Pomegranate Toner lists alcohol as its second ingredient. See More Info to find out why seeing this ingredient in second place in a skincare product can be a problem for all skin types and makes this a worrisome consideration for any skin concern.
It does contain hydrating glycerin and a beneficial soothing plant extract, but that's not enough to redeem this toner or make it worth your beauty dollars.
Despite the mention of pomegranate in the product's name, it's barely present in the formula. Fragrance got higher billing, but fragrance isn't skin care. In fact, it can cause problems for skin, as we explain in the More Info section.
Another disappointment is that despite the claim of exfoliation from the exfoliating superstar ingredient salicylic acid, the amount of it used is too small and this product's high pH means exfoliation won't be effectively occurring. In terms of tightening pores there's no research proving the antioxidant compounds in pomegranate have that benefit.
A well formulated toner can be a wonderful addition to a skincare routine, but this one has too many issues to be worthy of strong consideration. See our list of Best Toners and Face Mists for our top recommendations.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Alcohol helps ingredients like retinol and vitamin C penetrate skin more effectively, but it does so by breaking down the skin's barrier—destroying the very substances that keep your skin healthy over the long term (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012 and Journal of Hospital Infection, 2003).
A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skincare products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. Exposure to alcohol also causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive and aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure were dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
For more on alcohol's (as in, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and ethyl alcohol) effects on skin, see the Paula's Choice Research Team's Expert Advice article on the topic, Alcohol in Skin Care: The Facts.
Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).