ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

It’s time to re­de­ploy your skin’s se­cret weapon.

The step you’ve been skip­ping may be the se­cret to com­plex­ion per­fec­tion

LIKE MANY QUES­TION­ABLE past de­ci­sions, it’s easy to point an ac­cus­ing fin­ger at al­co­hol – in­clud­ing our ado­les­cent use of ton­ers. Packed with of­fend­ing in­gre­di­ents, they stripped our skin of vi­tal mois­ture and ul­ti­mately turned a gen­er­a­tion against the post-cleans­ing step.

But the tide is turn­ing. Wa­ter-like tex­tures (more el­e­gantly called “essences” in Asian skin­care reg­i­mens) have grown up and re­branded with more ef­fec­tive in­gre­di­ents.

“A post-cleans­ing essence soft­ens, bal­ances and re­hy­drates the skin, prim­ing it for the ap­pli­ca­tion of serums, oils and hy­dra­tors,” says skin­care ther­a­pist Me­lanie Grant. “And be­cause the for­mula is lighter, and there­fore smaller in molec­u­lar weight, there’s more ef­fec­tive pen­e­tra­tion into the deeper lay­ers of the skin, with­out leav­ing any film or residue.”

So what ex­actly can a toner do in

2018? Pro­tect, hy­drate, ex­fo­li­ate, brighten — the list goes on. Both Chanel’s Le Tonique and Payot’s Suprême Je­unesse act as an an­tiox­i­dant plus hy­dra­tor.

The lat­ter floods skin with hyaluronic acid and five flower ex­tracts to de­fend from ox­ida­tive stress, while Chanel uses blue mi­cro-al­gae to pro­tect cells from age­ing pol­lu­tion, and ma­rine sal­icor­nia ex­tract to mois­turise.

Kiehl’s has en­listed the power of skin bright­en­ing vi­ta­min C in their lat­est launch, Clearly Cor­rec­tive Bright­en­ing & Sooth­ing Treat­ment Wa­ter, which, com­bined with liquorice root ex­tract, ef­fec­tively im­proves skin clar­ity and tone.

If com­bi­na­tion skin is a con­cern, reach for Grant’s go-to, Bi­ologique Recherche

P50. “I love the mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits that P50 pro­vides in one sim­ple step,” she says. “It re­bal­ances the PH of the skin, ex­fo­li­ates, bright­ens and deep cleanses all in one swipe of a cot­ton round.”

But per­haps the big­gest sign these ton­ers have se­ri­ous ambitions is the no­tice­able ab­sence of al­co­hol. So re­spon­si­ble, right?

Le Tonique Anti-pol­lu­tion In­vig­o­rat­ing Toner,$56,1300 242 635 CHANEL,

Clearly Cor­rec­tive Bright­en­ing & Sooth­ing Treat­ment Wa­ter, $54, KIEHL’S,

Lo­tion P50V, $82, BI­OLOGIQUE RECHERCHE, skin­ca­r­

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