Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 percent Toning Complex Clarifying Toner Review

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Hello lovely ladies,

I’m a big fan of Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Body Cleanser, Shampoo and Conditioner. When I wanted to try glycolic acid, PTR (Peter Thomas Roth) was the logical choice since their Unwrinkled Peel Pads are such a rage. However, the price of the peel pads was a tad bit difficult to digest. So, I opted for the toner instead. Let us find out, if it was worth it…


Product Description:
Suitable for all skin types, but particularly good to breath life into dulled, ageing or congested complexions, Glycolic Acid Clarifying Tonic chemically sloughs away the dulling debris that accumulates on skin’s surface – compromising radiance and contributing to blocked pores and blemishes – to leave your face ultra-soft, luminous and less susceptible to breakouts. The resurfacing and rejuvenating formula is gentle enough for regular use and helps to gradually re-establish skin’s equilibrium so spots become increasingly infrequent and skin remains clear, bright and flawless. A post-cleansing toner or overnight treatment, Peter Thomas Roth’s Clarifying Tonic contains Glycolic Acid to gently dissolve the bonds that bind dulling dead cells to the surface of your skin, whilst stimulating collagen synthesis to fortify the fabric of your complexion. The perfect way to eliminate any residual pore-clogging make-up, dirt or excess sebum, this effectively restores your skin’s optimal pH balance – leaving it primed to quickly absorb and get the most from your serum or moisturiser – while the addition of Allantoin, Chamomile and Aloe Vera calm any redness, sensitivity or inflammation and lock in precious moisture so your face feels soothed, soft and hydrated.

How To Use:
Apply with a cleansing pad or cotton ball as needed. May also be used as a toner after washing with cleanser.


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  • Glycolic Acid 10%, AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid): Exfoliates surface dead skin cells and supports natural surface cellular turnover.
  • Lactic Acid, AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid): Exfoliates surface dead skin cells and supports natural surface cellular turnover.
  • Citric Acid: Helps to brighten the appearance of skin.
  • Witch Hazel: An astringent with antioxidant properties.


USD 40/GBP 25 for 250 ml.

My Experience with Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 percent Toning Complex Clarifying Toner:

My skin type: I have combination to oily skin which gets dull and dehydrated very easily due to my lousy eating habits and my horrid sleeping patterns. I am constantly on the lookout for something to improve radiance and increase hydration. Also, being on the wrong side of 30s, I struggle with scars from hormonal acne, sun damage from not bothering to use sunscreen for most of my life and blackheads and visible pores from not getting my periodic facials done because I am a lazy bum!!


So, I wanted to include AHA – Alpha Hydroxy Acid into my skincare regime to ensure chemical exfoliation of my skin to accelerate the natural turnover of the skin’s cells which in turn would help in addressing dark spots, skin pigmentation and increase radiance.

Fragrance: There is no added fragrance in this product – always a winner for a skincare products. The fragrance is barely discernible, you don’t feel it while applying. I could feel it only when I tried smelling it, just for the review.

Texture: The texture is extremely runny and watery – as is expected from an AHA toner.

Packaging: It comes packaged in a white 250ml bottle with a push point which makes the spout come up and you tilt the bottle to dispense it. Since the consistency is so runny, it does need a bit of control on your end to manage the flow of the liquid coming out. The bottle is way too huge to allow you to travel with it! I do have an issue with the packaging – there is no seal! When the product looks like water, I need a seal on it. Atlas, the bottle opening could have had a plastic or aluminium seal. If ketchup bottles can have it, skincare definitely needs it!! 🙁


Efficacy: The product is a mix of glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid plus the glycolic acid is at 10% strength, which is fairly potent. So, all things considered, this isn’t an introductory kind of toner for a person new to acids. This is fairly hard core. I found it easier to move into using it because I was already using the Biologique Recherche – Lotion P50 twice a week. So, my skin had kind of adjusted to a stronger toner. So, basically, you need your skin to build tolerance for this stuff, so would suggest that you go slow with it, maybe once or twice a week to begin with.

