12.30.2014
1
702
Daily Moisture Toner
Rating
6 fl. oz. for $22
Category:Skin Care > Toners > Toners
Last Updated:12.30.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

What a surprise! This is an impressive truly moisturizing toner for those with normal to dry skin. It contains helpful emollients, skin-identical glycerin, and silicones for a silky finish. Also on hand are a few antioxidants and soothing agents. This contains a tiny amount of fragrance, but given the dearth of well-formulated toners, this is still worth strong consideration if you want to add this step to your skin-care routine.

Claims

The advanced alcohol-free formula rehydrates and comforts skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple. Ophthalmologist tested. Safe for contact lens wearers. Non-acnegenic. Non-comedogenic.

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethoxydiglycol, Isopropyl Palmitate, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Triethanolamine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Saccharide Isomerate, Propylene Glycol, Soluble Collagen, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Cyclodextrin, Disodium Succinate, Mannitol, Honey Extract (Mel), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Yeast Extract, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

Brand Overview

Merle Norman At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most Merle Norman boutiques willingly provide free samples so you can try before you buy; excellent cleansing lotion for dry, sensitive skin; effective, pH-correct AHA and BHA products; surprisingly good toners; excellent lip balm/lipline filler; good sunscreen and self-tanner.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging is prevalent; the Luxiva Changing Skin products do not effectively address skin changes resulting from menopause; most of the Luxiva Clear Complexion products cause more skin problems than they solve; a few very good products are impossible to recommend because they also include irritants; the Miracol and classic Merle Norman products are severely dated formulas that harken back to the days before computers replaced typewriters.

Merle Norman opened her first cosmetics studio in Santa Monica, California, in 1931. She believed strongly that women would love her products, if only she could "get them on their faces," and the company's now-famous try-before-you-buy program was launched. To this day, women who visit any of Merle Norman's 2,000 boutiques spread across the United States, Canada, and Mexico can take advantage of the company's product samples before making a purchase.

The free samples are great, but the question is why anyone would be inclined to try Merle Norman skin-care products. Although there have been some improvements since the Cosmetics Cop Team last reviewed this brand, much of what was problematic back then is still around today, and still problematic - and that's not good news for your skin.

Across the board, the biggest issue is jar packaging. Several of the moisturizers didn't receive better than a neutral face rating because they are poorly packaged. For a company claiming to be cutting edge, they somehow missed, or chose to ignore, the research showing how state-of-the-art ingredients deteriorate when exposed to light and air. In addition, repeatedly sticking your fingers into a product isn't sanitary, and further degrades the ingredients. What good is adding a lot of antioxidants and other plant extracts or vitamins to a product if their efficacy is all but gone within a week or two of opening?

There are other weak spots to watch out for, too, especially in the Luxiva Changing Skin and Luxiva Clear Complexion lines. Merle Norman also sells a group of antiquated products that are little more than cold cream and super-greasy moisturizers. These are as far removed as you can get from what we know about what skin needs to look younger and function in a healthy manner. Using many of Merle Norman's products is like using a typewriter instead of a computer.

As far as what's to like, you'll find several well-formulated cleansers and toners, some reliable AHA and BHA products, and an impressive lip balm, and most of the SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum protection. Ultimately, it wouldn't be wise to try to assemble a comprehensive skin-care routine from Merle Norman, but if you focus on their better products you'll do okay.

For the record, it is perfectly fine to mix Merle Norman products with those from other brands. We doubt you'll get this advice if you visit any of the Merle Norman Studios, but it's true. In fact, this applies to any skin-care brand—what counts is the individual product and how well it's formulated, not the company's predetermined ideas that their products work best if and only if they're used together.

For more information about Merle Norman, call (310) 641-3000 or visit www.merlenorman.com.

Note: We know that we've stated for quite some time that the team wouldn't be revisiting this line because of Merle Norman's complete disinterest in helping us get the information we need to review their products accurately. Over the years, my staff has been kicked out of several Merle Norman boutiques, both here in the Seattle area and in other states. As soon as we began taking notes or if we asked too many questions, we were eyed with suspicion and then asked to leave. There are two reasons we changed our mind: (1) our Beautypedia subscribers kept asking us to re-review this brand, and (2) a Merle Norman employee agreed to help us obtain the information we need, as long as she remained anonymous. We wish to extend a sincere thanks to the woman who sent us dozens upon dozens of samples and helped us compile all of the accurate information that made these reviews possible.

Please note: These product prices are in U.S. dollars, and for reasons unknown Merle Norman products are substantially more expensive in Canadian boutiques. Please be aware when shopping that these ratings are a reflection of U.S. prices only.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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10.30.2013
Merle Norman Daily Moisture Toner

I have very dry and sensitive skin. I have used many toners on my skin. This leaves my skin so moist and soft. I love this product!!!!

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Christine M
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