My skin is combination and, at 62, definitely aging around the eyes, despite using sunscreen religiously since my teens. I've never been a devotee of toners until I tried this one. I could honestly see my skin plump up before my eyes! This toner is a white, milky liquid that I pat on with my fingers after using my RESIST Cleanser. It calms and smooths my skin and seems to magically erase tiny fine lines under my eyes and any slight flakiness around my nose. I can even use it on my eyelids - no stinging. Using it twice a day, a bottle lasts me about three to four months. Love it, definitely my HG toner.
Excellent product. I respect Paula Begoun for what she does, but at times, her delivery irks.
I have normal-dry skin (with some extremely dry patches through the year) that is extremely sensitive and rosacea-afflicted. I use this after cleansing morning and night. It truly does calm my skin both in appearance (less red, less irritated looking) and feel (less itchy and dry/tight feeling). It also removes any remaining makeup, debris, etc. I've been using it for a few weeks and find my skin to be much calmer. Even swiping this product over the eyes has produced no problems.
I do not find any smell at all (and I have a sensitive nose); it just has the typical fragrance-free scent (not perfume-y). The texture, as others has described, is not straight watery. It's a bit of a thickened/silky milk texture. To use, I put a generous amount (not so the cotton is drenched, but so it is thoroughly moistened) on a cotton round.
I have not tried the Skin Recovery toner (yet), but I did try the Moisture Boost for several days. I prefer this over that one. The Moisture Boost was not as rich (a true watery liquid) and I think it stung ever so slightly. I would recommend the Moisture Boost if you have non-reactive, normal skin that neither has any true tendency toward dry or oily. For true normal-dry skin that is sensitive, my vote is for the Resist. I will update when I try the Skin Recovery.
I don't really have any gripes about this product. While some complain Paula is pricy, compared to the ultra high end products out there that do nothing, this is OK price-wise. I try and buy on sale and paid $12-13 (and no tax) and no shipping. It's a bit hard to tell how much you have left with the opaque bottle (I know that's to preserve the contents, but I wish there were a thin strip of a clear window along the side to see what remains), but a customer service rep at Paula's Choice said 2-3 months with twice daily use.
As for comparisons to other toners outside Paula's Choice, I have not used another in years. I used to think toning was a useless step (and probably still is for many others), but this product really does soothe not only immediately after cleansing, but also in the long run (less rosacea redness/bumps of late). I've even had compliments on my skin of late and have changed nothing else in the routine.
EDIT: I tried the Skin Recovery and surprisingly, not impressed. Since it is the richest of the 3, I thought it'd be even more soothing, more milky, etc. It felt *very* similar to the Moisture Boost (lightweight, not particularly soothing, etc) and it stung every so slightly, just like the Moisture Boost. I'm sticking with the RESIST and even bought a second bottle. talked to a Paula's rep and she said that yes, Skin Recovery is the richest, but many ladies, including herself, find the RESIST even better.
EDIT::: A really good product I have been using for several months now... it's just so expensive so I haven't repurchased, but it left my skin feeling soft and clear, so I think I'm going to have to go back to it soon. I was a bit skeptical of this toner because it didn't seem to remove any left over makeup as well as my others I've used, and it also had an odd smell, but the results were incredible when used with paula's choice skin balancing cleanser, RESIST AHA exfoliator and RESIST moisturiser... perfect combo for me, so I'll have to repurchase this again soon!
I haven't been using this for as long as I have been using other PC products but I'm not sure about this. It doesn't remove traces of leftover makeup as well as my other toners have and it smells really funky (and not in a good way haha). I will give this a go for a few weeks and make my mind up as to whether or not to go back to the ProActiv toner I have been using for the last year or so (which has helped me immensely and removes any leftover traces of my makeup after cleansing with a PC cleanser) or whether or not I will stick with this. It was expensive, but no more so than the proactiv one. I'm pretty loyal to PC products but still unsure about this. It really doesn't feel like a toner at all. Will update in a few weeks time! So far, it's only 'ok'.
I have read and listened to Paula since the early 80's, I don't agree that she put her foot in her mouth when she said toners were unnecessary and then marketed one. At the time she made that statement, virtually all toners on the market were loaded with alcohol and irritating ingredients, that's what she was objecting to.
This product is called a toner, but I find it to really be more of a very light liquid moisturizer and anti-irritant. I like it, but it's probably the least necessary step if you are already using another one of her moisturizers.
I like this toner very much! I've been looking for a treatment product that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, and this fits the bill. I know this probably isn't as good as using a dedicated antioxidant serum, but often those will break me out or exacerbate my rosacea. This toner has some antioxidants and is very comfortable to use. I think the price is fairly reasonable.
I don't notice a bad smell like some other reviewers have, but I do agree that the packaging makes it a bit hard to dispense the toner. I'd like to be able to control the amount of product that comes out. I don't often use a cotton pad, I generally just shake a bit of the toner onto my fingertips and smooth it onto my face. The consistency is just milky enough to be able to apply it that way. This is enough of a moisturizer for me in the evenings.
I have been watching Paula Begoun when she appeared on TV in the 1980s, I was a true believer of her philosphy then & bought a couple of her books. Although I don't remember literally what she said but she did refer to toners & masks as useless in terms of skin care.
I tried the sample (2) and I agreed, wholeheartedly, it didn't hurt, but I can certainly skip this step without regret.
Once again she put her foot in her mouth. continued >>
I rub this into my face as soon as I finish washing and drying to keep from feeling that post-wash tightness. I also feel like this is part of the solution to combating Retin-A triggered irritation - especially around my nose. I like this product, but probably more for what it prevents than what I actually see it accomplish. I'm on my second bottle.
I just started using the entire RESIST line about 3 weeks ago and this is definitely my favorite product of the bunch. Very soothing and though I originally found the smell strange I now like it, I even find myself looking forward to it. I apply is with fingertips immediately after cleansing. I used to use LM Perfecting Water - Rich and I prefer this for the ingredients. also had a really positive experience with the PC customer support regarding a defective top. I will continue to repurchase.
----Edit 9/2/2012---- I've been using this for a year now and I think it's one of the most valuable skincare products I've ever used. I don't really use it as others typically use toners; I use it right out of the shower to lock in moisture and to soothe my skin after exfoliating. In fact, when I've overdone it with the AHAs, retinol, vitamin C, and scrubs, this is the only thing I can put on my face that not only doesn't burn, but calms down irritation immediately. I love the ingredients and I think it makes a big difference in the overall health of my skin. Highly recommended
My HG for toner. Doesn't have any alcohol, fragrance, or witch hazel-- all these irritate my skin.Can't find a toner w/out these ingredients anywhere-- dept. store/ drug store. On my 6th bottle! Leaves skin soft and ready for makeup or other products.
It is possible I got a bad bottle, but this toner smells like pee to me. Literally it smells like urine.
I only used it once because the smell was just revolting to me. Very sad since it seems to get great reviews.