Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Minimizing Shake Tonic
Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Minimizing Shake Tonic is an oil-free toner that contains an incredibly high amount of skin-damaging alcohol (second only to water). The denatured alcohol won't help oily skin beyond a temporary de-greasing, and despite containing some proven and intriguing ingredients, this water-light toner is more problematic than helpful. See More Info for the full scoop on alcohol.
Applied with fingers or a cotton pad, Shake Tonic sets to a matte finish. This makes pores look smaller, but in short order the finish begins to feel astringent, as if skin has become one size too tight. You can blame the drying ingredient aluminum chlorohydrate for this. Yes, that's one of the ingredients typically used in antiperspirants because it stops sweat from reaching the skin's surface.
The formula also contains fragrance, but its scent is barely detectable. You will, however, get a hit of volatile alcohol with each use, but that's not good for your skin or nose!
Keeping things balanced, Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Minimizing Shake Tonic contains some beneficial plant extracts, including various algae and similar ingredients; however, they're fighting an uphill battle against the troublesome ingredients. See our list of Best Toners and Best BHA Exfoliants for better solutions for large pores and oily skin.
- Contains some proven and novel but interesting hydrating ingredients.
- Water-light texture goes on easily.
- Doesn't feel sticky or tacky once it absorbed.
- Tempers the look of oily skin.
- High amount of alcohol poses a strong risk of irritating and drying out skin.
- Contains other drying, astringent ingredients that can make skin feel constricted.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.
When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we're referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.
When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There's no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.
The reason they're included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it's easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn't lead to negative long-term outcomes!
Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin's protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.
The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.
There are people who challenge us on the information we've presented about alcohol's effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded "alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing…." But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.
Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you'll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It's important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.
References for this information:
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190
Estee Lauder At-A-Glance
The history of Estee Lauder goes back to 1946, when the woman who created the brand (and for whom it is named) began selling creams and lotions made by her chemist uncle. From its humble beginnings, Estee Lauder has grown to become a multibillion-dollar company whose products are sold all over the world and advertised in just about every fashion and women's lifestyle magazine available.
The biggest compliment we can pay to the venerable Estee Lauder line is that their moisturizers and serums can largely be described as state-of-the-art. Though fragrance is often intrusive, but when it comes to formulary excellence culminating in products that give skin what it needs to function optimally, they are tough to beat.
When it comes to makeup, by and large the brand also exceeds expectations. Though there are some under-performing products (you can read more about them in our individual reviews), Lauder has a number of excellent options, most notably its lip colors.
For more information about Estee Lauder, call (877) 311-3883 or visit www.esteelauder.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.