For years we have seen the TV commercials showing fresh-faced young adults using toners with a big smile on their faces. Promising that by using the toner you will have perfectly clear and clean skin. You’ve probably fallen for that one at least once in your life and ran to the store to grab one thinking it would change your life. If you’re like me and ended up with dry skin, that’s probably because the toner was full of alcohol and fragrance which can actually dry the skin skin out. You probably recall how toners of the past would burn immediately upon application, they have come a very long way since those day. When it comes to routines people might consider a toner an extra step or unnecessary. However, I do find that they play a very important role in routines, especially if you are acne prone, oily, and/or wear makeup.
The role of a toner is essentially a second-step to your cleansing routine. A toner should balance the pH level of your skin, erase traces of oil, dirt, and makeup that may have been left behind by your cleanser. Although, with the surge of properly formulated cleansers, the role of a toner is less about repairing the skins pH. Sometimes when you look at your cotton round after using a toner it can look grimy. That is why I will forever use a toner on my face personally. If you are choosing the right toner for your skin type then a toner can really be an incredibly important step in your routine. Even though we might be practicing proper cleansing habits we can still miss things while cleansing.
The idea that a toner is supposed to be full of alcohol and irritating ingredients seems like such an outdated practice. A lot of companies market toners towards those with acne and want you to think that it will help clear up your acne. Isopropyl alcohol in toner can actually cause further irritation and damage the skin, you will want to avoid using a toner that contains this ingredient. Look for toners that contain Witch Hazel instead. Witch Hazel is a natural reducer of acne and inflammation with antioxidant and astringent properties. Those who suffer from acne and oily skin will find that using a toner will help with breakouts and oil control.
Many toners in most recent years have incorporated exfoliating properties. Look for toners that contain AHA/BHA’s in the ingredient list. This has become especially popular for those with dry, acne-prone, and mature skin. Giving people an alternative to a manual exfoliation, the option to tone and exfoliate is ideal for many. Using an exfoliating toner will help to balance out the pH level of your skin while also helping to clean out the pores and speed up the cell turnover rate.
Other ingredients to look for in toners:
Rose Water- Helps to soothe skin irritation, reduce redness, inflammation, and contains antibacterial properties.
Aloe Vera- Soothes irritation such as itching and burning.
Hyaluronic Acid- Hydrates dry, aged, skin.
Ingredients to avoid in toners:
Fragrance- Known to be a cause of irritation.
Acetone- Known to be a cause of irritation.
There are many benefits to using a toner and finding the right one for your skin is the key. Figure out what concern you want to address with your skin and go from there. Toners are no longer targeted at just one thing anymore. There are many toners on the market today that are directed for different skin types and conditions. Do not be afraid to add a toner to your current routine, they have come a long way in recent years.