Reviews and Other Stuff

toners

Top Picks in Facial Cotton Pads

top facial cotton pads

 

Are you currently using a facial cotton pad? I’ve been using a few brands and have tested some in the past. I find that the ones that work very well are the ones that are made for sensitive skin. The soft and gentle type that doesn’t scratch the face and are perfect for toners or liquid makeup removers.

 

I’m not a big fan of the regular cotton rounds or cotton squares. The ones that have raised textures or are too small to use all over the face. Those types are scratchy and those require some rubbing on the skin upon application which isn’t so good, and those also absorb and waste way too much products. I like the ones that are plush, highly-absorbent, and easy to find like the ones below.

 

Shiseido Facial Cotton (40 – 165 sheets: 5 – 12 USD) – This is a well-loved facial cotton that is made in Japan and this is soft, compact, and totally gentle on the face. This is perfect for any toner application and even for any oil or liquid makeup remover. I like this a lot and this doesn’t break or disintegrate easily as you use this all over the face and neck.

 

CVS Beauty 360 Extra Thick Premium Cotton Squares

 

CVS Beauty 360 Extra Thick Premium Cotton Squares (150 sheets: 3.79 USD) – This super soft and affordable cotton pad is so fluffy and this absorbs enough products especially toners, which means I don’t get to waste a lot of it. Even though this doesn’t feel as compact as the other cotton pads mentioned in this review, I find this pad to be still on par with the high-end ones and this is so affordable. There was another version of this that comes in somewhat green packaging, but I’m not sure if CVS still carries that one. I like that one a lot because that’s even softer than this extra thick version and though that pad tends to disintegrate easily, it’s way more fluffy so it absorbs just enough toner to cover the whole face. Then there’s also the current larger version of this facial cotton, but it’s definitely not soft on the face, in my opinion. I find it to be ideal for removing nail polish because it has more texture and is quite exfoliating.

 

Muji Soft Cut Cotton Unbleached

 

Muji Soft Cut Cotton Unbleached (180 sheets: 6.19 USD) – This pad retains the natural specks of seed pods and husks that you’d normally see in most unbleached cotton products, which could potentially feel scratchy. However, I’ve only felt a slight scratchiness once or twice all throughout my usage of this particular facial cotton. Even though this doesn’t look white at all, don’t let the color and the texture fool you. This very natural cotton is so soft and so fluffy, which absorbs enough toner to apply all over your face. On top of that, this doesn’t disintegrate easily.

 

Chanel Le Coton

 

Chanel  Le Coton (100 pads: 20 USD) – A very luxurious cotton pad embossed with the Chanel logo that is delicately packed inside a beautiful Chanel box. The size of this is about 0.5 inches and 0.3 inches (lxh) larger than most facial cotton pads and is ideal not only for the face but also for the neck. Cutting this into two would make this cotton pad quite too small for the face, but it’s very doable and definitely economical. The texture and the overall quality of this are pretty much like Shiseido’s, which is soft, compact, highly-absorbent, and lint-free. Also, this is made in Japan.

 

If I have to rank the facial cotton pads I reviewed above, well, my top pick will definitely be the CVS cotton pad because it’s the cheapest and it works just as great as the designer ones. In fact, it pretty much looks like Shiseido’s and it seems even softer. If my local CVS is out of stock of their cotton pads, which happens a lot all the time, then I’d definitely opt for Muji because it’s so fluffy and so soft. Third would be Shiseido, and lastly, it will be Chanel.

 

Muji Soft Cut Cotton Unbleached, cvs beauty 360 extra thick cotton squares

 

I have yet to investigate the Koh Gen Do Pure Cotton and the Clé de Peau Beauté Cottons, have you tried them before? What did you think about them? Any facial cotton pad recs?

 

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Favorite Facial Toners

best face toners

Facial Toners are probably the skincare product I used to skip a lot. I don’t remember exactly what had gotten me to start using them diligently, it must be that I just really took my skincare rituals seriously since I’m tired of seeing zits and blemishes on my face. I’ve been hooked into Facial Toners for a couple of years now and since then, I noticed a big improvement in my skin.  We may not realize it, but toners do play an important role in skincare. I have probably experimented on a lot of Toners in the past, and still, I feel like there’s not really a lot of good Face Toners out there. However, I did find a few that seems to work for my skin. So here now are my favorite Facial Toners, a few of them have been a constant favorite for years, and also, there are some that are current favorites or new discoveries and are definitely holy grail-worthy.

