You may be wondering why you need a face toner. Should a face cleanser not be enough? Cleansing does not get all the job done. It is just like thinking a cleanser would do the job of a moisturizer.
A toner is in watery form. It is capable of hydrating and restoring the skin’s normal pH balance. Most toners are usually alcohol-free but contain anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
A face toner removes those substances and particles a face wash or cleanser doesn’t. Such substances include excess oil, makeup, cleanser residue, impurities and dead skin cells.
It can be used either in the morning or at night. However, it is recommended for use before going to bed.
This is because it rids your skin of all impurities accumulated during the day and protects your skin as you sleep.
When the weather is hot, a face toner helps in addressing issues that arises due to sweat, dirt and sunblock. Besides, skincare products work best at night, when there is no sun to reduce their effectiveness.
Why Is Your Skin’s pH Level Important?
The skin’s pH level is about 4.5 – 5.5, which is basically acidic. The skin’s barrier known as acid mantle protects it from bacteria, germs and infections.
However, if the skin’ pH level rises above 6.5, the acid mantle is weakened. At this point, your skin becomes susceptible to all forms of infections, germs and bacteria. This is a balance a face toner aims to keep.
An Astringent Is Not a Toner
It is important we point out here that an astringent is not a toner.
An astringent makes the skin’s pores tight and removes surplus oil from the skin.
The downside of it is that it usually contains alcohol and other ingredients like witch hazel. These ingredients affect the skin’s acid mantle and causes pH imbalance.
The effect of an astringent on the skin is the opposite of that of a toner. The high concentration of alcohol in astringents makes them a hazard to the skin. While a toner seeks to hydrate the skin, an astringent dries it up.
Benefits of a Face Toner
A Face Toner Removes Oil Traces
A face toner removes oil and all its traces from your skin. As much as cleansers serve this purpose, they cannot completely remove oil traces. A toner simply completes the job your cleanser began.
A Face Toner Serves as a Skin Guard
Despite being mainly for your face, it can be used for your full body.
You can apply it to specific body parts that need to be rid of excess oil. Areas like your neck, shoulders, chest and back are the most likely areas you can apply your toner.
A Face Toner Reduces Pore Sizes
The pores are cleansed and constricted when it is applied. This prevents oil and dirt from seeping into the skin. Skin irritations, infections and acne are dealt with as a result of this function.
A Face Toner Restores the Skin’s Neutral pH Level
When your skin’s pH level begins to increase, a face toner can restore it to its neutral level. If we don’t use a toner, our skin naturally tries to restore the balance but ends up producing more oil.
A Face Toner Adds Nutrients to the Skin
After cleansing, your skin becomes fragile. What you apply to it at that point could strengthen or damage it. Applying it right after cleansing introduces amino acids and antioxidants that protect the skin.
A Face Toner Moisturizes
A face toner enables moisture be retained in the skin. This is when the toner you are using functions as a humectant.
A Face Toner Functions as an Exfoliator
Exfoliation is the process that causes the skin’s dead cells to be discarded and substituted with new skin cells. Your toner does this effectively as it removes impurities as well as those dead cells. And it still nourishes the skin with ingredients required to stimulate new cell growth.
A Face Toner Stops Ingrown Hairs
With the help of glycolic acid and other ingredients, ingrown hairs are stopped when you use a face toner.
A Face Toner Encourages Absorption of Ingredients
The use of a toner on your skin after cleansing and before using any other product is very advantageous. Most products require a moist skin in order for them to be effectively absorbed. When you use a face toner, this moist environment is created.
Face Toner for Skin Types
Basically every skincare product is manufactured to address one skin issue or the other. Therefore, whatever you will use on your skin is dependent on its type.
How do you identify whether your skin is the dry type? The major characteristics of dry skin are peeling, cracking, itchiness, redness and irritation. Generally, it has little or no visible pores.
A hydrating face toner would work great for dry skin. Be on the lookout for products containing glycolic acid, glycolipids, dimethicone, rose hips seed oil, peptides and jojoba oil.
Aloe vera and vitamin E are essential ingredients that help in hydrating your dry skin. Stay away from products containing petrolatum, sodium, alcohol (denatured, SD 40, isopropyl, ethanol), ammonium lauryl sulfate and mineral oil.
To know for sure if you have oily skin, check for excess oil. You can be sure of this by wiping your face. If there is still a shine to it, your skin is oily.
Another good way to know this is by checking the size of your pores. If they are really visible and large, it is probable you have oily skin.
A mild and refreshing face toner will be best for you. Avoid those products that are full of alcohol. They will cause dryness out and your skin will produce more oil to combat the dryness.
Go for products with oil-free content such as Alpha-hydroxy acids, sodium PCA, and sodium hyaluronate.Avoid products with petrolatum, mineral oil, alcohol (denatured, SD 40, isopropyl, ethanol), ammonium lauryl sulfate.
This is a combination of dry and oily skin together. It is easy to detect by checking your t-zone. If you have combination skin, your chin, forehead and nose will get oily easily while other parts of your face will remain dry.
You will need two types of face toner. Your choice will be dependent on the seasons. An oil-free face toner is good for summer while one with a little oil is good for winter.
A refreshing face toner and a hydrating face toner will save done for you.
The characteristics of this skin type are redness, burning sensations and itchiness. These characteristics could be as a result of alcohol intake, hot water, human touch and even skincare products.
The recommended face toner would be a gentle one. Irritants such as alcohol, parabens and acids such as salicylic acid should not be part of your product’s ingredients.
Opt for products with anti-inflammatory ingredients and antioxidants. Ingredients like glycerin, tea extract, sea whip, and beta glucans should be chosen. Aloe vera and chamomile, ingredients derived from plants, decreases redness and inflammation of the skin.
If you have mature skin, look for face toners that have hydrating and antioxidant ingredients. A few of them are sodium PCA, glycerin, rose water, lecithin, hyaluronic acid etc.
Pointers to Buying a Good Face Toner
Read the Ingredients
So far, we’ve listed certain ingredients that aren’t suitable for your skin. So use that information and read up the ingredients of the product. When you see those ingredients not suitable for your skin, avoid them.
Alcohol is one ingredient you don’t want in your face toner. It dries out the skin, giving it an aged look.
Fragrances usually cause irritations to the skin. So it is important to keep away from them. They carry such names as “clarifiers”, “fresheners” or “parfums”. Citrus fruits and rose water are examples of such fragrances.
Avoid astringents such as menthol, witch hazel, calamine lotion and alcohol. They reduce the normal oil level of the skin and cause irritations. This is for all skin types.
Do a 24-hour Patch Test
Before you finally apply any face toner, ensure you carry out the 24-hour patch test. Apply a sample to a part of your skin and observe within 24 hours if there’s any irritation. If there’s none, then you can go ahead and use it.
Don’t Buy from a Drug Store
It is advisable that you go to a beauty store when you want to buy a face toner. Toners found in drug stores usually contain astringents, which won’t do your face any good.
Don’t Do Cheap
Cheap products aren’t always a bargain. It could mean they contain harmful ingredients, substandard and not fit for use.
Nevertheless, an expensive face toner doesn’t equal quality. Yet, toners of high quality are usually pricier than those with lower quality.
How to Apply a Face Toner
i. After using your cleanser, wash your face with warm water.
ii. Splash cold water on your face prior to applying the face toner.
iii. Pick two cotton balls or pads and saturate it with your face toner.
iv. Apply it all over your face. You could also use it on your neck and décolletage.
v. Use other beauty products as you desire immediately the toner is dry.
NOTE: To get the best out of your toner, it is advisable to wait for about a minute or more after cleansing.
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