I absolutely love this toner. It's not for everyone. If I would have used it before my skin became so oily, it probably would have burned. It does have alcohol in it which I have never actually noticed. It dries up the oil on my face and takes away any dirt and residue left on my skin after cleansing. Even when I do a very thorough cleansing! I have to order it online - I've never seen it in any shop or drugstore I've been in. I will even use it when I'm not wearing makeup and I can feel my face getting oily just to clean my face up. I've never had a problem with it aggravating my acne, just the opposite - it HELPS it. I hadn't been using it for a while and the acne along my chin was out of control, and the pores over my nose and cheeks were always clogged. Now that I'm back to using it, things have definitely settled down. I liked reading here that people said their dermatologists suggested it. Makes me feel even better about using it. Even the packaging is great. The pump on the bottle is so unique and thankfully makes it impossible to spill. I can't imagine spilling all of this and then having to order more and wait for it! It's such a good product. I really need to order a few of them so I'm never without.
Like a lot of people, I learned about this Aqua Glycolic Toner at the recommendation of a dermatologist. I am not sure if it's easier to find nowadays, but back when I started buying this product it came via special order through a pharmacy for about $13. First impression: I was immediately impressed by the pump-top dispenser that places just the right amount of toner on a cotton puff. I was impressed, too, by how much dirt it managed to remove from my already-washed face. Yuck!
Second impression: This is powerful stuff. It does, indeed, exfoliate and increase skin radiance. Unfortunately, no matter how much I stuck with the product, I always seemed to end up with terrible acne. I tried to believe it was just the purging stage, somewhat like what happens when going on Retin-A treatment for the first couple of weeks. But after several bottles of this stuff, I finally stopped buying it when I realized that I never got over the purging. I suspect that the alcohol content, in combination with the glycolic acid, was just too drying, causing the skin to over-produce oil, thereby contributing to breakouts.
For years this product experience left such a bad impression on me that I was afraid to use exfoliating products containing AHAs. When at last I got up the nerve to try an alpha hydroxy lotion, I was shocked to find that I could reap the benefits of an AHA without the breakouts by switching to another product. (For the past year I have been using the original Alpha Hydrox brand, a 10 percent glycolic acid in a lotion base.)
I have long been a skeptic that your average skin care product can contribute to breakouts. Most products from reputable companies these days are non-comedogenic; they don't block pores. When I read other reviews where someone has been using a product for a few short days and they're sure it is responsible for breaking them out, I'm typically a skeptic because I think breakouts are mostly tied to stress, hormonal factors and genetics, not so much to the things that are going on on the outside, at the skin's surface. But then I am reminded of my experience with this product, Aqua Glycolic Toner, a product that after years of purchase I finally had to admit was causing, not clearing, my breakouts. I haven't used Aqua Glycolic Toner for about eight years now, and I definitely won't repurchase. Of course, all results are individual. What didn't work for me might work great for someone else. I just wish my dermatologist at the time had warned me, rather than denying my observation that it was only making my skin issues worse. Ironically, the few over-the-counter products that I have had serious problems with have been dermatologist recommended. With products like this, I've learned it comes down to trusting your own instincts and experience, in spite of whatever an expert claims is beneficial to one's complexion or health.
I am using this with the cleanser and it has been the best thing for my adult acne. I had tried it as a last resort since I am 5 months pregnant and my acne had gotten worse since I got pregnant. I must say it really cleans my pores and have refined my skin.
So far, this toner is pretty good for my oily, acne prone skin. The only other Glycolic Acid toner I used prior was by Mario Badescu which is around the same price. I would recommend this product if your skin can handle alcohol based products.
If you have sensitive skin, it may be a bit too harsh.
This is one of the only toners I use, it helped me get rid of occasional breakouts on my chin (I'm in my late fourties). It has also cleared up some of the acne breakouts for my teenage son. He has autism and I really don't want to put him on meds for this, like his doctor suggested. This toner keeps his skin tolerable looking. I am waiting for a set of Aqua Glycolic products in the mail, which will have the face wash and moisturiser as well.
I thought I was a bit crazy for thinking this was a culprit of my breakouts til I read some of the reviews here. After all, it's just a toner, and I generally love glycolic acid, but this one sucks. For drugstore alternatives to DDF, I highly rec c booth's glycolic toner (about $14 at rite aid, works wonderfully and is very concentrated so the bottle lasts ages,) or reviva (about $10 at ulta, also great, alcohol free and I'm nearly certain is PH-balanced.)
