Due to outdated information regarding ‘what does A facial toner do’ facial toners have become a confusing category of skincare items. Because of this misperception, many fashion magazines, dermatologists, and even people employed in the cosmetics industry advise against the use of toners or simply mark it as a side step in the skincare routine.
This is a discouraging fact because a well-formulated facial toner can provide truly amazing benefits for your skin.
Once you understand how toners work and get the answer to the “What does facial toner do?” question, you will definitely want to use one.
Also, when you know which ingredients in some toners might be bad for your skin or which ingredients are essential to achieve a healthy, radiant glow, you will see that applying a toner can be the perfect addition to your skincare routine.
What Does A Facial Toner Do? Benefits of Facial Toners
As said above, with the popularity of micellar solutions, masks, peels, concentrates, and serums, one step of skincare has become neglected, albeit unjustifiably.
Toners or tonics are intended for use after cleansing the face, and before applying the serum and moisturizer. Their action helps to prepare the skin for better absorption of active ingredients from the serum and cream.
Toners were once recommended as a way to restore the natural pH balance after using soap or a solid cleanser because these types of products raise the skin’s natural pH to a level that is not good for your skin. You should use dermatologist-recommended face cleansing brushes for safe results.
However, with today’s gentle water-soluble cleansers, the pH of the skin does not change significantly and the fact that the skin’s pH is restored on its own does not require the toner to restore the skin’s pH.
Today we know that, after cleansing your skin with a top-rated facial cleansing brush, you need to use a range of ingredients that regenerate and repair its surface. The skin can never get too many of these important ingredients, which include antioxidants and skin-repairing substances such as glycerin, fatty acids, and ceramides.
The right tonic can give your skin the healthy dose of ingredients it needs to look younger and fresh right after cleansing, but also throughout the day.
One of the tasks of a good toner is to shrink the enlarged pores. Enlarged pores allow the accumulation of impurities, excess sebum, and toxins, which enter the skin through them.
This results in irritations, inflammation, and infections. Toners help to narrow your pores, preventing the entry of impurities into them, achieving a smoother surface of the skin that is less oily.
Another task is detoxification. Many toxins from our environment negatively affect our skin. Those include CO2 emission from the traffic, factory smoke, and chemicals we come in contact with almost on a daily basis.
Toners help remove toxins from the surface of the skin and clean up any chemical residues that are not even visible to the naked eye. The skin then becomes fresher and more radiant, and in the long run less prone to acne and premature aging.
Finally, the new generation toners no longer make your skin dry but provide the necessary hydration, which is crucial in maintaining elasticity, smoothness, moisture, and a youthful appearance.
Proper hydration will slow down the appearance of signs of aging and prepare the skin for the active ingredients from the serum and care cream.
Many toners also contain vitamins and other nutrients for skin health, thus adding a protective layer on the surface of the skin that prevents the penetration of pollution from the environment.
What Are The Differences Between Toners?
It is not easy to find the perfect facial toner for your skin, mainly because there are so many poorly formulated toners. Basically, toners can be divided into 3 general types:
These products often include “astringents“. If you check the ingredients, you will probably see “hamamelis”. You should avoid toners with alcohol and astringent ingredients as they cause free radical damage resulting in skin irritation. These also impair your skin’s ability to repair itself and produce healthy collagen.
Water and glycerin or glycol-based formulas
These toners may contain fragrant extracts such as rose water or citrus fruits. These types of toners are often declared as fresheners or cleansers and are just something more than cologne for your face. Such overly fragrant tonics are a common cause of skin-damaging reactions.
You definitely want to buy this toner! These products are full of beneficial ingredients such as skin repair substances, antioxidants, and cellular communicators like niacinamide. These are the only types of toners we recommend.
Which Type of Toner I should Use?
If the tonic is well formulated, we strongly recommend including a toner as one of the essential parts of a cleansing routine because the benefits can be felt and seen almost instantly. You can also take suggestions from your facialist.
On the other hand, do not use a toner that contains irritating ingredients such as alcohol, citrus, or excessively fragrant ingredients, regardless of whether the fragrance is synthetic or natural. Irritation damages the healing process of your skin and reduces the production of healthy collagen – two things you must avoid if you want to improve your skin!
If the tonic you are considering is full of great ingredients, then skipping this step is taking away the ingredients your skin needs to become healthier and look youthful! A toner that contains the most modern ingredients proven to smoothen, soften, soothe, and repair the skin is a wonderful addition to everyone’s skincare routine.
Facial Toners for Different Skin Types
As always, you must choose the correct type of facial toner in relation to your skin type and the types of facial you want. Even if the toner is an excellent, top-quality product, it might worsen the condition of your skin if it is not suitable for it. Let’s take a look at different types of toners regarding your skin.
Toners for Oily or Acne-prone Skin
If you have oily skin or it is prone to acne, you need to be especially careful when buying a facial toner. Almost without exception, toners that claim to be intended for this type and skin condition will not help.
Why are these products problematic? Most ointments for oily and acne-prone skin contain irritants (such as alcohol, hamamelis, or menthol), which harms the skin healing process, worsens acne, and, surprisingly, stimulates secretion at the base of the pores.
Using the wrong tonic on oily skin prone to acne guarantees you more oil, complete redness and longer-lasting red spots, and a possibly dry skin surface with oily skin underneath.
Toners that are best for oily or acne-prone skin are those whose ingredients help repair the skin’s surface, make the skin feel smoother, reduce enlarged pores, and contain cellular communicators that help “train” the pores to deal more effectively with excess oil.
For some skin types, especially in the summer or in warmer regions, a well-formulated toner may be the only “moisturizer” that oily skin needs!
Toners for Dry or Sensitive Skin
People with dry or sensitive skin usually stay away from tonics because of their dehydrating reputation. After all, the last thing dry, sensitive skin needs are irritants that make it even drier or irritated!
However, the right type of toner for dry or sensitive skin can make a significant difference: you’ll see less redness, less flaking, and your skin will feel soothed and comfortable. If you’re skeptical (we can’t blame you), give a chance to a well-formulated tonic – we bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your skin’s progress!
Mixed Skin Toners
If your skin is oily on your forehead, nose, and chin, and dry to normal on your cheeks and along your jaw, then you have the classic mixed or combined skin type. Using the wrong toner on combined skin will increase dry areas and make oily areas worse (this is twice as true if pimples and acne are present).
What is the solution? You need a gentle, alcohol-free tonic with ingredients that help normalize your skin so you see less dryness and reduced oiliness. By constantly using toners as parts of your complete skincare routine, you will also notice that enlarged pores become smaller.
Special Types of Facial Toners: Anti-aging And Sun Damage Repair Toners
A good toner can be a great option for anti-aging care. Also, specialized toners help repair sun damage while treating other problems along the way. In addition, some products help solve the pigmentation problem too.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the sub-category when buying these specialized facial toner products. Namely, you should look for mixed skin type anti-aging toner if you have mixed skin, i.e., dry skin sunburn repair toner if your skin is dry.
The Bottom Line
As we have pointed out above, when buying a facial toner or tonic, it is crucial to pay attention only to those products that treat your skin with nothing but beneficial ingredients. There is never, but never a reason to use a tonic with irritants, regardless of the claims on the label. This is especially true when it comes to alcohol.
A brilliantly formulated facial toner can be a valuable addition to your daily skincare routine, whether you’re worried about anti-aging care or struggling with dryness, excess sebum, sensitivity, or the dual nature of mixed skin.
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Last update on 2021-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API