For me, the favorite form of self-care is my special time with my skincare products (I’m obviously talking about indulging in my crème de la crème green beauty products). Even if it’s a rushed affair and I barely have five minutes to myself, I revel in those precious few moments because they give me an intense sense of gratification and exaltation.
MY SELF-PROFESSED LOVE FOR TONERS
I have a special love for toners and mists (or hydrolats, essence or elixirs…diverse appellations adopted by different brands). It might seem I’m reiterating this but I feel climate plays a huge role in how our skin responds to different products and how they behave in general; so yes, considering the fact that I live in a hot and a very humid zone of India, Mumbai; nothing gives me as much pleasure as refreshing my skin with cool and breezing magic of toners time and again during the day.
In fact, I prefer them based on my mood too. (It’s just amazing how we connect emotionally with topical products.) It’s actually also quite amusing to even put it this way because for a person who barely knew what a toner means or why it’s needed, I now hoard a kingly amount of toners (and of course, other skincare products). So this post covers one of the two-part series of my toners’ collection.
With so much of pollution and heat that we face here in Mumbai, I feel multiple doses of toners are imperative to keep my skin cool and breathable. Not just that, every so often, when I feel I need to give my skin a break from the traditional skincare routine, I just treat it with a toner and I’m done! (thanks to some impressive multifaceted toners that have made the line between a serum and a toner quite blurry).
Traditionally, toners were used to restore the skin’s pH balance after cleansing. But, nowadays toners do that and so much more!
Toners can come in handy to combat breakouts caused from summer day sweat, sunblock, and dirt clogging our pores. Toner is such an easy way to maintain clarity and restore skin’s balance. Toners also help in tightening and cleansing the pores, which means there’s less room for dirt and oil to get in and cause infections, acne or other skin irritations. They also help in prepping the skin for the next steps of the skincare routine and aid in better absorption of face oils and serums. Plus, nowadays toners help in setting makeup too.
MY TONER COLLECTION PART – I
LIVE BOTANICAL FLUERRE DE TERRE CALMING ELIXIR
Live Botanical Fleurre De Terre is a calming elixir specifically designed to calm and refresh irritated and tired skin. It’s suitable for most skin types including very sensitive.
Fluerre De Terre is probably one of the most used toners in my collection. I feel a special connection with its beautiful fragrance. It evokes my visits to Kerala temples where my in-laws currently reside. I’m not a very religious person but there’s a sense of peace I get when I visit certain temples; and this toner’s fragrance reminds of those peaceful moments. It’s just simply beautiful. I relate its fragrance to placid, anxiety-free environment of the Kerala temples.
It’s also so unique because no additional essential oils are added into the formula and the scent is derived purely from the hydrosols and herbal infusions.
Fluerre De Terre contains a beautiful blend of ancient and unique herbs. One of its key ingredients is Violet, an effective moistening herb that hydrates and softens. It’s often referred to as nature’s hyaluronic acid for it’s ability to maintain moisture on the skin.
The addition of Hibiscus and Jasmine gently exfoliate offering a youthful complexion. An ancient herb, Ginkgo, rich in powerful antioxidants, nourish, protect, and repair damage to the skin. Lady’s Mantel is known for its wound healing qualities. It helps in clearing inflammation and strengthen the pores to better retain hydration.
All these effective herbs are blended in a base of nourishing Aloe coupled with a fresh distillation of local, organic Lavender varietals to calm and clear the of mind from daily stresses. And lastly a hint of French distilled Lemon Verbena is added that helps in elevating the spirit. The magic of these beautiful herbs is just magnificent.
Ingredients: Lavendula spp. (lavender) hydrosol*, Aloe Barbadensis juice*, Aloysia citrodora (lemon verbena) hydrosol*, Vegetable glycerin*, extracts of Viola tricolor (violet) leaves*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower*, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) leaves*, Ginkgo biloba*, and Alchemilla Vulgaris (lady’s mantel)*, and Lactobacillus Ferment
EARTHWISE BEAUTY CISTUS & MOONLIGHT FACE MIST
Earthwise Beauty Cistus & Moonlight is an exceptional face mist with a lot of unique attributes. Its main ingredient, Cistus ladanifer, is considered to be the best essential oil for skin firmness but its sourcing isn’t so easy. But, after a meticulous and extensive research, Ava Zhan (a botanical pundit and the founder of EWB) managed to get it sourced directly from Portugal by an artisan distiller of wild cistus whose quality met Ava’s resolute expectations.
