Friday, November 3, 2017

REVIEW: Merumaya Treatment Toner™ with Vitamin C

Say the words 'treatment', 'toner' and 'vitamin C' in a single sentence and you'd have me hop around with excitement. That's exactly what my intentions were going in with this toner from UK-based brand Merumaya. So, let's get to know this toner well.



Why I purchased it
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, the three magical words got me excited. I'm always looking for something more in a toner apart from the basic function of wiping away any leftover residue post cleansing and bringing the ph of the skin to the optimal value of 5.5. I want my toners to be almost pre-serums or essences. And this one seemed to fit the bill, as per Maleka's (the brand owner) description on her site and the many positive reviews.



Ingredients
Aqua (Water), Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Betaine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Maris Aqua, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Cellulose Gum, Hydrolyzed Algin, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citronellol, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate Parfum (Fragrance).


Star ingredients
Betaine: This ingredient stood out for me as I have seen it in several K-beauty skincare products. Betaine is a naturally occurring amino acid which acts as an anti-irritant and is responsible for maintaining moisture. It is also a non-sticky ingredient, a must-have in my books as I constantly struggle with high humidity in Mumbai.

Vitamin C: The finicky antioxidant that you want to own for its brightening, collagen-building, sun protective qualities, but also one that requires utmost protection as it's highly prone to oxidation. In short, Vitamin C provides great skincare properties but if exposed to light or air, turns a pale yellow to a vivid orange depending on how much oxidation has taken place. Oxidised Vitamin C not only stops providing skincare benefits but also causes damage to the skin, according to some reports. This toner contains Ascorbyl Glucoside, a stabilised, natural vitamin C which activates on contact with the skin, providing slow and sustained benefits.

Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid again is a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies which helps retain suppleness and is a magnet for moisture as it can hold 1000 times its weight in water. This ingredient unfortunately depletes with age which is why babies look young and supple and older people lose that quality.


Packaging and user experience
The 128 ml product comes in a see-through plastic bottle that has a press-down lid--and this is where the product let me down. While the brand says that the toner contains a stabilised form of vitamin C, mine has turned a pale yellow after a couple of months' use--this despite having stored it away from light and air, in a closed cabinet. Thankfully, I had already finished using 3/4th of the product as I love it that much but I think the see-through packaging is a complete let-down especially because the vitamin C seems to have oxidised. The yellow colour is more pronounced at the neck of the bottle. See below...


UPDATE: 
On publishing this blog post, Maleka, the incredibly helpful owner of Merumaya, provided a clarification regarding the yellowing of the toner's content. This is her comment:

"First I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on our products. I really do appreciate it. I sent it off to one of our team of Cosmetic Scientists for his response to your comments about Vitamin C degradation. "Any yellowing is down to the acids rather than the Vit C. Acids are prone to a bit of yellowing. We know it's not Ascorbyl Glucoside as that ingredient only becomes Vit C (ascorbic acid AFTER contact and reaction on the skin. So it won't oxidise in the bottle. I hope that helps all your followers to feel perfectly reassured that what we said is true. It is encapsulated. Thanks again and I hope you will keep trying and sharing your thoughts about our products - you write exceptionally well. Fluid, factual and yet very personal. Regards to you all Maleka x Founder of MERUMAYA"

I thank Maleka for being so proactive with responding to reviews and concerns stated by users such as me. This is what sets her brand apart from the run-of-the-mill ones who don't even bother to show a face let alone address concerns. So, all in all, we don't need to worry about the 'yellowing'.

User experience wise, there is not a single fault that I can find with this product. The press-down lid is user-friendly as is the lightweight plastic bottle. The toner carries the same signature Merumaya scent present in all other products in this line, which is a delight to the olfactory senses.


