For the past three or so months I have been using the Akar Skin Balancing Toning Mist as my toner. Because I am using the Byroe Toning Essence in the mornings, I have only been using this in the evenings. I actually chose to put it in the evenings and not in the mornings due to the product, but I’ll get into that as we discuss my thoughts on using it.
I know Toners aren’t the sexiest category of skin care. They are often skipped and not really talked about. They are however important. what they do is make certain that every last little bit of makeup that your cleanser might have left behind is gone. In fact you know your cleanser is working by looking at the proof on your toner pads. But they are more than just cleanser insurance. They help restore your skin’s PH balance and can help improve the texture of your skin. The right toner can also help add backup to the serums that you plan to follow with after you’ve finished toning.
I am personally a big fan of them.
Well I’m a big fan of the right toners anyway.
So let’s look a little closer at the Akar Skin Balancing Toning Mist.
This alcohol-free, 100% vegan, hydrating toner was deemed the “Holy Water” by Allure magazine. Rose and Neroli flower waters form the base for our superfoods formula, creating a non-sticky mist that both improves elasticity and maintains the pH level of the skin at optimum.
In addition, Balance also enhances the skin’s ability to absorb nutrients thanks to anti-microbial and exfoliating salicylic acid from White Willow Bark, which prevents build-up in pores; as well as antioxidants and carotenoids from Saffron stem cell extracts, which aid the skin in repairing and regenerating. Balance is the ultimate staple for all skincare routines and skin types.
Full Ingredients: *Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Water, *Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Water, Aqua, Salix Alba (White Willow) Bark Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Crocus Sativus Meristem (Saffron) Cell Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment
*Organic or Wildharvested
Okay this is an ingredient list I like. It is short and to the point without a lot of extras cluttering up the space with hard to pronounce words. Seven ingredients in total including water. Water as we all know is good for the skin and since there were no claimes put to the water (like minerality or special sourcing) we’ll just leave it with: Water Good and break down the other six ingredients. Are you ready? Fabulous.
Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Water: In general a flower water is a diluted version of an essential oil derived from a flower. In this case rose, it still has some of the same qualities as the essential oil, but less concentrated and tends to cause less sensitivity. Rose flower water has been used in skincare for literally centuries and contains some antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds, as well as some fragrant components. (don’t worry we’ll cover secnet after we run through the ingredients.)
Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Water: Like the Rose, this is a flower water, although derived from Neroli. While this does have some skin toning benefits (although every source I looked into was vague about what they were) it is mostly there for scent as the scent has been known to promote relaxation.
Salix Alba (White Willow) Bark Extract: This is an anti-inflammatory and was actually used as the precursor to aspirin. Most of what I have found has been about new studies regarding its use in pain relief. This Ingredient Spotlight suggests that it is helpful in diminishing wrinkles, always a plus in my book.
Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is an antimicrobial preservative that also moisturizes and conditions the skin. I’ve used this in several different products and I tend to like seeing it on a list.
Crocus Sativus Meristem (Saffron) Cell Extract has anti inflammatory properties and in addition to being one of the most expensive spices in the world, saffron may actually have anti-aging and possibly even anti-cancer benefits. I went down a rabbit hole with medical journals on that one. No one seemed to be conclusive, but it is an interesting group of studies. I suspect if it is true the cost of saffron will go up as well. But that is another discussion. Since so many ingredients are demonized for the possibility of causing cancer it is nce to see something that is being studied for helping to prevent it. I’m sure it is is here for the anti-aging parts but I just thought that was neat. (and yes I am geek enough to go diving into the medical studies over the weekend when i have a little more time.)
Lactobacillus Ferment is a probiotic with anti-acne benefits.
Okay so those are our ingredients and I have to say the list looks good. But a list can look as fabulous as it wants, it is how it works that matters. First off, as I am sure you can see from the above photo and probably guessed from the term mist in the name, it is a spray toner. I’ll admit, at first I didn’t like spray toners. They are however growing on me. This one sprays well and evenly. I also have to say I love the frosted orange glass bottle that it comes in. It is really pretty and looks luxe as well as feels luxe in the hand. I know, looks shouldn’t matter, but I feel really fancy using it.
The scent is predominantly neroli with a hint of floral from the rose. It is far more orange than rose. I know some people have issues with the Rose scent, but it really just keeps the neroli from smelling like orange juice. The scent is, in my opinion, lovely. It lightly lists on the skin and then I take a reusable round to wipe off the excess and remove the last of the dirt and makeup residue from my skin.
Here is the trick with this toner though. If you are too heavy handed with the spray, your face will feel sticky and it will take forever for the toner left behind from the cotton rounds to absorb into your skin. This is one of the reasons I started using it only at night. I have more time in the evenings and to be honest I like breaking my nightly routine down into sections and drawing it out. Don’t get me wrong, some nights I am exhausted enough to just wash my face and slap some moisturizer on before falling into bed, but most nights I kind of luxuriate in a lengthy night time ritual. It helps me unwind before bed and is sometimes the only quiet time in the day.
So the fact that I have to wait for the toner to settle down a bit isn’t a problem in the night time routine.
And it is very easy to apply too much (because the spray feels nice) and to get a little sticky.
Beyond that, my skin really loved it. I had a couple of days where there was too much sun (even though I did use sunblock) and this toner did help calm and sooth my skin as well as take off the remnants of the day. I was over all very impressed with it. I will continue using the toner until it is gone and add it to my products to repurchase list. I will still only use it at night however as it does need more time to settle than I generally have in the morning. Over all though, I am happy to have this Akar Skin Balancing Toning Mist in my skincare routine and will certainly look into other products by the brand for future skincare trials.