I only got introduced to the term acid toners a years ago or so, by the British facialist, the witty and knowledgeable woman, Caroline Hirons (visit her blog here). Before that time, I didn’t care much about skincare. However, she has given me a better understanding of all things skincare and basically redefined my skincare routine. Absolutely brilliant!
What are acid toners?
Before I blabber away about my go-to acid toners, let’s take a minute to define what an acid toner is and what it does.
Acid toners are products containing acids, used after cleansing and before moisturizing.
According to Mrs. Hirons, acid toners have four functions:
- Creating balance: resetting the pH balance of the skin after cleansing
- Exfoliation: A chemical exfoliation, removing flaky skin cells without mechanical exfoliation such as small grains or beads.
- Hydration: acting as a humectant “attracting moisture from the air” and trapping it in the in the most outer layer of the skin.
- Penetration: I can only imagine, that exfoliating and removing flaky skin cells forming dry patches, increases the access to the underlying skin, thus helping penetration of the serum and moisturizer you apply after the acid toner step.
Different acid toners and their properties
Quoted from Caroline Hirons blog, listed are below some of the acids used and their properties:
Lactic (AHA) – resurfacing, great for dehydrated and dry skin.
Glycolic (AHA) – stimulating for better collagen production, resurfacing.
Malic (AHA) – resurfacing, good for boosting collagen production
Salicylic (BHA) – best for spots/acne. Surprisingly gentle.
PHA’s (Poly hydroxy acids) – best for those in need of hydration and deep penetration of product afterwards.
After cleansing my face, my skin is ready for exfoliation with an acid toner. My current evnening skincare routine consists of five steps:
Step 3 Exfoliation: Mild acid toner
Click on the different steps to read the individual blog posts.
I like to think of acid toners as a preparing step for the moisture giving products I apply next. So acid toners are in no way meant as a cleanser or a makeup remover.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
So they are a good place to start, if you are a little scared of the thought of acid toner as a concept. And they are okay-affordable (compared to others on the market) around 20£/28€ for 60 pads. All in all a really good value for money. AND they are travel friendly, you could seal them in a plastic bag, saving space for other important stuff, such as more makeup, obviously! 😉
Pixi Glow Tonic
It gives me a mild tingly and tightening feeling on my skin, leaving it slightly dry and visibly exfoliated from flaky dry patches. Straight afterwards I apply a serum and then a small amount of regular moisturizer.
Because of it’s effectiveness, I only use it a couple of time a month. I havn’t tried using it daily, as I don’t find that I have the need for it.
Pixi has added fragrance to their Glow Tonic. And to those of you, that follow my blog and watch my videos probably know by now: I’m not a big fan of added fragrance. To anything, really. However, the only thing I can smell is the characteristic Ginseng (see ingredients list below), for me it’s tolerable.
If you want to try them out, make sure your skin tolerates the product, by testing it on a small area e.g. on your neck or chin. A typical allergic reaction appears within the first 24 to 48 hours. In case of an reaction, make sure to see your medical doctor.
First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads ingredients:
Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Fruit Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry) Fruit Extract, Polysorbate 20