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Sanctuary Pore Refining Toner

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5 Reviews

Brand: Sanctuary / Type: Toner / Skin type: for dry skin and for all types

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    5 Reviews
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    • More +
      30.11.2011 11:55
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      Nice but my pores are the same

      After receiving one of the much loved £5 off skin care vouchers from Boots off I went to pick out a new product to try. After much deliberation the product I left the store with was the pore refining toner from the sanctuary.

      **Who are 'The Sanctuary'?**

      The sanctuary is a day spa that is located in Covent Garden, London. The spa has released numerous products to allow consumers to enjoy the luxurious pampering treatments in the comfort of their own homes. I love being pampered and the idea of having spa treatments at home without having to pay the hefty price tags appeals to me a lot which is why I originally tried products from the sanctuary.

      **What is the Pore Refining Toner?**

      The pore refining toner is designed to give the results of a spa facial at home. It works by gently tightening pores for a smooth complexion.

      The Sanctuary says. "This gentle toner helps to balance skins pH levels and minimises the appearance of open pores without stripping or drying skin. The astringent action of witch hazel helps avoid blemishes. While also minimising the appearance of open pores and removing any lingering traces of cleanser."
      After reading this description I was very optimistic about trying this product as it just sounds perfect.

      **Using the toner**

      The bottle which the toner is contained it is a spray bottle. The lid comes off to reveal a nozzle which is easy to press down to release the product onto some cotton wool.

      The first time I used this product I held the cotton wool quite far from the nozzle. This I found was not a good idea. When released the toner comes out in a very fine spray which is very wide spread. You have to hold the cotton wool really close to the nozzle in order to get enough product onto it. I usually use 2 cotton pads with around 5 sprays of the product on each. This may sound like a lot but I have found that you need this much in order to get the cotton wool wet enough to do a good job.

      When applying the toner onto my skin it feels very gentle and does not irritate my skin at all. It also has a very mild scent and just smells very clean and refreshing.

      The toner is very effective on makeup; it picks up any remaining traces that are left on my face to leave it feeling very soft and clean.

      **The results**

      The main reason why I purchase this toner in particular was the promise that it would minimise the appearance of open pores as I had a couple on my nose.

      Despite my face feeling extremely clean and lovely after using this product I have to say my pores did not look any more refined than usual.

      I am also prone to blemishes so try my best to choose the right form of skin care. This product does do a good job and gives my skin a deep clean but I have used other products in the past that do a better job at combating blemishes.


      For 150ml of product the toner is priced at around £8.99 in the majority of outlets.


      At its full price I would definitely not buy this product again. I would be tempted if I was short of money to buy it again if I had another £5 off voucher but I do like my clinique toner so think I will stick to this in the future. This is a lovely toner in practice but the results were just not up to my expectations.

      --also on ciao--


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      • More +
        15.11.2011 19:10
        Very helpful



        A pretty good toner from Sanctuary.

        It is only recently that I have started to use toner as part of my facial skincare regime. I started to notice that I had rather large open pores around my cheek area and when I applied make-up it made them more noticeable whic really wasn't very attractive. This was probably not noticeable to other people unless they came very close but I knew they were there and it bothered me so I decided to look for something that would help. I had tried so many different face washes and cleanses over the years, some that were supposed to clear the pores etc so I decided not to go down the face wash route and instead started to look for a toner that would specifically help to reduce my open pores. I had a look what was offer on boots.co.uk and came across the Sancuary Deep Cleanse facial pore refining toner which sounded like exactly what I was looking for. I purchased it and couldn't wait for it to arrive to try it out and see what the results were.

        When it arrived I instantly loved the packaging, it was simple yet modern. The bottle is a pale bluey turquoise colour with rather a lot of black writing down the middle which includes the 'Sanctuary' logo. One feature I particularly like is that the bottle has a spray pump top which makes it easy to get the perfect amount for you on to cotton wool without wasting any or you can simply spray it straight over the face. It is a 150ml sized bottle.

        *About the Product*
        The pore refining toner is suitable for people with all skin types. It is a gentle toner that helps to balance the skin's pH levels and minimises the appearance of open pores without stripping or drying skin. The toner also claims that the astringent action of witch hazel helps avoid blemishes, while also minimising the appearance of open pores and removing any lingering traces of cleanser.

        *My experience*
        I am really happy I bought this toner. I would be lying if I said it has made my open pores dissapear but they certainly have reduced since using this toner. Not only has it reduced the open pores, it always leaves my skin feeling refreshed and with a smooth base for make-up without making my skin feel dry. As I mentioned above, the witch hazel in this product is supposed to help avoid blemishes which I found very important for me when I purchased this product because I suffer with blemishes on a regular basis and didn't want a product that would irritate my skin and make me breakout anymore. I pleased to say that using this toner has not affected my blemishes at all.