Price and where to buy
The toner is priced at 16.5 GBP, which translates to 1395 INR. Like its sister toner, the Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner reviewed here, this one is also pricey when compared to most Indian toners. But I feel the value this toner provides is much more than the average toner you'd find in the Indian market. Both toners can be bought at merumaya.com


Worth the hype?
The Merumaya Treatment Toner is completely worth the hype. Go for it if Vitamin C is something you like to incorporate in your routine minus all the typical inconvenience associated with it.

I feel like I have covered quite a few toners over last several posts. I hope to write about other exciting products very soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

REVIEW: Plum Green Tea Alcohol-Free Toner

Continuing with the toner review series, today, I'm diving deep into Plum's Green Tea Alcohol-Free Toner.

Erm, alcohol-free?
It is interesting how Plum, a fairly new brand (estd. 2013), inspired by global best practices in safe, natural cosmetics and beauty solutions, has to expressly state the words 'alcohol-free' in the name of its toner. For one, this (in no uncertain terms) bids goodbye to the horrible alcohol-filled toners of the yore, but also subtly educates the Indian consumer that you don't need alcohol in your toner anymore as cleansers today are far more sophisticated and thus, don't need an alcohol swab to get rid of the remnants of the cleanser.


Now that we have established how toners can very well do without alcohol, let's get to know this one well.

Why I purchased it
After my meh experience with the Sidmool toner reviewed here, I needed a new cleansing toner in my routine. And I wanted it to be an inexpensive one, especially because it's not going to be a leave-on product. I had heard about Plum from its PR machinery so I scanned their website to check for toners; this glycolic acid and green tea toner seemed to suit my requirement.

Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, FDA Approved Colours, Fragrance Glycerin, Glycolic acid, Phenoxyethanol

Star ingredients
Since this isn't technically an exfoliating toner, I'm doing away with the usual 'how much acid is in it' part of the review. Instead, I'd like to focus on the star ingredients: glycolic acid and green tea leaf extract.

Glycolic acid: A recent favourite ingredient of mine, glycolic acid, apart from exfoliating dead skin cells, helps to reduce the appearance of clogged pores (a major concern of mine), reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and fade hyperpigmentation from sun damage or acne. Glycolic acid is a great-to-have ingredient in skincare routines if you suffer from any of the above-listed concerns. This toner, I'm assuming, contains a very small percentage of glycolic acid given that it shows up way down the inci list. It's actually second-last, right before the preservative, phenoxyethanol.
Green tea:
I only know green tea as an antioxidant for both the inside and outside of your body, but the Plum website explains it well. They say: A great natural astringent (tightens pores), green tea is also anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and provides the skin with nourishing anti-oxidants to decrease the signs of aging. Need I say more? Astringent toner lovers, if you love to "feel" the toner on your skin, the green tea in this toner will take care of that for you.

Packaging and user experience
The toner comes in a no-frills plastic bottle, with a press-down lid. I didn't imagine this would cause problems while travelling but it did. I lost 70% of the product as it leaked through the press-down lid. So, that's a big con I have regarding this product. I hope the brand takes this into account.


The toner has a very slight herbal smell, which for some reason reminds me of men's shaving cream. I can't decide if that's pleasant or not.
I use the toner poured onto a cotton pad and then swiped across the face,  neck and even hands, cuz it's inexpensive and I can afford to use it all up, sans the guilt.
Now, for the results. The toner cleans up every little particle of grime off the face, even after using a cleanser. And I take my cleansing very seriously, spending up to a minute massaging and then washing/wiping off till the cows come home, so that's saying a lot about this product's efficacy.

Price and where to buy
The toner is priced at 380 INR, which is pretty good for such an effective product. I bought mine from plumgoodness.com, where shipping is free for orders above 300 INR, and you earn points with each purchase. The product was delivered to me in two days. You can also buy the toner from nykaa.com, but I prefer free shipping and bagging reward points.

Worth the hype?
Plum's Green Tea Alcohol-Free Toner is (fairly) worth the hype. Apart from the healthy standpoint that the brand has (which other brand in India says no to fairness creams and plastic microbeads in scrubs?), the products definitely seem promising.  Now, if they'd only fix the lid on the bottle, they would have a perfect product on their hands.

