Toning: the most ‘mist’understood’ step in a skin care routine! While you probably don’t think twice about the importance of using a cleanser, how sure are you about the proper use of a toner? It is really a necessary step in one’s daily routine? Isn’t cleansing and moisturizing enough? Before we jump into the details, let’s make one thing clear: yes, a toner is important! Read on for our explanation of why a good toner is a MUST HAVE in everyone’s daily routine.
Why is Toning Important?
Simply put, toning completes the cleansing process as it removes the dirt, oil, makeup and grime left behind by a cleanser. Toning is helpful as it clears the pores of leftover residue that regular cleansing may have missed. While daily stressors and environmental factors take their toll on our skin and can throw off our skin’s natural pH balance, a good toner should bring skin back to its neutral pH level. Balancing the pH of skin replenishes one’s natural glow and is essential before applying creams and moisturizers. In short, toners prepare the skin to fully absorb the benefits of serums, gels and creams applied afterwards. By unclogging pores, removing dirt, oil, and dead skin, toners add a layer of protection to the skin and reduce the chance of blackheads, acne breakouts, and ingrown hairs. Furthermore, many modern toners are rich in essential antioxidants that work to prevent the appearance of the early signs of aging.
Today, much of the confusion surrounding toners originate from the low quality toners of the past. Irritating and high in alcohol, the toners of decades ago were drying used solely to remove oil from the skin. Many toners today, however, are alcohol free and are uniquely formulated to combat real skin concerns such as dryness, wrinkles and fine lines, dullness and uneven skin tone. A good, modern toner should effectively treat acne and work to remove excess oil from the skin without over drying.
Where Does Toning Fit in my Routine?
A daily toner always comes after cleansing the skin and before the application of serums, gels, moisturizers and creams.
Other than being ‘step two’ in a skin care regimen, another favorite use for toners is as a makeup setting spray/freshener. Apply a few spritzes throughout the day for a refreshing skin pick-me-up!
Which Toner is for me?
- When looking for a toner, oilier skin types should keep an eye out for AHAs, glycolic acids, witch hazel and vitamin C
Those with dry skin should always opt for an alcohol free toner as the harsh formulas can exacerbate dryness and irritation. Look for formulas with hydrating and soothing ingredients such as vitamin e and aloe vera while still containing gentle exfoliants to increase radiance.
If your main skin concern is brightening, toners with vitamin c, rose, papaya extract and lactic acid are your best bet!