A little about me: I have combination skin that has gotten, much to my delight, drier in the dry areas and oiler in the oily areas as I’ve gotten older. You’d think one of the benefits of aging is finally getting rid of hormonal acne — just in time to fight wrinkles — but in my case, you’d be wrong. I’m constantly battling on two fronts: plying my cheeks with the thickest, most hydrating creams I can find, while tiptoeing around my temperamental T-zone with the lightest of hydration and an arsenal of oil-sopping essences. Buying two of everything? Not the happiest of situations for my pocketbook.
So I’m excited any time I find a skincare product that I can use in multiple ways (one less thing to buy, you see), and I mean really use in multiple ways. In general, I tend to be wary of all-in-one type claims — I like my product to do one thing and do one thing very well (either that or I’m just a product junkie who gets a thrill seeing all manner of serums and elixirs and potions on my vanity). But if I can get at least two different uses out of a product, that’s a win for me.
That’s why I was excited to try the Primary Raw DoYou Soy Milk Ferment Cleanse Toner. First, it’s a micellar water cleanser that you can use at night as your first step to remove makeup before washing with a foaming cleanser. Micellar water cleansers are genius for removing makeup — you get all the potent cleaning power with none of the drying or tugging. (And for those with normal to dry skin, you can even use this in the morning instead of washing.)
Second, it’s a toner with witch hazel, which is an astringent with potent antioxidant properties, as well as tea tree oil, another antioxidant with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. But it’s not one of those tightening, drying, alcohol-based toners of the ’80s — after all, even oily skin needs to be hydrated, and in fact, dehydrated skin may compensate by producing even more oil. No, this toner is flush with aloe leaf juice, hydrating sodium hyaluronate (a smaller and therefore better skin-penetrating version of It-ingredient hyaluronic acid), all manner of botanical extracts including chamomile, and even the skin-softening snail secretion filtrate. And of course, the eponymous soy milk ferment, which is a serious skincare must-have ingredient — not only is it an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory but it’s been shown to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid in skin, increase skin thickness and elasticity, and have a collagen-stimulating effect.
So now that I know that this toner is not only going to work wonders on my T-zone but it’s also going to stimulate collagen — I’d like to marinate in the stuff, please! Which brings me to my third point: Sure, I can use it as an everyday toner, but even better, I can also use it as a sheet mask. That’s because the toner comes with an adorable little pouch and inside is a facial coin mask sheet.
What you do is soak the little cotton “coin” with a capful or two of toner. The coin starts to expand up and once it gets to about an inch and half to two inches tall, open up the coin to reveal a sheet mask. You may have to splash on some more toner to get the mask to stick to your face — think how drenched other sheet masks are when you first open the package. Then, just apply to your face and sit back and relax for about 10 minutes.
Afterwards, my skin felt nice and taeng taeng (plump and firm), but what really surprised me was the next morning. I usually wake up to a super-shiny T-zone, but this time, I woke up with a glow. A serious, bona fide, I-could-walk-outside-like-this glow. Call me an official believer.
And the icing? Once I’m done with the cleanse toner, I can pop a single peony stem into the glass (not plastic) bottle and upcycle it into a cute little vase. That’s one, two, three, four different uses — why, I’m practically an all-in-one maven.
Well, not exactly. I’m not quite ready to give up all my pretty potions and serums just yet.
Written by me, originally published on Glow Recipe.