        The Snctuary Pore refining toner is available from Boots for £8.99. They also do a mini 30ml size for £2.99 if you would prefer to test the product on your own skin before purchasing the full sized bottle.


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      • More +
        13.08.2011 15:17
        Very helpful



        A good toner but it has not reduced my pores

        The sanctuary spa pore refining toner

        I saw this toner in boots a few days before my holiday about two weeks ago and it was a travel size product so I thought I would try it out on holiday. I have tried a lot of sanctuary bath/body products but I have not tried any of their skin care products before this one, so I did not really know what to expect.

        - Sanctuary Spa description

        "This gentle toner helps to balance skin's pH levels and minimises the appearance of open pores without stripping or drying skin. The astringent action of witch hazel helps avoid blemishes, while also minimising the appearance of open pores and removing any lingering traces of cleanser."

        - Ingredient list

        "Aqua (Water), Maris aqua (Sea water), Hamamelis virginiana extract, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, Salix alba (Willow) bark extract, Disodium EDTA, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid, Sodium hydroxide, Rosa centifolia flower extract, Ethylhexyglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Geraniol, Citronellol, Linallol"

        The main ingredients include: White Willow which is supposed to soothe the skin and Witch Hazel which is used as an astringent - it is used to prevent/reduce blemishes and spots. The toner is also scented with rose essential oil.

        - Packaging

        The toner comes in a small white bottle, which reminds me of a medicine bottle, it looks clean and the text on the bottle is easy to read even though it is quite small. The bottle has a screw top lid and the toner is dispensed through a small hole on the top of the bottle - there is no nozzle or pump dispenser.

        - About the product

        The toner claims to be pore refining - to reduce the size of the visible pores of the skin. This toner is also dermatologically tested, paraben free (parabens are chemicals that are used in cosmetic products - for more information on parabens see the link below). The sanctuary spa range is against animal testing and this product was made in the UK. This product is a travel size product, it is 30ml or 1.01 us fl oz.

        - What is a toner?

        A toner is a liquid product that is used after cleansing the skin. A toner is used on dry clean skin and it cleans and smoothes the skin before using a moisturiser. A toner can also be used to remove some cleanser residue or I actually use it as a cleanser if I am too tired to properly clean my skin.

        - Scent and appearance of the cleanser

        I like the scent of this product, it does smell like the rose essential oil that is stated to fragrance the toner. This toner smells like lush's eau roma water - which is my favorite toner ever - but is smells a bit more clinical and a bit more pungent than the roma water from lush. The toner itself does not look like anything really, it just looks like water. It looks like water - clear - and it has the same consistency as water as well.

        - How to use this toner

        On the back of the small bottle it says how to use the toner and it is as follows: After cleansing spritz the toner on to a cotton pad and sweep over the whole face and neck area. Then allow skin to dry for a few seconds and then finish with a Sanctuary moisturiser. Firstly, this is the smaller toner so you can not spritz the toner but I just dispense about eight drops of the toner onto a clean, dry cotton pad and then smooth it gently over my face - avoiding my eyes.

        - Using this toner

        Firstly I cleanse my skin - I have been using my clinique face scrub as a cleanser while I have been on holiday - then I apply this toner. I make sure my face is clean and dry before I use this toner. I take a clean cotton pad and I dispense about eight to ten drops of the toner on to the cotton pad. I then gently smooth the pad over my skin, I take it a bit onto my neck too. Unlike the eau roma water from lush I do not put this product near my eyes at all - with the eau roma water it is fine when I apply it over my eyes but with this product I would not do that, so I do have to use a different product on my eyes to remove my make up.

        After I have applied this product to my face I can see the residue on the cotton pad that my cleanser has mot removed, this is why I use a toner after cleansing, as my normal face cleanser/face wash does not remove everything. And I do use this product as my face cleanser on its own if I am too tired to cleanse my face properly - which save a bit of time and it cleanses my face well too.

        After using this toner I have to wait about a minute before I use my facial moisturiser as I find that if I apply my moisturiser too soon after I have applied this toner, it can make my skin sting and tingle slightly. So after waiting for about a minute for the toner to dry completely I then apply my facial moisturiser (I use simples 'hydro cream' during the day and avene rich compensating cream at night after using this toner).

