So, aside from buying Bravura Acid Peels, I also went on getting all the three acid toners as well. I figured I can further tailoring the exfoliating routine down to the T with these.
In the beginning, I thought they would be more less the same but I actually can notice the difference between all three. Without further adieu, let’s get to them.
Basically, Bravura offers three different kinds/levels of acid toners. They can be used accordingly to your skin type and needs. One type can be used to lower down the pH level on the skin before going in with the Acid Peels. The website provides all the information that you need about the description of every toner (which I will link below), so be sure to read that first.
At the time I bought these, a couple of them are still in the old packaging. Less than two weeks later, they came out with the beautiful colorful glass bottles we see everywhere now. The downside, I don’t get to present you pretty pictures. However, to be honest, I prefer the plastic bottles because it’s easier to carry around and less risk of breaking, in case I drop it (God, no).
I don’t like to compare products if I don’t find them worthy to be judged like such. I think each product has its own merits and should be appreciated the way it is. But with ingredient list that’s almost identical to cult-favorite PIXI Glow Tonic, no-wonder that this product is called a dupe. People have been asking me countless times. Let’s do a little math to amuse myself:
Bravura Ginseng Toner £12.40 for 150 ml = £0.083/ml
PIXI Glow Tonic £18.00 for 250 ml = £0.072/ml
So, Bravura is more expensive by a cent. When people say dupe, I always have the assumption that the dupe is cheaper, but not this one. So it’s not really fair to say it’s a dupe of the mighty PIXI. They’re similar, that’s more like it. For the record, I do agree they’re similar.
Bravura Ginseng Toner offers great results, just what I’d expect from daily acid toners. I can see more less the same brightening quality like when I used PIXI‘s. BUT, and this is the major BUT, the Ginseng Toner is NOT as drying. I don’t feel that tight feeling or tautness. It’s noticeably more gentle on my skin and I was able to use this more often that I could with PIXI‘s. By any means, applying a hydrating toner afterwards is still a must, as always.
This toner is the one to use pre-acid peels, per the brand’s description. I don’t use it as such because I don’t find the need to. The Acid Peels work great on me anyway without it. But then I’m also scared I might somewhat overdo it if I use an acid toner before the acid peel, if you know what I mean. I just use a low pH cleanser beforehand and the peels still do their job.
Bottom line, Bravura Ginseng Toner is a great gem and if you find the sister-from-another-mother is too drying, you might want to take a dip at this one.
This one is a clear step up from the Ginseng Toner. The Calendula Toner has 10% of Glycolic Acid and 3% of Lactic Acid. The percentage of Glycolic Acid might be twice than the first one, which could only mean it bears a higher risk of dryness, but the addition of Lactic Acid will sort that right away. The humectant properties is Lactic Acid will ensure the skin won’t go into the desert, provided that we apply enough hydration and moisture afterwards.
As far as results, Bravura Calendula Toner can help eradicate white heads and small bumps on the skin creating a smoother canvas. Because it is stronger, I can see the glow it creates also doubles up. I like what I see from the outside. However, I can somewhat feel that my skin is a little crisper or thin if I use this a little bit too often. It’s quite similar to when I use the Glycolic Acid 10% Peel but not as much, I’m thanking the Lactic Acid for that. I am still wary about it so I am being careful.
This is a great one to use say, after I finished a breakout episode and I need to take off the edge. This will help to dissolve and purify what’s left of it while giving the benefits of clearer skin without going overboard (a.k.a. over-exfoliating the skin). My PIH might and usually take longer to fade, but at least the dirt is gone. This is a great middle ground if you find the Ginseng Toner is meh and Detoxifying Toner is too rough.
Now this is the sh*t. I hated it the first time. It driiiieed my skin so badly I just wanted to drench myself in water and Hyaluronic Acid afterwards. I can literally felt the hydration just vaporized as I swept the cotton pad. And that strong scent of (my guess) camphor is not pleasant on my senses. It’s clean, but it’s way too clean and hospital-like. The usual hydrating toners didn’t do it, I went into sheet masking with my trusty Hatomugi Skin Conditioner. I soaked the mask tablet heavily and left it on my face for 20 minutes. Then I go with a hydrating toner before going into serum. Sometimes, instead of sheet masking, I’d use two hydrating toners. This extra length is what I do every time I use this toner.
But damn it, results do not lie! The Bravura Detoxifying Eucalyptus Toner is very potent and I can see why this is more suitable for oilier and acne-prone skin types. Or if you have significant buildups that you need to get rid off. It can really help reduce blemishes, (some) blackheads and whiteheads in a jiffy, at a high cost. I only opt for this at times where I need something to be cleared up fast. And this will do so, perhaps even faster than the Salicylic Acid 2% Peel. In that case, I’d use this 2 – 3 times a week and sometimes straight for 2 nights max. Otherwise, this doesn’t get used often at all. I do not use it when there’s an open wound (exposed blemish) on my skin because it will sting! Ouch.
I actually bought Bravura Detoxifying Eucalyptus Toner for my SO. I let him use it for a while and he actually did until a quarter is left. Then I had my turn. He testified that it helped his acne quite a lot. But he also noticed that it’s drying on his skin. He has drier skin than I do so I’m not imagining things here. While he personally likes the results, he feels uncomfortable using it in the long term. I concur. I think the skin eventually can really take a toll when using this constantly over a period of time, even if you have oily skin. Best to use it only when you need it.
I’m still offended by the scent.
So the big question will be this, if you already own the Acid Peels, would you still need the toners? Yes and no, but yes for me. I love having the different options. First, the peels alone can’t be used every night and they are much more concentrated in the sense that they have less ingredients. I can feel the tingling sensation when I use them, but not the toners (except the Detoxifying one). The approach of the peels is straight forward, therefore, I do feel the peels are more potent than the toners. More potent not in the sense of offering instantaneous results, but I feel they work deeper into the skin, making it more refined in a more sophisticated way.
The acid toners are undoubtedly quick and easy to use. They like the highway to get a clearer, smooth glowing skin everyone craves for. But using them too often creates higher chance of over-exfoliating, especially if you don’t know when to give it a break. With the peels, you are forced to use it once every other night or more. The downside though, is probably the application, wait-time and needs to be rinsed off. You can just pour a little bit of the toner into the cotton pad, sweep and go. I still do a little bit of wait-time, just because. But yeah, it’s time-saving and efficient.
Whichever that you choose, these Bravura toners and peels are wonderful products with affordable price tags and provide visible results. That’s the biggest charm. I personally think that there is something for everyone here, except if you are overly sensitive to acids.