Maybe you are new to the skin care world and have just got the hang of incorporating a facial cleanser into your skin care regimen. Or perhaps you are a "veteran" to skin care products and are well aware of the three basic products in any skin care regimen (i.e. facial cleanser, skin toner, and moisturizer). In any case, if you are looking to add a skin toner to your daily or weekly routine, this is the article for you. You would be surprised just how many people use a skin toner and when asked "what is a skin toner?", they wouldn't know the answer. On a different token, many people don't even bother with a skin toner because they don't see the point in using it. My goal is by the end of this post, you will be able to answer this fundamental question and decide if using a skin toner is right for you and/or worth the effort.
Who Doesn't Want To Be "Toned"?
At their core, skin toners are basically a lotion or wash specifically designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the overall appearance of your pores. Who doesn't want that? If you think a life without clogged pores sounds too good to be true, you probably don't know the full capabilities of a skin toner that make it a secret weapon in anyone's skin care regimen.
If you're struggling with acne or oily skin, rather than try to mask the problem areas with extra makeup, you should definitely consider a gentle, soothing toner to eliminate oil and traces of dirty grime. In fact, toners are most beneficial and necessary for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin. If you don't fit in that category, skin toners can also be a great option for those of you who want an extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavier skin products like sunscreen.
When And How Should I Use A Skin Toner?
The ideal timing for using a skin toner is after cleansing and removing makeup. In a sense, the skin toner can act as a healthy "primer" for the rest of your skin care products. Essentially, the right skin toners can increase the absorption of any subsequent skin care products in your skin care regimen. With this in mind, you can use skin toners daily as part of your skin care regimen with no problem.
Additional Benefits of Skin Toner
1. It Shrinks Pores. In my humble opinion, this key benefit is worth a second mention (just because this is one of my biggest skin care issues personally. By simply applying a small quantity of toner to a soft cotton ball or pad and gently blotting or wiping your face with it works wonders in removing oil and giving your skin the appearance of smaller pores.
2. It Adds A Layer Of Protection. Since toners help to tighten the skin and close pores after cleansing, it makes sense that this naturally reduces the ability of impurities and other environmental contaminants from penetrating our skin's natural barrier. In fact, skin toners can even protect against and remove chlorine and other hard minerals that are commonly present in tap water!
3. It Moisturizes. Many toners are humectants. All that means is they help to bind and lock moisture into the skin. This fact cannot be overemphasized! Skin toners are meant to be nourishing to the skin after removing makeup and cleansing. Even if you use the most gentle cleanser, your skin can still benefit from the nourishing properties of skin toner that replenishes that which the cleanser removed. A high-quality skin toner can really stand our in this regard providing antioxidants, soothing agents, and essential hydration.
4. It Restores Your Skin's Natural pH Balance. Just in case you didn't know, our skin is naturally acidic, which means the pH balance of our skin typically falls between 5 and 6 (on a scale from 0 to 14). The problem comes when we use soap products that are more often than not alkaline in nature (pH above 7), which throws off the pH balance of our skin. This phenomenon causes extra stress on our skin because it tries to work overtime to restore the pH balance to normal levels (i.e. may increase oil production). However, don't fret because using a skin toner can help restore this balance more quickly!
5. It Refreshes Skin. If you find yourself on the go and in a hurry, toners can actually be used in lieu of washing your face when it's oily or dirty from a day's worth of running around doing errands. With cotton ball or pad in hand and toner in the other, your skin will feel revitalized even at a moment's notice!
6. It Can Prevent Ingrown Hairs. Believe it or not, this one is an added bonus for toners that specifically contain glycolic acid or other alpha hydroxy acids. Can't argue with a grooming perk.
Avoid Toners With These Features
1. SD or Denatured Alcohol, Menthol, Or Other Known Skin-Aggravating Ingredients: These ingredients are harsh on the skin and strip away the beneficial substances that keep our skin healthy.
2. Fragrant Extracts: Toners that include extracts such as citrus fruits, rosewater, or essential oils are often labeled as "fresheners" or "clarifiers", are a common reason why some individuals have a negative experience with skin toners.
3. Simply Lackluster: While a lot of skin toners are not necessarily bad for your skin, that is simply not enough. You should always seek out toners that have a legitimate nourishing formula so your skin isn't left hungry for more. As you will come to find our, the best toners are chock-full of beneficial ingredients.
Are Skin Toners Safe?
When assessing the safety of skin toners in your skin care regimen, if you follow the guidelines mentioned above about what to avoid in skin toners, you should have a positive experience. Just to re-emphasize an important point, skin toners that contain alcohol can cause problems in individuals with dry or acne-prone skin.
The Final Take Away
Are you still skeptical about what skin toners can do for you? In case you are, board-certified dermatologists have actually deemed skin toners as a "secret weapon" to healthy skin. If you take the time to find a high-quality toner that does not include the ingredients listed above, you'll quickly find that your skin's surface will feel fresher, smoother, and more hydrated. You'll see results that you won't be able to ignore! You might have once thought that using a skin toner is an optional step in your skin care regimen, but those days are over! Once you give skin toners a fair shot, you'll see that they are a must-have step in your skin care routine! This is especially true if you personally suffer from excessively oily skin, acne-prone skin, or have a tendency to have blackheads and clogged pores.
If you can remember just one fact from this article, it is this: Bad skin toners take way, great skin toners give back!
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