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Since being a teenager, I've always suffered with very oily and spot prone skin, which has sadly stayed with me and I'm now 25. With this skin type, you do need a product a bit stronger than your average cleanser/toner, as you need something that's going to fight spots and not just clean the dirt off your face.
For many years I was a Skin Care Consultant at Boots, so had already tried most spot fighting products but all didn't really help my skin until I tried Garnier Pure Active. I decided to go for a toner rather than a wash, as I was happy with the wash I was already using. Prices do vary from store to store, and I got mine for £3.49 which is a bargain in my eyes.
Garnier Pure Active Toner is a liquid that you use to cleanse your face with, to fight spots and fades marks, and that it did! Even after the first use, my skin just felt cleaner and fresher. After continued use, I noticed that my spots were disappearing and no new ones were appearing, my blackheads were reduced and old scars were fading. It really boosted my confidence as my face was getting clearer, and I no longer had to pile on the make up. One thing that I love about this product is that it contains salicylic acid, which doesn't sound too nice, but is actually a well known spot fighter that for some reason isn't really used in many products. Sometimes when I do get a flare up of spots, I do notice that when I use this product it will sting a little over the affected area, but it's something I can live with because of the great results.
It's so simple to apply too! All you need is to splash a little onto a cotton pad and wipe onto your face, avoiding the eye area. So quick and easy!
I first bought this toner after searching through the boots website to find something that might help with my oily skin. I do get spots and blemishes on my skin, which tend to leave red marks on my face which are unsightly. This product promises to protect agaisnt spots and also fade red marks - which is exactly what I was after.
The products itself is a pale blue liquid, which has quite a medicinal smell to it, although not in an unpleasant way. I applies it with a cotton wool pad all over my skin, avoiding the aread around the eye. As it went on, I noticed a very cooling sensation. I then noticed a tingling which was quite intense, that told me that the product was at least doing something. Within minutes, my skin looked better, and after a couple of hours, the size of my spots was reduced, and the red marks on my face had faded - I was astounded! My skin felt really cleansed and clean, which I think always makes you feel nice. I also noticed that it did a really good job of getting off the remnants of the cleanser, and even removed hidden dirt that the cleanser hadn't managed to. This made me confident that my skin was absolutely clean.
I can't believe the difference this has made to my skin, I now use it religously twice a day. The tingling sensation is less so now, I guess because my skin has got more used to it. Since I have been using it, my skin is in much better condition.
The toner cost around £5, however as it is a very thin consistency, you only use a tiny amount each time. There are cheaper toners out there, but I have never used a toner before that has actually has a real noticable effect on the tone of my skin. It really does do the job.
I began to be inflicted with the ravages of hormonal change when I was about 11 or 12 years old and joy of all joys, began to be blessed with my first few spots. My acne was only ever mild, with a few pimples and the occasional nasty blackhead.
Now, it was at this time that I was convinced that my spots were largely a 'teenage' problem and that they would be gone in a good ten years or so. Maybe I could endure the following decade of hopeless unattractiveness, braces and oily t-zones to know that one day it would all come to an end? With glowing, clear skin, I'd wake up on the morning of my 20th birthday a swan.
Fat chance. I didn't even get rid of my braces until I was 21. At 23, whilst my skin may have calmed down a bit, I still had an oily T-zone and there was the worry that a right stonker of a 'plook' (a great Scottish word for spot) might rear its ugly head the night before that all-important special occasion or ID photograph.
I would have real difficulty trying to recall the many brands and different types of products that I have tried to treat my spot-prone skin. These include Clearasil, Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, various Benzoyl Peroxide products (which have dried out my face) and even some herbal pills which proclaimed to purify the skin from within. None of these products ever seemed to be all that effective and I have always been left unsatisfied (The herbal pills in particular were absolute balls).
Progressing into my twenties, I started to develop the attitude that these products were merely money-spinning rubbish that was probably doing more harm than good by stripping my face of its natural oils. I therefore limited myself to a face wash, the occasional use of a 'Witch' Blemish Stick and a good moisturizer.
