Derma – E Essentials Toner Review

The Derma E Essentials Radiance toner is a trial size that came to me in a Beauty Box recently. I have to say I was very eager to give it a try.  I’ve seen Derma E around for a while, but never managed to pick anything up from the brand so I was curious to try it.  I’d heard pretty good reports about the brand and it has been on my list to try out for a while. In case you are wondering about cost, at Lovely Skin, where I end up picking up a lot of skincare products actually (because I can add multiple brands to the cart at the same time and lock in on good sales) the full sized Derma E toner retails for $14.95. Currently it is on sale for $10.47.  

Personally, I happen to like toners.

I know toners are sort of the blah category of skin care.  They aren’t as debated as moisturizers and not as sexy as serums, and they are often forgotten. They are quite useful in a good skin care regime, though.  Their first (and primary role in my book) task is to provide back up to your cleanser. Your cleanser says it’s taking off all of your makeup, but the toner is going to come along behind it and make sure the job is well done. It’s like your cleanser’s supervisor. The toner helps you know if your cleanser needs a promotion and a raise or if they aren’t worth their salary (ie. Retail cost) and need the boot.

As it checks in on the cleanser, it provides your skin a hit of other skin care benefits.  What those are depends on the toner.

The Derma E I’ve been testing out for the past month promises…

Our alcohol-free, exfoliating, beauty toner with Glycolic Acid helps to tone, tighten and brighten for a soft, smooth and luminous appearance. A must-have essential for radiant-looking skin. Benefit:  Tighten and brighten for a soft, smooth and luminous appearance 

All in all it sounds pretty good.  So let’s look at the actual product. First up, because it is me, we will take a sniff from the top.  I’m sure there is some product somewhere that I won’t automatically sniff when opening, but thus far I haven’t come across it. 

(I even sniff the coffee jar every morning when I open it even though it doesn’t really change.  Admittedly that is partially because one year my aunt decided to substitute my regular coffee with the hazelnut blend she preferred and it caught me off guard.  I’ve been checking ever since.)

The scent is very floral.  It is best described as a general floral mix that leans heavily towards rose.  While the scent isn’t completely overpowering, it is very noticeable.  It also lasts.  It isn’t the sort of scent that dissipates as soon as you close the bottle.  The scent is on the toner pad and as you apply it, you are surrounded the entire time you are using the product. While this isn’t my favorite scent, it isn’t a deal breaker scent either.

For me a deal breaker scent is the one where even if I knew a product worked really well I would find reasons not to use it because of it’s scent. While this isn’t a scent I would naturally be drawn to, it isn; one I would avoid if I purchased a full sized bottle.

Just the toner on the cotton round

Of more concern is the color of the toner.  I know that sounds really strange, but stick with me a moment. When I dispensed it on to the cotton round, the white cotton was immediately stained a tannish color. (it is more noticeable in person than in the pic, but can still be seen there.)

Since one of the primary functions of a toner is to let you know how well your makeup removers worked by taking off the last traces I wasn’t too keen on the color of the toner. Foundation is usually the last product standing and the one the toner has to clean up after.  I do judge my cleansers based on how much foundation is left on the toner pad. The problem is that the toner is kind of a tannish color on the cotton and the foundation is sort of a tannish color on the toner pad.

You see the issue?

With a little practice i was able to work with it. I mostly had to use the toner on my face a few times when I wasn’t wearing any form of makeup to see how the cotton round looked after being used in general so that it was easier to see left over product. Also as I do a double cleanse the amount of product left on my skin by the time i get to the toner isn’t usually a lot. But it was a relatively quick adjustment to make. It’s just a personal preference more than anything else. I tend to favor toners that are clear.

But in addition to policing the cleanser, the toner has other benefits. This particular one is supposed to tighten and brighten with the glycolic acid doing the heavy lifting in that department. Glycolic acid breaks down the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and sweeps them away. This did a pretty good job of that.  My skin did not have any dull patches or dry spots appear during my trial.  I wouldn’t say I was luminous but my skin looked clean and fresh. In the end, it is a very good toner.

Because of the color of the fluid and the scent, it isn’t going to be my favorite go-to toner, but I can say that I don’t mind using it and wouldn’t mind picking it up again. In fact, the travel sized toner wouldn’t be a bad addition to my travel bag, once I pack it up again (I took my travel bag apart so I could use up the products and not have them go bad while waiting for me to travel again).  Glycolic Acid toners are where I tend to lean when traveling as it is an ingredient that really seems to help my skin out when I travel.

The color is a personal annoyance, but after working with it a bit (using the toner when I didn’t have foundation on) I was okay with it.  If you have issues with floral scents, specifically rose, I would recommend avoiding it.  Otherwise, it is a decent toner, sold at a decent price and I wouldn’t mind using it again.

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