66 responses

  1. Tina
    February 26, 2013

    I totally agree! I also got into the patting business due to SK2 FTE. However, I recently started to use the Laneige Power Refiner with a cotton pad and it has changed my skin. My skin just feels cleaner and more refined. It could be due to the product but I also think that the cotton pad has something to do with it!

    Thanks for the post- loved it!

    Tina

    • stephy
      February 26, 2013

      Hi, can you share with me more on Laneige toner? I heard they have 2 steps in this. =)
      Thanks! ^^

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      Hi Tina, thank you for sharing your experience and I’m glad to know I’m not alone in having this experience! I do think there is a lot of merit to using a cotton pad! ;)

  2. Sunny
    February 26, 2013

    I actually don’t use a toner anymore, and I can’t say I miss it! Nowadays I mostly use a cleansing cream/balm, and the muslin cloth I use to remove it does the exfoliating for me. Glad to hear you rediscovered this trick and it’s working well for you!
    Sunny recently blogged…One More for the Neutral Eyeshadow Connoisseurs: Burberry No. 09 Rosewood Sheer Eye ShadowMy Profile

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      The only cleansing balm I’ve tried is the Eve Lom one but I’m planning to try a couple more with the same concept. I was told I didn’t have to use a toner after that either, but I just felt happier using one anyway although I was using a facial mist not a toner :)

  3. Lily
    February 26, 2013

    I always use cotton pad to apply toner unless there is specific instructions to do otherwise. I went off the cotton pad application for a few months, then went back on it and I definitely saw the difference :-)
    Lily recently blogged…Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream. Really?My Profile

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      Happy to know I’m not alone in this! :)

  4. lisa
    February 26, 2013

    haha…i could really relate to this! I was too…once stubborn before and thinking of not wasting a single drop of toner, used to just pat it on. it works for a long while, perhaps i was a lot younger then and had relatively good skin on most days, i don’t see much difference / benefit between using cotton wool or not.
    But now is a different story altogether, my skin has changed upon hitting 30s and seems more reactive to any change of skincare. And upon watching too much taiwanese beauty program concluded for me several months back that i need to change to cotton wool to exfoliate my skin to let the subsequent products that i layer on penetrates better. And i say, yes, it works better indeed.

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      I think you’re onto something, Lisa. I was a lot younger and my skin wasn’t as good back then as it is now after taking lots of care, but it certainly could do with less attention. Most Asian skincare call for a cotton pad with toner, and I think it just works in general so I’m glad we figured it out ;)

  5. xin
    February 26, 2013

    i only use cotton pad with the kanebo toner, if i am using hada labo, i will only pat it on face.
    xin recently blogged…My Flu Remedy: Mt Sapola Massage Oil – HarmonyMy Profile

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      Ah but Hada Labo calls for it to be patted! ;)

  6. Rose
    February 26, 2013

    I used to use cotton wool and toner years ago and gave it up, then started to put my toner in a sterile atomizer to dampen my skin before I pat my face oil at night. It helped use way less of my previous oil and kept me from being greasy. But, my daughter started to have teen skin issues and I had her use cotton wool to apply her toner (I have her on the evanhealy line from, if I remember correctly, Australia) and the mild exfoliation has helped her, so I have been doing that now. I still spritz with either the same toner or a thermal water afterwards though to spread my face oil.

    • Rose
      February 27, 2013

      Ack! I have got to turn off my “auto-correction” on my Apple toy!! I meant “precious oil”, not “previous oil”!!

