Phytomer Cleansers and Toners: Why I’m Obsessed, Plus A Little Cleansing 101

Cleansers and Toners

When it comes to cleansers and toners, I continue to be totally obsessed with Phytomer. Phytomer is a French brand known for their marine + science influence.  They have been in the game for nearly 50 years, developing a bundle of cult classics along the way. The line is predominantly sold in spas but you can also get their products online. Phytomer has dozens of options, ranging from moisturizers, serums and everything in-between, but personally, their cleansers are my favorite. It must be something about the French right? They just seem to do everything right in skincare.

In my younger days, I used to believe that spending on cleansers was a waste of money. I predominantly spent on serums and creams. But as I got older, I learned the value of truly good cleansing routine and product. “Every good skin care routine begins with cleansing” says Angela Eriksen-Stanley, Director of Education for Phytomer USA. “Proper daily cleansing removes damaging pollutants and pore clogging buildup such as dirt, oil and makeup that accumulate throughout the day.”

We know this… I know this. But for the longest time I seemed to think relying on my CVS cleanser was the way to go. Wrong! Without a strong cleansing foundation, all other work you do for your skin is futile. “Choosing a cleanser adapted for your individual skin type is an important first step to keep skin balanced and healthy and to help prevent skin from either getting too oily early in the day or too stripped and dry,” Angela Eriksen-Stanley adds. Since I am so in love with phytomer cleansers I, asked Angela for a little 101 on how to chose the right one. What might be best for me, might not be best for you.

So How Do You Know What’s Best For Your Skin? Gel? Milk? I’m Confused!

Don’t just pick up what your friend recommends. Everyone has different skin. Angela Eriksen-Stanley recommends first and foremost peaking with a skincare professional. If that’s not an option, Angela suggests doing your homework. “Thoroughly read a product’s packaging before deciding,” she explains. “Then pay attention to how your skin reacts to know what’s best for you.  Playing around and trying different methods, depending on your current climate and season can be helpful too. Are you feeling on the dry side? Try skipping your cleanser in the morning; substitute it with a hydrating toner instead.” Don’t forget to ask for samples, and try out a few. Find what suits you best.

Another helpful hint: if a brand isn’t made in the US, names and descriptions may be different than expected. Case in point, Phytomer’s toners (because they are French) are referred to as “lotions” (not to be confused with body lotions) and they also remove makeup, cleanse skin and offer helpful skin care benefits.

Remember That Toning Matters

Angela says, “toning is an important second step of the cleansing process and guarantees complete removal of all traces of cleanser, impurities and hard water particles left after rinsing cleanser from the skin.” She explains, “Sometimes these traces can form a residue that leaves skin impure and prone to dryness and irritation.” Enter: toner. Toners balance the pH, or acidity of the skin, to keep it healthy and can provide various benefits depending on skin’s needs. For example, toning dry skin will help maintain hydration levels and toning oily skin will help to deeply cleanse and prevent breakouts. Swiping toner over the skin with a cotton pad also removes any impurities that may have been left behind from the tap water used to wash cleanser away; the chlorine, hard water particles and heavy metals can be irritating for any skin type. Toning with the correct product helps to balance all skin conditions while making skin receptive to the application of serum and/or moisturizer applied next.

My Cleanser Picks  

My favorite cleanser and currently in my shower right now is DOUX VISAGE Velvet Cleansing Cream. I have combination skin that is somehow oily in all the wrong spots, but still dry in others. I prefer cream cleansers. This one is creamy in texture and uses a seaside plant called Sorenia to boost the skin’s ability to repair and replenish. PERFECT VISAGE Gentle Cleansing Milk is also a great choice for all skin types. It’s Phytomer’s most popular cleanser.

My Toner Picks

Arguably the most iconic Phytomer product to date and for good reason, ROSÉE VISAGE Toning Cleansing Lotion can be used on all skin types. The rose water soothes, while minerals from seawater rebalance skin. It also works as an excellent makeup remover, so you can use it both pre- and post-cleansing. OLIGOMARINE Flawless Skin Tonic is also an excellent option for combination skin or any skin type that becomes shiny throughout the day (that’s me). A marine biotechnology ingredient absorbs oil as it is produced by the skin for a matte complexion.

Image via @phytomer

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