Many of us have probably heard of the debate: Is toning a necessary step in skin cleansing? Just what do toners do and how should it be incorporated into our daily skincare regime?
Firstly, let us have a better understanding of types of toners we find in the market. Most of us probably think that a toner is a lotion. A lotion is an astringent. It all works the same way, to tone the skin after washing it. A better explanation would be that the toner helps to balance the skin’s pH level after cleansing. It also removes any make-up or dirt that is left behind after cleansing.
Toners are mostly clear and colorless liquid (sometimes colored) and most toners available are made up of mainly aqua (water) and other ingredients known to help soothe the skin. Astringents contain alcohol and these are usually for oily or combination skin. Lotions are lighter fluids, heavier than toners and lighter than creams. Skin refreshers are alcohol-free, and this is good for dry skin as it helps to moisturize it.
The balancing of the skin’s pH level is important. It is ideal to keep it at a pH level of 5.5, as being neutral does not invite bacteria and gives resistance to infection.
Find a good balancing toner that helps to lower the pH of the skin after cleansing. The second function is of course, to help remove residue from cleansing, as a second wipe usually helps to clean the face better.
Most cleansers that have a higher pH value can remove the oil on our skin. On the other hand, it can also cause your skin to be very dry. If your skin feels a little dry and tight after washing, it is an indication that your cleanser is on the high pH end. By using a toner, you risk having your skin succumb to dryness. Slightly moisturized skin also works better in absorbing cremes and moisturizers.
Some facial cremes have natural ingredients that help to “balance” the skin after cleansing are rose extract, aloe, natural oils. Alternatively, choose a facial wash that has a neutral pH level. With this, skipping the step of using a toner could then work for you.
Be sure to find a toner that suits you well. For people with dry skin, you may wish to use toners with soothing ingredients like rose, chamomile, etc. For oily skin folks, toners with witch hazel, tea tree oil and citrus extracts can help to reduce the oiliness. Always remember, listen to your skin. It gives u the best clues to how to maintain it well.