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      I like spritzing a nice face mist or floral water over the skin even after toner. If I’m using an oil, it helps the oil absorb better and more quickly. I used to use a floral water mist as toner, but I don’t anymore. I think they do have their own purpose and for my reactive skin now, its not it :)

  7. kassie
    February 26, 2013

    I have alway used a cotton pad when apply toner, its always worked great for me. Thanks for sharing

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      Happy to know you find this useful :)

  8. Tine
    February 26, 2013

    Good idea. I haven’t been using a proper toner in years now. Ever since the introduction of Japanese-style lotions, I’ve been sticking to that. Late last year, I tried a toner once again with a cotton pad and whilst I haven’t noticed any difference to the skin yet, it felt good to see the brown/grey on the pad again. I didn’t before with just the lotion. Yikes, I could have been using a crappy cleanser and not know it. Am I making any sense here? :P
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    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      I have been using Japanese and hydrating toners/lotions mostly. The astringent ones feel uncomfortable but I also confess to a masochistic pleasure in checking out the condition of the cotton pad after use and I totally get what you mean about the cleanser ;)

  9. Victoria
    February 26, 2013

    I always use cotton pad with toner but I actually wipe my face instead of patting it. Just wondering should the proper method be wiping or patting?

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      I use hydrating toners so I saturate the cotton pad, wipe it all over my face then lightly pat he cotton pad all over again. I think it depends on the type of toner you’re using but how its used depends on the instructions mostly :)

  10. Addy
    February 26, 2013

    I read the book The Japanese Skincare Revolution by Chizu Saeki. She advocates using toner/skin lotion and soak in cotton pad and put on face like a mask. Tried that and my skin improved. No need to spend extra on paper mask. Talking abt cotton wool, what kind would be better which gives exfoliating effect?

    Thanks.

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      Thanks for the tip Addy :) I do that too with some lotions but not all. Some can be too irritating to the skin if left on too long. I do refer using a sheet mask though :) as for the cotton, I just use any brand as I’m not very fussy. I usually use the ones from Watsons or Guardian that come in the big packs lol

  11. Denise
    February 26, 2013

    I’m a cotton pad gal, unless the product says otherwise. I’d like to share a tip too. I also feel that toner is wasted when using cotton pads. To help me feel slightly better about that, after I tone, I use the still damp cotton pad on my elbows and arms. Bonus mild exfoliation for the elbows! :)

    • Bugs
      February 26, 2013

      High five Denise, I too don’t like to throw away a cotton pad that is still damp with my pricey SK-II FTE, that’s why I would wipe my neck, arms elbows and knees. But I would also wipe my underarms 1st before I wipe my arms. Yes, you read that right, I wipe my underarms with the damp cotton and that area is not as ugly. Now I do that with every toner I’m using and sometimes purposely use more toner so that I have enough to wipe my knees. ^_^

    • Paris B
      March 3, 2013

      Love your tip, Denise! What a great way to use up extra lotion and to keep our elbows and arms exfoliated too! I’ll try this one!

  12. stephy
    February 26, 2013

    What about those toner which is in spraying form?
    Actually I am still confused on the benefits of a toner..hehe

    • Rose
      February 27, 2013

      For me, toners in a spray is to add that extra moisture or regulate your skin underneath your lotions, creams and face oils. You really don’t need a ton of these products smeared all over your face and the sprays help prevent that. I started to use cotton pads around my nose and forehead to exfoliate a bit because I have dry skin, but I always finish with a spritz of toner or “thermal water” (La Roche-Posay and Vichy are two brands) before I use my moisturizer or face oils. I rarely get that gray on the pad because of my double cleanse and regular exfoliation routine. But anywho… Generally, the toners in spray form are not medicated and consists of essential oils (Jurlique, evanhealy are two that come to mind). I would not recommend spraying medicated toners as it can do damage to the eyes and eye area. If you see my comment above, I started to use the cotton wool because of my daughter’s skin issues. She uses the evanhealy blemish line and the “toner” – they call it hydrolsol – is in spray form, but I have her spray it on cotton wool to exfoliate the forehead and nose, then spray and apply her face oil. I hope that helps!

