Current Obsession : Lavender Tonique

TL;DR version: Best toner I have ever used. Phenomenal.

As we all know, I LOVE MY ROUTINE.

I am extremely regimented with my skin care. I exfoliate twice a week, use a bentonite clay mask once a week, and switch out between a face cleanser or an activated charcoal cleanser.  After cleansing, the two products that remains constant are my toner, aka my Lavender Tonique, and my moisturizer.

I have worked  really hard to create a skin care regimen that works for me, and my absolute favourite step is using a toner. I strongly believe it makes all the difference, yet it is a step many people forget about or skip!

I apply my toner between washing, and before moisturizing. Toner provides a hydration boost, clears pores, removes drying impurities from tap water, balances pH, repairs/protects the skin barrier, and can really enhance the results from your skin care regimen, which I can vouch for – a good toner has completely transformed my skin to the next level.
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I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older.
– Patrick Bateman.

Patrick Bateman

Sorry to quote Bateman again – if you’re going to follow this blog, it comes with the territory – but I can totally empathize with him. Although I do love me a good business card, it is probably one of the very  few things about him I can empathize with.  All jokes aside, Bateman is on to something. Alcohol irritates the skin, and such irritation prevents your skin to heal, and reduces healthy collagen production, which is why, as he so kindly puts it, will “dry the face out and make you look old”.

I want my toner to be hydrating, collagen-enhancing, and cleansing which will help keep my skin radiant, wrinkle-free, and clear.

Now, let’s talk about 100 Percent Pure. First & foremost, I love this brand, and this is not sponsored. Not only are they natural, and high-quality, but they are cruelty-free.

I discovered this brand after reading a ton of horror stories on making your own mascara with activated charcoal (normal google search, right?!) – I really wanted something natural for my lashes, and I came across their Blackberry Maracuja mascara. Long story short, it is now the only mascara I use and as a result, I became obsessed with the brand as a whole. Since I travel quite often, it is super easy for me to shop because they have a store in the San Francisco airport – but ordering online is actually easier with free shipping, and tons of discounts!

After I fell in love with that mascara, I signed on to their email list so I can stay in the loop with the discounts and a few months ago, they gave subscribers a sneak peek of their new product: Lavender Tonique. Not only did the name instantly intrigue me, but It boasted that was purifying, hydrating, and will minimize pores. I will be the very first to admit, and my boyfriend and family can attest to this: I am a very easy sell, so after many hard lessons learned, I need to do a TON of research before I pull the trigger. At the time, I had a toner I was content with so I had plenty time to do some investigating and read reviews. Well, they were all glowing – no pun intended – so I decided after I finished my current toner, I would give it a go. Let me tell you, I am SO glad I did, and no offense to my old toner, but I wish I finished it quicker.

Lavender Tonique // Champagne at Shannon's

This product is quality – from the packaging to the contents. The bottle is a beautiful glass bottle with a spray nozzle. I, personally, prefer spray toners, because I feel it gets more evenly distributed, and I can use a little less. I spritz it twice on my face, and follow it with a cotton pad.

The first thing you will notice is the smell. Obviously, it smells like lavender, so if you love lavender, you will love! Those who don’t, I promise the benefits are worth it! However, if you really, really just can’t with the lavender, I recommend this tonique.

According to 100 Percent Pure, the Lavender Tonique is a…

Soothing tonique [that] purifies and cleans out pores while refreshing and hydrating your complexion.
DMAE firms, lifts and lessens lines and wrinkles.
MSM is an organic sulfur found in vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.. that helps our skin by increasing collagen and keratin production.

Well, as mentioned above, I do my research in all products I either purchase or are interested in. And I search it like a psycho. Literally, if I find a product I want, it can easily take me several months minimum to buy it, ESPECIALLY if I am putting it on my skin or in my body.  I am also very annoying when it comes to kitchen gadgets. I live in a tiny studio apartment, where the biggest luxury is space. If an item is going to take said space, it must be worth it. In fact, I am so annoying with this, that my boyfriend knows to just flat out ask me what I want for holidays/birthdays. Lucky for him, I am the one who spends months on figuring out what it is I even want, and more importantly WHY I want it.  It is also a big reason why I wanted to start this blog, so I can share what I discover.

As I do said research, the very first thing I do is read the ingredients. Lucky for me (I guess?), I spend SO MUCH TIME researching what certain ingredients do, benefits, disadvantages, etc – that I have gotten to the point where I know by reading an ingredient list if I want it or not. Obviously, the 2 that caught my eye with this are the DMAE & MSM, since I was completely unfamiliar with them until I turned into the google monster over the past few months.

One thing I love about this toner is that there is a limited amount of ingredients. As with cooking, which I hope you will see with the recipes I post – I try to keep things super simple and balanced. I won’t even consider a recipe with, like, 239482094082 (estimated but accurate amount) ingredients – and don’t get me started on recipes that are three parts, each with 408204320948203 (again, just an estimate) ingredients. Like, are you fucking kidding me?! Not only do I not have the space/patience/sanity for that, but it is the opposite of cost effective, especially when I am cooking for two at the very most.  When you have that much going on, rather than working together, I find everything – whether they be flavours, a cocktail, or skin care – just clashes with each other and tries to overpower the other rather than being complementary. There is way too much going on where it disrupts the balance, in my humble opinion.

