Tatcha's Texture Tonic Completely Rescued My Rough and Bumpy 41-Year-Old Skin

When it comes to skincare goals, I’m always trying to achieve the smoothest skin possible (aren't we all?). This, of course, is not easy for anyone, but especially for those with acne-prone, oily, over-40 skin like mine. Still, that doesn’t stop me from experimenting with everything under the sun, from laser resurfacing to chemical exfoliants. My latest miracle product? It’s in the latter family—Tatcha's The Texture Tonic AHA Liquid Exfoliating Treatment ($59).

What it is and why I'm obsessed:

The Tatcha Texture Tonic contains fruit alpha-hydroxy acids that are derived from a variety of fruits like apple, orange, citrus, and jujube fruit extracts, which remove dead skin cells to help smooth texture. It also has niacinamide and Japanese mugwort, which helps tighten up pores and even skin tone (hello, exactly what I need). The antioxidant wild rose also helps with pores and oil production. Off the bat, the Tatcha was already different from most exfoliants I have tried in the past. First off, the fact that it is called a tonic is unique, as many toners I have used are referred to as tonics and don't generally have an exfoliant aspect (except Pixi's Glow Tonic $18). Aside from texture, my concern was whether it would help with pores. (My large pores are basically the skin version of my Achilles heel.)

I began using it every other night after cleansing my face, then gradually worked my way to daily use. However, I don't think going slow was actually necessary compared to other exfoliants due to how lightweight and gentle the formula is. Tatcha suggests applying a few drops and sweeping it over the skin (as opposed to pressing into it) for effective exfoliation. Also, unlike other chemical exfoliants, I didn't have to wait to apply my next products (which are currently Tatcha's Essence Treatment $105 La Mer's The Regenerating Serum $385).

After only about a week, I noticed a pretty significant decrease in the bumps I have on the side of my jaw (IYKYK). It’s not acne per se, but some mysterious, mild-yet-annoying, tiny bumps that won't go away no matter what product or incarnation I recite. So, clearly, I was already amazed. My forehead and cheeks were also smoother and less oily! But the best thing? The pores on my nose weren't as distinct as they usually are—say what now? In fact, immediately after applying it my pores look way less noticeable. What kind of magic is this?

Tatcha also suggests oily-skin folks use it in the middle of the day, which I've tried but not religiously. Mostly because I like using a facial spray that I can keep on my desk, which ends up being easier and almost mindless for me to use. But all In all, I'm obsessed with the Tatcha Texture Tonic. I'll keep using it within my everyday routine, but if my skin is in dire need of help, I will probably alternate with my stronger exfoliants.

Shop more exfoliating products I love:

This beloved two-step exfoliator is a long-time favorite of mine and one I always go back to. (Celebs like Kim Kardashian, Naomi Cambell, and Selena Gomez are known to use them too.)

You’ll get a lot of bank for your buck with this multi-purpose toner. It helps with breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and even helps plump the skin. I love this especially when I have hormonal breakouts around my chin.

On days when I want to use both a physical and chemical exfoliator, I reach for this Kate Somerville one. It has fruit enzymes like papaya and pineapple along with lactic and salicylic acid that kick dead skin cells to the curb. 

Another longtime favorite, Babyfacial helps keep skin smooth while also brightening it, thanks to the 25 percent AHAs and antioxidants like matcha, apple and milk thistle. If your skin is looking dull, this is a great way to refresh and recharge it. 

This is another one of my go-tos when I’m breaking out and dealing with acne and its aftermath. The AHAs clear pores and dead skin cells while strawberry helps with tone and excess oil production. 

I love this classic exfoliator when I need something gentle. While salicylic acid is an ingredient, it’s not as present as it is in similar products. This one uses ingredients like papaya, oatmeal, and rice bran to soothe and exfoliate the skin.

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