Due to weather, hormones, testing products that don’t suit me or something other than lifestyle as I have been rather saintly recently (well, at least for me), my skin is blotchy and unhappy and, horrors, the pores on my nose are enlarged. Various remedies are being tried out and will be the subject of future posts, but I am pleased to say that I am finding toners can be a quick fix for troubled skin. I often turn to Amala’s Rejuvenating Toner, but recently I have been trying out Rilastil’s Intensive Toner ($45).

Both are European newcomers to the US, but unlike Amala’s, Rilastil’s toner comes alcohol free. I really like that one of the most dominant ingredients is cornflower. This plant is rarely used in cosmetics (probably because it has been almost eradicated by pesticides and is, therefore, expensive) although it is a known anti-inflammatory and has been used for treating ocular disorders for more than a century. The extract is rich in the polyphenols called flavonoids and anthocyanins.

As well as that pore minimizing staple of toners, witch hazel, and the now ubiquitous grape seed extract, there are some other less usual and beneficial botanicals. The one I am pleased to see here is horse chestnut as it contains a saponin called escin. This is supposed to strengthen veins and capillaries by blocking an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which can breakdown of proteoglycans (part of the structure of capillary walls). I am hoping this will calm the redness and few broken veins that I have developed in the last couple of weeks.

Rilastil’s toner also has several amino acids, some vitamin B and pH controlling sodium lactate. One of the ingredients I am less keen on is the preservative, chlorexidine digluconates. It is slightly toxic in oral and inhalation studies, and some bacterial assays it tested positive for mutagenesis. Furthermore, dermal sensitization occurred when patch tests of 1% concentrations ofchlorhexidine digluconate were administered on Eczema patients. The EU Cosmetics Directive permits it to be used as a cosmetic preservative at concentrations up to .3%.

Ingredients

Aqua, Ethoxydiglycol, Centaurea Cianus (Cornflower Extract), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel Extract), Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed Extract), Hypericum Perforatum (Hypericum Perforatum Extract), Arnica Montana, Aesculus Hippocastanum {Horse Chestnut Extract}, Hedera Helix {Ivy Extract}, Methoxy PEG-7- Rutinyl Succinate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Panthenol, Saccharomyces Lysate, Valine, Leucine, Isoleucine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polysorbate 20, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Laureth-23, Chlorexidine Digluconate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Disodium EDTA, CI 75810, Parfum {Fragrance}