After the painstaking sourcing, the Portuguese beauty water is infused under the full moon overnight. Why? Because the moonlight amplifies the healing properties that correspond to the yin, or feminine element.
Cistus hydrosol is quite beneficial for mature skin types as it provides skin firmness and is pore minimizing, anti-bacterial and anti-acne. Ava ensured that only minimal additions were made to this hydrosol to reap the full benefits and aroma of cistus.
I find Cistus & Moonlight face mist to be very unique because of its multifaceted benefits. It’s probably the first mist/toner that actually helped with my open pores issue on my cheeks and around my nose. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting it to be a visible attribute of a toner (because you would generally expect such impressive results from serums, elixirs, and such); but I was quite surprised to see the subtle pore minimizing effects after each use.
The mist is also very hydrating and soothing and I notice some immediate reduction in my redness too. In terms of aroma, it’s very peculiar; something I didn’t fall for quickly, but after few uses I find it to be quite uplifting now. So much that I look forward to it in my skincare routines. How complex and receptive are our olfactory senses, isn’t it?
Ingredients: Cistus ladanifer (rock rose) hydrosol* or † (Portugal), cold-press whole-leaf Aloe barabensis juice*, Cistus ladanifer (rock rose) essential oil†, potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), wild Aconitum delphinifolium (monkshood) flower essence, wild Phlox longifolia (pink phlox) flower essence, rainbow moonstone gem essence, mangano calcite gem essence, clear quartz gem essence.
Aloe certified by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) for purity and content.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch. Gluten free.
AMLY BEAUTY SLEEP FACE MIST
Amly Botanicals face mists are known for their unique formulations and pure silver-rich spring water that acts as a base in all of their face mists. In fact, Amly was founded after the discovery of a source of pure mineral-rich spring water flowing beneath the “Amly” meadow (name of the ancient wildflower meadow), enriching the plant life that grows on it, and that’s what led to the inception of Amly Botanical. So interesting!
Beauty Sleep face mist is a restorative face mist laden with rejuvenating botanicals that support natural healing sleep. Snow Algae, a star ingredient in this mist, activates overnight collagen production and cellular repair to ward off signs of ageing. Echinacea Purpurea contains high concentrations of Cichoric Acid, which helps in wrinkles reduction and reducing skin redness. The extracts of Passionflower (high in vitamins C & A) and Valerian Root help relieve tension and promote natural healing sleep. And essential oils of Clary Sage and Linden quiet the mind and soothe away the day’s stress. Whereas, Rose Quartz and Rock Rose imbue warmth and provide comfort.
I find Beauty Sleep to be one of the best mists to de-stress and calm my mind. It feels extremely soothing and calming to the senses too. It’s like pausing from the hassles of day-to-day life and taking a break and calling it a day. Yes that is how I would describe it. It has a such a gentle fragrance to it that just sets the mind to naturally shut down. I absolutely love to include it in my evening skincare ritual.
You Skincare Moisture Replenishing Essence
YOU Skincare Moisture Replenishing Essence provides soothing hydration and replenishes nutrients thereby softening and comforting the skin. This unique formula uses healing extracts and actives that provide antioxidants and hydration to the skin. This essence also helps in healing skin from sun damage, fight free radical damage, strengthen its barrier function, reduce trans-epidermal water loss, and prepare it to readily absorb other actives during the next steps of the skincare routine. What’s more, it helps in healing skin suffering from the overuse of acids and tretinoin.
Well, let me tell you Moisture Replenishing Essence not a toner or a mist. Amy (the brilliant skincare formulator and the founder) has very cleverly categorized it as an essence because that is what it is. Essence is quite a known term in K-beauty. Essences, traditionally, were more lightweight and less concentrated than serums, and were used after a toner to add another layer of hydration before you applied serums.
The standout for me is the texture of Moisture Replenishing Essence. It has the most amazing silky soft texture for an essence that feels like a soft blanket on the skin. Really! I’m not kidding. Unlike toners, this one doesn’t come with a spray nozzle, you need to dispense few drops of the essence to your palm and apply it with your fingers to your face. And the fun part of it, I especially love it because as I start gliding the essence across my skin, I get to feel how softly it envelops my skin, and it has such a nice slip to it. It’s also one of the most hydrating toners I have used thus far. A brilliant discovery from YOU skincare.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Juice, Limonia Acidissima (Thanakha) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Panthenol, Glycerin, Melissa Officinalis (Melissa) Leaf Extract, Yucca Vera Leaf Extract, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.