Although my routine is a category based routine, where I place more emphasis on product function over brand name or type, I realised that there are certain products that I always gravitate to. It’s just that they’re not always available cheaply, or even at all so I’ve set out on a quest to try and find suitable replacements for at least some of them.
I use the term dupe pretty fast and loose as I’m not trying to find exact copies. I’m trying to find better alternatives especially one that can dupe the same sense of usefulness, excitement and #skincaertainment that I had for the original product.
In this post, I’m trying to dupe: Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner
Product Category is Treat: Chemical Exfoliation.
For me, the products that work best have a combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), so Lactic, Glycolic and Salicylic Acid. I also (bucking the trend) don’t need their concentrations to be very high, and I never worry about the pH. This is because after months of using products with optimal pH and % to be effective, no matter how I spaced my use, they were pushing blemishes to the surface too quickly to heal before the next crop were pushed up. So now, I chemically exfoliate with products that people use to pH adjust and my once blemish covered face is much happier.
I use products in this category immediately after cleansing to ensure my face is clear and blemish free.
Why I’m trying to find a dupe
As much as I love the Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner, it is not available in the UK and importing prices are just silly. I can’t spend more than £10 (+shipping) on a $7 product, that’s not sensible or sustainable. I bought two bottles and one bottle lasted 3 months with AM and PM usage. Now, I’ve switched to using it in the AM and a different product in the PM, so I’m estimating that I have maybe another three months left before I’m all out. That means I need to find a replacement soonish!
I’ve really struggled to find a toner that has a combination of both AHAs and BHAs in the UK. We are super weird with our toners, we like ones that are either soothing, or astringent that are little more than alcohol soups. Yuck. If you know of any in the UK with all three acids, let me know! I’m lemming for a reliable replacement!
So, I chose the Missha Time Revolution Toner because it was really cheap and easily accessible. Yes, I have to order it from Korea, but that somehow is still more convenient than trying to get a Western product from one Western country to another –side eye-.
The combination of ingredients, reasonable price point, and the lovely reviews made it seem like a no brainer. As, even though it didn’t have all three acids like I originally wanted, it had lots of fermenty goodness that I thought, eh couldn’t hurt?
Water, Saccharomyces Ferment, Propanediol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Camellia Oleifera Seed Extract, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Cellulose Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA, 1,2-Hexanediol, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Malic Acid, Glucose, Acetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate
I bought a sample set size because it was smaller and I thought if I didn’t like it then I wouldn’t have a great hulking product to deal with. As such, it didn’t come in a box just a plastic wrapped bottle. Fuss-free packaging is very much appreciated in my house.
Unfortunately, as it didn’t do very much for me, I relegated it to the box of goodies I wanted to give it away. Which I did without taking any pictures because I a SMART! So, for awesome pictures, please visit ryanroar’s review!
Because what is patch testing? I started using it straight away on the 28th of December 2015 and by the 5th January 2016 I knew it was not for me at all. My cheeks had come out in little tiny bumps and at the time of writing this on the 12th January 2016, I have a larger lump on my cheek. Boo, total boo. As I test in isolation for at least seven days when trying a new product, I knew this was 100% to blame and I was really sad that I reacted so strongly to it. Even so, I stopped using it, my skin instantly cleared up but went a bit screwy when started using it again. So I went back to the ingredient’s list to check again if I’d missed a trigger ingredient, but nothing jumped out.
The problem wasn’t that this is a bad product, but that it didn’t really fit my purchase criteria for a product in this category. I’d originally bought this as a first essence, but then gotten it into my head that this would be a perfect replacement chemical exfoliant, it is not. Now I know that I have a reaction to it, trying to make it work as a First Essence isn’t really an option either, so it’s a bust.
Although Missha claims it is at a great pH to exfoliate, all it did was irritate my face. I didn’t break out in my ‘usual’ places, so that rules out that it just wasn’t exfoliating enough, it was actively working against me, wow Missha, rude.
Absolutely not. But for the curious, the Missha Time Revolution Toner is readily available at multiple locations and frequently parts of sets with the essence and or serum. I bought mine from RoseRoseShop on eBay for about £8.