Votary Toning Serum : Not for me !!

Votary toning serum was one of an impulse purchase by me. I was so enamored by that green glass packaging which makes it look uber chic, that I didn’t even have a look at the ingredients list. The fact that it’s not easily available here in States, made it even more desirable, talk about temptations… Don’t tell me I’m alone here 😐
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Votary Lemon & Neroli Toning Serum

Website description :A busy life leaves your skin dull, tired and tense. This Toning Serum combines flower water and natural glycolic and hyaluronic acids to freshen and renew your skin. Use it in the evening after cleansing, and before your Facial Oil.

The ritual: After you’ve cleansed, put 4 to 5 drops of Toning Serum onto the palm of your hand. Place your other hand on top and spread the serum over your palms and fingers. Then gently smooth the serum onto your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. Take care to avoid the delicate area around your eyes.

When I read this, I remember clearly shaking my head desperately and saying yes to all this. Any product which claims to remove the signs of fatigue from my face is a winner for me. But sadly after experimenting with hundreds of products I have realized that it all comes down to having a good skin care routine and sleeping well along with a well-balanced diet.

This post is not on why you shouldn’t buy it rather it’s  why it didn’t work out for me and to help to make you an informed decision.

Why it didn’t work for me-

  1. Ingredients list– Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Water Aqua Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract Glycerin Alcohol Denat. Sucrose Glycolic Acid Sodium Hyaluronate Xanthan Gum Citric Acid Phenoxyethanol Ethylhexylglycerin.

I didn’t realize that though it looks green (pun intended) it actually has alcohol denat. which is always a potential irritant for me.  Now it doesn’t mean I haven’t used products in the past which contains it , I have, but mostly they are cream/ oil based as it is added to the various cream formulation to thin it out as it dries fast. But the formulations I have used , either its one of the last ingredients or they usually  have ingredients to soothe or calm down the irritation this may cause . In this serum, it’s 4th ingredient. Not everybody reacts to it but if you have sensitivity than it may flare it up.

This product also contains sodium hyaluronate but it’s at the end( why?) before the preservatives. It acts as a humectant and has some anti-inflammatory action but keeping it at the end didn’t help me.  The other ingredient is Lemon extract which is a potential irritant and phototoxic if not covered with sunscreen. Neroli has many benefits apart from its stress relieving aromatherapeutic benefits, it also has regenerating properties and lastly glycolic acid found in sugar.  So essentially this serum helps in increasing the cell turnover which it may do, but for me, it only added to my irritation and redness.

2. pH: Between 3-4 which is good for exfoliation( tested on my home pH kit I recently bought- it’s fun!!).

3. Packaging : It comes in a glass dropper bottle which as I have already told you I love it. But the consistency of this toning serum is neither of a serum nor of an essence , rather it’s a toner. It’s  an exfoliating toner if that makes sense not a  serum as the name suggests.  It’s so watery that I struggled for the longest time deciding how to use it. You can use as they have described by taking it in a palm and patting over your face. They have very clearly stated that it shouldn’t be used around the eyes. But I don’t have any lady like nuances as you see in advertisements . I do my morning routines as if the video has been set in a fast forward motion. I simply don’t have time for smelling the aroma and feeling the gratitude kind of rituals in the morning😎😎😎😎 I keep them for nights or mainly for the weekends 🙂 So coming to the point which is to be careful with it around the eyes or be prepared for a red eye. I’m pretty sure you guys do not behave like me anyway 😉

Another way is to use directly by placing a drop on the face and rub it quick. I prefer it this way as it avoids unnecessary wastage too. Best is if you can find a spray top for it but the packaging is too cute to spoil, though.

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4. Price : 75 pounds or ~108 USD. It’s available only in Anthropologie online store where it retails at 118 USD with 10.95 $ for shipping. So 128 $ for this toning toner/serum ?! what was I even thinking?

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My skin type: Oily / combination , easily dehydrated and acne prone.

Fragrance : no fragrance as such or may be citrus?  Whatever it is , it’s very light and goes quickly.

My experience : Every time I used it , it left my skin irritated and red. Whenever I used it on two consecutive days , I used to get small rashes and breakouts on my cheeks which are more on the drier side. It took me a long time through the process of elimination to figure out this to be the culprit and I no longer want to experiment with it.  I’m so sad, though as I really wanted it to work for me considering the price. It may or may not work for you because it depends a lot on the formulation and on individual sensitivity but if you are using it and breaking out then give this a thought.

How can you  make it work if you own it or planning to buy it?

  • Use it with a hydrating toner, Use votary first and spray another hydrating mist on top.
  • Use it in the night preferably under a hydrating oil as it is designed to be used described in the ritual.
  • Can be used to thin out a heavy oil if you mix it with it in your palm and that’s what alcohol denat is for anyway:)
  • Use twice or thrice a week

Do I recommend ? This was totally my experience with the product and my opinion is restricted to this product and not to the brand. I’m sure other Votary products are fine but I haven’t tried them . So make your own choice 😊 But for me at 128$ ,this just didn’t make the cut.

 

Thank you for reading it as always…

 

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. skinlit says:

    I have been there with the dazzled eyes. I think almost everyone remotely into skincare has had this happen to them. But you live, and you learn. I steer away from things containing lemon extract, as I think I could be better with my spf use.

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    1. Thank you so much for always taking out time to read what I have to say:)
      I know it’s such a subjective thing and not everybody reacts to alcohol denat and lemon extracts but it’s always wise to make an informed decision 🙂
      Molly xx

      Like

  2. skinlit says:

    Not a problem I recently discovered your blog after starting my own, http://www.skinlit.com. I find your blog to be very engaging, informative and beautiful. If you have any time you can check it out, and give me your feedback email:contactskinlit.com, thanks in advance- Kem.

    Like

  3. paritashah26 says:

    Wait what???? 128$??? Is that really the price? OMG!
    I guess we all have fallen for impulse purchases..but for that kinda price the ingredient list is so meh! For 100$+ on a toner I definitely expect miracles!

    Like

  4. jeannine says:

    So important to read the labels, Thank you for the gentile reminder how important it is.

    Like

  5. Thank you for such a good reminder, of how important it is to read the ingredients list, which I don’t most of the time.
    As for the $$$$$ Molly we win some and we loose some, I guess, your experience has been to our benefit thank you again

    Like

  6. Cat L. says:

    Molly, you are not alone! I’ve been down that tempting, dazzling road of “impulse buying” way too many times and I’m sure I’ll find myself down that same road at some point again. There are so many products out there, all with bold claims and all too hard to resist. Thank you for writing such an honest and heart-felt review. You thoroughly explained why this particular product didn’t work for you and brought up some very important aspects, ie always do your research and remember to read labels. Great review as always!
    ~ Cat L.
    http://www.catsdailyliving.com

    Like

  7. Cat L says:

    Molly, you are not alone! I’ve been down that tempting, dazzling road of “impulse buying” way too many times and I’m sure I’ll find myself down that same road at some point again. There are so many products out there, all with bold claims and all too hard to resist. Thank you for writing such an honest and heart-felt review. You thoroughly explained why this particular product didn’t work for you and brought up some very important aspects, ie always do your research and remember to read labels. Great review as always!
    ~ Cat L.
    http://www.catsdailyliving.com

    Like

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