I have a confession to make ladies - I'm not really a cleanse, tone and moisturise kinda girl. I used to use toner when I was a teenager, but I read an article saying that if you use a wash off cleanser (which I usually do) then there's no point in using a toner. And so, for probably around 15 years I've not used a toner. I'm sure that the last toner I used was some astringent anti-spot formulation that was supposed to close your pores and prevent spots, but really just left your skin feeling tight, stinging, dehydrated and uncomfortable
When I was sent the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic for consideration, initially I wasn't sure how it would fit into my skin care routine, and with my hazy memories of my last toner experience, I wasn't sure how it would react with my sensitive skin. I was hopeful I would like it, as it's alcohol free and I'm pleased to say that I've been converted to a dedicated toner user by this product - it couldn't be further from my teenage toner experiences!
The Instant Boost Skin Tonic comes in an attractive, large pale blue bottle. Now I'm usually minimalist about my bathroom shelves, and store all my lotions and potions away. However, I've left this on my bathroom shelf since I received it, and it looks good. The best thing about the bottle design is the twist lid. You don't need to fiddle around unscrewing a lid and losing it or popping a cap off. Just a small twist (which you can do one handed - I've tried), and you can open and close it - very neat and ergonomic.
The scent is delicately fragranced and smells lovely without being at all over-powering or synthetic. It is described on the bottle as "heavenly" and I can only agree with that description.
I've been using a generous slug of this twice a day on a cotton pad to tone after cleansing, and I have really noticed a difference. Firstly, my skin feels really clean after doing this - much cleaner then after using a wash-off cleanser. I'm also making sure that parts of my face and neck and ears which can get missed with a cleaner get a going over with the skin tonic. It's easy to skip over these parts of your face, and given the amount of grime that comes off onto the cotton pad, I can tell I certainly need to cleanse these areas more often. Once I've used the toner, my skin doesn't feel at all tight or stretched. It feels soft, hydrated and very clean, with not a hint of stinging on my sensitive skin.
Something I've really noticed since using this is that my serum and moisturiser applies really well to my face and sinks in much more quickly than without using it. I don't know if you've ever experienced this, but sometimes, particularly in winter when I tend to load on the moisturiser and probably use too much, my moisturiser can sit on my skin and if I keep trying to rub it in, it can form little 'globules' or 'flakes' of moisturiser which sit on my skin's surface and I have to pick them off. It's hard to describe this, and it might just be my weird skin, but it's something I experience from time to time and it doesn't matter which moisturiser I use. However, I've not even had a hint of this since using the Instant Boost Skin Tonic, so I think I've got this problem sussed.
The only issue I have with it is that after years of not using a toner, I have to keep reminding myself to use it as part of my skincare routine. There have been a few times when I've simply forgotten to use it and I'm already slapping on the moisturiser before noticing it on my shelf. I just need a bit more training to get into the habit of using it regularly.
So I'm going to give the Liz Ear Instant Boost Skin Tonic a big thumbs up! A 200ml bottle (which I reckon would last quite a while) costs £11.75 and is available from the Liz Earle website, as well as outlets around the country.
Thanks for reading! xx
DISCLAIMER: This item was provided free of charge for review purposes. This has not influenced my review in any way - I always express my honest opinion on any product I review.