Sunday, January 1, 2012

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hibiscus Facial Toner

I purchased this 250 mL bottle from London Drugs for $11.99 CDN. On sale, however, I can find this for as 'little' as $9.99. The London Drugs by my house is the only one in my city that I seem to be able to find this toner at. I've looked high and low in other stores that sell Alba products, but I have not been able to locate it anywhere else. You can also buy it on their website:

On Alba Botanica's website, this is marketed as a hypo-allergenic "complexion balancing" toner. It contains witch hazel and aloe vera to calm and soothe irritated, red skin. It contains extracts of hibiscus, honeysuckle, passion flower and guava to further refine and refresh the skin. It is also 100% Vegetarian; No: Animal Testing, Artificial Colors, Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Methyl Sulfate.

I was introduced to this product by one of my housemates last year. He was a male model from Singapore, and when he moved out, he left a bunch of products for us to use that he couldn't take with him on the plane home. I tried this toner once, decided that it didn't work and gave the bottle to my sister. A few weeks later, she told me that the toner had done wonders for her acne and skin overall, and that it was a 'miracle' product and she wanted more. I had her give me a small bottle of the toner - not wanting to waste it - to try for myself.

In the first two days I didn't really notice a difference. My skin seemed unchanging. Over the first week of trying it though, I saw significant improvements. My skin appeared more hydrated, my skin tone seemed dramatically evened out, my pores less visible, and my acne was clearing up substantially.

I apply this toner once a day - though sometimes twice if I'm feeling generous. After cleansing, I soak a cotton pad (not a cotton ball...) in the toner, and wipe my face with it. If I've worn a lot of makeup that day, or I feel like my skin needs some extra cleaning, I'll finish with the first pad, and soak a second one for round two. After applying, I let the toner dry on my skin before applying my moisturizer.

The toner adds moisture to my skin without making it oily. Because there is no alcohol in it, it is not overly drying or irritating to my sensitive combination skin. Occasionally, when I use this twice in a day or if my skin is particularly sensitive, it will burn the most sensitive areas of my skin upon application (i.e., the tops of my cheekbones, around my nose area), however, it goes away once the product dries and a moisturizer is applied.

I love how it keeps my complexion clear and free (mostly) from acne. I can count on this toner to help clean up and heal existing breakouts and help to prevent future blemishes from popping up. I love how it makes my skin feel refreshed and hydrated, and how my skin looks so much smoother and toned after just a few uses.

This is definitely a holy grail product in my skin care regime. I recommend it to most everyone I meet, and so far, several people have reported dramatic improvements in their skin. One of my friends said this got rid of the blackheads on her nose that she's been battling with since her teenage years.

If you're looking for a product to help with acne, to even out your skin tone, minimize the appearance of your pores, and/or to calm your irritated skin - this might be the product for you. While it isn't a necessarily 'cheap' venture, you could certainly hurt your wallet more with some more high end products. I definitely think this is worth the try if you can find it in a store near you, and definitely worth it if you can buy it on sale!

5 out of 5 stars!
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Do you have any favorite skin care products? Anything that is your holy grail, cannot-live-without item?? Let me know!

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