2 lippies for the generously sized bottle, and decent press-pump packaging (though my lid broke off too, like another reviewer before me.)
I don't understand!! This seems to work for almost everyone, but not for me.. :(
This broke me out, suddenly I had twice as many pimples/cysts as I usually do!! I used this every other night the first days, but than every night....first i broke out, but after 6 days my face looked tan/orange...a friend told me that it looked like I'd been in the sun (we have only snow here now, hardly any sun).... Than some days after that I realized: The glycolic acit had BURNED my skin!!
For one week my face was flaking and flaking and flaking! It was really imbarresing to work, when the flakes were everywhere and big as 1 cm!! The face was SO damaged and burned that all the skin was "changed out" after one week....horrible! I looked completely schrinked and couldn't even smile!! I was so embarresed that i was hiding my face in a high scarf.... :(
No, i don't know what i think about this product!! How can it work for everyone but give me zits? And was I using it too often? I don't know if i dare to try it again, i'm really scared now.... :(
This isn't a totally fair review because I've only used the toner a few times. At first I was impressed with how much dirt it left on the cotton ball. Usually my cotton balls end up pretty clean so I was shocked to see what this stuff found. It left my face feeling extremely clean and there was not much irritation. After a few uses I did suspect it would dry out my skin. Esp. in Winter.
THEN... I finally read the ingredients. The main ingredient is alcohol. Alcohol is not good for your skin. Even if it helps in the short term, it will cause cell damage and irritation in the long term (So say Paula Begeoun) . It also has eucalyptus which is a skin irritant. As a loyal Paula fan and a sufferer of Roscea, I'm going to stop using it.
One pro about this product us that the packaging is amazing. It's one of those lids where you push down on the top with a cotton ball and the product squirts up into it. I am going to save it to use with other products.
This is my HG toner. I've been using it on & off for over 15 years, and I've used up and repurchased it many times.
It exfoliates and controls acne without irritating my skin. I have not found any other toner or any other AHA product that works as well for this purpose.
I prefer this toner to AHA creams because I can apply a serum or moisturizer on my face after using it, and know that they will penetrate the skin instead of just sitting on top of a layer of AHA cream.
This toner, when used twice daily, significantly improves the texture of my skin. It has never completely eradicated my acne, but it keeps it under control. Although it contains alcohol, it has never dried out or irritated my skin. If anything, my skin is calmer and more hydrated.
Be sure to wear a good (SPF 50) sunscreen if you use this product. I think a lot of the irritation that people experience with AHA products is due to sun exposure.
There have been a lot of products I've purchased due to glowing reviews, only to find they're horrible for me (PhotoReady, I'm looking at you...and you too, Smashbox blushes!) I have such sensitive skin that even wearing sunglasses will cause friction pimples where the frames rest on my face. It's ridiculous. While I don't have a LOT of acne, I've had some degree of it seemingly forever, from age 12 on until now, age 40. So much for a window between zits and wrinkles.
The gods, they laugh.
Anyway, as usual I was hopeful yet skeptical when I received this product in the mail. It took a few days for me to realize, or perhaps acknowledge, that this stuff's amazing. Just the amount of dirt and oil that shows on the cotton pad, even after I clean and exfoliate with the Clarisonic, is astonishing, but that's not what's really impressive. It leaves you with a slight glow (but again, still not what I love most about it). In short, these last couple of weeks have been the clearest skin weeks I've ever experienced. I've tried everything, including Retin-A and Proactive and so many other things.
I traveled to Paris last month and in an effort to pack more lightly I left behind the travel-sized toner bottle I'd prepared. What a mistake. It's this that showed me the profound difference this toner makes. While keeping everything else the same in my skin care routine, the difference in clarity was dramatic (and disappointing to the point of despair.) The other reviewers who say that without this product, their skin goes to hell are echoing my own sentiments. It may not be for you what it is to me, but I am fiercely glad I found it.
Anyway, here's the regimen I've followed lately (should it help anyone):
• Clean with Purpose soap and the Clarisonic brush
• Tone with Aqua Glycolic
• Moisturize with Prescriptives Comoft Cream
Supplements also seem to make a difference. I'm taking Fish Oil, Resveratrol, Acai, and Beta Carotene.
I've also cut out coffee and replaced it with tea and maté. Coffee seems to aggravate acne for me. I know this sounds like a lot--and it's all just to have clearer skin--but finally I seem to have found what works...for now!