Monday, January 30, 2017

REVIEW: Bravura London Detoxifying Eucalyptus Astringent Toner 15% AHA/BHA

It seems like forever since I last did a toner review. But we're not done yet! So, let's jump right into it.

In my previous post, I talked about the Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner, why it's one of my favourite toners (as it meets pretty much every requirement), and my only one gripe about it. Today, I want to talk about the Bravura London Detoxifying Eucalyptus Astringent Toner 15% AHA/BHA, another exfoliating toner in my stash.


Why I purchased it
I started my exfoliating toner journey with this product aimed at oily, problem skin, mainly because it has salicylic acid (good for spotty, clogged, oily skin) and eucalyptus, which I simply love. I love peppermint-y, eucalytpus-y ingredients in my skincare products, which give my skin an instant cooling, refreshing feel. So, this seemed like a no-brainer purchase.

Ingredients:
Purified Water, Glycolic Acid and Sodium Glycolate, Aloe Vera Extract, SD Alcohol 40B, Glucose and Fructose and Sucrose and Urea and Dextrin and Alanine and Glutamic Acid and Hexyl Nicotinate, Lactic Acid, Eucalyptus Extract, Salicylic Acid, Camphor, Balsam Peru, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate

How much acid is in it?
As per the Bravura London website, the Gycolic Acid in this amounts to 15 per cent, partially neutralised with Ammonium Hydroxide. However, the website does not mention the percentages of both Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid. We know that Salicylic Acid is typically used in very low concentrations as it's quite potent, so that might explain why it's showing up towards the end of the inci list.

Packaging and user experience
The toner I had purchased came in a no-nonsense flip-top, see-through bottle, which I absolutely love for travel as it's so practical. Bravura has since changed its packaging so do have a look at the website to see if you like it.
The scent is very herbal and refreshing (to me at least), but it may come across as strong to others. I use this poured onto a cotton pad and swiped across the face and neck.
With a ph of 3.8 (perfecto!), this toner gives a tingly kick to the skin. With that said, this toner is not for the faint of heart. Bravura states clearly on its website that this toner is a strong one and should be avoided if your skin is sensitive. Mine isn't so I had no issues using it.
The toner seemed very effective initially in evening out my skin tone, but sadly, with my second bottle, I did not see sustained impact. In other words, clogged pores were still a major issue for me, even with continued use of this toner.

Price and where to buy
The toner is priced at 12.90 GBP (roughly 1000 INR), and can be bought from the Bravura London website. I don't believe Bravura sells this anywhere else, although I have seen resellers having a go at it. But I'd be wary about buying skincare from unauthorised sellers.

Worth the hype?
Sadly, even after using up one-and-a-half bottle of this toner, I have concluded that it isn't a keeper for me. Even though I love its eucalyptus-y kick, it did not completely meet my expectations of managing my clogged pore situation. Having said that, if you have non-sensitive skin and the AHA/BHA concentration and other ingredients excite you, do give it a try. After all, I did repurchase it to give it a fair chance.

In my next post, I will talk about a recent purchase of mine, the Plum Green Tea Toner, possibly the only toner with glycolic acid in it, being sold in India commercially. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

PSA: Lookfantastic India slashes its delivery charges

We interrupt the highly interesting toner review series to bring you this public service announcement!

A couple of months ago, I compared the shopping websites Lookfantastic International and Lookfantastic India in this blog post. The bottom line being that the Indian site did not offer any more value over its international counterpart. I wasn't sure if the Lookfantastic guys realised this but it seems that they are doing something about it now.


In my comparison post, you'll see that I have griped about how "If you are spending less than INR 6,000, the tracked cost is INR 1,000. So, there’s no clear advantage over the international site."