 

Anyways /rant, so let’s break down the ingredients in this Lavender Tonique:

fleur16 Organic Aloe Leaf Juice
fleur16 Organic Lavender Extract
fleur16 Glycerin
fleur16 Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
fleur16 Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE)

 

  1. Aloe is one of those “super ingredients” like coconut oil. It is so great for your skin, hair, insides (seriously, drink a shot of aloe juice in water before bed). I can honestly make a post on this plant alone – and I am growing one in my apartment right now! – but for today, I will focus on aloe for your skin. It is unsurprising that it is good for sunburn. When you apply it aloe on your skin, it’s pleasantly cooling and relieving. As stated above, a toner is meant to protect the skin barrier, which is where the aloe comes in. Not only does it provide a protective barrier, the abundance of antioxidants – such as beta carotene, Vitamin C & E – not only protect the skin with a moisturizing barrier, but it can help heal the skin, which is great for acne. It also plays a role in anti-aging. Those antioxidants also help the skin maintain it’s hydration and firmness. Patrick Bateman approved. { source }
  2. Lavender is one of the things that instantly made this product appealing to me. I adore the scent of it. I keep essential oils, fresh, and dried lavender in the house, and it is the oil I use the most of in my diffuser. I also love it in my lemonade, and if I am lucky, lavender lemonade mimosas. We are all familiar with the relaxing, calming scent, but what about for skin? For starters, it is antibacterial and antifungal, which makes it great for cleansing the skin. It is also full of antioxidants, which can act as an anti-flammatory. The calming effect it has on the mind via aromatherapy also applies to stressed skin! Lavender also promotes sleep and relaxation – so it is a nice touch after a long day. But the best part? Spray it on and climb into bed with your partner because lavender is known for being a sexy aphrodisiac scent – ooh la la! { source }
    Fun but Embarassing  Fact: It is mentioned in the source, but when I was in college, I read that lavender + pumpkin pie was rated the #1 sexiest scent in Cosmo, so I would mix my lavender body wash with pumpkin spice shower gels and body lotions! I would literally stock up (before I turned into an ingredient psycho but A+ to them for not testing on animals) at Bath & Body Works every October. Again, easy sell, but I will admit, it smelled divine!
  3. Glycerin is a sugar-alcohol organic compound, composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. It is also considered a humectant since attracts water . It is thick, colourless, odorless, water-soluble, and non-toxic. Since it is skin-identical, it can aid in repairing & protecting the skin. If you DIY your cosmetics, you will find this ingredient is a common one that comes up.  Glycerin mixed with antioxidants (which we are getting from the Aloe + Lavender) can really take the repairing of the skin to the next level. Glycerin also aids in retaining moisture and softness, remove impurities, and fill in wrinkles { source }
  4. Methylsulfonylmethane — or MSM — as mentioned above, is an odorless, water-soluible, organic sulfur that enhances collagen & keratin production. It is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and humans. According to this source, sulfur is a building block for keratin, and it is not uncommon to find it in a Hair, Skin & Nails formula. That being said, it makes total sense to want this in your skin care regimen. MSM is an anti-inflammatory, and boosts collagen production, therefore it supports the skin structure, improves skin elasticity,  and assists in clearing & repairing skin. { source }
    NOTE: You can also buy MSM in pill-form, but I am still researching it. If any of you do, please let me know how you like it in the comments! I am dying to know!
  5. Dimethylaminoethanol — or DMAE — as mentioned above helps lift the skin and alleviate wrinkles. According to this source, DMAE is an “antioxidant membrane stabilizer” meaning it can really enhance the benefits of antioxidants when used in conjunction with them. Anti-oxidants are hailed for aiding in damage from free-radicals. In skin-talk, that damage can include wrinkles, loss of elasticity, dullness, and discoloration.  Supplementing with the correct anti-oxidants, whether orally or topically, can help battle these free radicals. Also, by acting as a membrane stabilizer, it protects the cells and creates a barrier making it harder for free radicals to fight the skin. The result to this is firmer, brighter, softer skin. { source }
    NOTE: Like MSM, you can buy this orally – if anyone uses it PLEASE let me know – good/bad/everything.

Again, this is what works for me. Skin type varies so much from person to person.
FWIW: I have fairly combo, acne prone – ugh – skin. In the winter, it becomes more dry, and in the summer, it can be on the oily side.

Stay tuned about my favourite, can’t live without, moisturizer!

Also, I understand that it is on the pricier side, but I strongly believe skin care is something you should not skimp on. Plus, this bottle will easily last me a year. When it comes down to it, $32 paid once a year for a quality product is a no-brainer. Now, if only they made a travel size one, because I am already getting a little anxious on how to bring this to our big international holiday this December / January. Any tips on this? I am thinking of purchasing another bottle that I use solely for travel and put in a small spray bottle. Let me know if you have a better idea!

Right now, if you order from 100 Percent Pure, get 15% off site-wide when you enter promo code: 100PURE15OFF at check out! Again, this is not sponsored, and I am not affiliated with 100 Percent Pure in any way. I just love this brand so much. Plus, for the month of October, they are doing 20% off all coconut scented items!

Now, you tell me: any favourite toners or any other natural/cruelty-free brands I need to check out? Have you tried the above in pill form – if so PLEASE tell me! Travel tips? Who else is obsessed with American Psycho? LMK!

Cheers,
Shannon

PS – I just purchased this mask today and am SO excited to try it out. Turns out, I am not quite as over my lavender + pumpkin pie phase as I thought I was! 😉

{ Patrick Bateman image via Esquire – and a great article at that. Check it out. }