One question I get asked a lot is what a toner is used for and if it is really a necessary addition to your skin care regiment… Although toner isn’t absolutely essential in your daily routine, it can be a great addition and within only a few weeks or so, you may ask yourself how your skin was surviving without it!
To put it simply, a toner is a second step in cleansing (along with a few bonus benefits).. A toner will remove anything your makeup remover and cleanser may have missed. There have been many nights I scrubbed my face sure it was spotless, used my toner and to my surprise found makeup residue still left over.
A toner will help control oils (great for those with oily skin) and it will help to tighten and close your pores after cleansing to prevent any excess oil, dirt, dust, air borne anything from getting into your pores - and in some cases, pores can be diminished with regular usage of toner.
Toner also helps in balancing the pH levels within your skin. You have a natural acidity level to your skin and the acid mantel helps to protect your skin from the outside elements. For many different reasons, your pH levels can become too low or high (cleansing, medications, UV rays, pollution, etc.) and naturally, your acid mantel can take hours to return back to normal. So a toner can help a lot with returning your pH levels back to good ol’ 5.5 :)
There are many different kinds of toners with all different kinds of ingredients. While shopping for one you will want to keep in mind what skin care concerns you have. Some toners contain alcohol, salicylic acid, witch hazel, benzoyl peroxide… Typically you will want to avoid any that contain alcohol, however it has been argued that in cases of severe acne, the alcohol will help to dry up the breakouts. —- My recommendation is to AVOID one containing alcohol. —- Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are great for acne. Witch hazel has many benefits - it is a natural astringent, can help with acne and can also help heal blemishes faster. There are also many toners with lavender, rose petal water, aloe vera, vitamin E, etc… These ingredients can be very soothing and gentle for sensitive skin.
My favorite brand of toner is Thayers:
These are wonderful, work amazingly and one bottle will last you for months. In my area, they are around $7-10.. You can get them at health food stores, The Vitamin Shoppe, and online (I’m sure there are other places that carry these as well). These are very gentle, soothing and work like a dream!
To apply: after cleansing, gently pat dry your face. Squeeze some toner onto a cotton ball or cotton round and apply it to your whole face. If you have a current breakout, you can apply a little bit more to that area and the toner can help it to heal faster. Once you apply, it will dry quickly and once it does, moisturize!
*In case anyone was wondering, I use the lavender witch hazel one - I have combination skin and have always had problems with acne. This toner has helped to prevent breakouts and the few that I do get now are gone in only a few days (before I started using toner, it would take a week or more for a blemish to heal!)
Well, this was officially my first skin care related post… I hope that this was informative enough and has helped someone (anyone!) with any questions about toners. I hope to spread the word about this blog and help people along the way while I expand this and make it the way I imagine it to be in the future.. Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I’d love answering!
With love, Marie <3
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