One skincare item I've always skimped on is toner. While the idea of sweeping a fun-colored liquid across my face is inexplicably appealing, I've never really noticed a difference when using toners, and they can be quite expensive. But one day, I happened upon Lush's Tea Tree Water, a toner made of (surprise surprise) tea tree oil and some other natural extracts. Toners, which are generally used after cleansing, claim to provide a variety of benefits: they can rebalance the pH of your skin, fight acne and remove any last traces of dirt or makeup. This tea tree toner water is gently cleansing and acne-fighting. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial/antibacterial/antiseptic and is therefore a good natural topical treatment for acne and clogged pores. I love this toner, so much in fact that I gifted one to my husband and then stole it from him when mine ran out (shh...)!
Ingredients: According to the bottle, this toner contains Tea Tree Water, Grapefruit Water, Juniperberry Water, Limonene (occurs naturally in essential oils), Perfume and Methylparaben. It is fairly natural, as all Lush products are, but if you avoid all parabens this won't be a product for you. Also, if you have super sensitive skin, you might be wary of the perfume in this product, but in my opinion it isn't heavily scented. A plus for sensitive skin: this toner does not contain alcohol, a common ingredient in antibacterial toners. It is also clear in color, not bright green or blue... not as fun but probably better for sensitive skin!
Use: I spritz this all over my face morning and night after cleansing. I then use a cotton round to spread the mist evenly across my skin and dry up any excess.
Efficacy: Better than expected! I've used this regularly for the past three months, and for the first month or two of using it I didn't change anything else in my skincare routine. I suffered from fewer breakouts as a result, and I needed to use less of my trusty old benzoyl peroxide product to ensure clear skin. Also, it feels extremely refreshing. It is a mild acne treatment, however, so I'm not sure how much it would improve more severe acne. I find it perfect for a preventative measure against small breakouts. Recently I've suffered more from clogged pores after moving to an extremely humid environment, and this has helped me deal with the problem!
Value: Lush Tea Tree Water comes in two sizes, a small 100g and a large 250g. Prices vary by location; I purchased mine in the UK where it is slightly cheaper, but in the US, the small size costs $8.95 and the large costs $19.95. A small bottle lasts me about a month. For me, it works well enough to justify the purchase. However, I have heard (though I haven't tried it) that a cheaper alternative is to purchase tea tree oil and mix your own toner. I like the concept of a DIY toner, so if my lazy self ever decides to give it a try, I will keep you posted... in the meantime I'll stick to the Lush version.
Overall, if you're like me and you have combination-oily skin with occasional breakouts and clogged pores, this might be a great product for you!