Face Toner: Important Skincare Step for Flawless Complexion
Cleansing, toning, moisturising – these three steps are considered to be the holy trinity when it comes to beauty routines. Skincare has become a very important part of modern life and it sure deserves to be taken seriously. Carefully following these three steps for a longer period of time can result in a glowing, even-looking and shiny complexion.
Every step of this optimal skincare routine is important and should not be overlooked.
The absence of just one product can come between you and clear skin. To make sure it is not the face toner, here is everything you need to know about this skin’s best friend.
What Is a Toner?
Today, toners are definitely not what you remember them to be from your teenage times: an alcohol-filled solution for your acne that resulted in drying out your skin.
Dermatologists often refer to facial toners as the secret weapon to healthy skin. Skin toner is the in-between product you use after cleansing and before moisturising.
Simply put, a toner is a fast penetrating product that delivers skin hydration and helps remove some dead cells off the surface of the skin. It looks and acts like water, but it is not water (so much more is packed in these bottles than hydrogen and oxygen). Depending on the toner, it also contains acids, glycerin, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, as well as other soothing ingredients such as eucalyptus, peppermint, and aloe vera.
Apart from face toners, there are also eyecare toners for the delicate skin under your eyes and eyelids, or those that can be used for both your face and body. Most of the toners nowadays are alcohol-free and created without the need for animal cruelty.
Benefits of Using a Toner
1. It balances your pH. pH is measured from 1-14. 7 is neutral, anything above 7 is alkaline and anything below 7 is acidic. The skin’s optimal pH is considered to be 5.5 in order to look radiant and resists harmful bacteria. But that balance can be endangered 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). Now, this is where the toner is crucial. Most toners will be at the optimal level or just slightly acidic as to balance your probably slightly alkaline skin after washing.
If your skin is oily or acne-prone, a salicylic acid-based skin toner that sweeps away excess oil without drying out your skin can be the best solution to your problem. Salicylic acid combined with sesame seed extract helps minimize the surface oils that cause skin breakouts.
2. It can shrink your pores. When the skin produces too much oil, it mixes with dead skin in the pores, thus forming a clog that causes it to enlarge. If the oil becomes trapped by dead skin, it oxidizes, forming a blackhead. A facial toner contains antioxidants that work hard to reduce oil, thus clearing out pores and making them appear much smaller while leaving the skin’s texture smooth and balanced.
If you have large pores, look for a toner with alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid to remove the dead cells that accumulate around the pores making them look prominent. Glycolic acid exfoliates dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, glowing complexion.
3. It hydrates the skin. Although the toner is not quite a replacement for moisturiser, its job is to gently refresh your skin without stripping off its natural moisture. This means toner won’t irritate sensitive skin or cause excessive dryness. Toner also prepares the skin to drink up your post-cleansing moisturizer and any other skin treatments that you may apply, which makes it an important step into your skincare routine. Look for a toner rich with vitamin E among other ingredients for optimal hydration results. If your skin is sensitive, skin-calming ingredients like rosewater and camomile are what you need to look for in a toner.
4. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. A toner can effectively remove dirt, bacteria, leftover makeup that can be still lingering on your skin even after washing it with a cleanser.
Besides aloe vera, which is known for its calming effects, extracts of white tea, rose and witch hazel also come with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory perks.
When to Use It
It is best to use a toner right after cleansing. This way, your skin is prepared to better absorb the ingredients that follow, like serum and moisturiser. Including toner into both your day and night routine is perfectly safe, according to dermatologists.
Tip: Apply toner no later than one minute after cleansing. Due to the fact that most molecules penetrate the skin better when it is wet, applying active ingredients immediately after cleansing delivers better results
How to Apply It
You can either put some toner on your hands and tap directly onto your skin, or dispense it onto a cotton pad and gently pat on your face. Make sure your hands are clean when tapping the toner onto your face. If you want to go one step further, apply the toner in small amounts in multiple layers. This way, you are adding an extra protective layer to your skin and ensuring better absorption of the next product of your skincare routine