Clarins' famed Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, or "Bright Plus HP Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel" if your in the US, has received quite the hype this past year. I bought my first bottle in the spring and *spoiler alert* - just re-purchased and so I thought now would be the perfect time to share my thoughts.
All of Clarins' toners had their look updated in the last year and now comes in much sleeker packaging. It's now quite round, narrow and tall with a round twist off cap. I much prefer the new packaging to the old one personally.
The Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner packaging is white with red writing and not translucent like the other toners. This, I presume, is because there's a lot of active and quite strong ingredients inside that won't do to well with lots of light flowing in. So kudos to Clarins for that. I can't stand when my serums come in clear glass. It's nice to know how much you've got left, but it doesn't matter when what's left has stopped working!
Depending on how sensitive your skin is you would have to assess how often to use this. I'd say start off using it only during the evening, see how that works out and then add it to your morning routine as well - but be careful and take notes on how your skin is liking, or not liking it. My skin can't handle it twice a day so I use it in the evenings only.
There's no instant effect when using this like with for example a scrub or chemical exfoliant mask where you see results straight away or the next morning. Not for me at least. I noticed the effects this had more after using it for a little while. What it does for me is help unclog pores. I don't get many full-on blemishes, but I do get those annoying tiny bumps under the skin that doesn't leave the texture of the skin looking too nice. This has helped with that. That's what I hoped it would do and it's what it has done, so needless to say I am quite pleased.
I still do exfoliating masks every now and then, but not as often as I used to. I always do masks in the evenings and when I decide to do an exfoliating one I skip this toner. Depending on how my skin feels I'll usually skip it the next day as well. Just to be on the safe side. I'm already suffering from hyper-pigmentation and post-acne scarring - no need to go out of my way in making skin even more sensitive to the sun.
In terms of helping with scarring I can't say this has helped noticeable with that. Being an exfoliating product of course it would help a tad, but the more dramatic (I say dramatic - the marks are still there, but dramatic as in more than usual progress which I have decided to simply attest to time passing) improvements I've been seeing lately have been down to serums, oils and special treatments I've been using - more on that later!
Like I mentioned at the start of this review I have re-purchased this. And I will again and again. This is quite a simple product and while you don't get those dramatic overnight results I've still noticed overall clearer skin that looks healthier. I think I would freak out a little if I ran out and couldn't get a hold of this straight away to be honest. And I'm pretty sure that constitutes a "Holy Grail" product.
- Get it here -