We love simplicity. Even though we sell skincare, we are always looking for more streamlined routines and less steps.
So, it's only natural that we contemplate whether we really need toners.
Really...do we need a toner?
The short answer is, yeah, we do.
Here, we're gonna explain it to you so that you understand their purpose instead of just buying extra items because someone behind a counter told you to. Maybe if you understand, you'll be more convinced.
To explain the reasons to tone, we'll need to take a look at the history of toners.
Toners used to be needed to further clean the skin after cleansing - like part two of your face wash.
This is because we were using petroleum-based cleansers that left icky residues on the surface of our skin.
But since the clean beauty wave, this is no longer the case. Using a petroleum-free cleanser will not leave a residue, so this action is no longer part of the function of a toner.
Ummmm....I thought you said we need a toner...doesn't this argue otherwise?
Hear us out.
Nowadays, toners are for deeply TREATING the skin, not just cleaning it.
Toners now are designed to hydrate, balance pH and tighten pores. They are incredibly beneficial for these reasons.
A good toner should have specific benefits and be used as a treatment. For example, Calendula Hydrosol is a great toner for calming inflammation, whereas a toner with Rosehip water is healing and regenerating.
Those of us who want to prevent breakouts or bacterial infection can use Pine Mint Skin Tonic as a toner because of its disinfecting properties.
Note: We never recommend alcohol-based toners as they are drying, stripping and irritating.
And while toners seem less important than our coveted cleansers or must-have moisturizers - they're still a good investment. They're a concentrated water portion of the essential oil, water, protein equation we need for our skin.
Toners and Absorption
Toners aren't just good to treat specific beauty problems, they also help with skin absorption.
When our skin tissue is moist, it becomes more absorbent so as toners hydrate, they help the skin absorb cream or lotion more deeply.
Think of your complexion like a sponge. When it's slightly moist it sops up liquid much easier than a dry, hardened one.
Hydration begets hydration, as it were. Many may think this can be done by simply applying moisturizer to a wet face.
But water does not provide the pH balancing that a formulated toner does, making its less hydrating. With this, healthy skin PH (5.0-5.6) helps to fight breakouts and acne because germs don’t like and won't grow in acidic environments.
This makes for more beautiful, balanced and clear complexions.
Then there's the question of "to cotton or not to cotton?"
Some people love the feeling of using a cotton pad to apply their toner - it makes them feel clean. But remember the purpose of toners today.
We think it is unnecessary to use cotton as it's extra waste consumption and product is lost in the pad itself.
Because toning should be for hydration, not wiping away dirt, misting the skin or patting it into the skin is best.
We like the press and release action of palming it on because it increases circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage.
So, if you were unclear about the role of your toner before, we hope you've gotten some insight to its purposes.
Now when you tone after cleansing, think of the care you are giving your skin and feel a wee bit of toner pride.
Image by Lucas Sankey via Unsplash