Acid Toners: The Basics

When I first heard about acid toners, I raised my eyebrows at the thought of applying acid to my face - in fact, I couldn't think of anything worse. I was convinced that I would come away with chemical burns on my face and somehow inadvertently end up giving myself a chemical peel. But alas, I did my research, tried a couple and have changed my mind...

If you're questioning acid toners, heres what you need to know...

Acid toners are non abrasive exfoliating toners. I've had so many terrible experiences with face scrubs simply because they were too harsh on my skin. Acid toners do the same thing except they contain acids such as glycolic, salicylic and lactic acid (also known as AHA's) that basically exfoliate all the dead skin cells - they do exactly what you think a face scrub would do except they're nonabrasive and gentler (despite the scary "acid" name). These AHA's aren't just found in toners but can also appear in face washes, serums, moisturisers and masks - but toners are often recommended as the acid is not washed off the face, hence meaning it has longer to work.

In a quest to try and find a reasonably priced toner containing these sought after AHA's, I did my research and here are my top three.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

 contain glycolic acid and claim to brighten, exfoliate and tone and they do just that. Inside the tub are pads soaked in the toner. I rub them all over my face, buffing it into any imperfections and let it work it's magic! The claim to "brighten" is because it is effectively getting rid of the dead skin cells, which somewhat rejuvenates your skin. My skin definitely feels softer and appears much better - I've seen a reduction in redness and am yet to have a spot! I've been using these for seven days. They're around £20 for 60 pads and if you're in the UK you can pick them up from

. These are definitely one of the more affordable options and are very gentle as it has an aloe vera base and thats coming from someone with exceptionally sensitive skin!

Bravura London Purifying Calendula Toner

 is another affordable option for around £8 and contains 13% AHA (10% glycolic, 3% lactic). This is brilliant - it's a bit more concentrate than the Facial Radiance Pads but does it's job! It smells a bit funky but if you can get past the smell, it works wonders. The bottle doesn't look that big (it's only 100ml) but I've been using it for a while and there is still loads left. I soak a cotton pad in it and apply it to the face - just like the Facial Radiance Pads.

The easiest to get your hands on however has to be the

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Cleanser

 which is readily available in Boots (if you're in the UK) and is £5.30 which is a right steal. I know this isn't a toner but I


 to include it because it contains an AHA (and I wanted to provide options). Despite initial worries that it lathers (gasp) it doesn't foam to the extend that it is drying - it really is minor. It only contains 2% Glycolic acid which is probably why it's a bit cheaper than the other options but it still helps to brighten. As it has a lower concentration of Glycolic acid, it definitely takes a longer usage period to see a dramatic difference so it depends on you which one you opt for but personally, I would go for a toner as they stay on your skin longer as of course, you wash the cleanser off your face!

These are three of the cheaper options but if you're wanting to splurge, popular products containing AHAs include

Sunday Riley's Good Genes

serum which is raved about but costs a wopping £80+,  


 which is £50 but is one of the best and most concentrated AHA products and

Dennis Gross M.D Products

 which once again are on the pricey side.

Have you tried any acid based toners? Did this post help at all?