In this series, we'll spotlight one better-for-you-beauty-buy every week that not only does what it promises to do, but that also upholds the green, natural approach to beauty and skin care we value so much. Trust us when we say you can trust our beauty editor, Allie White — in her time here, she's tried upward of 400 different creams, sprays, serums, tonics, etc. These are her favorites.
My first experience using toner was unpleasant, to say the least. As a 15-year-old struggling with pubescent acne, I was determined to use whatever was necessary to banish to blemishes that were taking up residence on my face, so I ransacked the skin care aisle at my local drugstore, buying anything that smelled like it would work. (This meant a lot of very harsh-smelling, alcohol-filled liquids and scrubs.)
For the next couple of weeks, I assaulted my skin with everything I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, this included a bright green bottle of toner whose packaging implied it would treat my skin well, but whose contents actually wreaked havoc on my face.
Fast forward a few days and my skin was in worse shape than ever. It's was somehow dry and oily at the same time. Large patches of dead skin flaked off my face, and it was so raw and red that a slight breeze made me cringe. And the pimples are still there. It still pains me to think about this, so imagine how I must have felt as an insecure teen.
Like any good lesson-learner, I swore off toners. I figured they did more harm than good and really, what was the point anyway? Toners seemed like expensive bottles of something you spritzed your face with to feel fancy, but without any real, noticeable purpose.