Today we are talking toner—specifically an exfoliating (or acid ) toner product called First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($30, 60 pads). The handful of you reading this know that I love my Yuli Panacea Elixir. That is actually my hydrating spray toner. I use that after using the FAB Facial Radiance Pads, which I also love. I learned about the importance of using an acid toner and following it with a hydrating toner on the site of facialist, blogger, and all around bad-ass Caroline Hirons. As we say in Brooklyn: Love huh! Check out her toner cheat sheet here. You should really read (study, memorize, print and place under your pillow) the whole thing, but in a nutshell: acid-based toners help restore the ph of our skin after we cleanse. They also help skin exfoliate. Hydrating toners both hydrate and help moisturizers do their thing.
I found the First Aid Beauty pas while searching the net for a product that was paraben-free. This product isn’t organic, but it has ingredients that I recognize, no added fragrance, and rates a 2 on the EWG Cosmetics Database. Plenty good enough for me.
Here is what is in it:
Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Fruit Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry) Fruit Extract, Polysorbate 20
Here is how they describe their approach:
FAB products are free of harsh chemicals and known allergens, including parabens, phthalates, alcohol, fragrances and artificial dyes. Select products also boast FDA-approved over-the-counter formulations that target specific skin issues such as eczema and acne. The result is true first aid beauty and a collection of products that may be used safely by even the most sensitive skin types.
I find this is gentle enough to use every day—even twice a day. I use it on my face and neck after my second cleanse in the evening (even around the eyes–something Caroline says is ok), then rub the pad on my elbows. It’s still wet enough, so I get the most out of it! It does tingle a tiny bit, but according to Caroline a little sting is OK, burning is not. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say this is like a 1 or so. I’ve tried one other acid toner thus far, the cult-fave Pixi Glow Tonic. There was more aggressive and I felt that it dried out the outer layer of my skin and made it look dull. It was also more sting-y. I feel the FAB pads accomplish the same thing in a gentle, bit-by-bit way. I have moments of thinking, is this strong enough? But then I remember that my skin is happy and clear. So it’s all good. No need to amp it up. Definitely recommend this product!