Well, the good news is that the Indian site has now slashed its delivery charges by 50 per cent. Look at this!



You can now get tracked delivery for INR 500, no matter what the purchase amount is.

You're welcome! ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

REVIEW: Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner

In my previous post, I spoke about the Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion and what it did and did not do for my skin. Continuing with my toner review series, today, I want to talk about one of my favourite exfoliating toners. Tada!



MERUMAYA GENTLE EXFOLIATING TONER
In case you're new to exfoliating toners, here's a quick note on why they are useful. Exfoliating toners are called so because they contain exfoliating acids such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, etc.

Exfoliating toners:
1) Lower the ph of the skin so that when a harsh cleanser is used on the skin, raising its ph value from a natural, healthy level of 5 to anywhere beyond level 6-7, the exfoliating acid brings down the ph back to its healthy level. A healthy ph level means that bad bacteria do not breed on the skin, thus reducing instances of acne.
2) Wipe away dead skin cells, which ordinary toners are not capable of. Removal of dead skin cells means the fresher skin cells underneath are more capable of taking in whatever skincare products you use next. In short, without exfoliation, you're just moisturising dead skin cells.
3) Tend to make the skin sensitive if they are overused. The visible results they give can tempt you to overuse them.

Why I purchased it
Merumaya came into my radar when I was researching into cleansing balms, which is a separate blog post in itself. Once on the Merumaya website, I noticed how passionately its creator, Maleka Dattu, described each product that she offered--the inspiration behind it, the need for it, the active ingredients, etc. And before I knew it, the product fell into my cart. Also, it helped to know that Maleka had Caroline Hirons' blog readers test out this product during the pre-manufacture phase. Caroline, being a proponent of exfoliating toners, asked her readers to test it out as most of them were used to exfoliating acids and obviously had high standards of a new exfoliating product. Long story short, the toner met their approval.

Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Citric Acid, Tartaric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, Betaine, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Lactic Acid, Maris Aqua, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Algin, Parfum (Fragrance), Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Cellulose Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citronellol, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Isoeugenol, Benzyl Benzoate

How much acid is in it?
The toner contains 15 per cent of ‘Natural AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) Complex’, which is the maximum permitted level of that ingredient and equates 10 per cent actual AHAs. From what I understand, this toner has a good percentage of lactic acid, citric acid and tartaric acid, although the latter two are also used as ph adjusters (to ensure the product isn't too acidic or basic), so I'm not sure about the concentration of each acid. But lactic acid, on its own, is a wonderful gentle exfoliant, which explains the name of the product.

Generally speaking, AHAs, like glycolic acid, are considered harsh, but Maleka says that if the product formulation is right, the harshness or the sting that acids give can be buffed. For this, she has included Hyaluronic Acid (for moisture and hydration), Betaine (an anti-irritant) and Glycerin in the toner.

Now for the test of any exfoliating product--out come the ph strips. As mentioned in my previous post, this toner records a solid 3 on the ph scale, making it perfect for exfoliation. In case you missed that post, here's the comparison shot with the Clinique toner. As you can see, the Merumaya patch is a bright yellow, indicating its acidic ph level.


Packaging and user experience
The toner's packaging is faultless. It comes in a 128 ml see-through plastic bottle. The lid is a press-down type, which is extremely convenient.
The first thing you notice on using this toner is that phenomenal Merumaya signature scent, which Maleka likes to include in all her products. So, while the toner and the cotton pad are buffing away dead skin cells on your face and neck, you can breathe in this lovely aroma. I'm not particularly good at describing fragrances but if I had to, I'd say that this has a light floral, spa-like scent.

