Ask The Club: June ’18


Welcome to Ask The Club!

Every month I’ll be selecting two or three questions asked by readers and answering them right here so that we can all learn together. An educational mood?!

It’s like Agony Aunt.

Or Stuff You’re Too Embarrassed To Ask Your Mum.

Or, I’ve Already Tried Googling It And You’re My Last Resort.

If you have a question that you want answered, send me an email at, or a private message on Instagram here. 

“I’m looking for a new book to read this weekend, what are you must-reads right now?” – Katie

I’m currently reading Feel Free by Zadie Smith. Her latest book is a collection of essays, both published and unpublished. Zadie doesn’t ease you into this book – she jumps from Brexit to Bieber with alarming speed. Some of the essays are complex and challenging and others are pure entertainment, like her recount of interviewing Jay Z. It’s a beast of a book, and so brilliant.

After I’ve finished Zadie’s book I have my eyes on Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Helen Peterson, and Can You Tolerate This? By Ashleigh Young which has been described as “a self-portrait of an introspective yet widely curious young woman, the colorful, isolated community in which she comes of age, and the uneasy tensions – between safety and risk, love and solitude, the catharsis of grief and the ecstasy of creation – that define our lives.” 

And as always, if you are yet to read Too Much And Not The Mood by Durga Chew Bose, or Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, what are you waiting for?

“What’s the difference between acids and toners? Are they same thing? I’ve always been confused by this.” – Lucy

Toner is the post-cleanser step used to hydrate and rebalance the skin to an ideal pH (usually 5.5), and prepare the skin to absorb the rest of your skincare routine. There are lots of sub-categories of toners which have different functions, one of which is acids. Acid toners, in simple terms, are liquid exfoliants that encourage new cell turnover and the removal of old, damaged cells that lead to dull-looking skin and congestion * cough acne *. When you clear your skin of damaged skin cells, it not only makes your skin appear smoother and more even, it also puts your skin in better shape to receive those aforementioned serums/oils that follow.

Acid toners are made with AHAs, BHAs, PHAs, or a combination of the three, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation which is why most good skincare brands will offer at least three variations. Pixi Glow offer three options for their famous Glow Tonic. Paula’s Choice offer an impressive twelve variations (because they know that if someone with rosacea used a strong glycolic acid their skin would scream at them). P50 offer four variations and Biologique Recherge offer five. Now I know what you’re thinking, why does Glossier only offer one “Solution”? Basically they decided that a gentle but effective mix of AHAs (in this case, lactic acid and glycolic acid), BHAs (salicylic acid), and a PHA (gluconolactone) would appeal to most skin requirements. But there is always the exception to the rule. “Solution” worked for me in a gentle way (not life-changing but still impressive) whereas for others it made their skin red and even aggrevated some acne. Then there is The Ordinary which is well-known for it’s affordable range of high quality skincare. They offer a few different acid options, but keep in mind that most of the sizes (with a few exceptions) are only 30ml. So while the Pixi equivelant may seem more expensive, you’re getting nearly seven times the amount of product.

Header image by The Twenties Club