Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner

12:13:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

For all that Kate Somerville's Clarifying Treatment Toner is described to be, I wish it was more than just an average item for me.

Toners don't quite mean the same thing it did all those years ago when I first started using it in my skincare routine. Long gone are the alcohol-based astringents that need to be poured onto cotton rounds and swiped across the face. Nowadays, alcohol-free varieties that can be patted into the skin are becoming mainstays in regimes. For the sake of my sanity and distinguishing purposes, I'll refer to the pattable toners as essences.

Maybe because I made that distinction or maybe because I am stuck on old habits, I don't feel like it is an either or situation with the two types of products. I like the extra step of wiping my face after cleansing to really ensure all traces of makeup and dirt are gone. Despite double cleansing, there have been occasions where I miss spots on my face (typically around the outer edges).  I also enjoy the lightweight hydration essences provide. Both product types having a place in my routine and I find myself going through them fairly quickly, which is why I would prefer to not spend a lot on either. But there are desperate times when descriptions get the better of me and I plop $20+ on a toner I spend less than a minute using daily.

lavlilacs Review Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner

Sephora's description:

What it is:
A results-focused toner that clears and balances oily skin.

What it is formulated to do:
This is not your traditional toner! Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner is indeed a treatment. Its antiseptic power fights bacteria to ward off future breakouts. Effective exfoliating properties remove dead skin that can clog your pores. Lastly, it helps lighten discoloration from acne scarring.

What else you need to know:
This skin care essential is fragrance- and alcohol-free.

Apply to cleansed skin with a cotton ball. Use twice daily, in the morning and evening.

Sephora (150ml): USD $26

lavlilacs Review Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner packaging

How I ended up purchasing the Clarifying Treatment Toner isn't all too surprising after re-reading the product description. It seemed tailored to my persistent skin concerns: prevent future breakouts, remove dead skin, unclogged pores, and lighten discoloration. Plus, Kate Somerville is a highly beloved brand and everyone can't sing enough praises for. My trust was locked, tightly.

I know...this is starting to sound like I ended up hating it or was extremely disappointed, but I wasn't; at least not extremely, just a little. It did its job as a toner fairly well: clean remaining residue. I can count on it to see dirt accumulation and a yellow cotton round after swiping. It didn't break me out any more than before and wasn't drying. I have no way to tell for sure if my pH is balanced or not, but let's just assume it does. The clarifying toner just didn't live up to its other claims. I didn't break out any less after using the toner nor were my dry flakes less apparent. My pores were still clogged and acne scarring discoloration remained. Refreshed from toning, yes; refined and renewed, not so much.

I didn't realize the toner contained lactic acid (AHA) until now. It wasn't a skincare term I paid much attention to before. I would assume that is why they say it has exfoliation and de-clogging abilities. It seems high up on the ingredients list too, perhaps the concentration wasn't high enough for me to see results? Regardless, I would recommend using sunscreen afterwards if using this toner in the mornings.

The toner also has a very prominent witch hazel scent. I'm not a fan of it but it is better than it being masked by a fragrance. Good thing the smell doesn't linger after applying.

lavlilacs Review Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner pump

The best thing about the product is its packaging, although not $26 worth. The pump bottle is handy to help control the amount of toner I use. I don't have to waste extra time twisting open bottle caps since this one has a very accessible flip-top cover. I am very likely to keep using this bottle for toners in the future.

Even after a period of not using the Clarifying Treatment Toner, I miss the act of swiping my face more than using the specific product. Perhaps I should stick to more affordable options (under $20) for my next toner? I realize now I only want my toners to do one job only and since it doesn't sit on my face for long I don't need it to have too many extra benefits.