Price and where to buy
The toner is priced at 15 GBP, which translates to 1200 INR. I know this is pricey as per Indian standards but there are hardly any exfoliating toners being sold in India. I can only think of Plum and its glycolic acid-based toner.
As far as buying Merumaya products is concerned, obviously, they can be purchased from the Merumaya website but the shipping fee to India is 15 GBP, which is extortionate. So, I didn't buy it immediately. I searched high and low for other sites that sold Merumaya products internationally. No luck! Eventually, I bit the bullet and placed a huge order to qualify for free shipping. Works out well, that way. On the one hand, I'm happy that Merumaya ships globally but I seriously hope that she and her team consider doing something about that horrendous shipping fee.

Worth the hype?
The Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner is completely worth the hype. It is formulated at the right ph, does not sting the skin and is convenient as well as pleasurable to use. I highly recommend it if you don't mind the splurge, shipping fee included.

In my next post, I will talk about the Bravura Detoxifying Eucalyptus Astringent Toner with 15% AHA/BHA. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

REVIEW: Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

Continuing with my toner review series, today I want to talk about the Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion, an exfoliating toner, which is currently discontinued and is now replaced by the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1.0.

Exfoliating toners
These, according to me, are necessary evils in the world of toners. They are called 'exfoliating' because they contain exfoliating acids such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, etc.

Exfoliating toners are necessary because:
1) Lower the ph of the skin so that when a harsh cleanser is used on the skin, raising its ph value from a natural, healthy level of 5 to anywhere beyond level 6-7, the exfoliating acid brings down the ph back to its healthy level. A healthy ph level means that bad bacteria do not breed on the skin, thus reducing instances of acne.
2) Exfoliating toners also remove dead skin cells, which ordinary toners are not capable of. Removal of dead skin cells means the fresher skin cells underneath are more capable of taking in whatever skincare products you use next. In short, without exfoliation, you're just moisturising dead skin cells.

Exfoliating toners are evil because they give typically give a 'zing' to the skin, and the effective results can make you want to overuse them.

Why I purchased it
This was one of the first exfoliating toners that I had purchased mainly because noted skincare guru and UK-based blogger/vlogger Caroline Hirons lists this as a mild exfoliating toner (it claims to contain 0.5 per cent salicylic acid at a ph of 2.9) that is free of alcohol and supposedly good for someone who is new to exfoliating acids. The toner is meant for those having sensitive skin.

Note: When I tested this on a ph strip, it did not register a ph of 2.9 or 3. My test indicated a level of 4. I tested for a second time, and this time, I poured the Clinique one and another exfoliating toner (by Merumaya) side by side.

You can see how the Clinique patch (on the left) indicates a ph of 4, while the Merumaya patch (on the right) is brighter and more acidic indicating a ph of 3.

Ingredients:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Hydroxypropyl, Cyclodextrin, Salicylic Acid, Aloe Leaf Powder, Arginine, Peg-10 Soya Sterol, Ceteth-20, Dimethicone, Ceteth-20, Panicum Miliaceum (Millet) Seed Extract, Dimethicone, Ceteth-2, BisPeg 18 Methy Ether DiMethyl Silane, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxy Ethanol, Green 5, Yellow 10

Note: Cetyl Alcohol is not alcohol in the traditional sense. It is a fatty alcohol derived from natural fats and oils originating from plants/animals. It is used in cosmetics to keep an emulsion's oil and liquid from separating. 

Packaging and user experience
The product comes in a frosty plastic bottle, which thankfully allows you to see how much product is remaining. But Clinique failed majorly on one basic aspect. The mouth of the bottle should ideally have had a pump or a drop-by-drop dispenser. This one pours product out without any stoppage, which is highly inconvenient.
On using this (poured onto a cotton pad), I felt my skin getting hydrated immediately. As for exfoliation, I need something more powerful for my combination, non-sensitive skin.

Price and where to buy
I bought this from a Clinique store here in Mumbai. But if you go looking for it now, keep in mind that Clinique has already replaced this with the newer 1.0 version, which has an even less amount of salicylic acid in a base of witch hazel.

