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November 21, 2012

beauty scoop | stark skincare white willow bark perfecting tonic

I think it’s already time to update my favorites page.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been using Stark Skincare’s White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic, and I’ve been seeing and (feeling!) stellar results with it — especially with managing acne breakouts.

stark skincare white willow bark toner

{Jess of Stark Skincare sent me a sample of her gorgeously packaged White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic. It retails for $22 for a 2-ounce spray bottle. Photo Courtesy Stark Skincare}

When I first glanced over the White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic’s ingredients list, I was a bit skeptical that I would like it because I have a history of turning up my nose at witch hazel.

It’s not that witch hazel is a bad ingredient — it’s actually quite an amazing natural toner made from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub — it’s just that it has a distinct smell that my nose isn’t too keen on.

But, Jess Lafleur, the founder of Stark Skincare, has found a way to make witch hazel smell luxurious and amp up its natural acne-fighting power.

Enter our friends watermelon, grapefruit, cucumber and lime extracts.

Not only do these fruits liven up the smell of witch hazel, but they also deliver key benefits:

  1. Watermelon, grapefruit and lime extract are rich in Vitamin C, which helps the skin protect itself from damaging UV rays.
  2. Cucumber is rich in antioxidants and provides a cooling effect to freshly washed skin.

These smell-good ingredients, combined with soothing aloe vera juice and antibacterial willow bark extract (a natural source of salicylic acid), make for a truly balanced toner.

It refreshes my skin, cleans up trace amounts of makeup, dirt and oil and delivers an additional boost of acne-fighting power before I slather on my new favorite nighttime acne treatment.

Here’s the entire ingredients list:

Aloe Vera Juice, Witch-hazel Water, Watermelon Fruit Extract, Cucumber Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Lime Fruit Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil

Sadly, I’m down to my last few sprays of Stark Skincare’s White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic (I may have spritzed a little too liberally a few times … I can’t help it … I also spray a bit of toner on my makeup sponge before I squeeze the liquid BB cream out of the tube … nice little hydration boost).

However, I will absolutely be purchasing this toner. Here’s to another staple item for my top shelf!

Have you tried Stark Skincare’s White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic? What’s your thought on toners in general … and witch hazel in particular? Tell me what you know in the comments section!

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