The main selling point of this little facial spray/toner is its price point – at only $7, anyone can afford it. Mario Badescu is a highly-regarded high-end beauty brand and very popular among beauty bloggers (the line’s most famous product is probably the Drying Lotion for acne, which I have yet to try as I don’t struggle too much with acne). Let’s explore first what exactly toners do.
It took quite a while for the lightbulb to go off in my end of what exactly toners are and what their purpose is; it kind of seemed like water you spray on your face before adding moisturizer, and that seemed pointless no? But after reading a lot about the way skin works, and reacts to skincare products, eventually it just clicked with me.
The primary thing toners do is soften your skin, and the reason that’s important is because it helps the skin soak up whatever you next put on it, usually a moisturizer or serum full of skin-loving ingredients. The skin is an organ like any other on your body, and ingests what you put on it, but if the lotion/product is thick or you’re applying multiple products on top of each other, some of them may not soak in and instead stay on the surface of your skin where they won’t do any good. Toners help with this – they soften and prep the skin for the next step. Ideally they also help to regulate and balance your skin; some, like this one, contain soothing ingredients like aloe and herbs, while others contain balancing and acne-fighting ingredients like apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil.
I still think toners are completely optional and I don’t have one I use every day, but if you have the time and are a skin fanatic, I do recommend using them.
This little toner contains aloe, herbs, and rosewater, and is good for very light hydration and for soothing. Aloe is derived of course from the aloe vera plant and is healing for the skin, and rosewater has been used in beauty routines for hundreds of years (originating in Persia). It is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial so it’s particularly good for acne-prone skin.
I like this overall, though it doesn’t blow me away. I’m fortunate to struggle only a little bit with acne, so wasn’t looking for those benefits, and I apply plenty of high-wattage moisturizers already due to my dry skin. What I did enjoy using this for was a quick mist in the middle of the day in between my morning and night-time routines. It’s definitely refreshing on the skin and I love the convenience of use and the certain knowledge that it’s good for my skin. After a couple days, I took to keeping this in the fridge (Korean women do this with their skincare all the time and swear by it since it helps products maintain stability and helps to soothe skin), since that amps up the refreshing quality.
There are two things I don’t like however, that would probably keep me from re-buying.One, it does smell like rosewater, and for someone who uses rosehip oil and a rose-based moisturizer as staples in her skincare routine, it turns out ironically that I just don’t like the actual smell of roses in my products. It’s a very slightly musty smell that doesn’t suit me. Two, it does leave my skin feeling a little tight after application, which I think is odd for a hydrating product, but is probably due to its closing pores. I’m very sensitive to how my skin feels after applying products since I think that’s one of the best barometers.
On the whole, would I re-buy this? If it were any more expensive, I definitely would not, as is has some mild drawbacks and doesn’t impart (or, to do it justice, claim to impart) any major benefits to skin – but I do like it and may consider re-purchasing it for its lovely $7.
Acne-prone skin: Ideal
Sensitive skin: Yes
Would I re-buy? Maybe