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Hi Stephy, there are different functions to a toner. The more traditional concept is to make sure your skin is clean of cleanser and dirt and to close the pores. These tend to be more astringent. The Japanese concept is to add moisture and soften skin before applying moisturizer. The third concept is akin to a face mist – to dampen skin before applying creams so it absorbs better. So it’s not a universal definition and not everyone derives benefits from it. For those that are in spray form, I think they perform the third function. I was using floral waters for this until very recently using a spray bottle.

  13. plue
    February 26, 2013

    i use cotton pads for the astringent kinds, and also for those that says brightening or contains mild exfoliating ingredients. And ya, those grey tinge that I sometimes get due to me not exfoliating regularly. No brownies for me because I double cleanse! :D

    Those that offers mostly hydration purposes like the Hada Labo or Senka ones I use my hands and sometimes I would soak cotton pads and use them as a quick mask :)

    what kind of cotton pad do you use? I quite like the Muji ones (unbleached) and the Shiseido ones, they are very soft and nice though a bit pricier, so i only use them for skincare purposes.

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Sounds like you’ve gotten the methods down pat :) I am a cheapskate so I use the jumbo packs from guardian :P almost fainted at the prices of the Muji ones lol

  14. ST
    February 26, 2013

    i have a couple of toners for different purposes. i have one clarifying and anti-acne one which i used in the morning to replace face cleansing. then i pat a hydrating toner in. i also have a super hydrating toner which i use as face masks on cheeks of my face at night. i find that i have better skin which i dont use facial cleanser in morning and do the above steps. strange but true for me.

    st

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Thanks for sharing, ST :) some people have found that replacing the morning cleanser with something like a cleansing water is better for their skin too. I tried it, but I kiss splashing my face int he morning to wake up! Lol!

  15. Ting
    February 26, 2013

    I started using cotton pads with toner after reading one of your posts some time ago… :) Before this, I tried putting toner in spray bottle and just spray on my face to reduce wastage. But… not the proper way to do it!! :O

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Haha I’ve talked about this before? Damn! Lol I know what you mean about wastage but I’ve also learnt over time that for best efficacy we do have to use sufficient product and in the proper way so now I try to follow instructions. Try :P

  16. Sze Ling
    February 26, 2013

    Tried the non-cotton pad method for a while, then the Hada Labo lotion was the hype. Didn’t really like it. So, when I was done with the lotion, I switched back to using a cotton pad. Using a cotton pad gives me that “clean” feeling. I know, it’s all in the brain. :D

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Well, it may not be all in the brain as I’m just finding out myself! I think the Hada Labo lotion is good at what it does but each of us will have different needs so wipe away! :D

  17. An
    February 26, 2013

    I have the Hada Labo SHA lotion, but I always patted that on my face instead of using a pad.
    I don’t really think of it as a toner like the ones w/ alcohol or the more astringent ones.

    For the more astringent toners, I like to be more precise by using a cotton pad.
    For the hydrating, gentle toners, I like patting all over my face and I don’t have to worry about getting product on my eyelids or too close to the eye area.

    I haven’t been using my toners much. On and off. I worry a bit if they might interfere w/ my testing of different moisturizers.

    I feel like using my toner after reading this post though, haha.

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Hi An, the Hada Labo lotion does require it to be patted in so a cotton pad wouldn’t have maximized its benefits so you’re doing it right ie. following instructions :D I am a little more diligent now, because I find it does help my skin and I like the idea of double moisture and removing the dead cells so skin can absorb product better :)

  18. Issa
    February 26, 2013

    That tip from the SA is interesting…. I prefer using a cotton pad for my toner because I feel it is more effective and I feel more clean with it….

