For years now, I have been incorporating the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Toner into my skincare regime. At one stage, when my skin wasn't so good, I was reaching for it on a daily basis, but nowadays it's a once or twice a week treat. It's great for when my skin is feeling dry or looking dull and lacklustre, and a quick sweep of it before bed, using a cotton pad to ensure that my entire face and neck get their hit, is all it takes to wake up with softer, smoother and brighter skin.
While I have always been more than happy with the effects of this particular toner, I have been wanting to get my hands on the Pixi Glow Tonic for longer than I care to remember. With higher levels of AHA than its Clarins counterpart, it promises more dramatic effects, and has become a cult product amongst bloggers and skincare experts alike. On a recent trip to London, I couldn't resist popping into Libery and picking up a bottle - but is it impressive enough to dethrone the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner?
Let's begin with the science.
The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner is a fresh, fluid exfoliating lotion that brightens, smooths and softens the skin. Tamarind fruit acids eliminate impurities and dead skin cells, boosting cellular renewal, while white nettle extract helps to tighten the pores, ensuring that they appear smaller. Regular use encourages cellular renewal, strenghtening the skin's resistance to premature ageing and leaving you with a healthy, glowing complexion. Containing glycolic, salicylic and tartaric acids in much smaller quantities than many other popular toners, this is a great option for anyone with sensitive skin. Although it does contain alcohol, this is nicely counteracted with glycerin, and there is no sense of dryness following application.
It's recommended to be used 1-2 times a week, but personally, I have used it on a daily basis with no problems.
The Pixi Glow Tonic, on the other hand, is oil and alcohol-free, which does make it that little bit more suitable for sensitive skin than its Clarins counterpart, but again, I'd recommend using it no more than a couple of times a week if this is you.
Containing ginseng, fructose and soothing aloe vera, the Pixi Glow Tonic is also laced with witch hazel, making it slightly astringent, and better for those with acne or frequent breakouts. It does
Personally, I'm not at all a fan of the smell of this one - it's potent, and overly floral, which is not what I was expecting at all. I'm not generally keen on particularly fragrant products, but I do like a fruity aroma, and that's what I was expecting from this.
The verdict: For me, it's got to be the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. I'm surprised to hear myself saying so, as I had great expectations for the Pixi Glow Tonic, but in all honesty, I haven't seen a great deal of difference in my skin since beginning to use it. Clarins's offering, on the other hand, is guaranteed to leave me with a soft, smooth and glowy complexion, and I can see myself continuing to repurchase it for a long while.
Do you have a favourite resurfacing toner?