Since my childhood days I have been hearing my elders saying if you want to get beautiful, glowing skin you have to religiously follow the three most basic steps i.e. Cleansing, Toning and Moisturizing (CTM).
At that time I didn’t pay heed to this priceless piece of advice. But as I grew older I came to realize how true they were! Then I started to incorporate this systematically into my daily routine. And after that, I never looked back as my skin has grown beautiful by maintaining this habit regularly.
Now don’t get surprised. I’m telling you the truth! It’s the reality, not fiction. But let me guess you regularly follow the cleansing and moisturizing part and skip the toning part, right? Then you are seriously making a huge mistake darling!
Toning is as much important as the other two steps. Skipping a toner can lead your skin to severe blackheads and whiteheads. To get a thorough idea of toners and how they work, go through this full article. Then let’s move forward without mincing any further words:
What a facial toner actually is?
The increasing environmental pollution, all day long running and jumping, lots of make-up products are gradually making your skin dirty and dull. A simple face cleanser cannot always remove all the dirt and grime. As a result, the residue of those make-up products, dirt, and dead cells remain causing blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores.
A toner gives you relief from all these issues. A facial toner generally is a transparent liquid just like water. It packs together different acids, antioxidants, glycerin and anti-inflammatories. To put it simply, a facial toner is an extremely lightweight fast-penetrating fluid that gives your skin a quick surge of hydration by removing all the impurities and dead cells off the surface of your skin.
It retains the natural acidic state of your skin and as it pulls out all the filthiness of your skin, it easily absorbs the other skincare products. Dry skin, being brittle and flaky like a dried-up sponge, is never ideal for applying different nutritious skincare products.
Dry skin never soaks up anything. But when it gets moistened by a soothing facial toner it easily absorbs all the nutrition with which you generally feed your skin. A toner ensures you that by working as an undercoat for the rest of your skin-care regimen. Consequently, you get a healthy, radiant and glowing skin.
When to use it?
A toner should be used just after cleansing. For optimum benefits you should include it in both day and night time skin care routine. If you have your make-up on, double cleanse your skin. Then exfoliate your skin with a mild scrubber.
After that, wipe your face with a toner depending on your skin type. Toner will eliminate all the unnecessary oils and any other residue of make-up, dirt, and grime. Toner completes the cleansing process and gives you a quick hit of hydration.
It also helps your skin to easily soak in the other skin care products. Immediately after applying a facial toner go for other nourishing serum, eye cream, and sunscreen to get flawless skin.
How to apply a facial toner?
Applying toner is very easy and simple. After cleansing your face, take a cotton pad and make it damp with few drops of toner. Then gently wipe your face with that moistened cotton pad. Always begin at the center of your face and then sweep the cotton pad outward with gentle care.
While doing this, always avoid the eye and lips area. Don’t forget your neck area. Take some more amount of toner into that cotton pad and glide it on your neck area to remove the dirt and impurities.
You can also apply a toner simply with your hands. In that case, just take some drops of toner into your palms and tap it gently onto your skin. Don’t rub just tenderly pat it evenly on your skin.
Some toners come in a spray bottle. With this type of toner, you don’t need a cotton pad or your hands. Just keep the bottle at some distance from your face and then spray it until you feel the cool soothing effect. These spray toners are quite handy to use any time without any hassle.
Types of toners
Yes! Toners don’t come with just one variation. It has four different types which are:
1. Skin bracers or fresheners
These are very gentle and mild and are made for normal to dry skin people. Generally, these contain water, glycerin, and very little amount of alcohol. Glycerin helps to restore moisture in the upper layer of skin’s surface by resisting it from evaporating. As a result, the skin feels a quick rush of moisture over it.
Example: Rose water.
2. Skin Tonics
Tonics are stronger than skin fresheners. In it, the quantity of alcohol is higher than the previous one. The other ingredients are water and humectants (in most of the cases glycerin). These are suitable for combination, normal, and oily skin types.
3. Acid Toner
These strong toners usually contain alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). These are made to exfoliate skin chemically. These toners generally come with glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid.
In these toners, the concentrations of these acids are generally lower than any other chemical peels or lotions. After applying an acid toner your skin generally may sting for a couple of seconds and these are not suitable for sensitive skin. If you have acne-prone skin then acid toners will be a great help for you.
These contain the high proportion of alcohols (generally 20-60%). The main ingredients of these are isopropyl, water, and glycerin. These are targeted at the extremely oily and acne-prone skin.
Astringents cleanse the skin by removing excessive oil and also tighten pores. But these have side effects. As these have a high amount of alcohol it can be a risk for skin’s protective lipids and proteins.
How to choose a toner?
Each and every one of us has different skin types. Some have extremely dry skin, some have extremely oily skin, some have normal skin and some have other different types of skin. One single toner cannot be effective for everyone. To get the maximum benefit you have to choose a toner depending on your skin type. If you are confused then let me help!
For oily skin: If your skin is excessively oily then you should go for an alcohol-free toner. Choose one which has gentle exfoliation properties to remove the excess oil, dirt, and dead cells. You can opt for Plum Green Tea Alcohol-Free toner which will remove the excess oil from your skin.
