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 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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