 

Son & Park Beauty Water

 

One of the first and my most favorite Facial Toner of all time is the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion Toner (5.4 oz: $76). This toner is gentle and calming to use. It doesn’t leave any residue on the skin and it’s non-drying. There’s almost no scent and it gives a refreshing feel. Its main ingredients are AHA and Pitera – which is rich in amino acids. With that being said, this toner gives a youthful glow over time, and it pretty much balances my skin tone and it also improves and evens my skin texture. My skin used to look dull and tired-looking, but after using this toner for more than 2 years now, my skin has been looking radiant. It also seemed to control my hormonal breakouts, and it brightens and heals whatever zits I have, which is amazing because it usually takes a while for my blemishes to go away. I usually use this Toner right after washing my face, and I soak a cotton pad full of it and just dab it deeply into my open pores and it preps my skin for any serum or moisturizer. It usually takes a while to see this Toner’s effect, but with time, you’ll notice the difference. As with almost all of my reviews talking about SK-II products, I definitely feel like my good skin days always happen whenever I use SK-II. My face overall just looks smooth, glowy, and my oily T-zone seems less likely so. Because of that, I also use their Facial Treatment Essence, which is also great at making my skin look its best. The only drawback with this Toner and as with most SK-II products are the prices. This is definitely a pricey toner even though its packaging is large enough to last me about 2 months. I do try to use it conservatively though as much as I can. But yeah, by now, you know that I really love SK-II products and I highly recommend them.

 

Son & Park Beauty Water Review

 

Probably the closest dupe to the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion is the Son & Park Beauty Water (11.49 oz: $30). It comes in a really large plastic square bottle and you could find it right now at Sephora. It is a K-beauty favorite and has really good reviews online. I’ve also heard about the popular K-beauty brand Missha as having a similar ingredient/toner to the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, it’s called Time Revolution Toner, but I haven’t tried it yet. Anyway, back to this Beauty Water by Son & Park. I usually purchased this Toner whenever I don’t have a budget for the SK-II one. It’s not exactly alike, but it’s similar enough. It’s also a very mild Toner with faint fruity ginger scent, kinda like the scent of the Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb. All throughout my use of this, I noticed that it’s good at removing some remaining makeup residues and it doesn’t dry my skin. It made my skintone look more even and it also feels very calming and so refreshing. I even use this as a face mist and it leaves my skin supple.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner Review

This Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner (8.4 oz: $44) is an Allure Best of Beauty Winner 2017 and I was surprised to have fallen in love with this at first try. I thought this would be too harsh for my skin, but it’s not. This is actually so refreshing and so calming that I literally zone out every time I use this. LOL. Also, this toner’s packaging is too cute to use and is simply pretty to look at. Although I’ve heard some people say that it looks like one of those jars in their chemistry labs filled with some experimental stuff, LOL again. But anyway, this toner is definitely gentle and I can attest to this since this is pretty much alcohol-free, non-drying and this seems to moisturize a bit. For me, this has all the bells and whistles of a perfect Face Toner like removing debris and purifying the pores, as well as removing extra makeup residue left. But what I love about this is how it really helps soothe my face during breakouts. I just love using this Toner whenever I get those raging hormonal zits and it seems to calm it down, leaving my breakouts reduced in size and almost cured the next day. So, for me, this toner has a therapeutic effect which helped my skin a lot. The packaging is pretty large too, so you can use this for some time.

 

 

Next thing is the Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion (6.7 oz: $34), which is a Toner that got the clean skincare seal from Sephora and is fairly new to me. I’ve only been testing this for a couple of weeks now and who knew mushroom skincare can be so good for the skin? This is literally a very gentle toner even though the scent may not be so gentle, but it’s not bad. It has an aromatic herb-like scent which is soothing of course at least for me, but for some, it may be too much (but I doubt it). I haven’t noticed any dramatic results or improvement of this Toner on my skin yet, but what I do notice is that it never broke me out, I mean, it’s expected because it’s made of clean ingredients like reishi mushroom (anti-inflammatory) and probiotics among other things. It also seems very calming on the skin and it pretty much relieved my skin’s redness.

Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment LotionLast but not the least is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (1-3.4 oz: $18-49). This is also a new discovery for me, but from the moment I tried this, I literally was like “Where have this toner been all my life?” Apparently, this product has a cult following and I wasn’t a follower of it? Hmmm… I don’t know what kind of sorcery is in here but I was really impressed the moment I sprayed this on my face. It literally made my face smooth and soft and my pores didn’t feel so rough at all. It actually kinda tightened it and my skin looks glowy. Furthermore, it feels soothing with its rosemary, mint, and rose scent. It also has some orange flower water. I usually use this prior to applying a serum or moisturizer during the day and also as a face mist to refresh my face during the afternoon and evening. It’s also great as a setting spray for makeup and it really evens it out, reducing any chances of cakiness. This is definitely on my holy grail list now and it’s definitely worthy of being called a beauty elixir.

 

best facial toners

Bottom line, it’s good to use Face Toners regardless of what brand you’re using or planning to use. I personally think that you shouldn’t skip on this skincare ritual since it’s very important to prep the skin after washing the face. Also, Facial Toners remove extra residues of makeup and dirt that may not have been removed by usual face cleaning, even after double cleansing. On top of that, Facial Toners are very beneficial in purifying the pores. The only downside about Toners is that they get used up a lot, so it’s always a good idea to purchase them in the largest packaging possible, even though most of them are already housed in large containers. So yeah, there goes my favorite Toners of all time, I hope it helps you in finding a favorite one as well.

 

Wishing you good skin days all of the time. Muah!

 

xx.

L.