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Which Toner

Which is better at breaking up oil and dirt clogging pores, sebaceous filaments, and whiteheads: witch hazel toner or glycolic acid toner?

RE: Which Toner

Peter Thomas products! ❤️

Re: Which Toner

@TxWrangler I agree with @RGbrown BHA gets deep into the pores to clear them out. AHA removes the dead skin from the surface. I use both BHA and AHA. My skin is much clearer now and my acne has improved tremendously. I highly recommend Paula's Choice. I use the CLEAR 2% BHA (that's their acne line) and the 8% AHA gel.

Re: Which Toner


For clearing pores that are already clogged, neither.


There's a lot of debate on witch hazel, but I like to err towards the side of caution following this info (excerpt from paulaschoice dot com/expert-advice/skincare-advice/natural-skincare/is-witch-hazel-good-for-skin.htm...😞

"Like many plant-derived substances, witch hazel is a source of several antioxidants, many of which benefit skin; however, one main antioxidant is a group of chemicals known as tannins. Applied to skin, tannins have a constricting and drying effect. They compress proteins in skin, creating an invisible “film” that can, to a minor degree, temporarily de-grease skin and minimize the look of enlarged pores. While that’s good for the short term, the long term is another story, and it doesn’t have a happy ending!

The tannins in witch hazel are sensitizing. Depending on the part of the witch hazel plant used to make it, witch hazel naturally contains between 8% and 12% tannins.

In addition to the tannins, almost all types of witch hazel are distilled using denatured alcohol (ethanol), with the extract containing about 14% to 15% alcohol. Although the distillation process destroys some of the tannins (which ironically is a good thing, given that the tannins are irritants), applying alcohol to your skin is always a bad thing because it generates free-radical damage and impairs the skin’s surface."


As for the other of the two items in your question, glycolic acid can be helpful. It's an AHA, a water soluble acid that works on the surface of your skin, dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells so that they can slough off. This can help keep some of the goop from getting in your pores in the first place. 


But, if you currently have clogged pores and blackheads and sebaceous filaments, Salicylic Acid (aka BHA) is your better choice. SA is oil soluble and can penetrate through the oily goop and gunk to help clear pores from the inside out. It won't happen overnight, nor is it once and done, but regular usage of SA can really help keep your skin clear. 


I use both BHA and AHA, and there's absolutely room for both in a routine, but to answer "what's best for clogged pores", BHA would hands down be my top answer 🙂  


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