For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

by Paris B on · 30 comments

in Product Reviews,Toner/Lotion


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On April 28, 2014
Last modified:April 27, 2014

Summary:

If you were to hearken back to the early days of my blog, you may realise that over the years and in time, I sometimes contradict myself and my skincare routines. Ah such is evolution, I say icon biggrin For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner) So in the early days, I used to not be much of a fan of using toners because to my inexpert eye, they were an extra step that had me seeing no results.

I got back into using toners a couple of years back but I was using mostly hydrating toners that I patted on and then I rediscovered the use of cotton pads. See my evolution? Last year, I got into using 2 toners. I know! Here I am, moving from not using any toner at all to 7 years later, using 2 haha!

I’ll talk about it another time, but essentially, I use an exfoliating toner and then I follow up with a hydrating toner. It’s not an original thought on my part. Full credit goes to Ms. Caroline Hirons for this one icon smile For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

ren clarifying toner2 For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

As does my purchase of the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion which I’ve learned is now called Clarimatte Clarifying Toner. Gosh, I do wish brands would stick to one name and not change it at will. What’s Clarimatte anyway? Grr…

But anyway, this product is essentially an exfoliating toner. You use it with a cotton pad and wipe it over your face and what it does is clarify your skin, help remove dead skin cells to encourage skin cell turnover and give you clearer, more even toned skin. It is basically, all we ever imagined a toner to do and it’s alcohol free to boot!

I purchased this one after my first experience with an exfoliating toner left me feeling quite comfortable with the concept.

ren clarifying toner instructions For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

The Bio Extracts seem to remain the same in the newly named product, and what these basically do is quite gently exfoliate skin cells. It is targeted to those with combination to oily skin so you might imagine that I’d be moaning about it being drying for someone like me with dry skin.

But surprisingly, it isn’t. I use this twice a day (every morning and every evening unless I’m using Liquid Gold) and I don’t find it drying at all which makes me happy. I usually drop a few drops on a cotton pad and then wipe it all over my face after cleansing.

It freshens up my skin and makes it feel very nice and clean, but not squeaky clean if you know my meaning. It just feels comfortable. I then move on to the rest of my skincare routine.

“But what results I am supposed to see?” I can almost hear you cry.

Well, for myself, what I did notice was that my skin became a bit finer, clearer and smoother. I’m not sure if the eveness of tone is attributed to this or Liquid Gold or just my whole damned routine but I am quite happy with the state of my skin right now (touch wood) I don’t mean right now, when I do have some errant spots, but as a whole, my skin has been behaving itself quite well.

ren clarifying toner3 For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

I do see a clarity of skin more quickly with this product than I did with the Hada Labo one so I have a sneaky feeling that this product is more effective at what it does. However, it does weigh in at a higher price point as well so these things have to be factored in. I personally prefer this toner or lotion, but I will happily finish up the Hada Labo one because I already have it.

While I don’t consider this too pricey in the big scheme of things, I do find that it goes a fairly long way. I’m more than 2 months into using this and I’m only about halfway through. If you were to use this just once a day (in which case, I’d suggest you use it at night) then it will last you even longer.

Ultimately, I’m happy with this product. I don’t profess to know the science behind it nor the chemical makeup and whether it is good for the skin. I think lactic acid is good, as is glycolic acid to help exfoliate the skin cells and this is mild enough not to sting my skin (although they do caution that you may experience a tingling of skin) nor leave my skin feeling dry and parched, while working effectively. Quite happy to stick to this one icon smile For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

In a nutshell

The REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (renamed to Clarimatte Clarifying Toner) is a toning lotion that you use after cleansing and before the rest of your skincare. It helps to exfoliate your skin more quickly so your skin looks clearer and brighter and pores look finer. I can attest to most of that. I feel that my skin feels cleaner and looks better after using this one so I’m quite happy to go on using it. I do suggest following up with a hydrating lotion if you have drier skin like I do, or even if you don’t, but that’s your choice. I do and I think it helps my skin a lot.

