fab version this tick my boxes for packing more of a punch. I can still use these daily without any concerns although at a higher price point, £24 for 60 pads, I like to adopt an every other day approach. I still only get a slight tingle with these but enough of one that I feel it’s going to work.

Really I shouldn’t feature Clearasil Superfruits Refreshing Pads as they are no longer available, but they are worth noting because they are amazing! Caroline once again mentioned these and at the time they were available for a few pounds and their limited availability sucked me in. These are the exfoliating pads I reach for when I’ve been ill, had the hangover that makes me want to abandon ever drinking again, in short when my skin is in a right old mess. Those days when skin looks dull, feels rough to touch this affordable option works a treat. I do find the pads can be a little rough and these are the harsher option but I can literally feel my skin tingly as they go to work and I love it. Clearasil Rapid Action Pads are available but if the mumblings I’ve heard so far are anything to go by they do not match up.

And finally, and what I think were my first purchase is the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. This match Pixi in price, well they’re a little cheaper at £22 but let’s not split hairs. These first made waves in the US and it was there I picked up one of the smaller sizes to test out at home. These are another entry level and I pit them with Nip+Fab in strength. I can easily use these regularly without any worries and a slight tingle but if I was picking based on price and punch then Pixi pip the post for me.

Far more exciting is that I’ve managed to get my hands on L’Oreals Revitalift Bright Reveal Peel Pads which are not available in the UK (thank you friends in the US!) and I’m looking forward to putting them to test over the coming weeks. I shall report back.

Are you a fan of acid toning? Share your favourite products in the comments.

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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  1. I love a good exfoliating toner, I have tried the nip and fab and clearasil but not the others, I use pixi glow tonic and love it so would love to try the pads too, great post xxx

    Zoe ♥ MammafulZo

    1. Have you tried the new Clearasil pads or the ones I mentioned? I do need to revisit Pixi Glow Tonic in it's liquid form x

  2. I use Perfectly Posh products. They are naturally based products with no PBA's, parabens, lanolin, etc. They are made in the USA. I love the fragrances and all the products. The facial masks are awesome, especially the detoxifying ones. They have kaolin clay in them, which is used in spas. The body scrubs are awesome!! They smell so good you want to eat them!! LOL!!

    1. Oh I've not heard of Perflectly Posh I'll have to have a look into the range x


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