Toners, are not a key product in many of our skincare regimes, in fact most people have more toners building dust in their bathroom cupboards than they know what to do with. Many believe toners are too harsh on their sensitive skin and too drying because they contain alcohol, but this isn’t always the case! The right toner for your skin type can improve the texture and tone of your facial skin and act as an additional step in the #cleanse stage to prepare your skin for the following products. Here are the top three toner myths, debunked:
All toners contain alcohol
Not all toners are created equally. Although many high street toners do contain alcohol, there are many available on the cosmeceutical market that don’t.
A toner with excessive alcohol can dry out even the oiliest of skins and in some cases can trigger outbreaks of rosacea, increase the risk of breakouts in acne prone skin and exacerbate sensitivity. Often toners that contain a high percentage of alcohol will leave skin irritated, inflamed and vulnerable to damage.
A good toner should never dry out your skin but instead work to prepare your skin for the next step of your routine, ready to absorb the higher quality and more concentrated ingredients in the #prevent and #treat stages of your skincare regime.
That’s not to say that all products with alcohol in are bad - if you suffer with extremely oily skin or acne, alcohol will act as an astringent. The most important thing about toners is to pick the product carefully to suit your skin’s needs. For example Obagi C Rx Balancing Toner works to effectively balance the pH levels in your skin so it is completely neutral and ready to absorb the following steps in this skincare process.
I don’t need a toner because I have dry skin!
It’s true that what most people consider as 'toners' work well for oily skin, as the astringent ingredients reduces oil production by drying out sebum, reducing the risk of breakouts and excessive shine. However, there is a toner to suit all skin types and it should be an important part of everyone’s skin care regime. In fact in asian skincare 'toners' are referred to as 'skin lotions' or 'essences' which are products that blend botanical ingredients that have multiple benefits.
Toners remove traces of cleansing products and remove sebum and excess oils, including grime and dirt from the skin that naturally occur from the effects of the environment and day-to-day life. Toners also improve the overall surface texture of your skin, closing and refining pores to give you smoother looking, clearer skin.
The best way to find out if you would benefit from adding a toner to your skincare regime is to do the temperature test. If you tend to get oily patches and break outs in hotter weather, a more astringent toner would be brilliant for you. We would recommend NeoStrata Oily Skin Solution as it is a glycolic acid (not alcohol) based solution, perfect for oily skin which is prone to breakouts. The glycolic acid keeps the skin clean by exfoliating deep into the skin removing any excess oil and can be used as part of your daily skincare regime or applied throughout the day over makeup to keep any oily patches at bay.
Toners irritate sensitive skin
Toners should never irritate skin, but instead improve the overall appearance, texture and tone of your skin, boosting the effectiveness of any serums or creams you apply afterwards.
One mistake that many people make, is thinking that the 'sting' is a good thing. There is a tendency to think that when you feel the burn that it is working, however the opposite is probably true. The goal of using a toner is to obtain balanced skin, so it is best not to go too far in either direction.
If a toner is irritating your skin, try something gentler. If you have sensitive skin, avoid alcohol and choose something that contains skin calming ingredients like botanical oils like aloe vera. If you want something that will help towards anti-ageing, opt for a product that contains salicylic acid which encourages skin cell rejuvenation. If you have normal to dry skin try SkinCeuticals Equalising Skin Toner. It helps to balance and protect the skin's pH, whilst removing residue and impurities.