I received the Arcona Cranberry Toner in one of my Sample Society subscription boxes this fall and I was able to use it twice a day for a few weeks. Arcona advertises this as a 3-in-1 formula that cleanses, tones and hydrates and includes cranberry, which boasts antimicrobial properties. It has a unique appearance, with a pink color that swirls when you shake it. It also appears to be very sudsy, and the moment you tip the bottle lots of bubbles form on the surface. Arcona says that you can use the toner anytime to cleanse, tone or remove makeup.
I didn’t try to use the toner in all of those ways, I only used it to tone after washing my face with a dedicated cleanser. It has a really strong cranberry smell that is almost candy-like. I’ve never had cranberry-flavored candy, but I’d imagine it would smell something like this. The smell is all-natural and comes from the cranberry fruit extract and essential oils, but it is strong in the bottle and also lingers on skin after applied. I find the smell to be unappealing and way too heavy.
I use cotton rounds to apply my toner these days, and usually apply it pretty liberally. I mentioned that this toner looked sudsy in the bottle, and it also retained it’s suds when applied to skin. It made me feel a little like I was applying some sort of soap that would need to be rinsed off. I reduced the amount of toner I used over time, but it would still feel extremely wet and frothy on my face. The feeling of it isn’t so much a sticking point for me, it’s just sort of unusual.
I think the main issue for me is that the stated purpose of this product isn’t quite in alignment with what I ultimately look for in a toner. Arcona has formulated a product that can both remove makeup and cleanse skin in addition to tone and nourish. I already use a dedicated makeup remover and cleanser, so by the time I’m ready to tone I do not need a third cleansing step. It is definitely not the most stripping toner I’ve ever tried, but it does leave my skin feeling a little tight.
I do want my toner to lower pH and nourish, and this one can do that. The cranberry will lower pH (have you ever taken cranberry supplements for a distressed bladder? It’s the same principle – bacteria cannot thrive in an acidic environment). The nourishing ingredients include vitamin E, rice milk and omega 3, 6 and 9. In addition, the toner is also free of all petrochemicals, chemical stabilizers, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphates, perfumes, dyes, binders and fillers.
As a side note, cranberry is not unique to this toner. It is also an ingredient in the Raunsborg Skin Tonic that I recently used (review here), and Michael Todd True Organics also offers a Cranberry Toner (update: review here). Personally, I like the Raunsborg product a lot more than Arcona’s, as it didn’t smell like cranberry and was overall a more nourishing toner that improved the health of my skin over time. I’ve also seen a few recipes online for homemade toners that call for cranberry. This one appears to be a pretty nice, simple option if you’re the DIY-type. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list for things to experiment with in the future.
While I don’t think this Arcona toner is a great match for me, there are definitely good qualities here. If you are the kind of person who is sometimes tempted to skip cleansing every once in a while, this may be a good multipurpose product for your beauty cabinet. You’ll just need to be alright with a strong fruity smell.
Ingredients: Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Rice Milk, Sodium Lactate, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, D-alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citric Acid, Essential Oils.
Have you tried it? What do you think?