Aesop’s Immaculate Facial Tonic: An Honest Review From W's Editors

The luxury cosmetics brand Aesop is known for its skincare, bodycare, and home products—especially their ubiquitous hand soap and moisturizer, which is consistently found in the chicest bathrooms around the world. Earlier this month, Aesop released the Immaculate Facial Tonic, a gentle, exfoliating brew that provides a lightweight alternative to your traditional daily toner. The product is Aesop’s only skincare release of the year (the brand’s business model calls for formulating and releasing products that clients request specifically, to avoid overproduction). The tonic is billed as providing gentle exfoliation and optimal absorption, while working to refine the skin’s texture. A potent blend of vitamins like Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and other skin-supportive ingredients like Mucor Miehei extract are meant to boost the skin’s suppleness. Four W magazine editors tried the tonic—and gave their honest opinions about the results.

Tori López, Associate Fashion Market Editor

What is your current skincare routine? Does it include a tonic?

My skin is pretty sensitive so I keep it simple and sweet. I double cleanse at night and rinse my face with water in the morning. I use a moisturizer-sunscreen combo layered with a tad of thicker cream to help my hands glide as I massage and sculpt my face. I then apply a lip mask and spritz a hydrating mist. I wasn’t actively using a tonic prior to this.

What was your experience using the Aesop Immaculate Facial Tonic?

As I hoped, I loved this product. I have what I call “dehydration lines” around my mouth (they’re actually just smile lines from getting older that are more obvious when my skin is dehydrated—but I am in denial about that fact.), and I found the tonic helped soften them during the day. It’s been particularly windy in NYC lately, so my face needed a little extra help with moisture. I also noticed a slight improvement in the texture of my skin. It feels softer and lighter.

Would you use this product again?


Ivana Cruz, Associate Art Director

Describe your skin. What are you looking to improve, if anything?

I like to think of my facial skin in zones. My cheeks, nose, and upper lip area are dry (especially in the winter months). My chin is oily and populated by small pimples whenever I’m stressed or about to get my period. And my forehead is perfect—the way I would like my entire face to look—always smooth and looking hydrated.

Have you used tonics before in your skincare routine?

I had never included tonics in my skincare routine before, and I had to Google what its purpose was before trying the Aesop Immaculate Facial Tonic.

How did it go?

To be completely honest, I’m not sure anything has changed in my skin since I started using this product. It is possible the effects kick in after using it for longer.

What was your overall impression of the facial tonic?

I’m going to continue using the facial tonic to see what happens. I’m a minimalist when it comes to my skincare routine (three products, tops), so if I’m going to add something it has to make me look 25 years old again.

Che Baez, Associate Visuals Editor

What’s your current skincare routine?

My skincare regimen right now is bare-bones because I’m going through hormonal changes that have resulted in intense acne (think: the acne you had in high school). I’ve been able to keep it at bay by using minimal products and prescribed oitments, but I do test out a new skincare product every now and then—I can’t resist. My nighttime routine is where most of the skincare happens; I don’t wash my face in the morning since I have dry skin and that tends to irritate it. In the evening, I start by cleaning my face, then I immediately put something super nourishing on my skin to lock in moisture. Twice a week, I’ll exfoliate, do a face mask, and assess what my skin may need, depending on the weather. Then I’ll follow up with a moisturizer and an oil of some sort. Lastly, the Rx products come out to make sure I’m keeping unwanted breakouts at bay.

What did you think of the Aesop Immaculate Facial Tonic?

My experience with this product was great. I noticed a significant change in the texture of my skin—again, I’ve been dealing with breakouts, so the surface of my face has been horrible over the past few months. I’ve noticed that when I apply my sunscreen and moisturizer in the morning, my skin isn’t as rough and bumpy as it normally feels. I also have not felt like I needed to do a deep exfoliation twice a week due to using this tonic. It definitely has kept the dead skin at bay.

The tonic itself has one of the most pleasant scents—it’s floral and woody at the same time. I’ve shied away from tonics in my skincare routine because they usually smell like alcohol, and that usually means stripping moisture away from my skin. But the Aseop tonic was insanely hydrating. I didn’t feel the need to immediately (and prematurely) slather my face with a moisturizer. My skin has felt refreshed, bouncier, and seems to drink up my moisturizers and oils since I started using this product.

Would you use the tonic again?

Overall, I found this tonic to be a wonderful addition to my skincare routine. It was easy to use, and I found myself excited to use it after cleansing my face because the scent also provided a holistic experience in terms of relaxation. This tonic is staying in my skincare regimen for the foreseeable future!

Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

Is a tonic part of your current skincare routine?

No, I’ve actually never tried a tonic before. And to be honest, I didn’t really know what it was until this project—I thought it was like a serum. I found out after Googling that it is not, even though it hydrates. More importantly, a tonic preps the skin for subsequent products so they sink deeper into your dermal layers.

What was your experience when using the Aesop facial tonic?

I used Aesop’s facial tonic both in the morning and at night—I’d shake four or five drops of the stuff—which is quite liquid and smells like the zestiest sprig of rose—onto my palm and smear it onto my face (I also took to using a bit on the backs of my hands, just because I liked the divine botanical scent and it actually did make my hands appear less dry). I enjoyed the versatility of this product: it was light and absorbed into my face quickly with zero irritation. It didn’t matter what time of day I applied the product, it always worked. It was a nice middle ground between a super strong retinol and a moisturizer.

My skin tone ended up looking more even—dullness is a skin concern of mine, and this added a subtle brightness to my overall visage. Even one of my coworkers remarked on how good my skin looked after I started using the Aesop tonic. That type of validation alone makes a beauty product worth the purchase. Just kidding! Actually, not really.

Would you use this product again?

Definitely. It has a permanent place in my medicine cabinet.

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