Saturday, 31 December 2011

What is toner?

For a while now I've been wondering what toners are and if I should get involved with them. I'm by no means an expert, but I've tried doing some research and decided that I'd try to put something together that might help some of you!

What is a toner?
     A toner is another step in your skin care regimen. You use it after cleansing and it generally comes in a liquid form. Some need to be shaken up to mix the separated chemicals inside. You apply it on a cotton pad an sweep an even layer on your face. They can remove excess makeup, minimize the appearance of pores, remove excess oil, lock in moisture and even reduce the appearance of acne.

Not all toners serve the same purpose

  • Toners for dry skin act to lock in the moisture of the cleanser you use. It helps to reduce the amount of moisturizer you would normally need to use. These work well with milk cleansers.
  • Toners for oily skin act to remove any residue that might create more oil on your face. Be sure to look at the label on products. If you're a dry skin tone and use something meant for oily skin tones, it will actually make your skin even drier than it already is! Not good.
  • Toners for combination skin act to hydrate areas that are dry (ie. cheeks) and remove excess oils leftover from areas that are oily (ie. T-zone, or forehead, nose, chin).
Alcoholic components in toners
     Toners may contain a certain amount of alcohol while others may not. It would be a good habit to check the contents of the product to see how much alcohol it may contain.
  • Fresheners contain little to no alcohol. They're gentler on the skin and are better for sensitive or dry skin tones. 
  • Tonics are the middle ground. They contain a small amount of alcohol (up to 20%). They cover a wide range of skin tones; normal, combination, and a controllable oily tone.
  • Astringents contain 20-60% alcohol and should only be used on very oily skin tones. Be sure to only apply astringents on your problem spots. They are very drying and should be avoided by normal, dry and sensitive skin types.
Natural alternatives
  • Rosewater (freshener) for sensitive, dry and normal skin types as it is gentler on the skin.
  • Orange flower water  (tonic) for normal, combination and oily skin.
  • Witch hazel (astringent) for very oily skin.

     Not everyone needs to use a toner. Some cleansers don't leave residues on the face, or already provide the benefits listed above. I would encourage further research on toners if you're interested. A good place to look would be the websites of the brands you like to use, as they will likely carry toners as well. Some websites even have online surveys where you input your skin type and it creates a list of products that may work for you.

I hope this helped a little. Feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to add, or have found a particular toner that works for you (but please be sure to share your skin type!).

Until next time!
Happy New Year!

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