What is a facial toner?
Toners are water-like skincare products, which should be used after you've washed your face but before using your serum or moisturiser. Acids, glycerin, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories are probable ingredients you will find in toners.
Scientifically speaking, a toner is a fast-absorbing liquid that hydrates the skin while also removing dead skin cells from the surface. In response, your skin will become moisturised, plump, and radiant.
But, aren’t they super drying?
A toner's original purpose was to fully cleanse the skin, and they were frequently made to be quite astringent in order to eliminate any remnants of oil or dirt. They were once touted as a Holy Grail solution for acne sufferers since they were supposed to remove excess oil from the skin.
However, those products used to have high alcohol concentrations and were consequently quite drying. As a result, rather than curing acne, they exacerbated flare-ups. Today's toners, on the other hand, are almost alcohol-free and contain a variety of brightening, relaxing, and anti-ageing substances.
While contemporary toners may still eliminate traces of dirt, they're designed to nourish and rejuvenate the face after cleaning and serve as a primer for the remainder of your skincare products.
Should only teens be using a toner?
Because toners were originally meant to remove all traces of oil from the skin, they were marketed as anti-acne products. So, naturally, it’s easy to assume that pubescent teens with acne would be the target audience.
But, it’s important to note that toners have evolved a lot since they were originally made. The alcohol in them stripped the skin of all its oil content - including essential natural oils present in the skin. The result? The skin had to work extra hard to replenish the essential oils. This gave rise to more acne.
Besides, teens aren’t the only ones who get acne. Hormonal acne (or adult acne) results from a hormonal imbalance in your body and it can affect anybody at any age. So, if your concern is acne, you will find toners that work brilliantly without stripping your skin bare.
And, thanks to the huge range of toners in the market, there is one to address almost any skin concern - be it acne, ageing signs, dry or dull skin and oily or combination skin. But, before we get into the kind of toners you should pick out for your particular skin concern, let’s look at the benefits of using facial toner.
What are the benefits of using facial toner?
Toners have major benefits that justify their addition to your skincare regime.
- Provides protection - Toners operate by filling up any spaces between skin cells, reducing the danger of pollutants getting into the skin.
- Minimizes the appearance of pores - Your skin seems smoother and more polished when pores appear smaller, and facial toner aids in the creation of a gorgeous, glowing look.
- Clears impurities - Toner eliminates oil, germs, debris, and traces of makeup from the skin. It also eliminates any dirt, contaminants, or dust that may have remained after a cleaner was used.
- Maintains pH level of the skin - With a pH of roughly 4.7, skin is inherently acidic and, certain soaps and cleansers are naturally alkaline. Using a product that has a pH level that is significantly different from your skin's might cause irritation, oiliness or dryness. Although the pH of your skin gets restored in some hours, you can apply a toner to swiftly get it done.
- Restore skin nutrients - Toners do more than merely clean your skin. They also act to replenish the nutrients that regular cleansers might strip away from your skin, making it softer and smoother.
- Helps tighten the skin temporarily - Facial toner is a fantastic skin rejuvenator that makes skin seem tighter and firmer, and you'll see a difference right away once you start using it twice a day.
- Provides a soothing and refreshing effect - Starting your day with a spritz of toner is a terrific way to get your skin ready. It gives your skin a relaxing and invigorating sensation, reducing any transient redness or irritation.
- Helps skin retain hydration - Facial toners are naturally moisturising and aid in the absorption of your chosen moisturiser.
- Improves absorption of subsequent products - When your face is dry, other substances will merely sit on top, therefore using a toner might help your skin absorb other products better. The ingredients can permeate the skin and perform more effectively when it is moistened with toner.
How to pick a toner based on your skin concern?
Based on your skin concern, you should opt for toners that are formulated with ingredients that can treat those issues.
- Sensitive acne-prone skin - Opt for a toner with skin-calming natural and essential ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide and others that are specifically potent against sensitive and acne-prone skin - like the Carmesi Pore-Clarifying Toner.
- Dull skin - Toners containing natural exfoliants such as lactic acid and papaya extracts are excellent for illuminating the face. You might also check for ones that contain vitamin C or potato extracts. Also, any with alcohol mentioned as one of the first five components should be avoided as they can make your skin dry and dull.
- Large pores - To minimise the appearance of pores, use a toner with glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids to remove dead cells that build around the pores and make them appear larger.
- Oily skin - All toners can assist with excess oil, but a mattifying toner with glycolic acid, witch hazel, or salicylic acid will have the most benefit. If you want to minimise the appearance of your pores and alleviate oil congestion, niacinamide is also a fantastic substance to consider.
- Mature or sun-damaged skin - To help retain moisturize and calm irritated skin, look for toners that contain antioxidants and moisturizing components like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, rose water, and citrus extracts. Retinol is a fantastic ingredient for fighting the signs of ageing.
- Dry skin - In a toner for dry skin, amino acids, fermented yeast, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and vitamin E are excellent elements. These are humectants, which moisturize the skin by attracting water molecules and locking them to your skin.
- Combination skin - You'll need a toner that will eliminate extra oil while also keeping your skin nourished. In your toner, look for hydrating antioxidants and mild acids like lactic acid, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid.
How do you incorporate facial toners into your skincare routine?
The best times to incorporate your toner are after cleansing your face, and before applying your serum or moisturizer, both in the morning and evening. If your skin is too sensitive, use it only once at night.
The most ideal way to apply a toner is by spritzing it on your face if the bottle comes with a spray attached to it. Otherwise, you can take it on a cotton pad and apply it evenly all over your face.
Toners are far from what they used to be (rich in alcohol), so don't be scared to give one a try. But, If you have a skin condition that is easily irritated, such as rosacea, talk to a dermatologist about the best components to use.