I take it on a cotton pad – not cotton ball because I feel they soak up a lot more product. I wipe my entire face and neck with this – post my cleansing routine – single/double – depending on how much makeup I have used that day. Point to note – this is gonna sting and fairly badly, especially when you initially start using it. The sting will be worse if there are any cuts on your skin. Also, please ensure to avoid the eye area at all costs.

So, initially, when I started using this toner, I would use this followed by a moisturiser or moisturizer/oil combination. Now, I generally generally follow this up with an AHA treatment and then follow it up with moisturiser or moisturizer/oil combo. So, basically, you need your skin to get used to the potency of this, before you go start layering it with another AHA.


I did once try the REN Wake Wonderful Night Time Facial post using this toner, and you cannot imagine the amount of stinging/burning my face felt and continued to feel. I literally had to slap on my Vichy Aqua Thermalia Night Spa on to my face to make the stinging subside. Lesson learned – REN Wake Wonderful Night Time facial is not to be used with anything else! Period!

Even when I do use an AHA treatnent post toning my face with this, there is distinct stinging/burning, but it subsides in a couple of minutes. Having said that, please ensure you do a patch test when using acids – to ensure your skin does not react negatively to it.

So, what does this do? It tones the face, balances the pH of the face, ensures that the acid penetrates into the skin to exfoliate the skin’s surface, and ensures that the skin is better prepared for the next product – treatment/moisturizer to penetrate in.

As per the brand, it has chamomile and aloe vera in it to help lock in moisturiser, but I do feel it does leave my skin dry unless I top it up with a moisturiser. Anyway, considering 10% glycolic acid, it may be safer to use it 2-3 times a week rather than daily.

Bottomline – does it work? Yes, most definitely. My skin is clearer, I see visible difference in my sun spots, the blackheads on my nose have disappeared. My skin feels clearer, brighter and refreshed in the morning and it’s baby soft. When using acids, one has to ensure that you most definitely use sunscreen during the day, there is no exception to this. Else, doing the entire routine with this may end up being counterproductive by exposing your skin to further sun damage.

Who needs this? People over the age of 30-35 years should consider including this in their regime. Exception to this would be if you are younger but have concerns with sun spots, blemishes etc. If you are young with visibly clear skin, I don’t think you need to look at this product, especially considering its strength. This isn’t a product to include in your regime as a “good to use product” – rather its a “need to use product.” So use, only if there is a need for it.

Pros of Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 percent Toning Complex Clarifying Toner:

  • Lightweight texture.
  • Absorbs easily.
  • Maintains the skin’s pH.
  • Regulates excessive sebum secretion.
  • Skin feels soft, supple, clearer and brighter.
  • Did not break me out.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Helps improve skin’s  texture and radiance.
  • No added fragrance.
  • Free from Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates.
  • A 250 ml bottle will last you for months.
  • Extremely potent and effective.

Cons of Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 percent Toning Complex Clarifying Toner:

  • Packaging isn’t travel friendly.
  • There is no seal.
  • Product can feel drying on the skin.

IMBB Rating:
This is an excellent product, one should really consider it, but ideally, it shouldn’t be your first experiment with AHAs. This is my 4th skincare product from PTR and I am glad to say that it works wonderfully! I did want to try other products from the brand, but the tub packaging of most of the products was an area of concern for me. In case of this one, it’s a bottle, so we are definitely good to go. This is gonna be a staple in my regime.
Would I Repurchase/Recommend Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 percent Toning Complex Clarifying Toner?
Yes, I recommend and yes, I will repurchase. $40 may seem like a lot of money to pour out on a product category – toner – that you generally don’t even consider of any importance in your skincare regime. However, when you see visible difference post using this, you will be pleasantly surprised. Also, a 250ml bottle will likely last you about 2-3 months.

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2 thoughts on “Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 percent Toning Complex Clarifying Toner Review

    1. Im afraid not. Though look fantastic does deliver it to India.

      If you want something available in India (and more potent) – you can check my review on Biologique Recherche P50.

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