Monday, 1 September 2014

Skin-y Love: Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Toner

Toning is a step in skin care that's got a lot of ladies (and a few gents) on the fence. Even my friends say it's something they can either do with or without. I like it, though. I think this extra step in my daily regimen has helped manage my pores and smoothen my skin. I rarely have breakouts save for the occasional teensy zit here (but I credit that to over-stressing or lack of sleep). 

When I finished my bottle of Clinique Clarifying Lotion, I noticed some sort of redness on my face that needed to be addressed. I switched back to Kiehl's for variation and after a consultation with the in-house derma/sales lady at the Covent Garden shop, I decided to forego my previous choice of Ultra Facial Toner and purchased the Calendula Herbal Extract Toner. At £34.50 per 250ml bottle, it's quite pricey for a toning product (£22 from Nordstrom) so I kept everything crossed that it would work.

As a flower idiot, I didn't realise how versatile the calendula is. More commonly known as marigold, this flower has a wide range of uses from culinary (ie salad ingredient and a cheaper saffron alternative) to medicinal (ie anti-inflammatory, anti-genotoxic, digestive aid). 

The toner itself is an olfactory stimulant of... some sort of zen herbal tea. It's not an off-putting smell but if you like unscented skin products, you may shake your head on this one. Also, you can see actual calendula petals floating about which can clog the noozle but it's nothing a little shake won't fix.

Now, Kiehl's calendula toner may be alcohol-free, but it's not entirely chemical-free. You might want to read the ingredients here before purchasing.

I've been using it for just over a month now and I must say it's quite effective as a soothing toner. Face feels cleansed, pores seem tighter and my skin didn't experience any sort of irritation, allergic reaction, nor discolouration. Best of all the redness, which is the main issue I wanted to target, has subsided. Now that should say something, eh?

It is, however, not an all-around toner. It may cleanse well and it may not dry out your skin, but it doesn't particularly address oil-control either. I reckon this is more for people prone to redness and acne rather than people with oily skin.

There are definitely cheaper alternatives to this toner but I'm quite happy that I'm less red in the face sans colour correcting creams because of this. Unless you count me going red due to Asian flush. It's done what I've wanted it to do so I'm not too bummed about paying a bit extra.

As per usual, you might want to try it out before purchasing. Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz, after all. ;)


  1. Ooh, so cool that the product has real calendula petals in. I do find that while they do have chemicals in them, Kiehl's products seem to be a lot gentler on my skin than their competitors - I had a horrible sensitive scalp a few weeks ago which has been soothed with their coconut amino acid shampoo! And hooray for Asian flush - that's one skin condition that we're just gonna have to put up with!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

    1. Someone actually asked me which shade of blush I was using at a recent event. I don't even wear blush when I go to post-work parties as I know the flush will suffice.

      True about Kiehl's. Some products are hit and miss, though. ie I've tried the line-reducing eye brightening eye cream previously and though it seemed to be working for two weeks, I develop a rash after!