        - Results

        I like the results from this product, it makes my skin feel very smooth and soft and it also makes my skin feel clean - and look clearer as well. Since using this product I find that my skin does look a bit clearer but for me this toner does not do anything for my pores. My pores are quite large on my nose and they can be really annoying and not very easy to cover up and this product unfortunately does not do anything to reduce the size of my pores - not a noticeable difference to me anyway. Overall, I like the results from this product, it makes my skin really smooth and it cleanses my skin well - it is also a good substitute for my regular face cleanser/face wash too. Although this product does not live up to its main claim - that is a pore refining as I did not notice any difference in the size of my pores at all while using this product. This product does not dry my skin out really but I would apply a moisturiser afterwards anyway, it does not clog up my pores and it does not make my skin break out.

        - Price and availability

        I bought this toner about two weeks ago from boots for £2.55 and this toner can also be bought from the sanctuary website for the same price. The price stated above is for the travel size 30ml bottle and the price for the 150ml toner is £8.99 from boots (I think the full size bottle has a spray dispenser).

        - Overall, would I recommend this product?

        I think that if you are going to buy this product for its pore refining claims I would say 'don't bother and look for a better product', as it did not reduce the size of my pores. But if you want a really good toner that smells nice, cleanses and smoothes the skin I would recommend this product. I would buy the smaller 30ml size bottle to try it first as it is very cheap and it is only £2.55 wasted if it does not work your you.



        *Very affordable
        *Great for traveling - it did not leak in my travel bag and it was very easy to use while traveling
        *Quick and easy to use and it is great to use when I don't have the time to properly cleanse my face
        *Does not irritate my eczema prone skin - it tingled very slightly the first time I used this product on my face but it does not anymore
        *Smells nice and cleanses my skin well
        *Leaves my skin smooth, clean and prepped for my moisturiser


        *Does not reduce/refine my pores at all - there is not difference that I can see anyway

        Thank you for reading my review - this review is also posted on ciao under my username labellavita1992

        For more information on this product and the sanctuary range: http://www.thesanctuary.co.uk/ (go to the sub heading 'buy sanctuary products' to view the range of products, including this toner)


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        • More +
          12.05.2011 19:38
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          Excellent Toner

          Until fairly recently I have to admit I didn't really understand the role using a toner played in a skincare regime. My skin care regime includes cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising; along with applying a face mask a couple of times a week. I thought that with my routine I'd covered all bases. When I received a sample of Clarins toner I decided to investigate further. A little research shed some light on this for me. A toner is designed to be used after a cleanser or mask but before a moisturiser and its job is to remove any excess cleanser, and shrink the appearance of pores. After finishing my sample I headed over to Boots to pick up some toner from the Sanctuary range as I am currently using their cleanser, day and night creams.

          For those that are unaware of the Sanctuary brand, Sanctuary run a group of one-day spas their main one being in Covent Garden, but they also have some others around the country. The products that they use on clients visiting the spa are also available on sale and the skincare products that I have recently started to use are part of that range.

          The Sanctuary have recently redesigned their packaging and the toner comes in a pastel blue bottle with a spray nozzle at the top through which the product is dispensed. This nozzle is covered by a plastic lid to keep it clean. The actual product is called a 'Deep Cleanse Facial Pore Defining Toner' that according to the front of the bottle gently tightens pores leaving a smoother complexion. The toner is suitable for all skin types. Each bottle contains 150ml of the product and is priced at around £8.99, although I got this as part of a recent £5 off promotion at Boots.

          Looking at the back of the bottle we are told that this gentle toner helps to balance skin's pH levels and minimised the appearance of open pores without stripping or drying the skin. Now I don't have any visible pores on my skin so using the product for me is more of a precautionary measure. Witch hazel has also been added to this as an astringent to help avoid blemishes and to remove excess cleanser. We are also told that this has been naturally fragranced with plant extracts and essential oils. The Sanctuary range do not test their products on animals. I was also pleased to note that this is also free of parabens, something which is an important criteria for me when choosing a new skincare product.

          I tend to use this toner at night after I have cleansed my skin (with the Sanctuary cleanser). To use, I sprayed enough of this to moisten a cotton pad and then wiped this over my skin. The spray comes out as a clear liquid and using the nozzle makes the product easy to dispense in a controlled way so there is no wastage. As I wiped I noticed that this had quite a light, sweet smell that reminded me of roses. My skin immediately felt cool and refreshed and continued to do so for several minutes after applied. I then continued to the next step in my regime, applying my night cream in the normal way.

          In the recent warm weather we have had I have started to apply this onto my skin several times a day, which has really refreshed my skin. The spray action also means that the product can be sprayed directly onto the skin (with the eyes closed) to really cool you down. Overall I am quite impressed with this product and highly recommend.


