Think about your skincare regiment in the morning. What do you use? If you’re like most people, you probably use a cleanser, a moisturizer, and maybe some sunscreen before you start putting on your makeup. But you’re missing a vital step in there: toner.
Now, toner has fallen out of style. From beauty blogs to personal use, more and more people are leaving out the essential part of daily routines. People are sick of being cheated by companies putting out products no one needs so they get more money, and the ever-mystifying toner has borne the brunt of our “love it or leave it” trends. It’s time to stop leaving it, because once you start using it, you’ll love it.
First, toner balances your pH level. pH levels measure the acidity or alkalinity of a substance via it’s potential for Hydrogen. Your face naturally is slightly acidic, just past the neutral point. However, in order to remove excess oils, dirt, and germs, you can’t use an acid; it won’t clear it away, so most traditional cleansers are made to be alkaline. This is great for getting stuff clean, but it can be detrimental in the long run. You skin will either dry out, turn red, and be irritated all the time, or it will start producing more oil to combat the alkalization, and you can break out even worse. Adding a toner will stop these bad reactions before they start by getting your skin back to its natural levels.
Second, toners absorb all the stuff you don’t want left on your skin. Cleansers and exfoliators alike have come a long way in the past 30 years, but they’re not perfect. Not only do they leave tiny traces of makeup behind, the water you use to remove it leaves trace amounts of the soap itself behind, as well as chlorine, minerals, and other chemicals found in the tap. Toner gathers all of this up and bind to it to prevent it from getting into your skin.
Even better, toner removes excess sebum and prevents acne. Sebum is a natural oil which helps lubricate your baby hair as they grow. When the pore gets blocked by something, such as dead skin or bacteria, that sebum accumulates beneath the surface, creating pimples. By removing excess sebum inside the pores, via an astringent toner, it slows sebum production and buildup and shrinks pores, making it harder for the pore to be blocked.
Next, toners moisturize, or what we like to refer to them as, humectant. This means they bind moisture to the skin, drawing it from the outside environment. At the end of the day, the addition of a toner will aid your moisturizer greatly, leaving you with all round longer lasting hydration.
Finally, it adds another barrier between your skin and the unhappy toxins from your other products. Even if you’ve completely removed toxic makeup from your kit, you can’t prevent yourself from being exposed to toxins. There are thousands of pollutants in the air itself, just waiting for something to bind to. An unprotected face is a great landing platform for those toxins, which get absorbed into your body. Using a toner helps fill in pores and close them up instead of letting in the toxic chemicals, and stops dirt and other bacteria from getting in, as well.
Toner is a wonderful item and it’s definitely worth dropping the few extra dollars for a good product. It boosts everything else in your routine, so don’t just leave it on the shelf.