Toners: The Skin Conditioning, pH Improving Step You Can't Miss!

In its most basic state, skin toner is a product designed to help tone the skin by tightening pores, removing excess oils and moisturizing as needed. Traditional toners help the skin to retain water properly without retaining undesired excess oil. Oils found in traditional toners are designed to help balance the skin’s pH levels. Extracts and other ingredients are usually included to help soothe the skin. Fresheners can be used in conjunction with moisturizers, cleansers and other skin and issue-specific products; fresheners serve simply to tighten the skin. Reducing the appearances of wrinkles, sagging skin, and basic looseness of the skin, fresheners are composed of natural tightening toners like green teas and caffeine.

We have previously talked about the skin being our body's largest and perhaps most important organ. We know that it is composed of several layers of tissue that are made up of different volumes and types of chemicals, minerals, proteins, water, and more. So, as a result, your skin must maintain a certain balance to remain healthy. Typically, the skin has a pH level of 5-6, making it naturally acidic.

When the skin is exposed to products and environmental factors like chlorine in pool water, it absorbs some of what it encounters. The pH level of the skin may change and become imbalanced. Many people do not realize that skin is naturally acidic and that cleaning with soap will throw off its pH balance. When you wash your face, the soap will remove the oil that your skin produces to keep the correct pH level. In order to restore the pH balance, your skin will produce unwanted oil. Toners help skin maintain its natural pH level without having to over-produce oil. With toner, pH balance is restored quickly, ensuring that your skin is healthy.

Here are some additional ways toners improve your skin:

  • Shrinking Pores: Toners containing botanical extracts can help tighten up your pores. This can help reduce the level of blemishes and skin irritations on the skin.
  • Moisturizing: Moisture is the essence of healthy skin, and toner is ideal for restoring moisture after you wash your face. Unfortunately, a lot of cleansers and soaps will dry the skin as it is being washed. Toner helps to combat this process by making it easier for water to bind with the skin. There are toners that are designed to pull water from the dermis to the epidermis, restoring moisture and reducing skin irritation.
  • Refreshing Skin: Toners can remove impurities that your face wash may leave behind. They are especially useful for removing makeup or other substances that you may have missed during your wash. Toners make sure that your skin is as clean as possible and ready for the next step in your skin care routine. If you want a toner that will refresh your skin and leave your face looking bright and lively, try a toner with vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Rejuvenating Skin: The use of toner will rejuvenate your skin by stimulating cell production. Toner also creates a protective barrier that helps your skin retain moisture and prevents damage from other skin products or natural outside sources.
  • Cleansing Dead Skin: You exfoliate your skin at a salon or at home now and then, right? Think of toner as an exfoliation tune up. Many toners contain exfoliating agents that clear dead skin and prevent ingrown hairs.

How to Use Your Toner

The same way you must select cleansers for your skin type, it applies when you are choosing a toner as well.  There is a perfect toner for every type of skin. You will find formulas made to treat normal skin, oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, acre-prone skin, and many other types. Analyze your skin type to determine which of these categories you fall in (you probably already know). Most toners are clearly marked to emphasize the type of skin they were made for. 

This step in your skin care routine is quite simple.  Wash your face as you normally do with a cleanser for your skin type. Pat your skin dry with a towel and then apply a small amount of toner to a cotton ball or pad (do not soak the cotton in toner). Gently apply the toner to your face using a stroking motion. Do not try to rub the toner into your face like you would a face wash. Let the toner sit on your face and dry naturally. Once it has dried, apply your moisturizer to complete the process. 

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