Pros: Alcohol free, Feels gentle on my skin, Not drying, Skin feels clean after use, Skin looks clearer and feels smoother with regular use, A little goes a long way

Cons: None unless you count that it can sometimes be hard to find

Who will like this: Anyone who is in the market for an exfoliating toner that feels gentle on skin and not drying

Here’s the ingredient list for anyone interested.

ren clarifying toner For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend that you do a patch test to determine if you are sensitive to the product. Another point to note is that REN says this is alcohol free but it does contain Alcohol Denat. that I know some people are sensitive to so I’m not sure what’s going on there. Personally I’m not fussed but if you are sensitive again, do take note.

Have you tried this REN clarifying toner? Have you tried other exfoliating toners and have one you like?

I think my earliest experience with a clarifying toner was Clinique’s and my skin hated it which is why I was quite wary when dipping my toes back into the pool of exfoliating/clarifying toners. But I’m quite happy to have found this one from REN and also the Hada Labo (for those on a budget) so I’m quite happy to try others now icon smile For a little clarity I pick the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (aka Clarimatte Clarifying Toner)

Paris B

REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (renamed Clarimatte Clarifying Toner) Price: RM123 | £12 for 150ml Availability: Ken’s Apothecary stores at Bangsar Village 2 and 1 Utama. Restocking in June

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[ 30 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Emy April 28, 2014 at 9:06 am

Ooh, I definitely want to try this out. I just finished my bottle of Liquid Gold, and am now using Skinceuticals LHA Solution — which is a gentler version with both glycolic and salicylic acids. I’m really liking it, but it does have a higher alcohol content like LG. I might try the REN one next. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:23 am

Ooh I haven’t tried the Skinceuticals one but I do like Liquid Gold a lot! Am nearing the end of my bottle so I’m waiting for some online promo so I can pick up a new one :D I like the REN for everyday use. Helps keeps my skin clean and clear :D

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Robert c. April 28, 2014 at 9:10 am

That’s another toner going into my “to-get” list, right next to the pixi toner recommended Caroline. Have ya tried Lancome’s Tonique Comfort (the pink one)? The consistency is more or less alike to the one of Hado Labo’s and it makes my skin feel so hydrated and plumped (for me anyways). It’s also cost savvy – 400ml(the big bottled one) for £35 (so it’s like RM 170?).
Funny about clinique’s toner, I’ve found out that a lot of people have had a bad reaction to it – maybe it’s the alcohol??-, even the “mild”(or so they claim) versions.
Robert c. recently blogged…I’M BACK! + Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush-on Glow [Review]My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:24 am

Ooh speaking of Pixi Glow Tonic, I just picked it up online! Waiting for it to arrive and am looking forward to it :D I haven’t tried the Lancome one but it’s good to know that it’s not drying. My skin doesn’t play very well with Lancome skincare (except for a cream I used many years ago) which is why I’m a little wary about trying it. But Clinique was a no-go zone for me. Dried my skin out something awful!

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robert c. May 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Ahh please tell us how you feel about the pixi glow tonic!! I’m still holding back as my skin is sensitive to certain skincare ingredients. I never thought my skin would like the lancome tonique comfort either but currently still liking it (touch wood) – the other stuff from lancome…is just a no for me..

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I will for sure Robert! :D Can’t wait till it get here :D

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teresa April 28, 2014 at 9:40 am

It’s possible that Alcohol Denat is listed because it’s the solvent for some of the extracts, and therefore should be at a low enough concentration to not be a problem.

Also lactic acid is hydrating!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the feedback Teresa :) I had to mention the Alcohol Denat coz I know some people are sensitive to it, but I personally have no problems with it. Have you tried this toner?

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teresa May 4, 2014 at 11:28 am

No I haven’t but you’ve definitely made it sound great! Basically I love anything with AHAs and BHAs :D I have tried their sensitive skin products in a sample kit before, and it was really lovely. I particularly like the oil/serum (I believe they’ve changed names for it a couple of times), and the moisturiser was great too.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 2:34 pm

AHAs and BHAs are so good aren’t they? :D You’re right about REN changing their product names every so often. I get so confused because sometimes when I want to check up on a product I”ve used before, I can’t find it!

