Is a Toner Right For Me?

Is a Toner Right For Me?

Before you can determine if using a toner is right for you, you will need to understand what a toner is!


A toner is a secret skincare weapon that helps prep your skin for post-cleansing products, for example, serum, moisturizer, etc, and helps those products work better. Unlike astringents that contain alcohol, a toner should gently refresh the skin, removing residual dirt or grime and bacteria without stripping the skin of moisture. Applying a toner immediately after cleansing increases the water content (hydration) of the outer layer of skin which increases the absorption of the products you use afterward. Toners also help balance the skin’s pH balance and reduce the appearance of pores.


If you are still cringing at the thought of using a toner based on what your parents may have used or based on your memories from your teenage years, just understand that the toners of yesteryear were highly astringent and alcohol based and did strip the skin of moisture. Toners have evolved to be gentler on the skin and contain ingredients that are beneficial to the skin, nourish and replenish the skin after cleansing, but still have the ability to remove traces of impurities, oil and bacteria.


If you don’t already use a toner, before using one, check ingredients to be sure you are not duplicating a process that could cause irritation. For example, if you use products with a retinoid or glycolic acid for exfoliation, you do not need a toner that accomplishes this same task. If you use a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, you do not need a hydrating toner. If you use a Vitamin C serum, you do not need a toner that brightens.


When you begin using a toner in your routine, pay attention to how your skin reacts—especially with regards to irritation and drying. Be wary of not overdoing it. Also, be mindful of ingredients and stay away from alcohol as an ingredient.


So how do you begin, if you are not already in the habit? Toner is best used immediately after cleansing and before moisturizing. The toner will help rid the skin of impurities and leaves it refreshed, hydrated and prepped for subsequent skin care products such as creams, serums, etc. These products, applied post-toner, might penetrate deeper and reap its full potential.


Apply toner with a cotton round or cotton ball saturated with the toner and gently blot the skin. Begin with adding a toner to your routine 2-3 times per week and gradually increase to daily use as your tolerance increases.


Benefits and results from using a toner can be seen in 3-6 months.


TAKE AWAY: Toners have evolved to be more nourishing and beneficial to the skin. Using one can help your other skin care products to work better! Be wary of ingredients such as alcohol and stay away from products that contain ingredients that irritate or dry your skin. Pay attention to how your skin responds and adjust your routine based on that. Add a toner to your routine slowly and gradually. Results are not immediate, but will be gradual over time.

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