Monday, April 23, 2012

As an oily-skinned girl, I love the fresh feeling a swipe of toner can give. It's that one little extra step that makes me feel incredibly clean, and it's something I never skip. Normally I have a stash of my favorite ones, but a few nights ago, I realized I was completely out of toner and dashed off to Duane Reade to get a new one. In my haste and distraction (I was looking for the new Revlon cream blushes!) I picked up an astringent instead of my usual gentle witch hazel toner. I didn't think it was a big deal, because I've always had oily skin and astringents have worked well for me before. For those of you who don't know, the main differences between astringent and toner are that the former is stronger, usually contains more alcohol and is meant to fight acne. The only negative side effects they've ever given me is a bit of tightness after application, but that's nothing a moisturizer won't fix.

I brought it home, cracked it open and out came the cotton rounds. I used it that night and the following morning and was perfectly fine with it--nothing uncomfortable or off-putting about the way it left my skin. But two days later, I looked down at my hands to see that the pads of my three middle fingers were cracked and dry like I'd never seen before. The skin was hard, coppery and so rough and dry it looked almost silver, and no amount of my thickest body butter could help. At first, I thought I had touched some chemicals by accident, and kept going about my usual skincare routine.

This is after moisturizing repeatedly.
Do you see how raised the dead skin is?!

Two days after that, my fingers were significantly worse, which is when I finally realized that the damaged pads of my three middle fingers are exactly where I hold the toner-soaked cotton round. Needless to say, I chucked it at once and have been on strict hand cream rehabilitation ever since, but I still can't get over how my flesh reacted. My skin almost never reacts to anything--especially not in the way of cracked dryness! My face, by the way, looked a little dry and patchy around my mouth, but nothing nearly as severe as what my fingers were going through. 

I've used strong astringents before, and the Clear Pore line has done well for me, so I really don't know what kind of car battery acid is in this.

I'm sorry, which one is the flesh burning chemical?

I can't even believe this contains the soothing witch hazel I love so much--though that's likely to balance out the 45% alcohol. Forty-five percent! Clearly, instead of pouring it down the sink, I should have chugged it.

I've had good experiences with Neutrogena skincare products before, and I even like the Clear Pore cleanser/mask so I don't know what went wrong here. But all I can say is that if this product affected my unbelievably resilient oily skin like this, can you imagine what it would do to someone with normal or even sensitive skin?! I imagine getting some in your eyes would require a trip to the hospital.

In any case, do not buy this product--I might even go so far as to shuffle around the Neutrogena display at Duane Reade, and put a different toner in front of this one.

It's public service, really!

If anyone else has tried a truly god-awful product that made you react like you never have before, please share in the comments! 

Hope you're well!

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