For dry skin: It is needless to say that dry skin needs extra moisturization and hydration. Most cleansers tend to strip off the skin from its natural moisture. If your skin is dry then cleansers make skin drier no matter how gentle cleanser you are using.
So immediately after washing your skin, it will need some hydration. Choose a toner that has nourishing and moisturizing ingredients. For example, you can use Biotique Cucumber Water Toner to give your skin the extra moisture.
For acne-prone skin: Acnes are irritating, right? If you have acne-prone skin (which is very common in these days!) you have to use toner which can properly cleanse your skin to unclog the pores. Choose a toner that has salicylic acid as its main ingredient. The best for this case is Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action clear.
For combination skin: To find a toner for combination skin is a bit tricky. Combination skin beauties generally have some parts which are excessively oily such as the T-zone area, and some parts are too dry such as the cheek areas. So you have to find out a toner which can balance these two extremities. Kaya Purifying Toner can address your problem.
For sensitive skin: If you have sensitive skin then go for a mild toner which is alcohol-free. The toners which have alcohol can give you a burning sensation. So always maintain a distance from toners that have alcohol.
You should also stay away from any harsh chemicals. If you have issues with sensitive skin, invest in RE’EQUIL Pore Refining Face Toner, Alcohol-Free Toner for Sensitive Skin, and experience relief from irritation.
For normal skin: If you are blessed with normal skin then pick any hydrating alcohol-free toner. For example, you can choose Lotus Herbals Basil tone Cucumber Basil Clarifying and Balancing toner.
For ageing skin: If you have a mature and ageing skin you should choose a toner which is super hydrating and nourishing. O3+ Hydrating Moisture Toner Tonic will be an appropriate choice for you.
Benefits of using a facial toner
Toners have multiple benefits such as
Maintaining skin’s pH balance
Our skin is acidic in nature. Its pH balance lies between five and six in a scale between 0-14. But when we apply face-wash or cleanser this pH-balance gets disturbed as these cleansers, soaps are alkaline in nature. As a result after washing face your skin works overtime to maintain the natural balance which leads to producing excessive sebum i.e. more oil. But as a toner is also acidic in nature it can quickly restore the pH balance of your skin.
Enlarged pores are serious problems for oily and mature skin. Toners help to shrink enlarged pores. Increased sebum production is the main reason for enlarged pores. This problem becomes severe when these large pores are clogged with oil, dirt and other impurities. So deep cleansing is the ultimate solution. After washing and exfoliating, you should definitely swipe your face with toner. This will remove all the impurities and as a result your pores will appear smaller.
Toners work as a protective layer for skin. A cool, soothing toner closes pores and tightens cell gaps. So the risk of penetrating different impurities gets cancelled. A good toner also eliminates chlorines and minerals residing in tap water.
Nourishes and moisturizes
Toners also work great by providing nourishment and moisture to the skin. Toners have humectants as its ingredients. These humectants seals moisture in the surface layer of the skin by preventing it to evaporate. So a toner in a word nourishes skin by providing the necessary moisture.
Wakens up skin
Toner refreshes and soothes. When you feel low just wash your face and sprinkle some soothing toner, you will feel rejuvenated and your skin will wake up and beam with joy.
Prevents ingrown hairs
Yes! Toners can also do this magic! The ingredients like glycolic acid and alpha hydroxy acids help to prevent ingrown hairs. For this you can get a glowing smooth skin.
Acnes are common problem for girls. Using toner regularly can give relief from acne and pimples. For this you have to use toners which have active ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide to prevent and cure acne.
Makes skin ready for other skin care products
Studies have shown that dry skins is brittle and crusty and it does not allow absorbing any other products. But when it gets damp by a toner it becomes ideal for soaking in other skin care products. After washing applying a toner prepares your skin to soak nutrition from products like essential oils or serums.
Toners are great benefactors of your skin. Frankly speaking it does not have any side effects at all. But if you overuse a toner probably you will feel skin irritation. Don’t go for a toner which has high concentration of alcohol as it will redden and irritate your skin.
At first observe your skin minutely and note down the problems which you have at present. Then go for picking one which can solve all your problems, not those which will add other problems to your skin.
Do you really need a toner?
Surely toners are essential for your skin. There cannot be any doubt regarding that! It completes the cleansing process. Most of the time even after washing face with cleansers the impurities remain within our skin.
The oil, dirt, and grime clog your pores and it results in unhealthy looking skin, blackheads and whiteheads. A toner significantly helps to cure these problems as it works wonder by removing all those extra oil, dirt, and impurities. So ladies, toners are absolutely useful and necessary for your skin!
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Hence there’s no need to get confused. It’s clear like crystal that a toner is extremely necessary for your skin. With consistent use, you will get soft glowing skin. The problems like large pores, acne, fine lines, and skin dehydration will be shooed away by using a good toner.
Just observe your skin, its problems, and search for a toner which can deal with all your issues. And I’m pretty sure that you will find your magical toner as there are myriads of toners available in the market made for different skins and their different problems. Then honey, do hurry and go get your toner!