Pros: No alcohol, no coloring, non-offensive fragrance, easy to use packaging.
Cons: Does not live up to all of its claims.
Update: January 29th, 2003.
I have found a great way to use this product, and it's not on your face. I now use this product to get my tweezers working again. I recently bought a pair of Revlon tweezers. At first it worked great. It could grab hold of very fine hairs. But I soon discovered that this was not the case, because the natural oils from the skin was left on the tips of the tweezer, making it difficult to grip the fine hairs. I tried washing it with various cleansers, including Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser (makeup/facial cleanser). But that did not work. So I decided to rub some of the Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner and lo and behold the tweezer was working again!
Some people may have already "discovered" this little trick. But I thought I'd mention it in case there are people out there getting frustrated with their tweezers not working over time and are ready to throw it out. Give the toner a try!
Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner comes in a 8.5 Fl oz. or 250ml light blue bottle, with a screw on cap and a flip lid. The toner has no coloring, with consistency like that of water. There is a mild fragrance that smells rather sweet, but not offensive or overpowering. Purchased this product about a month ago for approximately $10 CDN including all sales tax.
Purified water, PEG-4, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Ceteth-24, Choleth-24, Panthenol, Glycereth-26, Sodium PCA, Benzalkonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Methyl paraben, Propylparaben, Fragrance.
Directions for use
According to instructions on bottle, you simply moisten a cotton ball with toner, and apply to face with gentle upward strokes. The flip lid is easy to use, and the little spout where the toner comes out is small enough to prevent the product from gushing out of the bottle.
Alcohol-Free Toner's promises...
- gentle formula
- won't strip skin's natural moisturizers, because it's alcohol free.
- provide clean, refreshing toning, removing impurities
- recondition skin
- skin will feel fresh and clean without:
Promises vs. Reality
Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner keeps some of its promises but not all of its claims. My skin type can be categorized as very sensitive/normal-dry combination with few occasional breakouts. I have been using the product for just under a month and the following is what I found:
Definitely NOT gentle. Upon application, my skin near the jaw line always experienced a mild stinging sensation. The sensation would last till I applied some moisturizer on my skin. Even then the stinging continues, but to a lesser degree. The sensation usually takes about 30-40 minutes to disappear completely.
On not stripping skin's natural moisturizers
Yes, the product does not seem to strip skin of its moisturizers. There is no tightness or dryness to the skin upon application or after the toner disappears into skin. The toner does not seem to add extra moisture to skin, however.
On providing clean, refreshing toning, removing impurities
Yes, there seems to be evidence of the product removing impurities, but not too much. There is always some dark residue left on my cotton ball after applying the product. As for the clean, refreshing feeling, yes, my skin does feel clean and refreshed.
On reconditioning skin
Yes and No. The toner does make my skin feel clean and refreshed, but it does not add extra moisture to the skin or give my skin the look of great improvement.
In a nutshell
My skin does feel fresh and clean without:
BUT... The toner DOES
The mild fragrance may linger for a few minutes after initial application, but it disappears completely. Though I rarely wear makeup, I believe the product will not interfere with it because the fragrance of the toner and the toner itself disappears. The toner will also likely prove to be useful with moisturizers for the same reasons.
- non-sensitive/problematic skin, because the formula is not gentle even if it's alcohol free. I believe the product may be quite useful for those looking for a "simplified" or "basic" toner without additives such as color, strong fragrance, and alcohol.
NOT recommended for?
- sensitive/problematic skin. For skin types under these categories, I would begin by doing a small patch test on the face or neck area to see if there is any allergic reaction.
Why this product and not others?
I stood in front of the toner section of a local supermarket for a good 30 minutes looking at all of the toners available on the shelf. My requirement was to get a toner that would not cause any skin reaction, provide some moisture to my skin or at least keep the moisture that was already in my skin, and be additive free as possible. Being alcohol free was very important, for I knew that my skin would react to it for sure.
Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner was the only product out there which seems to meet my requirements. As you can see from the results I have posted above, the toner did NOT meet all of my requirements. But, I am not entirely disappointed. I think the toner is still a good toner because:
- it has less additives than other toners
- does not strip moisture from skin
- does remove some impurities
- makes my face feel clean and refreshed without dryness or tightness
In other words, taking aside the fact that my skin is very sensitive, Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner does have the potential of being a good toner for people who do not easily suffer from skin reactions.