We’re all familiar with the idea of the three-step skincare routine – cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Today’s skincare routines can include a few more steps, which makes it tempting to skip out on the ones you don’t think are completely necessary.
When you’ve got all your skincare products lined up on the counter, standing there like contestants on a reality show waiting to see which one will be eliminated, the toner is almost always the underdog. You’ve been told you should use it, but you’ve never really understood what it does. For that matter, you’re not sure you’ve noticed the benefits.
This is because toners are arguably one of the most misunderstood skincare products. They’re the awkward middle step and often used so inconsistently that it’s hard to gauge the benefits.
I’m just going to say it. Toners are an essential part of a healthy skin care routine and are deserving of all the love your other skincare products receive. Maybe it’s time to clear the cloud of misinformation and talk about what exactly facial toners do, and why they’re such an important step.
What Do Facial Toners Do?
A well-formulated toner should help to restore and maintain the skin’s pH balance, which is crucial to preventing a myriad of skin issues. Toners also lift those pesky dead skin cells that stick to the skin’s surface, resulting in the appearance of dull, somewhat lifeless skin. Well formulated toners also help set the stage for any products which follow, increasing the absorption and efficacy of serums and moisturizers.
Unfortunately, many toners are marketed as a secondary step to be used after cleansing to strip the skin of any remaining oil and provide a “squeaky clean” feeling. Alcohol is a common – and potentially harmful – ingredient.
Unfortunately, these types of toners often do more harm than good. Harsh toners that contain alcohol often damage or disrupt the skin’s natural lipid barrier, stripping skin of its ability to protect itself from environmental damage and toxins. Toners marketed for oily and acne-prone skin ironically can cause the skin to produce more oil to make up for the dryness created by harsh ingredients.
Benefits of Using a Toner
When we talk about what a properly formulated toner does, you want to know about the results you’re going to see and feel.
Toners Shrink Pores: Ok, maybe not permanently (since pores don’t open and close) but using a toner will minimize the appearance of large pores no matter what your skin type. This is a benefit for people with oily skin who are often plagued with larger pores, and for people with other skin types who may have larger pores due to genetics or past skin issues. OZNaturals Ocean Mineral Toning Mist contains glycolic acid to keep pore-clogging buildup at bay.
Restores Proper pH Balance. Contrary to what many believe, our skin isn’t naturally neutral in terms of pH. Instead, it’s slightly acidic, with healthy skin measuring between a 5 and 6 on the pH scale. Cleansers, especially those that are more alkaline, can shift the pH and cause problems. Toners restore the pH back to its natural state before you use any other products on your skin.
Toners Add a Layer of Protection: No matter how well you care for your skin, it still undergoes something that can only be described as an assault on a daily basis. Not only does your skin deal with all the cosmetics you use, including the harsher ingredients and fragrances many of them contain, there are also environmental factors, like air pollution, chemicals in your home and workplace, and the good old sun. While a toner helps clear away debris, it also adds an additional protective layer against all the elements your skin is exposed to daily.
Proper Moisturization: All skin needs moisture. A good toner also moisturizes the skin and does so in a way that’s beneficial for your skin – as long as you’re using an alcohol-free toner that’s formulated for your skin type.
Taking Steps to Put Your Best Face Forward
Every step of your skincare routine should play a part in making your skin look and feel healthy and vibrant. A high-quality, gentle toner that’s designed for your skin type is an important part of this process. A great toner can help your skin look and feel amazing – something that will boost your self-confidence and enable you to put your best, most beautiful face forward.