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Tried & Tested: Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner

For the beauty- conscious female, the early signs of ageing can prove more than a minor nuisance. Equally upsetting is the residual acne that for some, hangs around long past adolescence. Add to these the common every day skin woes we all have to contend with on some level – dry skin, oiliness, sensitivity and redness – and it’s only a truly special skincare product that can turn things around.

Containing Tamarind extract to eliminate impurities and dead cells, and white nettle for its soothing and astringent benefits, the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner works hard to boost the skin’s natural exfoliation process as well as tightening pores and smoothing its overall texture. AHAs have made quite the name for themselves in skincare circles over the past couple of years, with huge hype surrounding products such as the infamous Alpha H Liquid Gold. It has been largely touted as the answer to many skincare prayers, from blemishes and scarring to dryness and dehydration, and used twice weekly it is said to make quite a dramatic difference to the overall appearance and condition of the skin.

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner
The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner is not so dissimilar, though containing much lower levels of AHAs it is generally safe to use on a more regular basis. The directions indicate that once or twice is enough, but personally I don’t find that it makes a noticeable difference to my skin when used quite as sparingly. It’s incredibly gentle and doesn’t cause any irritation at all, but essentially it’s your call – if you feel that you have particularly reactive skin then it might be an idea to start at the bottom and see how you feel about upping your weekly uses bit by bit.

Personally, I tend to use this toner in the evenings only. After cleansing, I pop some of this onto a cotton pad and sweep it over face and neck, including any congested or blemish-prone areas, allow a minute or so for it to dry, and then continue on with the remainder of my nightly skincare routine. In the morning I wake up to soft, smooth skin that feels plump and well-hydrated.

While I don’t have any glaring skincare concerns to contend with, I have noticed a marked improvement in the general texture of the skin, and a sure reduction in the number of blemishes. I find that it generally keeps skin feeling calm and comfortable, and I have grown quite attached to it, feeling safer in the knowledge that every last trace of debris and dead skin is removed before I go to bed at night. I have completely stopped using mechanical exfoliants now, apart from on my nose, which could at times do with a little extra help. For the rest of the face, however, Clarins toner does the job nicely without irritating or exacerbating any existing breakouts.

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner is available from Clarins, priced at £25.