Product ReviewsBrandsBeauty ExpertsEditorial

This is One of the Best AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) Toners for Sensitive Skin


This is One of the Best AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) Toners for Sensitive Skin
Tracy Teel
Tracy Teel

Jun 22, 2022

From pioneering clean skincare brand, REN, you’ll see and feel the benefits.

REN partnered with Beautytap’s diverse community of certified beauty professionals for trusted, detailed, unpaid reviews. We are sharing this post with you as part of this collaboration and to learn more about their brand. All opinions are our own. Thank you for your support.

What do singer-songwriter Mahalia, model Jourdan Dunn, beauty blogger Lisa Snowdon, television and radio presenter Vick Hope, and Prince William and Prince Harry’s cousin Lady Amelia Windsor have in common? REN - the clean skincare brand delivering high performance products with clinically proven results.

REN Clean Skincare

Choosing products to put on your skin involves considering whether or not the outcome will be positive. You want things that work, but you’ve probably tried your fair share of ineffective or downright irritating skincare. Most of us turn to clean brands out of necessity to avoid certain ingredients, and many women seek the cleanest options possible while pregnant.

REN Was Clean Before Clean Was a Thing

Now, if you think finding a clean skincare brand is difficult today, imagine doing it more than 20 years ago. Such is the case of REN Clean Skincare cofounder Antony Buck’s wife. Disheartened by skin reactions during her pregnancy, she suspected the ingredients were irritating her sensitive skin and causing potential harm to her child. Natural products fared better but still didn’t have the efficacy she desired.

Spurred by his wife’s needs and the market’s failure to offer suitable skincare, Buck and cofounder Rob Calcraft created REN in 2000. Since then, their Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic; Evercalm™ Overnight Recovery Balm, Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream, and Evercalm™ Global Protection Day Cream have achieved hero status. And more than 20 years since REN’s inception, they’re just as committed to crafting irritation-free products, “always with sensitive skin in mind,” as they were on day one.

“never compromise efficacy for natural”

REN Skincare founders, Rob Calcraft and Antony Buck.

Going Beyond Natural

As much as we like to believe that “natural” means “better,” that isn’t always the case because not all ingredients are active. At REN, they “carefully select and sustainably source nature’s most powerful and kind bioactive ingredients, choosing them not simply because they are natural, but because they help your skin look and feel its best.” But that’s not all. REN crafts clean skincare specifically for sensitive skin.

Bioactive Is Far More Than a Buzzword

Even if the term “bioactive” doesn’t sound familiar, you’re probably eating, drinking, and applying topicals that contain these good-for-you compounds. REN’s Ready Steady Glow AHA Tonic includes a host of bioactives, including sugar cane, willow bark, and azelaic acid precursors from olives. Together, they exfoliate, increase moisture retention, support cell renewal, make pores look less visible, and brighten the skin.

“7 skin benefits in 1 clean to planet 100% recycled plastic bottle”

As a fan of AHA/BHA blends, I’m delighted to have this cucumber-infused tonic in my nightly routine. As a long-time Retin-A user, I was surprised at how well my skin responded to this 4.5% AHA toner. I only experienced mild tingling on the first two uses, but nothing like the stinging I associate with other forms of acid. My skin also felt surprisingly hydrated – not a word I throw around carelessly.

REN’s Ready Steady Glow AHA Tonic

“Clean to Skin. Clean to Planet.”

The world we inhabit has finite resources, and how we support and sustain them is front of mind for many consumers. At REN, they source sustainably and minimize waste at every step from creation to promotion. REN is committed to zero-waste practices, partners with the Surfrider Foundation to protect the ocean, and launched the first 100% recycled aluminium sample tubes to eliminate unnecessary packaging waste in landfills.

So big was REN’s commitment to this enormous undertaking that even the Duchess of York gave them a shout-out on World Ocean Day 2021 on her Instagram feed.

REN's Evercalm™ Redness Relief Serum

Leveling Up the Sample Game

The beauty behind this innovation is that the material can be recycled over and over again without a decrease in efficacy. In 2021 alone, the little tubes reduced potentially 900 kilograms (nearly 2000 pounds) of plastic destined for landfills.

I recently purchased a few additional items from REN, including their Barrier Support Elixir, and received a sample of their Evercalm™ Redness Relief Serum. The application nozzle breaks off cleanly and can be used bottle-stopper style to keep the serum fresh. Plus, the sample tube is tamper-resistant, eliminating the need for an inner foil seal. Very cool!

Next-Level Recycling

We’re all becoming more ecologically aware of the ramifications packaging plays in the beauty industry, so we expect companies to do the same. Short of repurposing shipping boxes in our own homes, most of us put that task in some unknown entity’s hands. REN’s got us covered here as well! Their shipping boxes fold flat and can be returned to convenient locations right in your neighborhood. I scanned the QR code in my box, found a FedEx drop-off location to take it to, and didn’t have to fret about the box truly being recycled.

To say there’s a lot to love about REN Clean Skincare is the understatement of the year. Give it a try. The environment and your skin barrier will thank you.


Tracy Teel
Tracy Teel

Tracy Ann Teel is a full-time freelance writer and the owner of Finesse Writing and Editing LLC. She’s a tutorial writer for San Francisco Globe’s beauty platform,, covering everything from skin and hair care to makeup and nail art. She writes for skincare companies, dermatologists, and cosmetic surgeons, and proudly taught at her MFA alma mater, the University of California Irvine, as a member of their adjunct faculty in English. She’s been a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall, been recognized three consecutive years in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and has written professionally for 30+ years. Her poetry chapbook Such Dust was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Pearl, Kaleidoscope, and Lake Arrowhead Life.



Become a Part of Our Community

Pro Discount Program

Pro Product Review Program

Editorial Team

Advisory Board

About Us

Brand Partnerships

Contact Support

Contact for Brand Partnerships

Privacy Cookies

Site Terms

Brand Terms

Expert Terms

© 2022 Beautytap. All rights reserved.