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During the four years I spent as a beauty editor, it was easy to become skincare-obsessed. There was always a new product to try, regimen to begin, or treatment to experiment with. But through all the hundreds of products I tried, I could never say that I found my holy grail products. Some products were totally useless for my skin and some were worth using again, but nothing quite cured my monthly hormonal acne—until I tried Nuria’s Rescue Toner ($24).

While I began using the toner much like I had so many products in the past, not expecting much at all, I quickly started to notice a difference in my skin. The toner, which is made with tea tree oil, witch hazel, and horsetail (among other ingredients) is advertised as having pore-minimizing effects. And though I can’t say I have noticed my pores get visibly smaller from using the toner, the benefits I did notice made me fall in love with it.

I started using the toner morning and night, post-face wash and pre-moisturizer. Within a week, I started to notice a difference in the texture of my skin (it was smoother and more even) and the color (my redness gradually faded). But the best part? My usual monthly, hormonal breakout timed to my period got less and less miserable each month. Instead of painful, cystic pimples for one week every month, the bumps became less and less as I kept using the toner. When the toner eventually ran out, I tried using a different toner, thinking that maybe my newfound love of the Nuria toner was all in my head.

But without fail, within a week, I had more redness and breakouts. When I replaced the toner, I noticed a difference right away.

acne before

Olivia Muenter

acne after

Olivia Muenter

Now my skin feels less hydrated and more inflamed when I don’t use the product, and when I run out I actually panic a little bit. Nuria, which is a brand known for its vegan skincare products, is currently only available for sale on its e-commerce site. But at $24 for one bottle of toner (and one that’s vegan, cruelty-free, and at that) that really, truly works, it’s worth the little tiny bit of extra effort it takes to shop for it.

While I don’t have flawless, pore-free skin now (spoiler: pore-free skin doesn’t really exist outside of Instagram), I have been able to live life without the fear of massive cystic, hormonal zits popping up every month. And, for me, that makes Nuria’s Rescue Toner worth every single penny.

Next up: 7 crazy-awesome toner hacks every woman should know.

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