When it comes to skincare, I always look to have a product in my daily cleaning regime that incorporates brightening. Mainly because I have quite dull skin, marked with pigmentation from both acne scars and sun damage.
Sounds a real treat, doesn’t it!
Luckily, there are products out there that can lift the dull, sunken look and add some life into my complexion. Fading marks and pigmentation can be a trickier job, as a lot of my marks and sun damage are deep routed, and need more aesthetic facial treatments (like peels and microneedling) to life rejuvenate the skin.
That being said, thanks to the advanced ingredient brands are incorporating into their new product launches, my day-to-day maintenance is getting much better.
Today I wanted to review the Emma Hardie Brightening Exfoliating Tonic. The name sold it to me in all honesty. When I was told by the brand they were launching the product, I jumped at the chance to review as it sounds like it tackles the two key areas I am concerned about: cell turnover and brightening.
Emma Hardie Exfoliating Brightening Tonic, £28
This product is described to work on the skin as a natural and gentle daily exfoliator treatment, ideally being used in place of a toner. You simply shake before use, and after you have thoroughly cleansed the skin, just close your eyes and spray the exfoliating tonic onto a cotton pad and wipe thoroughly over the face, neck and décolleté.
I have been using this following my usual cleanser (which changes every 3 months or so) and then I follow with a serums and/or moisturiser, depending how my skin is feeling that particular day. It’s gentle enough to use morning and night, and from reading up on this product beforehand, I was pleased to hear it’s fine for sensitive skin. However, I did use it once a day to begin with, to let me skin get used to it.
It takes on a softer approach to retinol, which will be good news for those of you who find retinol products to be too strong for your skin. Instead, it uses Bakuchiol, which is known as nature’s alternative.
It’s becoming more widely used across skincare in products which aim to rejuvenate, brighten and tone, with minimal irritation. Bakuchiol also works to stimulate collagen production, increasing the elasticity of the skin. So whether it’s anti aging, pigmentation or dull skin tone/texture, this is a super ingredient to be utilising daily in your skincare.
I like how it also focuses on fruit acids, like pomegranate enzymes, which gently exfoliate the skin, These enzymes are also said to release trapped bacteria in the skin, so if you have congested/acne prone skin, this product should ideally start to help to reduce the clogged bacteria.
I do have acne prone skin, and it’s so satisfying seeing the dirt that shows up on my cotton pad after using the product, even though I cleansed beforehand! My acne seems to be controlled at the moment, so thankfully I know this product won’t mess that up.
Along with the active ingredients, I was happy to see cooling aloe vera packed into this. I swear by aloe vera for keeping redness and irritation at bay, along with soothing and hydrating properties.
After using the product once a day for a week, and then twice a day for 2-3 weeks, I can say that I feel this is a hero product for clarifying and exfoliating. When I say exfoliating, I mean in the terms of using a different approach to gritty, beaded exfoliators, and instead the fruit acids and nature’s retinol kind of eat away at dead skin cells, and increase the turnover. So after a few weeks of use, you can see brighter, clear, unclogged skin.
It might work quicker for some of you. My skin is just extremely sluggish and is far from normal, as I have a lot of marks, pigmentation and sun damage that has built up!
I would totally recommend this as that after cleansing yet before serum step, to completely clarify the skin. When uses properly, you should start to see a brighten, more toned and radiant complexion. I feel it has helped close up my pores too, which is always a bonus!