Somewhere in every girl’s bathroom cabinet is a skincare product that rarely sees the light of day—toner. If toner reminds you of the smell of alcohol and an unpleasant stinging sensation, you wouldn’t be entirely mistaken. The toners of yore garnered a bad reputation for making you wince! But the dog days are over, girls—turns out, the newest, coolest toners are alcohol-free and super gentle on the skin.
We have two such toners in our keeping at the moment, both brand-new formulas from Céleteque Dermoscience. The Advanced Anti-Aging Toner claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles up to 92% (within six weeks of use), while the Brightening Toner is designed to lighten dull skin tone, dark spots, and blemishes (within 1 week of use). Ooh-la-la! Both toners, as you may have already guessed, have no alcohol in them.
For five days, BeautyMNL staffwriters Dani and Kim tested one toner apiece. Both girls have combination skin types with troublesome T-zones, but they also deal with individual issues.
Dani went for the Advanced Anti-Aging Toner because too much sun exposure has left her with fine lines and skin that is not as plump as it should be. On the other hand, Kim tried the Brightening Toner in an effort to improve her sallow complexion brought about by stress. Their workweek-long experiment is chronicled below!
DANI (Advanced Anti-Aging Toner): “It’s my first time using the toner—and I have to say, this stuff changes my idea of toners in general. It gave my sleepy face a good-morning pick-me-up without the dry aftermath. There aren’t any visible results yet, but I’m looking forward to the next few days.”
KIM (Brightening Toner): “I’m an avid believer in toners. I feel like my skin just gets duller without them, so this brightening formula was right up my alley. The first time I applied it, I immediately noticed its pleasant scent—not chemical-y like most toners. I don’t see any instant difference in my skin yet, but I like how gentle the toner is and how my pores feel extra cleansed.”
DANI (Advanced Anti-Aging Toner): “Today, I was really excited to apply my toner. It might be because it’s brand-new and full of promise. It has a pleasant scent (like a baby bath product) that is as soothing to the senses as it is on my skin.”
KIM (Brightening Toner): “A late night meant that my skin felt more fatigued than usual today. I made sure to focus on areas where I really needed it—around my nose, chin, and cheeks. The brightening formula immediately picked up all the leftover grime and makeup I couldn’t wash out with cleanser. My skin felt like it could breathe again.”
DANI (Advanced Anti-Aging Toner): “I’ve finally figured out the consistency of this toner: it feels like I’m applying straight-up water to my face. Most astringents leave my face red after application, but this toner is different—it’s super gentle!”
KIM (Brightening Toner): “Since I had time to spare, I decided to pop this toner in the fridge for a few minutes before applying it. This was a great idea, if I do say so myself. The formula felt so cool and refreshing when I patted it on! It helped diminish some of my morning puffiness and my makeup applied smoothly after.”
DANI (Advanced Anti-Aging Toner): “I use a derma-prescribed retinol cream every night, and the side effects include lobster-red skin and dry patches. I thought the toner would aggravate them, but no! It actually created a softer, smoother canvas for the rest of my skincare routine.”
KIM (Brightening Toner): “Confession: I tend to use way too many chemical exfoliators. So this week, I used only Céleteque’s toner in lieu of my usual acids. The toner gave me exactly what I was looking for: deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation. My skin felt as smooth as it does after I use my favorite BHA/AHA toner.”
DANI (Advanced Anti-Aging Toner): “Redness, surprise flare-ups, and discoloration are my main “skinsecurities,” and they are all most obvious in the morning. But today, I find that they’re less visible than usual! In fact, I woke up with this strange glow that made me want to forego makeup altogether. (NOTE: I did.)”
KIM (Brightening Toner): “While the changes are not drastic at the end of 5 days, this toner kept my complexion from back-tracking into sleep-deprived dullness. I even noticed that a few scars left over from a previous hormonal breakout are surprisingly less visible!”
As mentioned, both the Advanced Anti-Aging Toner and the Brightening Toner are free of alcohol, which immediately sets them apart from traditional astringents. Alcohol contains antibacterial properties that neutralize sebum production and purge your pores, but it can traumatize your skin in the process. Céleteque’s toners skip the alcohol in favor of milder ingredients that don’t bring about irritation and suck out moisture. According to our friends at Céleteque, both formulas are most effective after a full month of use.
DANI (Advanced Anti-Aging Toner): “Over the course of a week, no earth-shattering change took place in my complexion. But I cannot wait to use up my bottle to see the full effect of the product! If anything, this experiment made me realize that people must use toner—it just makes you look better! A formula that’s both gentle and effective can make a huge difference.”
KIM (Brightening Toner): “This product just solidified my faith in daily toning. Since I switched out my chemical exfoliators to test this formula, I was worried my skin would slip back into the dullness and roughness I tried so hard to eradicate. Luckily, I was wrong! This toner actually kept my skin refreshed and provided some decent exfoliation all on its own.”
The Advanced Anti-Aging Toner P169 and Brightening Toner P139 by Céleteque Dermoscience are now available on BeautyMNL. EXCLUSIVE PROMO: Buy 1, Take 1, while supplies last! Shop them here and here.
Photos by Danielle Calma and Kim Visda