Why You Should be Using Toning Lotion

At an international CLARINS launch held in NEW YORK last month, Beauty Editor SARAH HALLIWELL picked up all kinds of insights into why it’s INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to incorporate toning lotion into your SKINCARE REGIME


Clarins’ bestsellers include the innovative Double Serum, which visibly improves the performance of everything you apply after it, along with the peerless hand cream, Moisture Rich Body Lotion, Lip Perfector (a real treat for lips if you haven’t tried it yet) and Joli Rouge lipsticks.

And with the current trend for facial oils, it’s worth knowing that Clarins have been making them for over 50 years – their Tonic Oil is an enduring cult product due to its pure, highest quality natural ingredients; the family-owned company’s ethos is all about “performance through the science of plants”.

The company has a portfolio of 250 plants registered for efficacy (as well as safety), with ten new ones added each year, in order to provide “permanent innovation”.

It takes more than three years to prepare a new product and Clarins focus on improving existing ranges, constantly updating with the best new ingredients and technology available, adapting it to our changing lifestyle and the impacts of things like stress and pollution.

Early next year, for example, we’ll see day and night creams that have been updated specially to suit the needs of the “millennials” – the stressed, sleep-deprived, constantly connected, busy daughters of Clarins’ existing customers.


For us post-40s, though, we’re stocking up on Double Serum and taking Scientific Communications Director Marie-Hélène Lair’s advice on toning lotions: several brands have launched these recently, inspired by Asian skin routines, but we’ve been reluctant to adopt yet another step in our regimes.

The science team at Clarins, with their 60 years of knowledge, are clear about the benefits, however: “Toning lotions are not so usual in Europe, but the benefits of using a toner before applying product are now proven,” says Lair.

“They’re to be used as a first step of skincare, rather than a final touch of cleansing – used this way, toning lotions will impregnate the skin with water. If you apply creams on very dry skin they won’t penetrate – but if you apply cream on skin already moisturised by lotion, you will boost the penetration.”

She acknowledges it will take a while for this idea to catch on: “It is not easy to introduce a new step to skincare routines – it is hard to change habits and behaviour.” With 60 years’ experience, however, the French beauty giant certainly knows skin.

Image via Jason Lloyd Evans

Sarah Halliwell

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