Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner & Avoiding Witch Hazel and Fragrance

Throw back: remember sea breeze toner? With a little application, it felt like my oily, teenage skin would dry up and stretch across my face. This quick cure would last for maybe an hour and then I would start to get oily skin again and have to reapply. Back then I thought the only solution to problem skin was to dry it out! It could not have been worse for me, as sea breeze contains fragrance and SD alcohol 40-B – a mixture of ethanol with a denaturing agent, which took a toll on my face. What a fail.

Nowadays, before we spray something on our faces, Kate and I like to understand the ingredients that go into making a beneficial skincare product. My go-to place to research products has always been beautypedia which consists of a team of dermatologists rating most products by their ingredients (although lately I’ve become more attracted to natural products and up and coming companies that are not yet on beautypedia, which mostly reviews products found in drugstores, department stores and Sephora). In my research on toner, two ingredients that are super common are witch hazel and fragrance.

Any products that contain witch hazel and fragrance are less than ideal for your skin. Some experts have differing opinions about witch hazel because the alcohol is more processed, but according to Paula’s Choice, alcohol free witch hazel is still not ideal for skin. Products with witch hazel are more of a quick fix solution, but worse for your skin in the long run. Your skin begins to overproduce oil to compensate for the dry skin and it turns into a vicious cycle. Meanwhile, fragrance is a synthetic and adds nothing beneficial for your skin. It’s included in SO MANY products and is a huge unnecessary cause of breakouts. I recommend avoiding all products with witch hazel and fragrance. A good toner will balance skin using ingredients that have natural antibacterial properties and can fight breakouts while equalizing sebum production.

I think a lot of people struggle to understand the necessity for toner but it definitely should be a part of your skin care regimen. Listed below are a few reasons why toner is a must-do:

  • Removes any additional dirt that your cleanser missed but also any cleanser that was not thoroughly washed off. This is important because leftover cleanser can also clog pores and cause breakouts.

  • Minimizes pores, helps keep skin clear of dirt and dead skin cells.

  • Balances skin, the ultimate goal. Balanced skin is the best way to get the most out of the rest of your skincare regime, e.g. face oils and moisturizers.

I’ve finally found the ideal toner: Indie Lee’s CoQ-10 Toner. And in doing so I found the amazing company Indie Lee, named after its founder. Indie Lee has the most inspiring story for creating her company. She is a cancer survivor who re-evaluated the toxicity in her daily lifestyle and decided to do better for all of us by creating products that love our skin.


So about the CoQ-10 Toner. It’s a mix of “good ingredients” with the feature ingredient CoQ-10. What is CoQ-10? Short for Coenzyme Q10, it’s a powerful antioxidant that is naturally produced in the body and is very prominent at the skin’s surface to fight aging. CoQ-10 is very abundant in the body until sadly, of course, we reach our early 30s and it starts to decline.  A quick summary of Coenzyme Q10 benefits:

  • Stimulates skin cell activity

  • Boosts collagen production

  • Reduces photoaging

  • Protects against daily toxins, pollution, stress, etc.

I love this toner because after using it my skin feels clean but hydrated. I’ve been using it for a little over a month now.  After my cousin visited from California and listened to my toner schpiel, she bought it too and is now “OBSESSED!”

Toner is important, but most toners have witch hazel and fragrance, which are not ideal for your skin. The best toner for my skin is Indie Lee’s CoQ-10 Toner. While you’re on Indie Lee’s website check out their extremely detailed list of good ingredients and bad ingredients. Evaluate your skin and check out beautypedia to see what products might be beneficial for you.  And don’t forget, the best complement to all skincare is water and diet. Keep that skin hydrated and those skin cells functioning!

BeautyElizabeth Almgren