I recently caved and bought the La Roche Posay Astringent Lotion Micro-Exfolliant (such a mouthful) for £11 after I've heard such great things about the brand as a whole and I needed a new toner so I wanted to try it out.
I definitely would consider this a toner although nothing on the packaging says that exactly. It's supposed to be used inbetween cleansing and moisturising and works to get rid of the layer of dead skin sitting on top of the healthy nice skin that you want everyone to see!
I throw this on a cotton pad every night and I only need the tiniest amount to cover my whole face, first few times I used it I used too much and it smelled so strong and felt like it was burning my eyes because it's so potent. But now that I'm used to it I know without thinking the perfect amount it takes to cover my face without being overpowering. That being said, it is very strong so I do only use it at night as I think morning and night would really dry out my already dry skin.
The main selling point of this is the pore reducing qualities and although I wouldn't say it's made a huge difference, I do think there is a difference. This is going to get a bit gross so brace yourself, but my pores and blackheads seem to be sort of emptying themselves with this, and although that means a whitehead (not necessarily spot, literally a whitehead that'll dissapear with exfolliation or by extracting - do it properly people!!!) or two but apart from that I find my blackheads aren't as deep and as soon as their empty, the pore begins to tighten back up around them. This was my major problem, a blackhead would leave a huge pore behind it which led to another blackhead and another and another. So, don't expect to look like you have no pores at all and have been completely airbrushed with this but with time and regular use I do see a difference.
I put this through it's paces as a toner and exfoliant when I had a major reaction all over my face after overloading it with too many new products and E45 cream, yes shout at me. I wasn't aware that this would mean major issues to my skin. I've used it in the past as a super moisturiser - similarly to how I have with sudacreme - and when my skin got uber dry after a change in hot weather I used it. Then I had the problem of removing all the overstimulated skin cells that gave me scaley face. I have to say, it lived up to the challenge and within 3-4 days my skin was basically back to normal with a patch or two or still effected skin in areas that were already drier than everywhere else.
Although, there is a big downside to this product. It contains the active ingredient Alcohol Denat which can cause major allergic reactions to some skin and can also trigger acne prone skin and make it worse, giving cystic acne etc. The reviews on this product are very hit and miss some people love it and others think it is the satan. I'm not even joking. It's all that extreme. Then there are one or two out of the many strongly opinionated people who are on the fence and say it makes no difference to their skin. But that's the problem with skincare what works for me may not necessarily be appropriate for you.
As a side note, I think it's very similar to my Clinique Clarifying Lotion that I've had a sample for lately, funnily enough the Boots website describes it as a clarifying lotion also. If you sub to my channel you'll see my Summer Favourites coming up and I talk more in detail of my samples of the 3-step-system and the bad skin troubles I briefly mentioned earlier.