Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment

Far too many toners for far too long have caused me to question the benefits derived by practicing the traditional Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize mantra. I did fully embrace treatment-driven essences from around the world when they began to appear on the beauty scene. It wasn’t until acid toners became the favorites of editors and bloggers, however, that I fully comprehended and experienced the transformative impact of these potent fusions. Seriously game changing.

The tarte knockout tingling treatment can take the credit for some of the biggest improvements in my complexion and is quickly reaching cult status in the acid toner department. Its purpose? To level the skin’s pH post cleansing, exfoliate, refine the look of pores, hydrate, balance, brighten, and clarify any imperfections. After almost three weeks of daily use, the verdict is in. Knockout is impressive. And I’m not wowed easily.

First things first: the elephant in the room. Many Instagrammers have been quick to term this newness a dupe for P50. I beg to differ though admittedly I haven’t reached for my P50 in weeks. Knockout is Phenol free, delivers the same slightly numbing tingle, and does not smell of roses. It works in seconds, however, so neither the burn nor the scent lingers.

What’s in it?

Never have the first three ingredients excited me as much. Water, Niacinamide, Lactic Acid. But wait! There’s more. Malic, Phytic, and Salicylic Acids are combined with Glycerin, minerals (fans of pore-shrinking Sulfur, get excited), and plant extracts to deliver instant glow and smoothness with each application. Non-irritating, this magical medley soothes and hydrates the skin while fighting dull tone and rough texture. A cotton pad is all you need.

How and when?

You can use tarte’s knockout mornings and/or evenings. If you opt for daytime use, bear in mind that the resurfacing agents may increase susceptibility to sunburn, which means you must wear a broad spectrum SPF, especially those loyal to acid toners. After cleansing, saturate a cotton pad and swipe it across your face, neck, and chest. Wait for the skin to dry before reaching for a serum or moisturizer.

The active ingredient powerhouse needs time to work, so don’t be expecting an overnight miracle. Glass-like smoothness and visible radiance transformed my congested pores and post-holiday skin fatigue in just a couple of weeks.

$39 (5 oz.) available at tartecosmetics.com

*press sample



  1. Ash
    February 1, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    Hi Bart – how would you compare this against the Ren Ready Steady Glow AHA tonic? Does the Tarte Treatment “win” as it has the added benefit of niacinamide? About to come to the end of my Dr.Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel and looking forward to trying one of these new products as a replacement.

    • omgbart
      February 2, 2018 / 3:03 pm

      Hi Ash!

      I am only about 2 weeks into the REN tonic and while I really really really like it A LOT, I still prefer the tarte formula. If your skin responds better to toners with Lactic Acid, definitely give REN a try but personally, if I had to pick one, I’d go with the knockout. x Bart

      • Ash
        February 3, 2018 / 3:28 pm

        Thanks for the reply! Got myself the Tarte formula so we’ll see how that gets me through these brutally cold weeks.
        Am relatively new to your site but already a big fan as well as the Instagram! 36 year old product-loving NY-dwelling male here that really appreciates all the hard work and insight!


        • omgbart
          February 4, 2018 / 4:20 pm

          That’s amazing! Thank you so much – beyond kind of you!!! Would love to hear your thoughts after you use tarte for a bit!!

  2. julia stern
    February 27, 2018 / 11:41 am


    Im so intrigued by this especially since Tarte is mostly known for makeup. I want to give it a try. Wondering though, I normally use a vitamin c in the am. could I still do that if I add this into my routine!?


    • omgbart
      February 27, 2018 / 12:13 pm

      I don’t see why not if you follow up with broad spectrum SPF. I just posted this morning about the Glossier Solution and while I really didn’t dislike it, nothing beats this tarte gem. And I so agree, the brand doesn’t strike me as a skincare authority but this is the best non-P50 acid toner I tried.

  3. May 2, 2018 / 10:53 pm

    Does this have any benefit that P50 doesn’t provide? Are they interchangeable? Or should both be used intermittently because they offer different benefits? Thanks so much in advance!

    • omgbart
      May 3, 2018 / 11:06 am

      I’d say in terms of results, you can expect similar ones (which was my experience for the most part when it comes to pores). I have both and alternate my tarte with P50 1970 but would most likely be just fine with tarte alone.

  4. Eurileen Thibou
    June 29, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    Hi Bart, is peeling normal? I had a real intense burn on the first day and now on day 3 it no longer burns but it is peeling. Is this the norm?

    • omgbart
      June 30, 2018 / 4:26 pm

      Hi there! I actually never peeled from an acid toner so not sure how ‘normal’ it is… I am happy to hear it no longer burns! I get a warming tingle but zero peeling. Maybe reach out directly to tarte via their website? Fingers crossed your skin is feeling better!

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