Toners might be the one place where I really go nuts. I literally switch them out according to my daily skin care needs. It’s rare that I use any one formulation consistently because I’m in and out of hot and sometimes questionable environments (teaching yoga) so my face goes through a lot. I’m partial to essences because they stick to the skin and set up a nice base for my moisturizers.
If my skin is acting like it has some sense, then I’ll use whatever toner is calling me in terms of ‘mood.’ Typically that means HABIBI Organic Essential Essence (which smells like ylang ylang and chamomile), or Whamisa Organic Flowers Essence (which smells like fresh cut flowers). The scents are warm and cool respectively and are the result of essential oils (not fragrance), which I love. Whamisa gets used a lot in the morning hours, and Habibi a lot in the evenings. I feel like one kind of wakes me up and the other calms me down.
If my skin is acting an acne-prone mess, I’ll reach for Sunday Riley’s Martian. It really works to deal with those highly irritated acne bumps (you know the ones) that refuse to dry out like they need to. I think its the addition of the clay. However, long term this stuff really dries me out and irritates the crap outta my skin. So I normally only use it for an emergency fix (then slap a CosRx pimple pad on top) to balance out my skin before going back to the more soothing formulations.
If my skin is super dry (typically after a peel), I swear by May Coop Raw Sauce. The hydration levels are too high for me to use daily, but after a peel my skin dries out like nobody’s business. So I love to use it just before my moisturizer to really help things bind. It helps my foundation sit better too. I use it most often at night when my skin is dry. Works like a dream.
Between classes (especially if I’m teaching a triple), I’ll grab a cotton pad and use the HABIBI Essence to keep my skin clear of gunk (I keep a little travel bottle in my gym bag). I learned the hard way to keep my skin fresh between classes. All that touching students, and blocks, and sometimes weights and then accidentally touching my face… NO MA’AM. Just all the way bad. So I’m super diligent about keeping it clean and clear. I don’t typically add a moisturizer between classes because the essence is enough to keep everything clean and balanced until I get home.
The Santa Maria Novella waters work for a quick fix if I’m just reaching and running (with no time to let the essences sit to a couple of minutes to bind), but they don’t have any real hydration levels so I have to use a moisturizer immediately after. They’re much better suited to cleaning the face imo. But they feel and smell amazing so they can pull double duty in a pinch.