Toner. Very much a controversial topic within the beauty blogging world; it's safe to say that you either do or you don't. For a long time I didn't and I can't say I ever saw any harm in it. To me toner was an outdated, unnecessary step leftover from the traditional three step skincare routine - I just didn't feel that my skin had any real need for one. I'd always assumed that their only real purpose was to cleanse the skin thoroughly and remove any final scraps of slap that may have nestled themselves in the deepest nooks and crannies of the face - something that I've always felt my cleanser does a pretty good job at anyway. It was actually only when I set about planning my A/W skincare routine that I decided to take the plunge and give one a go. Having combination/dry skin means I'm eager to sandwich in the moisture at every possible opportunity; especially during the colder months. Not wanting to splash the cash straight away on a step in my routine that I wasn't sure would last, I opted for a super affordable bottle from the Formula range at M&S.
The first thing to note is that budget toners no longer have to mean a mish mash of overpowering fragrance and alcohol. The formula of this one really does live up to it's 'gentle' name; it feels incredibly soothing on the skin and doesn't contain any alcohol at all - meaning that it actually leaves the skin feeling hydrated and not at all dry or stripped. It's also free from any fragrance, parabens or colour, making it suitable for even the most sensitive of skin. To use I simply apply a few drops to a cotton pad and smooth over the skin after cleansing. Although I'm still incredibly pleased with the job my cleansers do, it's nice to have that extra reassurance that the skin is completely clean and makeup free - especially in the evenings. A fuss-free, 'does what it says on the tin' option for toner virgins and connoisseurs alike, I've genuinely enjoyed using this over the past few weeks and it's slowly working its way into my routine on a twice daily basis.
This is currently the only toner I own and while I do really like it I'm now on the hunt for another couple to add to my collection. I can't wait to try out the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner and the Pixi Glow Tonic has caught my eye on numerous occasions too. I'd love to know some of your recommendations - if you're after a purse friendly, everyday option then I really can't rave about this one enough!
A toner convert in the making? Quite possibly.