The skin on your face is much thicker than the skin on the rest of your body. And it’s also much drier, thanks to all that friction from facial expressions and all those double takes when you look in a mirror. The result? Your skin can feel rough, dry, and tight, especially in the wintertime. In fact, many people describe this as a “winter itch”—caused by dryness—because it tends to get worse every year at this time. To combat this problem, most dermatologists recommend using a toner after cleansing to lock in moisture and tone down redness or oiliness. But what exactly is toner? It’s an alcohol-free astringent liquid that prepares your skin for moisturizing by removing excess oils, dead skin cells, and any serum or oil residue left after cleansing (more on that later). Ready to take your skincare routine one step further? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about toners…
What is a Toner?
A toner is an astringent liquid cleanser that’s used to remove excess oil from your face after cleansing. It can also help to tone down redness or oiliness on your face caused by acne. And although toner is often confused with face spray or face mist, it’s not the same thing! Toners have been around since the 1950s when they were the only skincare product available. Today, they’re used as part of an everyday skincare routine to help maintain healthy, hydrated skin. They’re particularly useful in the winter months when the air is extremely dry. Unlike cleansers that have a high pH and are intended to remove your skin’s natural oils, toners are low pH and more astringent.
Types of Toners
There are plenty of toners available on the market, but they can be broken down into a few different types: Hyaluronic acid and collagen are two of the most popular ingredients in anti-aging skincare products today. And for good reason: They naturally occur in the skin to help keep it hydrated, plump, and firm. Now, you might be wondering how these ingredients can help hydrate your skin when they’re already inside your skin. Well, many of us aren’t getting enough of these nutrients from our diet or through topical skincare products.
How to Choose a Toner
When searching for a toner, you’ll want to look at a few different factors, including its formula, the size of the bottle, and the price point. Let’s break them down: Toners are generally sold in one-ounce bottles or less. This is standard and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Some brands sell toners in larger bottles, but this isn’t as common. If you’re worried about going through a large bottle too quickly, a small bottle might be a better option for you. Pricing can differ depending on the brand of toner you choose. Generally, toners range from the mid-range price point ($10-$30) to the high end ($35+). The formula of toner is just as important as its size and price point. First, you’ll want to make sure it’s alcohol-free. Many toners have alcohol as their main ingredient to help reduce oil and control acne. While this works, it can also leave your skin feeling dry. Luckily, there are brands that offer toners that don’t contain alcohol. Next, you’ll want to select a toner that has the benefits you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something to help reduce acne, acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil would be best.
How to Use a Toner
First, wash your face with warm water and a cleanser. Then, pat your face dry with a clean towel. And finally, apply toner using a cotton pad. You may want to follow this up with a face mask for an enhanced skincare experience. We recommend using toner every day, but be careful not to over-use it. You don’t want to strip your face of all its oils. Using it too often can cause your skin to dry out and become flaky. If you’re worried about your skin being too dry, try using a hydrating toner, which has more water content in it. Or, you can add a moisturizer to your skincare routine if your face feels too tight.
Pros of Using a Toner
Helps to cleanse your face – Most toners are made with ingredients like witch hazel and aloe vera that have been used as a cleanser for centuries. When you cleanse your face with a toner, you’ll remove excess oil and impurities that are hidden deep in your pores.
Helps to treat acne and breakouts – Using a toner can help to balance your skin’s pH levels to prevent breakouts. If you’re prone to acne, look for a formula that has ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil, which can help to unclog your pores and prevent acne breakouts.
Gives your face a nice glow – Using a toner can help to hydrate your skin and leave it with a subtle glow.
Helps to remove dirt and debris – You don’t realize how much dirt and debris you’re leaving behind when you don’t use a toner.
Helps to prepare your face for moisturizing – A toner provides a smooth surface for your skincare products to fully absorb into your skin.
Helps to boost the longevity of your skincare products – When you use a toner, your skin is smoother so the products sink in much quicker.
Cons of Using a Toner
May dry out your skin – If you use the wrong formula, it can actually cause your skin to become dry and flaky. Many people with sensitive skin have found that toners leave their faces feeling tight. To avoid this, make sure you’re using the right formula for your skin type.
May cause irritation – If you have sensitive skin, you may experience some mild irritation when you use a toner. If this happens, try switching up the brand or formula you use.
May strip your face of natural oils – Using your toner too often can cause your face to become too dry and flaky. Be sure to use it sparingly and only after cleansing your face.
How to Prepare Your Skin for Using a Toner
Ready to kick your skincare routine up a notch with a toner? First, make sure your face is clean and free of any impurities. Follow these steps to prep your face for toning:
Exfoliate your face – Once or twice a week, use a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and impurities from deep within your pores.
Cleanse your face – Make sure you’re using a cleanser that is pH-balanced for your skin type.
Use a face mask – Treat yourself to a face mask every once in a while. Not only will it help to hydrate your skin and provide a few extra benefits, but it can also be a great way to relax.
Moisturize – After you’ve toned your face, apply a face moisturizer to lock in the oils you’ve just removed. Choose a lightweight formula that is specially formulated for the face.
Overall, toners play an important role in facial skincare. They can help to cleanse your face, regulate your skin’s pH levels, and prepare your skin for moisturizing. But most importantly, they can help to reduce acne, treat breakouts, and leave your skin with a subtle glow. If you’re looking for a new skincare product, a toner can be a great addition to your routine. Start with a toner that is alcohol-free and has the benefits you’re looking for. Once you’ve found the right one for you, you can use it daily and experience a boost in your skincare routine.