Layering is one of those skincare concepts that you’ll either take to with glee or find bothersome. For many, toners are an expendable step though we’re firm believers that when the right toner comes along, it can change the entire routine, bridging the gap between cleansing and serums and so much more!
Recently, with the explosion of Korean Beauty concepts, essences are making their mark as well. Thought of as a hybrid of a toner and serum, essences are packed with all the nutrient-dense ingredients one would find in a serum but with the liquid weight of a toner. A bonus is that essences also bring more hydration into the skin.
The majority of essences on the market come from Asia (the most iconic is SK-II’s Treatment Essence) and feature ingredients we try to avoid, such as artificial fragrance, alcohol, and PEGs. This prevented us from really exploring essences until Luzern Labs popped onto our radar with their ethos of clean, innovative, Swiss-designed formulas.
The ESSENTIAL BALANCING TONIC was the first product we tried and it was love at first use.
What does it do?
A toner, essence, and hydrator in one. This is a restorative toning essence that refreshes and clarifies complexion, tightens pores and controls excess sebum. We’d also say this takes the place of acid-toners as well as it’s quite effective in clearing pores and sloughing off dead skin cells. For serum aficionados, this beauty also boosts the power of serums that follow.
What is in it?
Pure Glacial Water is at the foundation of this line and is the star of this tonic. It instantly refreshes, hydrates and soothes skin. “Bio-Suisse organic extracts” including green tea, mallow flower, and ginger root help replenish and rejuvenate skin. “Multi-mineral co-factors” including zinc, copper, and magnesium stimulate metabolic energy. Witch Hazel and Willow Bark are found in the perfect concentration to serve as gentle yet powerful astringents that tone skin and minimize pores.
Bergamot, vanilla, and orange peel provide a relaxing and clean sensory experience.
How do I use it?
Essences should be applied to cleansed skin. Instructions say to soak a cotton ball or pad. However, we prefer to use a gauze which is better at soaking the tonic into the skin. For minimal morning routines, rinse skin with water and swipe this tonic over skin before moving to serums. In the evenings, swipe and/or hold and push to soak this onto the skin. Follow with serum.
Do you like it?
Since this arrived, it’s quickly become a go-to favorite. Results came from the first use and continued each time after. Sensitive skin might experience some immediate redness which is normal and should subside within 2 minutes. This tonic helps to balance skin, minimize pores, plump skin and increase circulation. Because it clears skin of residue, you’ll really notice that serums work much better starting from how quickly they sink into the skin. Skin is visibly radiant and more evenly textured, while pores are reduced giving the overall appearance of a subtle, though lasting real-life photoshop effect.
For those with drier skin, there is a more hydrating version.
If you’ve hit a plateau in your skincare regimen or just want to see the results of your products more quickly, Luzern Lab’s Essential Balancing Tonic is going to be key and will make skin feel clean and light even in the middle of summer, with all the hydrating and soothing benefits that will be suitable even for the harshest of winters. An all-star product for all seasons, this tonic is not one to skip.