Review: Geek & Gorgeous – Smooth Out Toner

Where to purchase: From the Geek & Gorgeous Website: LINK

Price: $32.06 / £26.6 / ‎€30

Volume: 100ml (They do sell a 30ml)

Made in: Hungary

What is it?: The strongest out of the 3 Exfoliating Liquids Currently available from Geek and Gorgeous. It is a 12% AHA Exfoliating liquid.

What does it do?: Exfoliates the skin to: 1. Soften the skin 2. Brighten the Skin 3. Smooth Fine Lines via collagen-boosting AHAs (basically improve the overall look of the skin over time) with regular use (i.e., months). Of course, because this is quite strong, you can start to see results such as softening and brightening the skin, quicker.

Aims to: Help with Dull Skin, Uneven Skin Tone, Dark Spots + Well-ageing.

Supposedly Good for: All skin types except for sensitive, redness-prone.

What I think: I would agree with the above! Even oily-skins could use a product like this due to how lightweight it is.

  • For those with Sensitive Skin, I would recommend the Calm Down Solution or the Cheer Up Solution.

Vegan?: Yes.

Cruelty Free?: Yes.

How long does it last after opening?: 2 years (unopened since production), 8 Months (after opening).

pH: 3.5-3.9 (So this is acidic!).

Packaging: Plastic Bottle with a Dispenser to stop you from pouring too much

Directions: Ideal to apply after cleansing (i.e. like a toner). Apply with the hands or a cotton pad (do not use around the eye area).

  • This can be used once a week —> Once a day (depends on the skin’s tolerance). There can be tingling after immediately applying, which will go away after (if you apply it onto dry skin, the tingling should be less). Do not use alongside other exfoliants or scrubs).
  • You must wear SPF in the morning as AHAs make the skin more sensitive to the sun.

How I use it: I use this currently once a week (not sure if I’ll be able to build tolerance) as I find this slightly irritating and it wont play nice with my Retinol/Retinoid use. I apply onto a pad and swipe the face.

Note: If I cannot use this on the face any longer, I will use it on the body in these different ways.

Key Ingredients: 12% AHA = 10% Glycolic Acid (Which is even more than The Ordinary’s 7% Glycolic Acid Toner). And 2% Lactic Acid.

Glycolic Acid: Exfoliates the surface of the skin + boosts the skin’s own collagen and helps to fade brown marks/spots on the skin.

Lactic Acid: Gentle Exfoliating acid that also draws water into the skin.

Other Key Ingredients: Nopal Cactus = Yeast Extract: These two are meant to reduce the irritation caused by the high amount of AHA in here. Panthenol – also soothing.

  • Galactoarabinan – helps increase exfoliant efficacy (also reduces water loss). Xylitylglucoside + Anhydroxylitol + Xylitol + Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer – Draws water into the skin + strengthen’s the skin’s barrier.

Full Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-20, Galactoarabinan, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Opuntia Ficus‐Indica (Prickly Pear) Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Pentylene Glycol, Glucose, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Texture: The company states this is a weightless, water-like solution and yes, I would agree. When viewing the Video Swatch below; you will see how fast this absorbs into the skin and how it’s not sticky, greasy or tacky. Just feels like water on the skin.

This does sting however when I apply it (I have sensitive skin and alternate with Retinoids).

  • As you can see, this is a watery, weightless liquid.

Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?: YES! Do not use if the skin is irritated or compromised (I made that mistake!).

Summer or Winter?: Both (since it’s so lightweight). But of course due to the photosensitivity Glycolic Acid causes, this might be better during the winter (please wear SPF).

Layerable?: Yes (doesn’t ball up).


Video Swatch:

  • As you can see from the video; this does not ball up and isn’t sticky or tacky, and absorbs very fast.

Fragrance?: Fragrance + EO Free – However, this smells like vinegar (that typical Glycolic Acid Scent).

Good Under Makeup?: Technically yes, this doesn’t ball up or cause other skincare to ball up.

Will I use until Completion?: I’ll try my best, as I’m not a fan of the stinging! (I might not be able to continue as, if I have to give up either Differin or this product, I would need to give this up, due to the stinging). HOWEVER if I do stop using this on my face; I will use this on my body with all the great uses Glycolic Acid has LINK.

How Long will that take?: Ages because I have to space out my uses (because this is so strong!).

How long have I been using this?: 2 Months.

The Effect?: Immediately: stings the skin.. But after long-term use; nice glowy and soft-feeling skin (Yes this is strong, but of course the effects are good because of it).

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What I like:

  • Fragrance + EO Free
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Lightweight (fast-absorbing)
  • Easy to travel-with packaging
  • Doesn’t ball up
  • Not oily or greasy or tacky
  • Effective (helps improve the skin)

What I don’t like:

  • Very strong! (Have to space out uses) – almost too uncomfortable for me to use.

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 3/5 – This is not a bad product, but this is too strong for me (really not a fan of the stinging sensation): It’s an uncomfortable-level of exfoliation that my skin can’t get used to (even if this would provide results). I do use Retinoids and alternate uses, but due to my sensitive skin; I think it’s too much. I however will continue to use this occasionally, as it is an effective product and I would recommend those who have resilient skin, or those who aren’t using any other skin-sensitising products (i.e. if you’re not on other exfoliators or Retinoids) to try out this product as you may enjoy the results! Personally, with my skincare routine; I prefer the slightly weaker exfoliant from Geek and Gorgeous, which is their ”Cheer Up” Exfoliating Solution (Review HERE) – and I like that more because it also contains BHA which helps decongest the skin and reduce the look of blackheads.

Would I repurchase?: No, as I don’t think it’s very compatible with my face. But that doesn’t mean this is a failed product, it’s simply not a match with my skin.

Dupe?: The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner (7%, not 10%): HERE, is another strong alternative. I also think this is a good dupe for The Inkey List’s Glycolic Acid Toner as that contains Alcohol: HERE.

Note: If you would like to see my other G&G Reviews, click HERE.

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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