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Fathin April 28, 2014 at 10:17 am

This product sounds great, especially the part about not drying for dry skin and my skin is, well, sensitive, prone to blemish (which is why I’m starting to get more discipline with night skin care LOL) and normal to dry (thanks to no-go, no-way products and environment).

When I read one of your articles about your skincare regime, I’m interested to know more about what’s the difference between hydrating and exfoliating toner and also how to recognize a toner as hydrating or exfoliating. Can you help me with this, just a general idea?

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

Interesting Fathin, it sounds like we have similar skin types :) I don’t have very blemish prone skin anymore (one of the benefits of aging!) but I do have drier skin than most :) As for hydrating and exfoliating toner, the difference lies in the function of the product. An exfoliating toner, which is the more common version is one that helps exfoliate skin with acids like lactic acid or glycolic acid, salicylic acid etc. They can be a little drying usually. Hydrating toners/lotions aren’t found a lot in western skincare (so rose water toners fall into this category) but we get a lot of it in asian skincare e.g. treatment lotions. Its purpose is to add back moisture and hydration into the skin before you apply your serum/moisturiser and helps skin to be more hydrated/supple. I use both now as they complement each other. Perhaps I should talk about my skincare routine soon :D

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Irene April 28, 2014 at 11:35 am

The price of this one is quite okay actually! I’m currently using the Pixi Glow Tonic, which I picked up when I was in London (my Paris&London trip last year saw me coming back with an ENTIRE suitcase full of skincare & makeup products – it’s the cabin size suitcase, but it’s still an ENTIRE suitcase! but I digressed). I’m about halfway through and already looking out for the next one to try. It’s now between this one and the Clarins one!!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

Woo! I’m jealous of your skincare haul from Europe! When I was there I wasn’t as much into skincare but now, I’d probably go MAD :D I just found out that Pixi ships internationally so I just picked up the Glow Tonic to try. I hope I like it (do you?) I’m also thinking of trying the Clarins one but they don’t carry the international version here (last I checked) and I don’t like the White Plus range in general so I’m a little wary about using it.

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Victoria April 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm

I have just bought the Clarins one and I use it 3 times a week at night. This one is suppose to have a brightening effect but will have to wait and see. Do not want to use it too often in case it drys out my skin. This product was also highly recommended by Ms. Hirons :-)

I am amaze that your REN toner has lasted so long. Mine finished within 2.5 months of usage but of course that was because I used it twice a day daily. Was not really paying attention to my skin while using this toner so could not really comment on whether it has improved my skin. One thing is for sure that thanks to you and Ms. Hirons, the method of cleansing with face cloth and cleansing balm has really made a difference to skin :-)

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:34 am

Yes I was really keen to try the Clarins one ever since Ms. Hirons’ raves (She’s really damaging to my wallet but I learn so much from her about skincare!) but we don’t get the one she raves about right? Here it’s marketed as brightening or something, as part of the White Plus range. How are you liking it? I’m thinking of trying but I can’t get a straight answer as to whether the ingredients are exactly the same as the international version. (People in Clarins were quite defensive that I’d question their product naming – weird right?!)

I bore in mind your earlier comment that your REN toner finished quite quickly so I was surprised when I hadn’t haha! But as you say, I do use mine every morning and every alternate evening so that might be why?

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Arpita April 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm

You\’re not helping my attempt to avoid buying more stuff at all! But I\’ve recently gotten onto the exfoliating toner bandwagon by way of Lancome\’s offering, and I absolutely love it! I\’ll have to pick up Ren\’s once the massive bottle (400ml) is through (not anytime soon!). Lancome comes in at roughly the same price, but the quantity is almost 3 times higher, so curiosity is knocking at my door! I do love Lancome\’s Exfoliating Toner though. It\’s been doing wonders for my skin! I\’m also using Antipodes\’ Ananda Clarifying Toner, and I\’m loving that too. Decisions…decisions…