Worth the hype?
For me, this product sadly did not live up to the hype. The advertised ph claim did not hold true, at least in my ph tests. Also, since I don't have sensitive skin, I wasn't able to appreciate its benefits--but that's not Clinique's fault. If you're interested in exploring the 1.0 version, I urge you to read as many reviews as you can online and then make a decision.

In my next post, I will feature and review my current favourite exfoliating toner. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

REVIEW: Sidmool Skin Science Sparkle Toner

In my previous post, I spoke a bit about toners--whether you should even bother with one, what a noted skin doc had to say, and my own opinion. From this post onwards, I want to dig deep into each of the toners I use, and what makes or breaks the deal for me.

Cleansing toners
Cleansing toners my favourite type of toner as it takes off any leftover residue post cleansing. We all have post-cleansing residue, it's just that it's not very obvious on the skin, which is why I like to swipe across a cotton pad soaked in a cleansing toner, over the face and neck area. Sometimes, I even go further and swipe a fresh cotton pad on my arms. Try doing it, I bet you'd be surprised.



SIDMOOL SKIN SCIENCE SPARKLE TONER
Sidmool is a Korean skincare brand that promises advanced and clinically-proven ingredients such as Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Astaxanthin, Ginseng and Sea Buckthorn. The brand also promises high concentrations of active ingredients, which means they don't put in anything (like water, which is usually the first ingredient listed on a toner) that will dilute the efficacy of the product.

Just look at this inci list:Ingredients: Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces Ferment, Saccharomyces/Astragalus Membranaceus Root Ferment Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Magnolia Kobus Bark Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Betaine, Astaxanthin, Wild Ginseng Root Extract, RH-Oligopeptide-1(Human Oligopeptide-1), Copper Tripeptide-1, Lecithin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Water, 1,2 Hexanediol, Olibanum, Adenosine, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate

Fermented skincare ingredients
You will see a lot of fermented ingredients on this list and for a good reason. Fermented skincare is a huge trend in Korean skincare, which is popular for its experimentation with strange-sounding ingredients (snail slime, donkey milk, bird's nest anyone?). Anyway, fermentation is a process by which yeast helps produce enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants, which by way of fermentation get super-charged and hence, are able to benefit the skin immensely.

This inci list promises Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces Ferment and Saccharomyces/Astragalus Membranaceus Root Ferment Extract. 'Saccharomyces', which literally means 'sugar fungus' is the scientific name for the yeasts used in fermentation, specifically baker's yeast. The history of fermented skincare lies in the youthful hands of workers who were brewing sake for many years. The men were old but their hands were freakishly young, soft and wrinkle-free. The first product to use the fermentation technology in skincare was SKII in its Pitera essence.

Coming back to this inci list, you will also see that glycerin is the ninth ingredient on the list whereas in most toners, it's the first or the second. Suffice to say, the first eight ingredients were enough to make me click that Buy button.

 
Packaging and user experience
The toner comes in a pump style bottle. The packaging is faultless and I like how the bottle is clear so you can see how much product is remaining. The product has an earthy petrichor-like aroma, which I find pleasing. Sidmool recommends that you pour a little amount on your palms and rub it on the face. How incredibly impractical! I use it with a cotton pad. The toner cleans the skin really well but leaves it a bit tacky. The tackiness dissipates after a minute or so.  

Price and where to buy
Usually, I put in info about price and where to buy the product. But let me warn you, this product is incredibly difficult to source if you're living outside of Korea. Prices differ on where you buy it from. So, if you're considering getting it, please do a thorough research. I had purchased it via a third party called Avecko, who purchased it directly from Sidmool.

Worth the hype?
So, was this toner worth the hype? Nope, it wasn't. Even after using the bottle way past its halfway mark, I couldn't see any difference in my skin. With such classy ingredients and their supposedly high concentrations, I had expected a lot more out of this. At best, the Sidmool Skin Science Sparkle Toner is a maintenance product, so I had to demote it from the treatment toner to the cleansing toner category.
 
In my next post, I will talk about Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion. Stay tuned!