Our Beauty Bird, Eleanor Tucker shows us her tried, tested and favourite new wave of toners this week.
Remember toners? They smelt a bit like vodka, and were to be avoided when you had a hangover for that very reason. They also removed a worrying amount of gunge from your already-cleansed face, which was later proved to be the top layers of your epidermis.
This is why we all stopped using them and step two in any self-respecting regimen became a serum. Well, guess what? Toners are back. But these days, they are pleasingly alcohol free, designed to address a range of skin concerns and add a neat little extra layer of cleansing-with-benefits into the bargain. One of these five will be for you, I promise.
First up is a new brand alert in the shape of Über. The products are free from a lot of nasties like parabens and are very reasonably priced. I’ve been using their Toner for Normal/Combination skin (£11.50), which contains purifying oriental sea kelp. I love a spritz of this when I am feeling all greasy post-run.
Primavera Organic Facial Toner (£24) also comes in a spray style bottle, but has more of a gel-like texture that you use on a cotton pad. It is so cool and calming, thanks to the chamomile in it. Almost like a toner-serum hybrid, it’s perfect if your skin feels tight and dry.
Janjira Therapy Toner (£20) is my choice for that extra ‘spot-cleanse’, say if I’ve been using a face mask and haven’t got it all off around my nose. It contains mushroom extract but doesn’t smell remotely fungal, more fruity. Very ‘at-home facial’.
Going a bit off-piste, here’s a toner that doesn’t even call itself a toner: Time Bomb Complexion Cocktail (£24). I actually nearly drank this when I got it, thinking it was a ‘beauty shot’ (see last week’s column). It’s not – it’s a fabulous little toner-meets-concentrate pick-me-up, which gives your skin a shot of vitamins when you’re feeling fatigued. A noticeable result on my worn-out complexion.
Finally, Elemis, who have been doing the new breed of toners for a while. Choose from Lavender, Apricot or Ginseng (£21 each), depending whether you want to balance, soothe or rehydrate. I cannot get enough of these – the lavender is my favourite for settling cross skin and the ginseng is a great extra layer when the central heating is wreaking its havoc. We’ll be turning it off soon though, won’t we?