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

Hey Arpita, how interesting that you’re the 2nd person to mention the Lancome toner! It’s interesting and I’ll have to check it out – 400ml is nothing to sneeze at :D Is it scented? I don’t have a lot of luck with Lancome skincare so I might have to try to get a sample of it before I splurge. Oh and Antipodes has a Clarifying toner too?! Ahhh I love Antipodes stuff! I think I’ll try that one next, once I run out of REN :D Thanks for the info ;)

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Arpita May 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I’m not a fan of Lancome skincare either, but this surprised me. Granted the smell leaves much to be desired and is a little like paint thinner, but it does a good job. I quite like the tingly sensation, though others may not. I tend to go over it with Melvita’s Extraordinary Water after 10 minutes since it says “tissue off”, but I don’t think it would have any adverse effects if you didn’t.

As for Antipodes, this you really do need to try! It’s called Resurrect, not Ananda, sorry, and it’s gentle and lovely, as all things Antipodes tend to be!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm

It says to tissue off? That’s interesting.. but I think I’d go for Antipodes instead (I did try looking up Ananda and couldn’t find a clarifying toner haha! Thanks for the clarification!) I’ve loved almost everything I’ve tried from the brand to date, so I think the good streak will continue. Thanks for the rec!

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Sze Ling April 29, 2014 at 3:22 am

Is it weird that I’m excited about a toner? :P I’m so going to try this.

So, question! Do you use your hydrating toner before or after this?

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:39 am

Hahaha I thought it weird I was raving about a toner too! This from someone who went for years thinking toners were just a waste of money :D I use a hydrating toner after an exfoliating one. If you think of it logically, an exfoliating toner will remove the skin cells and then the hydrating toner infuses skin with moisture (made easier now the dead skin cells are gone) :)

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Joann April 29, 2014 at 8:31 am

I definitely want to try this! I have really oily skin, and I’m always looking for a nice gentle toner. I like that it exfoliates the skin a bit too. Unfortunately, I searched on the sephora website, and they don’t have this available. I’ll have to look around online to see where I could get this!
Joann recently blogged…Avene: Eau Thermale: Thermal Spring WaterMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

Ooh bummer, it’s not available on Sephora? I think the REN skincare website ships within the US (if you’re there) though so that’s a place to start :) I hope you’ll like it as much as I do!

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Tuti April 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Hi PB, mmm…confuse torn between two lovers…just kidding. In my mind I am thinking to get Alpha Liquid Gold, now this Ren sounds promising too and both have the same function: exfoliate. Since you have used both, can you recommend which one?

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Haha well Liquid Gold is different. It is a treatment, not a toner so you will not use it daily. At most you’d use it on alternate nights as I do, or sometimes just 2-3 times a week. This toner can be used daily and I feel is more gentle than Liquid Gold. So yes, you can use both. My review on Liquid Gold is here :)

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Grace April 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

Hi Paris,
I have been using SKii clear lotion then follow on the skii treatment essence. These two work really well together as exfoliate and hydrating toner. The downside is that they are pricey products. I recently bought first aid beauty radiance pads. It’s a exfoliate toner pads. I haven’t used it long enough yet to say I like it or not. I will check the Ren clarimatt toner soon x

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Hi Grace, thanks for sharing your input :) I can’t use SK2 products so I stay clear away from them but it’s good to know they work for you. I have heard that the First Aid Beauty pads are very nice products too! But I haven’t tried them. They’re supposed to be very mild and handy.

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Jennifer May 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Hello Paris! It has been a while. Glad to be back here :) Missed the warmth and ambience lol. We spoke a lot on double cleansing ritual. Now on the double toner ritual – exfoliating toner and follow up with a hydrating toner. Sounds good! I think this is something sustainable and I could incorporate this method to my skincare routine. I recently bought the Hada Labo one. Can\’t wait to try out this method. Good results comes with double actions perhaps :) Cheers and hope you enjoy a good break!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Hey Jennifer, hope things are settling down for you :) Yes, I now practice a double toning ritual and it seems to be working very well for me :) I hope you’ll like the Hada Labo one – it’s gentle although not as effective as the REN but it will work :) Let me know how it goes for you!

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