March 04, 2010

Budget Beauty: Neutrogena Deep Clean Blackhead Eliminating Cooling Toner

For some time now, my HG has toner has been Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 3. When I first started using it, it made such a noticeable difference to my skin and increased the efficacy of acne treatment products like Differin. So if it's so great, why am I looking to switch? Well, it's pricey. It's RM78 for 150ml, which just isn't that affordable - even when decanted into a smaller drop bottle and used only once a day. While the bottle lasts up to 6 months I just felt it wasn't worth the price.

I initially bought this toner to use in the mornings, but after a mishap where I spilt the tiny amount of Clinique toner I had left, I started using it morning and night. Well guess what, 3 weeks later and my skin hasn't suffered - not that I can see!

Why I think it works as well
I tossed my old bottle of Clarifying Lotion 3 but if memory serves (which the internet confirms) its active ingredients were withhazel and beta-hydroxy acid / BHA also known as Salicylic Acid. Guess what? Neutrogena's toner-of-the-really-long-name has all the above. It has Witch Hazel & 0.5% Salicylic Acid. I'm not sure of the concentration in Clinique's but even if Neutrogena's is lower I cheerfully slop it on twice a day instead of the meager drops I used to gingerly wipe on each night.

Does it eliminate blackheads?
My blackheads are under constant assault - but they're still there. I mask, tone, scrub, treat, and use serums just about daily and while the count is lowish some will prevail. If the assault ever stops they multiply so fast I have cystic acne in 3 days. Not kidding, stopping just one part of my arsenal usually has a negative effect. So what I CAN say is, switching to this toner hasn't made things worse. So it appears to be as effective as Clinique's offering.

Some drawbacks.... or not
There are two additional things this toner does that I don't mind but others may loathe. It does have that "cooling" menthol tingle, and it smells of citrus.

While I've secretly enjoyed all these cooling tingly products during the heatwave, I know that in truth they are at best an unnecessary ingredient as they do no good, and at worst irritant to sensitive skin. Clinique's toner is also unfragranced which this isn't - a booboo for some. Sorry Syen, you'll really really loathe this toner's lemony scent.

If your skin is oily and isn't overly sensitive to fragrance and cooling tingly things, it should take to this toner pretty well. At RM22 for 200ml it's definitely great value for money and while a bottle won't last me as long as Clinique's I don't mind replacing it every 3-4 months instead of every 6. If nothing else it lowers my stress levels. And hey considering I have been unable to replace my pricey Clinique DDMG and ~H2O+ Face Oasis moisturisers - something has GOT to give!


ZF said...


I have problem with blackheads and whiteheads. It's a constant battle that i had to go through every single day. I bought numerous products related to blackhead/whitehead remover and even resorted into natural remedy but it just doesn't work. Do u have any idea how to combat those (blackheads/whiteheads) coz i don't know much longer i can than.. :-P

Askmewhats said...

Kahani, I haven't seen this down here, I am a bit into "cooling" effect of the toner! that's my my Clinique's Clarifying lotion is the one with alcohol, although I should repurchase the MILD version :)

LyNn said...

wow i had always wanted to switch from dermalogica to clinique.
maybe i should switch to this instead

Kahani said...

ZF: Aww sweetie I wish I had the answer. I can only say that trying to get rid of them all at once doesn't work. The best is a consistant beauty routine that prevents more from forming and a more in-depth cleansing once a week. Try and use a mild daily scrub with salicylic acid like Neutrogena's Deep Clean Gentle Scrub, a gentle clay mask daily (I use Himalaya Herbals Neem Face Pack), a toner with salicylic acid and gel moisturisers. Anything to prevent and help keep them pores clear!

Nikki: LOL I can't even find it online! M'sian marketed products can be frustrating that way. But dear you have dry skin, maybe this particular cooling toner ain't for you?

Lynn: Well for RM22, why not? =P Just go easy at first!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review!

I feel the same way as you do so I would probably go hunting for another toner once this runs out.

But not because it is not good. It just does not work the way you want it to like eliminating blackheads.

Any recommendations? :)

Kahani said...

Hi Joey, I'm actually pretty happy with this one so I'm not sure what to recommend. No single toner will eliminate all your blackheads - it will just help keep them down. You need a full regiment to combat blackheads. Have you tried Cellnique's pro sebum gel and/or B'Liv's Off with those heads? So far Syen and I can't live without them!