In the past, toner was deemed unnecessary, too astringent and contain high concentrations of alcohol, and incredibly drying, all of which are definitely not conducive to a radiant and healthy complexion.
The newest generation of toners, however, have more than astringent properties, and many of them are alcohol-free. Currently, there are toners on the market to address almost every skin concern and are no longer limited to treating acne and oily skin.
So, what is toner?
To put it simply, toner looks like water and acts like water. But I swear it's not simply water.
A face toner is a quick, absorbing liquid that helps to remove excess dirt, traces of oil and makeup, correct and balance the pH of your skin, and helps control acne.
In other words, facial toner thoroughly cleans the skin and helps remove built-up surface dead skin cells, it also helps to clean and close pores, which especially beneficial for acne-prone skin.
Depending on the toner, it also can contain acids, glycerin, astringent, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories.
Why should we use it?
On a makeup-related note, toner is like a primer for the rest of your skin-care routine like serums and moisturizer, New York-based dermatologist Arielle Kauvar tells Allure.
"It brings your skin back to its natural acidic state, sweeping impurities away and helping your skin absorb your skincare products. Your skin is like a dried-up sponge. If you put thick cream on a brittle dry sponge, it won't accept it and it isn't 'prepped' for moisture. But if you wet the sponge, the cream will sink in more easily."
What does toner do?
Toners are most helpful and necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin, or for people who want extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavy skin products such as sunscreen.
- SHRINKS PORES
Large facial pores allow more dirt, oil, and toxins to enter the skin and cause irritation and infections. Facial toners contain astringent can tighten your facial pores, allowing fewer oils and toxins to settle into the skin.
- RESTORES YOUR SKIN'S PH BALANCE
Our skin is naturally acidic, typically with a pH balance of 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), but using a toner can help restore this balance quickly.
- Adds A Layer Of Protection
When this happens, your skin needs to work overtime to return to its normal levels (and that may result in oil), but using a toner can help restore this balance quickly. It can even protect and remove chlorine and minerals present in tap water.
- ACTS LIKE A MOISTURIZER
Some toners are humectants, which means they help to bind moisture to the skin.
How to choose a toner for your skin type
Rule: First of all, it's important to always use an alcohol-free face toner. The other ingredients should be picked based on your skin type.
- For acne-prone skin, choose an alcohol-free toner with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). This will leave your skin clean and glowing without flaking. A gentle tingle for a few seconds will let you know it has just the right amount of pH of a slight acid solution. This form of acid is gentle even for sensitive skin, unlike irritating ingredients like retinoids.
- Salicylic acid is often recommended in a facial toner for acne-prone skin. However, this ingredient can be harsh, especially for sensitive skin.
- Other ingredients for normal to combination skin may include coenzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and vitamin C.
- Avoid using toner that contains fragrances and colors, these ingredients may result in skin irritations.
How to Use a Face Toner
-Start by cleaning your face with a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin suited for your skin type.
-Toner is best used as your first step after cleansing because it helps cleanse the skin from any residual impurities, leaving the skin refreshed and perfectly prepped for your subsequent skincare routine
-Follow with a moisturizer.