I used to think a toner was just kind of a filler step that didn’t have any substance and could easily be eliminated, which is why for many years, I never bothered to use one.
Now, I feel naked if I miss this step in my routine and I’m actually obsessed with using toners, here’s why:
A toner is used to complete the cleansing of the skin, effectively removing impurities that remain after washing your face. There’s chlorine, minerals, and other environmental contaminants present in tap water that will sit on top of your skin after washing unless otherwise removed! Beyond your water contaminants, toners also effectively remove industrial toxins such as smoke, smog, and chemical residues from your skin (something we are all exposed to unfortunately).
This is important for 2 reasons:
#1 None of these substances are good for your skin. In fact, they wreak havoc on aging and acne.
#2 These substances prevent you from absorbing what you DO want on your skin, which is your products! If there’s a bunch of microscopic stuff sitting on top of your skin, everything you’re applying isn’t really able to be absorbed. In removing the excess particles from your skin, you’re actually allowing your products to penetrate deeper and better.
Large facial pores allow more dirt, oil and toxins to enter the skin and cause irritation and inflammation. Toners tighten your facial pores, allowing fewer oils and toxins to settle into the skin. In addition to decreasing oily buildup, dead skin cells are also removed which assists in reducing inflammation (AKA the number of blemishes you might get).
Many toners provide vitamins and other essential skin nutrients to keep your skin healthy and balanced. They’re composed of specific active ingredients including plant extracts and essential oils, tailored to address a variety of skin types. Mainly, there are hydrating toners, calming and soothing toners, and oil-regulating toners — each providing additional benefits to your skin far beyond just cleaning it.
RESTORES pH BALANCE
Our skin is naturally acidic, typically with a pH balance between five and six (on a scale from 0 to 14). But that balance can get out of whack after cleansing due to the alkaline nature of soap. When this happens, your skin needs to work overtime to return to its normal levels (and that may result in oil). Any deviation from the skin’s natural pH throws off the “ecosystem” of your skin and causes inflammation and irritation, but using a toner can help restore this balance quickly.
HOW I USE IT
I’ve noticed SUCH a difference in my skin since making the decision to use it everyday. My skin is clearer probably two fold.
Outside of a morning and night toner application, I also love to pack my toner in a ziploc bag with some cotton pads and take it with me when I go workout. Immediately following my workout (before the sweat dries) I wipe my skin with it. This was a game changer for me since I sweat a ridiculous amount when I exercise.
Skin problems occur when the bacteria released within sweat mingles with dead skin cells and creates a plug of debris. I’ve suffered from sweat-induced blockages for years and toning my skin immediately following my workouts has been such a savior. If you get blemishes and aren’t toning after sweating, I can almost guarantee you’ll see a difference if you try this!
I love that toners can be used to target an array of skin concerns. There are different formulations for everything from acne to dryness to aging. A toner for oily skin might have ingredients that cut down on sebum production, while a toner for drier skin might have more hydrating ingredients — there really is a toner out there for every skin type!
HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS TO GET YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH
Rosewater for hydration
Chamomile for soothing
Tea tree oil to fight oil and bacteria
Aloe vera to calm inflammation and redness
Vitamin E for hydration
Plant stem cells for antioxidants and anti-aging properties
(I use a brightening toner to help with hyperpigmentation!)
You might not want to add ONE more thing to your routine, but I promise, a toner is worth your while and actually quite fun to apply. My skin is INSTANTLY cleaner, fresher, and tighter — I’m honestly addicted to the immediate feeling, but the long term benefits are even better.