Pore Minimizing Tonic
Pore Minimizing Tonic is preferred over YourGoodSkin’s Active Treatment Tonic, but not by much. It still contains a problematic amount of drying denatured alcohol (see More Info for details) but omits the irritating fragrance Active Treatment Tonic has, but ultimately, Pore Minimizing Tonic doesn’t have what it takes to make pores smaller, though it does leave an imperceptible feel on skin.
Along with denatured alcohol is witch hazel water, an astringent ingredient that can help remove surface oil. Witch hazel does have some soothing benefit, but this plant contains also components known as tannins that can dry out skin. Our take? Natural soothing ingredients are great, but you want those that only deliver benefits, not a mix of benefits and problems.
We like that this liquid toner contains plant- and vitamin-derived antioxidants, as these are great for all skin types, but there’s not much of them here, and none of them are proven to help enlarged pores. Look to leave-on BHA exfoliants to deal with this concern.
- Contains plant- and vitamin-derived antioxidants.
- Fragrance free.
- The amounts of denatured alcohol and witch hazel are likely to irritate skin.
- Unlikely to make a lasting difference in pore size.
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
Gently sweeps away impurities & minimizes the appearance of pores. Skin looks healthy & feels instantly toned.
Launched in 2017, YourGoodSkin is the result of an alliance between UK pharmacy mega-brand Boots and American drugstore giant Walgreens. According to company lore, YourGoodSkin is the result of years of development and research involving scientists, dermatologists, and thousands of members of its target audience—women looking for skin care products to address their specific concerns.
In fact, the brand says it surveyed thousands of women and had them test the products before they went to market. This resulted in over 20 products claiming to address a wide range of skin concerns, from dryness to acne.
Consumer testing before finalizing products for launch can deliver some helpful insights and valuable feedback, but a brand’s scientific understanding of what skin needs to improve—and what it doesn’t need—carries even more weight than anecdotal evidence.
YourGoodSkin gets more right than wrong, and it’s certainly a value-priced collection. While there aren’t any true anti-aging powerhouse formulas in the mix, there are some decent moisturizers for those on tighter budgets.
The brand excels at cleansers and makeup removers, with even a couple of top-notch scrubs included; this category is where we recommend directing your time and attention.
The biggest misstep YourGoodSkin makes is in its approach to treating acne and oily skin. Nearly every product designed for these concerns relies heavily on an old-school, irritating approach that includes drying alcohol, fragrance, and even sulfur, all of which can serve to make oily skin and acne worse.
For more information on YourGoodSkin, visit https://www.yourgoodskin.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.