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Arcona Toner Tea Bar and Golden Grain Gommage- reviewed and recommended
I have to confess that the beauty industry has pretty much indoctrinated me that I should wash my face with a cleanser and that soap is to be distained. But soap bars have been cleaning up their act and Arcona has several that are a real pleasure to use. I bought the Berry Fruit Bar a couple of years ago, seduced by its jewel-like color and so was prepared to like the Toner Tea Bar ($38 in the shop). It lived up to expectations and its name – this bar truly tones as well as cleanses.
You have to love witch hazel to like Arcona’s products. The company formulates it in almost everything it produces and Toner Tea is no exception. Witch hazel gives this soap bar part of its scent, and the fragrance is rounded out by earthy tea aromas. There are black, white and green teas here for a strong antioxidant effect. Witch hazel is also an antioxidant as well as a useful astringent.
The suds are provided by plant sapponins from yucca and aloe. Saponins are glycosides and form about 3% of an aloe vera plant. They are soapy substances that provide cleansing and antiseptic activity, as well as being antimicrobials against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts. Saponin rich yucca extract – taken typically from the root – is also used for making soaps. Anyway, you can enjoy this soap bar’s foam knowing it is completely free from chemical surfactants.
A word on the price. Compared to many cleansers, $38 isn’t out of whack. In addition to the high-quality ingredients, it is worth noting that based on my experience with Berry Fruit Bar, Arcona’s soaps last a really long time (even when used in the shower!)
I was taken back to my teens when using Arcona Golden Grain Gommage ($42/3.4oz) as it is an oatmeal-based exfoliator (I made my own oatmeal scrubs in a desperate attempt to control my teenage acne). Actually, my take on Golden Grain Gommage is that it is probably effective for breakout-prone skin as it includes glycolic acid and retinol. Arcona has taken Golden Grain’s exfoliation duties very seriously indeed as there is a third class of skin smoother here, plant and fruit enzymes. These work to dissolve (sometimes the adverb “eat” is used) dead skin cells and any other residue that dulls the complexion. Golden Grain Gommage is not something I would use more than a couple of times a week, but I do find overall that it is gentle enough for my sensitive skin.
Ingredients in Toner Tea Bar: Agua (Distilled Water), Glucose Polymers, Vegetable Oils, Aloe Saponins, Yucca Extracts, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Camelia Senensis (Black Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Senesis (Green Tea) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Lecithin, Honey, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Beta-glucosamine, Essential Oils, Rubus Idaeus, (Raspberry) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract
Ingredients in Golden Grain Gommage: Agua (Distilled Water), Cornmeal, Oatmeal, Glycolic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Retinol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Allantoin, Fruit Enzymes, Plant Enzymes, Lecithin, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Extract, Grapefruit (Citrus Gandis) Seed Extract