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          • More +
            24.02.2011 11:12
            Very helpful



            A great product if you don't mind spending that little bit more

            About a month ago now I had some vouchers to spend in Boots and so I spent ages walking round picking out some things that I'd like. Now Boots isn't a smart place for me to be at the best of times, especially with vouchers because I spend far too much - a lot more then I plan on spending when I go in. This particular time though I was focused on the Sanctuary products, partly because that's what the voucher is for and partly because I have a mini obsession with their products!

            One of the products I walked away with was this pore refining toner. I chose it because I have really noticeable pores on my nose and for some reason some fairly large pores (at least to me) above my eyebrows. I also liked the fact that it has added witch hazel as I'm prone to spots, especially when under stress and that time of the month. I have found that witch hazel usually works to reduce and prevent my acne and The Sanctuary do claim that the addition of it in here reduces blemishes so I thought it worth a try.

            The Packaging

            Maybe it's just the products I've used so far but I originally walked straight past this in the shop not even recognising it as a Sanctuary product. It's a very unobtrusive bottle yet looks very professional at the same time.

            The bottle itself is a light blue plastic with a metal neck and a clear plastic push pump and lid. On the front it has the Sanctuary name and fish logo and tells me that it's a deep cleanse facial, pore refining toner for spa perfect skin. It also tells me that it works by gently tightening pores to achieve a smooth complexion and that the bottle contains 150ml.

            On the back it tells me that these products are the same as the ones they use for facials in their spa. It also says that this particular toner is suitable for all skin types and helps to balance pH levels in your skin and minimize the appearance of pores without drying out your skin. It also tells me that witch hazel is an astringent and will help to avoid blemishes.

            My Opinion

            As with all Sanctuary products I loved this one.

            I sprayed it onto a cotton wool ball and then used this to apply it to my face. The spray is a bit too wide for my liking. A lot of it went round the side of the cotton wool and so there was a lot of wastage. I did try holding the bottle closer to prevent wastage round the sides but the spray is very powerful and so a lot of it just ended up bouncing off resulting in just as much wastage as before and so maybe a more directed spray would have been better.

            There is no added scent to this product and so it smells very faintly of witch hazel however this isn't really noticeable, I only picked it up after trying to smell it for this review.

            I also found that I needed to use a lot of it as the cotton wool dried quickly and so it took about 20 sprays to cover my whole face. Maybe this was because I was using a ball rather then a pad and so I can't really blame the product for that. I did try just spraying it directly onto my face and then using the cotton wool to rub it in but this didn't give me the same effect.

            When applying it to my face it was very moist and a lot of this moisture transferred to my face however this dried within about 20 seconds and so didn't cause a problem for me, after it had dried my skin felt more refreshed and revitalised. You would hope that after washing and cleansing that my skin would be clean.. after all that is the point of washing and cleansing! However I actually noticed a small amount of dirt on the cotton wool after applying this. I'm fussy about cleanliness and so used about 3 cotton wool balls to do my face since as soon as some dirt showed - I didn't think too much of the idea of rubbing that back onto my face! It does say on the bottle however that it provides a deep pore cleansing as well so maybe that is why as my cleanser isn't a deep pore one and so obviously isn't cleaning deep enough for me.

            Despite being quite prone to acne I actually suffer with quite dry skin in certain places on my face and so finding a product that doesn't aggravate this can be difficult however I've found that since using this (obviously combined with a moisturiser) I haven't had any dry skin on my face at all and so the claim about being non-drying is certainly accurate.

            As for my pores I can't say it's made too much of a noticeable difference to those on my nose but then they are very large ones and so I've pretty much given up hope with them anyway! Above my eyebrows however, maybe it's because I was paying so much attention to them but they actually seemed bigger immediately after application yet they did reduce in size after several minutes. I've now been using this product almost a month and they're almost invisible now so it definitely has made a difference to them.

            As for my acne since using this product I haven't had a single spot and those I did have are gone so it definitely has helped there. I also used this on shaving rash as I've heard that witch hazel can help with that and although I can't say it helped with the rash itself it did help to reduce the irritation from it.

            The sanctuary also say that you can use it as a pick me up during the day by just spraying it directly onto your skin and it did help me to feel refreshed when used like this but there are cheaper facial sprays around and using it like this didn't really make a noticeable difference to my skin.

            It cost me almost £7 and as those of you who have read my other reviews will know I don't mind paying a bit more for quality and Sanctuary products definitely provide me with the quality I'm looking for and so if you don't mind paying a little extra for a good product I would recommend it but there are cheaper ones available.

            Where Can I Get One?

            I've only seen this available in Boots and directly from the Sanctuary site. There are two size options - 30ml and 150ml.

            The 30ml is £2.55

            The 150ml is £6.99

            Contact Information


            The Sanctuary Connections
            Hemel Hempstead,
            HP2 7EA

            01442 430367


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