It is natural to have many terms thrown at you when you go shopping for skincare products. One of the terms you frequently get to hear is a toner. For many years now, there has been an intense debate between dermatologists and estheticians about whether a toner is necessary for the face, whether it beneficial or it is harmful to the health of your skin. The fact is the proper facial skin care requires you to regularly clean and moisturize your skin. At the same time, though, facial toners also play an important role in ensuring that you have a healthy and clean facial skin. From using homemade toner made from rose water or lavender to buying branded toner, there is a wide variety of toners that are available today. Let us take a look at some of the benefits of using a toner for your skin.
What is a Toner?
A face toner is an absorbing liquid that should be used before moisturizing and after cleansing your face. A toner helps remove excess dirt, traces of makeup and oil, corrects and balances the pH of your skin, and may also help control acne.
A facial toner thoroughly cleans your skin and removes any built-up surface dead skin cells. Since it helps to clean and close pores on the skin, a toner is especially beneficial for people with acne-prone skin.
Benefits of Using A Toner For Your Skin
Here are some benefits of using a facial toner.
Toners Nurture and Purify the Skin
Many toners are rich in ingredients that help hydrate your skin, rather than strip the moisture of the skin. You can find ingredients like:
- Mineral water
- Kelp extract
- Amino acids
- Hyaluronic acid
- Carrot root oil
- Grapeseed oil
Many companies also rely on extracts of chamomile(1) and propolis(2), which have natural antibacterial properties, keeping bacteria at bay from your skin, while also maintaining the skin’s pH level.
Toners are considered to be an essential skincare step, especially after a double cleanse since toners help remove any impurities that the cleaners didn’t manage to catch. For extracting the best results from your toner, you should first clean your face with a makeup remover and an oil-based cleanser. Then follow up with a water-based cleanser. After this, you can lightly soak a cotton ball with toner and wipe your skin with it properly. If your double cleanse process has left behind any hint of bacteria or dirt, then a toner will definitely get rid of it.
Benefits of Toners in Balancing the pH of Your Skin
As mentioned above, a toner is made up of many beneficial and moisturizing ingredients. This composition of a toner is important because they help restore your skin’s pH level. Your skin’s pH level should be around 5.5.(3) However, oil production, makeup, pollution, and alcohol tends to shift your skin’s natural pH level and its overall state.
Toners try to mimic the skin’s natural pH, and most of them have a pH range between 5.0 to 5.5. By applying toners directly to your skin after cleansing, you boost your skin and encourage it to maintain a balanced state.
Remember that if your skin is not at a balanced pH level, then it is more prone to have excess dryness or too much oil production and may even be more prone to environmental damage. Even pure water has a pH of 7, which means that just cleansing your face with faucet water can also leave your skin with an unbalanced pH. This is why toners are an essential step in your skincare routine.
There are many toxins that impact the appearance and health of your skin. These toxins can even come from industrially made chemicals contained in many skincare products. Facial toners help detoxify your skin as it removes environmental toxins such as smog, smoke, and other types of chemical residues from your skin. This helps your skin appear brighter and healthier.
The long-term benefit of using a toner for detoxification purposes also means that you will experience less acne, lesser scarring from acne, and fewer wrinkles and fine lines.
Benefits of Toner in Tightening and Shrinkage of Pores
When you have large facial pores, they allow more oil, toxins, and dirt to enter your skin. This leads to infections and irritation.
Facial toners help tighten these facial pores, allowing lesser toxins and oils to settle over your skin. Toners also help reduce the appearance of these pores over time. This leads to a cleaner, fresher, and less oily looking appearance, while also preventing the appearance of acne.
Facilitates Absorption Of Other Skin Products
If you think of your skin to be like a sponge, then imagine what happens when you try to rehydrate it after it is all dried up. Moisturizers and other treatments or products will only get fully absorbed when your skin is prepped with a toner, rather than when the skin is left dry.
If you have dry skin, then products such as masks, serums, and moisturizers, will just sit on the topmost layer of your skin, which is usually just dead skin. When you hydrate your skin, and it is at a balanced pH after the application of a toner, then it is possible for all these other products to penetrate your skin.
Reduction in Acne
People who regularly experience acne are well aware of how painful and unsightly acne can be. Not to mention that it also leaves behind the unsightly scars. Acne also causes your skin to appear dull, more oily and leaves the skin with an unbalanced pH. When you use a facial toner to remove the oil buildup, makeup residue, and dead skin cells, it helps reduce facial blemishes and acne. It also helps prevent or at least delay future breakouts of acne.
Nourishment and Hydration
As mentioned above also, facial toners provide moisturization or hydration to your skin. Hydration is necessary for maintaining elasticity, moisture, smoothness, brightness, and a more youthful appearance of your skin. If your skin is adequately hydrated, it also decreases the signs of aging. It also provides an excellent base for the application of facial cosmetics.
Many facial toners are enriched with many vitamins and essential skin nutrients that keep your skin balanced and healthy.
Not all facial toners are the same, though. There are many brands of toners that end up stripping the moisture from your skin. These are usually the toners that contain alcohol. You can also try making your own facial toner at home using natural ingredients such as rose water. These are also known for rebalancing your skin’s pH level and providing hydration.
With so many benefits for your skin, facial toners are a must-have for healthy and balanced skin.
- Srivastava, J.K., Shankar, E. and Gupta, S., 2010. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future. Molecular medicine reports, 3(6), pp.895-901.
- Grange, J.M. and Davey, R.W., 1990. Antibacterial properties of propolis (bee glue). Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 83(3), pp.159-160.
- skin, S. (2020). Skin care for acne-prone skin. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279208/ [Accessed 6 Jan. 2020].