Despite the fact that I’m pushing 38, I often meet youngsters from the iPod Generation who swear I don’t look it. Thank you; that’s very kind of you. Regardless, I still occasionally feel out of place in certain situations frequented by the younger set. I suppose that’s an internal issue as, if I don’t say so myself, I can get away with a cool 30 if need be. I credit this to my skin-care regime. I’ve cared about this stuff more than most since high school, long before the organic movement. Facial toners have always been part of my regimen—a quick spritz of antioxidants, skin tighteners, or just plain old humidity has always been a nice pre-game plan to my choice of moisturizer, morning and night. Get on board, so you don’t feel ridiculous at the next Vampire Weekend concert.
If you’ve been to Greece, you’ve no doubt stumbled upon Apivita’s wonderful and colorful line of natural-leaning products. They are as ubiquitous as moussaka and steeped in both the Hippocratic Oath and Greece’s abundance of excellent honey. (Apivita, in Latin translates to “the life of the bee.”) The company has a huge range of ethical and environmentally friendly cosmetics, including a yummy Purifying Tonic Lotion. With a base of organic green tea infusion (rather than water) and laced with propolis and juniper and tea tree oils (both organic), this lovely tonic regulates oil secretion, removes excess dirt, and blasts the mug with an antioxidant cocktail of orange, mandarin, and thyme essential oils. To be perfectly frank, it seems as though the whole thing might be good with a little vodka, but I digress. It promises a “matte” look, which is excellent since the only gloss I want in my life is glossy reviews of this column. www.apivita.com
Aguacate & Co.’s Toning Spray is a certified vegan product that does just about everything right—cruelty-free vision with at least 1 percent of sales going to environmental research, and more—except thrill me. Its rosewater base makes it the girliest choice here, which isn’t horrible. After all, I’ve been accused of being girly on numerous occasions! But it does keep me from falling in love with it. That said, I dig the spray delivery, which does a very nice job of evenly distributing without spillage, and the short and sweet ingredient list: Organic aloe-vera leaf juice, rose distillate, kosher vegetable glycerin, and a few immaterial things to throw it all together. It’s not for me, but kosher vegans might love it. www.aguacateandco.com
Buster’s Organic Facial Toner is notable for its texture: A silky gel rather than a liquid, which helps a clumsy guy like me put it on my face evenly without losing half of it down the sink. Organic witch hazel, rosemary, tea tree oil, and calendula oil, as well as vitamin A and vitamin E, form the basis of the recipe, which tones gently and doesn’t dry out your skin. Plus, a dude makes it for dudes, which is more than I can say for most products I review. This one also conjures up a vivid childhood memory for me: My mother pouring crème de menthe over vanilla ice cream, so I dig that, too, not that I enjoy slapping sundaes on my face. Sweetness aside, this is my favorite. www.bustersskincare.com
A consummate favorite, Canada’s Yum Gourmet Skincare has done it again with its Wild Blueberry Toner, both for its delivery (spray) and its tasty blueberry flavor (not that you should be drinking it). That comes from wild organic blueberry seed oil, which, along with white tea extract, dishes out the age-defying antioxidants. Atlantic seaweed keeps wrinkles at bay, while bergamot fruit oil pulls a double shift as a natural relaxant and an anti-bacterial agent. The whole shebang is an invigorating wake-up splash that looks, feels, and smells wonderful. But does it make me look 30? Could be; or maybe it’s just my taste in music. www.yumskincare.com