One of the biggest changes I’ve made to my routine since its overhaul has been the addition of a cleansing or pH-adjusting toner. It’s still not 100% clear to me which one I need. That’s going to require further exploration.
I won’t get too far into explaining how actives are to be layered and what pH they require to work their magic. That’s been covered in many other places, and you can easily Google it. Ditto for the whole discussion of your skin’s natural pH and why the pH of various products are important. If you need to Google it, do so now. I’ll be here when you get back.
Using a pen to test my skin after using this, I’d say it comes down to around a 4.5 if not a tad lower. Obviously, a pen isn’t going to be the most accurate way to measure pH because you have to sit and compare the color on your skin to various swatches. It’s not exact, but from what I’ve seen reported from others, I’m not too far off. What this means is that while my actives are sitting on my skin, they take less time to get my skin to where it needs to be before they start to work and therefore have more time to actually work.
There are a couple of ways I’ve used this so far. I’ve used it in place of any actives at all. The gentle AHA/BHA additives are nice, and if I could go back and redo summer, I’d probably hold back more on the Stridex as soon as my grit cleared up and gone with a nightly misting of this. And yes… I’ve been misting it on and patting it in. That’s what the little mister bottle is pictured next to it. It’s a bottle that came with a deluxe sample of Tata Harper toner that I kept because, hey, you can never have too many working glass mister bottles. It’s also a nice travel size. I also hate the little pinhole tops that seem to come with every toner, so this makes things easier for me.
Either it’s misted directly onto my face, or I spray it into a cotton round and use that to wipe away anything that needs to be wiped away.
Do I like this? Well, as you can see from the pictures above, I’ve only been using this for about six weeks, and I’ve already managed to use up more than half of it. I think it’s safe to say that I like it. It has a pleasant, clean scent, and it definitely helps remove anything that might be left behind by my cleansing. It’s also not irritating my skin, which is good.
Is there anything I don’t like? Well, the price. It’s about $20 on Amazon, and considering how fast I plow through a bottle of toner, I’d really rather not have that as a regular expense, so that’s why I’m looking at alternatives and whether or not I really need this product in my life. Speaking of…
Do I need this? Here’s the kicker. I don’t know. I went from using a plain ol’ gentle cleansing toner (Naobay) to this one, and while I did notice some difference in how well my actives work, it wasn’t huge. I also don’t seem to have problems with my actives working all on their own without any extra help, and I don’t notice any skin irritation from not using a pH adjusting toner, so this might be an entirely unnecessary expense. I might play around further and see how my skin does if I just use my micellar water for the extra cleansing step and go from there. I fully plan to go back to a four-step routine (1st cleanse, 2nd cleanse, moisturizer, and sunscreen) and work from there as soon as the weather cools here just to kind of reassess my routine and toss out any steps that don’t need to be there.
What would I use it for? I’m leaning heavily toward it being a daily summertime replacement for stronger BHA/AHA products. Unless my skin is raging, I don’t think it needs as much. So this would be a gentler alternative. I’m definitely making a note to chillax a bit next spring and give this another shot in that particular role.
Would I repurchase this? Yes, I think so, though right now I don’t think it’s my first choice mostly due to price but also because I don’t necessarily feel at this time like I need all the bells and whistles going on here. What’s important is that I know it works well enough as a toning step for my skin to be happy. As the above, it might work out quite well, but as a cleansing toner, I think there are other options that might be better suited toward my needs.