The Body Shop British Rose Gel Toner

Everyone knows about THAT toner from Fresh – the gorgeous-looking one filled with real rose petal, that looks like it holds all of the mysterious answers to your skin problems. It’s one of those instantly covetable products (and I really love roses) that would look fantastic on my dressing table.

Unfortunately, I can’t bear to part with that much cash for a toner that I’d get through super-fast – I’ve already tried and loved loads of more affordable toner products that do a great job of removing excess cleanser and refreshing the skin. Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner retails for £34 for 250ml – not a bottle size to sniff at, but I personally couldn’t justify making that purchase.

After a bit of internetting, I arrived at this supposed dupe from The Body Shop – the British Rose Petal-Soft Gel Toner, which costs £9 for 250ml (the same bottle size, but for nearly ⅓ of the price…). The product colour is definitely similar, as are the little petal bits floating around the toner, however the texture is a thin gel rather than a full-on liquid like the toner from Fresh.

According to The Body Shop, the formula is alcohol-free (so nice and gentle) and 100% vegan, made with British roses and Mexican aloe – both ingredients have soothing qualities, so the overall effect is supposed to be very soft and hydrating. I think it’s nice to incorporate something into your skincare routine that isn’t packed with potentially harsh actives – don’t get me wrong, I do love a good acid, but sometimes my face just wants to be gently caressed and not exfoliated.

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The product was sort of funny to use – you squeeze the bottle (which is a chic plastic thing with a fancy black flip-cap) to dispense a blob of gel onto a cotton pad, then proceed to sweep across the face, avoiding the eyes. The rose petals sort of stick to the pad and don’t get deposited on the skin (luckily). Immediately after use, my face felt slightly tacky, but nourished in a really refreshing way – I don’t know if this is more akin to a hydrating girl serum than an actual toner, but overall it applies well from a cotton pad (I might have to try using my hands).

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As for it being an exact dupe, I can’t speak from personal experience – I’d love to try the Fresh version out at some point, but for now I’m very happy to use this product. It’s non-stripping and feels lovely on the skin, which is exactly what, in my mind, a toner should do.

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