Product Type: The Body Shop body care
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To tone or not to tone...
The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner
Member Name: Campbell87
The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner
Date: 03/10/11, updated on 03/03/12 (78 review reads)
Advantages: fresh feeling skin,
Disadvantages: does the opposite of what it says on the tin...tub!
I got a 60ml travel sized bottle of this toner when I purchased the complete minis set from The Body Shop. Priced at £25, I got it for a bargain £10! I also got a voucher for £10 off a £25 spend, to be used the following month. I have not seen these receipt vouchers for a few months now though. They do save you a fortune if you're a regular Body Shopper. As an oily/combination skin type, I am constantly on the lookout for products specifically targeted at my skin type and having never tried out any of The Body Shops skin care systems, I figured their 'Seaweed' selection sounded like a good place to start as it boasts being created for my specific skin type.
Here's what I love about walking around The Body Shop; everything is so organised. It is so easy to walk in and walk straight to your specific products without wasting time aimlessly wandering about, reading bottle to bottle. If you know the system you're looking for, you can pop in and out really fast! The Seaweed collection is marked with a blue/green label, and the containers are generally clear and/or white plastic packaging. The mini collection comes in a blue/green mesh zip back, a great travel toiletry case, it's also doubled up as the perfect storage for my perfume samples! The toner comes in a small clear plastic bottle with a flip top...and the bottles are great for being reused, something that I especially like! I wonder if this was what The Body Shop had in mind? It would be great if they offered a recycling scheme similar to the Lush pot recycle scheme!
The toner has a green tinge to it that makes it somewhat uninviting to look at; it's quite unique in its colouring. As it's 'seaweed' then the tinge is cliché but expected. Most toners have the same water-like consistency and this is no exception. The only thing I have found is that when applying, it does dry with a somewhat tacky residue that takes a few minutes to mattify. Most of the products in this range have the same sea like fragrance but I find it stronger in the toner. It really seems to linger on the skin for sometime too. I'm not convinced this is a wholly natural smell as the toner does list 'parfum' in the ingredients. It also lists 'menthol' in the ingredients and I do find this to be quite a prominent 'eye stinging' scent. As I have somewhat sensitive skin, I try to avoid toners with an alcohol base as they can be quite harsh; unfortunately, I forgot to check the label on this one until after a few uses. You can definatly tell the difference between an alcohol based and an alcohol free toner...alcohol based gives you that 'stinging' sensation that alcohol free lacks. Alcohol toners tend to be more drying, so avoid these if you have dry skin!
After washing with the Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash, I pat the skin dry and then apply a good few drops of the toner to a cotton pad. With the skin still slightly damp, I sweep the toner across my face, starting at the chin, working upwards and outwards in circular motions. I also do my ears, behind my ears and my neck. I find I need to get the cotton pad quite drenched in order to really get anywhere with this toner. Too little on the pad and it dries out and feels very uncomfortable on the skin. As it's alcohol based, using on and around the eye area is a big no no. It really dried out the outer corners of my eyes and though it isn't too bad and removing waterproof mascara residue, the pain it leaves behind is not worth it! It actually took the skin around my eyes a few weeks to recover from this!
When looking at the cotton pad, it does appear to have removed an awful lot of dirt and oil. My skin feels zingy (and stingy) after use, and very open and fresh. The toner boasts to, 'minimise pores, remove impurities and reduce excess oil'. Well, I will agree with the last two statements, it does remove the excess oil on the skin at the time, but it does little to prevent the oil building up after use. As for minimising pores, I have very large pores on my nose and chin and it has done nothing at all to their appearance or clearing them out. It feels more like a surface cleaner than anything penetrating. Possible using after a facial steam would remove more of the dirt, but I find this stings my skin more.
Out of all the products in the mini Seaweed set, the toner has to be the least impressive and it really lets the entire system down. The 60ml sample lasted me around 4 weeks, and when almost all the others are still going strong 6 weeks on, it comes in last place. I strongly dislike the smell which seems to linger for a long time too. It's too 'menthol' and I feel at times, as though I have Vicks on my face! It says it will leave my skin shine free...which is true for a few minutes, but once the moisturiser goes on or a few hours pass, you can say hello to shine once again.
I gave it a go, but I doubt I would ever repurchase this toner. My skin really dislikes alcohol based toners and I don't want to aggravate it any more than I have to! I wouldn't recommend it to dry skin types as it does really dry out the skin, but even then, it doesn't dry it out enough to combat the excess sebum oil. It's a no win toner for me. For the past 3 months or so I have given up on toner all together and have noticed a dramatic difference in my skin, especially around the t-zone. My skin isn't totally oil-free but it has reduced noticeably!
Summary: A basic toner that lacks any really benefits!