Why You Need a Toner In Your Skincare Regimen
Happy almost summer, EcoDivas! Glad to be back answering another one of your most pressing green beauty questions. A comment and question I often get is my take on toners. Many of you have asked an array of questions in regards to toning the skin: “Is a toner necessary for the skin?," "What does a toner do?" and "What kind of toner is right for my skin?” These are all very good questions and here at EcoDiva, we love educating you on how to care for your own unique, and beautiful skin. Read on for all the answers you need about toners and why they're a necessary addition to your skincare routine.
The first question to address is, what exactly is a toner?
Many have the misconception that all a toner does is cleanse the skin and nothing else. So in turn, this step often gets skipped as our hectic lives can get in the way and a good cleanser should take care of the cleansing part of our skincare regimen... But I'm here to say a cleanser cannot take the place of a toner and vice a versa. There truly is a reason to the three-step simple skin care system of cleansing, toning, moisturizing. The tone part of the regimen is like the glue that holds the piece of the puzzle together to see the clearer picture, ie: healthy skin with tighter pores! I am sure we can all agree that healthy skin is beautiful skin!
A toner actually has many jobs depending on the type of toner that it may be. The most important purpose it is truly needed for is maintaining and rebalancing the skin’s natural pH. The natural pH levels for skin can be quite broad, which is dependent on one’s age. However the average number most skin should be at is a 4-4.5 pH.
Two reasons a toner is so necessary:
Going back to keeping the skin’s pH balanced at a 4-4.5, we need to tone in order to aid the skin in this process. Cleansing our skin with soap and water actually change our skin’s pH levels to a pH of 6! That's quite a jump, making our skin constantly fluctuate. When our skin goes through this yo-yo run down from our skincare and cosmetic products, it actually creates more oils on the skin and eliminates the skin’s natural micro-flora, which keep the skin healthy and clear. So those especially with oily and/or acneic skin better take notes!
Another pH disrupter of our skin is tap water. As an aesthetician, I am a huge fan of applying alkaline water during the cleansing step of facial regimens. However, I understand most of us don’t have access to alkaline water, that’s why a toner is a must have to achieve alignment and a healthy balance with your skin. Have you ever heard of cleansing your face with a toner after a workout? Because your skin is sweaty now? Bingo! The toner will eliminate the toxins and get your skin to a healthier pH until you can get a proper cleansing done. And don’t forget to tone after normal cleansing!
Another reason for using a toner is to moisturize and hydrate the skin before the use of a actual moisturizer or serum. I know it may sound kind of strange to pre-moisturize, but as with everything, there is a science behind this art. When the skin has been properly cleansed then toned, the skin is now most receptible to moisturizers and serums. Those products in turn work even better to give your skin the results it desires.
It also gives products more staying power because the skin is healthy and hydrated instead of working hard to get back to pH balance and creating havoc by producing more oils. Those over-produced oils start blending with our moisturizers and then again more issues at hand. So, if you're experiencing oily skin or breakouts, a toner may just solve this problem for you! If you are interested on learning more about keeping your skin hydrated, check back to March’s ATBE article here.
The right toner for youNow that you know how great toners are for your skin, what toner is right for you? In my years as an aesthetician and as a daily devoted student of skincare, I have found that certain ingredients are benefical to ALL skin types. These include:
- Aloe Vera
- Chamomile or
- Cucumber extract
- Hyaluronic Acid (read more about it here to find out why this ingredient is a must have in your regimen)
Want to try something specific for your skin type? Check out my list of top ingredients in toner below. Some ingredients cross over into different categories of skin types, so keep an eye out for that. And I've listed in alphabetical order, not in order of preference.
Toner Ingredients to Look for: Oily/Acne Prone Skin
Aloe Vera, Clary Sage, Lavender, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Willow Bark (aka: Salicylic Acid), Witch Hazel
Toner Ingredients to Look for: Normal/Combination Skin
Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Lavender, Rose, Willow Bark, Witch Hazel
Toner Ingredients to Look for: Aging/Dry/Sensitive Skin
Aloe Vera, Calendula, Chamomile, Lavender, Rose
Choose the toner that is right for you, and you will certainly notice a glowing complexion, fewer blemishes, and more toned and even skin. I recommend shopping EcoDiva's Toners & Mists section of the website to get the best fit for your face.
Do you use a toner? What kind and what do you love about it?
And, as always, send us your beauty questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to get your answer! EcoDiva loves you and we love hearing from you!