It just never really appealed to me to follow a dedicated skin care regime as some women do, where you exfoliate, cleanse, tone and moisturize. When my friend suggested that I start using a toner upon my skin to try and prevent breakouts, this was something entirely new to me. I didn't even know what a toner was supposed to do.
In my search for a good toner, I came across this Garnier Skin Naturals product. It claims to both fight spots and fade marks. In skin which is prone to oiliness, blackheads and spots, the toner is supposed to help remove impurities, whilst mattifying and purifying the skin. However, was this really the case? Did it really work?
*~APPLYING THE TONER~*
This product claims to fight acne and fade marks using two key ingredients. 2% of it is made up of Salicylic Acid, an antibacterial agent which is meant to help clear pores and prevent spots. The second key ingredient is 'Herbasooth', which is apparently a natural active derived from Blueberry, selected for its caring and soothing properties. This Herbasooth business all seems rather vague and made up but I'll take Garnier's word for it. Surely it does the job...
Now, as for applying the product, you'll need some cotton wool pads and you'll have to be careful you don't put too much on the pad as the liquid is very runny. You only need a small amount which you can then dab on to your face, particularly upon the problem areas. The smell of the product is not particularly appealing but it's not unpleasant either. It smells medicinal and when it is applied to my skin it leaves me with a tingling sensation, without it stinging. It really feels like its working and this is quite satisfying in itself. It does, however, leave the skin feeling a bit tight. This, no doubt, is beneficial as it will help shrink pores and it doesn't dry up skin too much like some acne products. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend using a moisturizer to nourish the skin and replenish any natural moisture lost by using the toner and cotton pads.
*~FINALLY, SOMETHING THAT WORKS!~*
I tend to use this product quite religiously, once or twice a day, usually after I've washed my face or had a shower. In the week after I first started using it, the results were quite startling.
Never before have I been able to say that a product ACTUALLY works! Ever since I started using it my skin is noticeably clearer - I have had a lot less spots and my skin is a lot less red. It really is quite remarkable.
In addition to that, there was one period when I switched to another toner just because it was on special offer and my skin did get noticeably worse again. It wasn't long before I popped down the shops and got myself another bottle of this stuff and I haven't stopped using it since!
The product itself is priced at around £4 to £5, depending on where you buy it from. This price will probably seem somewhat pricey to those who are used to bargains but to those who are used to products from the likes of Clinique, it will probably seem rather cheap. I just wish that it was available in more shops as I always seem to have to go to Boots or Superdrug to get a bottle of it. It would just be nice just to be able to find it in more supermarkets like Tesco.
I personally think that, as effective as it is, the price is excellent value and prefer it to some more expensive brands. I recommended it to my 15 year old sister and she is also reaping the benefits of the solution, a solution which I wish I had at hand when I was her age.
Whether you are male or female, if you are unfortunate enough to have blemish-prone skin, I would recommend this product highly. Since I was about 11 or 12, I bought products that were supposed to help clear my skin.
After a hunt that has lasted somewhere over 10 years I think I have finally found it. I've finally found a product which can help me get rid of my dreaded teenage skin! And thank god for that!
*~Thank you for reading my review :-) x~*
*~Also published on Ciao under the username Renza - October 2011~*
Pure Active Intensive Purifying Toner / its formula delivers a double anti-spots and anti-marks action: 1. The concentrated formula, enriched with a well-known anti-bacterial ingredient, protect against spots / 2. Enriched with a natural active derived from Blueberry, the formula soothes and visibly reduces the appearance of marks / A formula enriched with a unique combination of active ingredients to instantly help fight spots and fade marks / 2% purifying Salicylic Acid, a maximum concentration of an extremely effective anti-bacterial ingredient / The natural power of plants: HerbaSoothe is an active extracted from Blueberry, selected for its caring and soothing properties.