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      If ound that tip interesting too! Never thought about it that way hehe

  19. Sharon
    February 26, 2013

    When i get breakouts i find that using cleansing water such as Uriage ones in green bottle for combi skin with a cotton pad is actually more effective than a facial foam. Granted that one could double cleanse with a cleanser n cleansing water but sometimes i just want to clean my face without over cleaning it. And the cleansing water is all i need. The SA did advise for me to use it as the last step before bed meaning i can skip skincare n the first step in the morning before using my cleanser. Not the typical routine but works for my skin n helps prevent breakouts n improve luminousity! As for toners i kinda switch them up with my cleansing water but not an extremely essential part except for those lotion ones which are versatile enough to be a hydrating toner or light moisturiser. :)

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      That’s very interesting, Sharon! Interestingly, I’m trying out some cleansing water too from Caudalie and Bioderma and I’m still trying to get the Hang of it. Then again I do use it more as a makeup remover. I might have to try it your way. So does this mean you use the cleansing water without any follow up moisturizer? Doesn’t your skin feel dry?

  20. gio
    February 26, 2013

    I never use a toner as they don’t seem to do anything for my skin. But I do usually use a washcloth with my cleanser to get some gentle exfoliating action and it makes a great difference. :)
    gio recently blogged…Product Review: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Raspberry PieMy Profile

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Oh yes, a washcloth will provide that element of exfoliation too. I tried it with the Eve Lom cleanser and it feels lovely!

  21. Makeup Morsels
    February 26, 2013

    hmm I never thought of grey as being dead skin cells, even though I would see them on cotton pads when I wiped my face at the end of a long day! I’ve always applied toner with cotton rounds, because if I tried to pour it in my hands I’d probably make a mess LOL. Glad to hear your skin’s been more well behaved after you started doing this :)
    Makeup Morsels recently blogged…Monday MorningsMy Profile

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Yes, the ol skin is finally behaving itself! Whew! I never thought about the grey vs brown thing either. Makes sense though!

  22. casey23
    February 26, 2013

    I don’t know maybe because I have oily skin but I never benefited from the padding method! Like Chole, unless instructed otherwise, I always use toner with a cotton pad. I only use Beauty Elixir without cotton pad but even then I really have the urge to swipe with a pad after the spritz :)

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      I think the patting method does depend on the type of toner or lotion used. Always good to follow instructions though! I haven’t tried the Beauty Elixir yet but there’s so many raves about it!

  23. yilian
    February 26, 2013

    I love using cotton pads! But ever since I use Hada Labo Moisturizing Lotion which works by patting, I switch my exfoliation part by using cotton pads while cleansing (using Bifesta cleansing lotion) instead of toner application. This saves me from doing facial scrubs as my face can get really sensitive with physical exfoliation. Also, I like to use those cotton pads with a layer of mesh like Etude House’s cotton pads which works better for exfoliation. :)

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Thanks for the tip Yilian! I suppose the exfoliating bit will work both ways, whether with cleanser or toner so whichever works for you! ;)

  24. Jennifer
    February 26, 2013

    From not using toner at all, now I’m used to patting my lotion. I know I’m not gentle enough when using cotton pad to remove my eye makeup so I felt worried having to rub my face with the cotton pad. I’ve small GWP toners that requires cotton pad application. Admittedly using the cotton pad does give a cleaner feeling and occasionally I do see brownish or grayish residual. For a chsnge in routine I might revert to using toner with cotton pad. Thanks for sharing.

    • Paris B
      March 6, 2013

      Glad you found this useful, Jennifer :) I went off toners or lotions for a while but its been good to come back to it. For the eye area, I suggest that you dampen the cotton pad with makeup remover, leave it over your eyes for a minute or so then wipe off. You’ll find that it comes off more easily without rubbing :)

  25. Beauty Box
    February 27, 2013

    Interesting…It is certainly a debatable topic… though wouldn’t a gentle exfoliator work as well to keep troubled skin at bay? And you can continue your patting method for lotions?
    Beauty Box recently blogged…My First Scalp TreatmentMy Profile

    • Paris B
      March 7, 2013

      You’re right about that too actually. So when I use an exfoliator, I don’t use a toner to wipe in case of over exfoliation and just pat it on instead :) Since I mostly use hydrating lotions, it can be either wiped on or patted on :)

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