A few weeks ago, I wrote about one of my favorite complimentary amenities offered at a hotel. This week I thought I would review one of my favorite products offered in a business class amenity kit on international flights. It's interesting how many grooming lines work in partnership with airlines; some are surprisingly effective (L'Occitane shea butter hand cream with LAN Airlines) and some I would imagine could do more harm than good (Iberia's weird facial creams).

I often fly American Airlines internationally and am impressed that their business-class goody bag includes Murad products. (I believe, since the last time I flew, some routes changed their amenity kit products to Burt's Bees... just as good!)

I used to be incredibly ambivalent with Murad but ultimately—among the products I've tried and tested—I  always ended up with positive results. I say ambivalent because not all the ingredients used are something to cheer about though there's often enough "good" to justify the purchase.

The Essential-C Toner's main mojo is hamamelis virginana, otherwise known as witch hazel. I generally sigh every time I see witch hazel in a product. It's a personal thing that I would like to shake off and, slowly but surely, I am. It helps tighten pores without overdrying skin but it's often found in other products that I would rather not know about (like baby wipes). However, the more I learn about witch hazel and its benefits (astringent, softening, healing properties, studies indicating it counters the effects of UVA by its anti-free radical activity) the less anal I am about it.

My personal preference aside, there's a few things in this toner that make the witch hazel no big deal even if you're picky like me.

First, there's bitter orange flower extract (teamed with echinacea, citrus aurantium dulcis extracts and a bunch of citrus oils. This is a powerhouse of antioxidant and a natural self defense system, including moisturizing and hydration. Then, the rice amino acids don't hurt, and sodium PCA is good for binding water to the skin

I also like that it's refreshing, a splash of citrus that's perfect during long-haul flights or at home.

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine Lauroyl Methionate, Rice Amino Acids, Zinc Aspartate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Chitosan Ascorbate, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Sodium Polyaspartate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzophenone-4, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-4, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil, Green 3 (CI 42053)