If you cut down your entire skin care routine to the most basic steps, you have cleanse, tone, and moisturize. You know so much about cleansing and moisturizing. You have your go-to products and know how to use them. Then there is toner – an important yet unpopular product for face care routine.

    Clear toner in transparent container

    Toner is the middleman between cleansers and serums or moisturizers. It helps enhance and support the effects of cleansers and moisturizers to improve your skin. The earliest formula of toners has a high concentration of alcohol, which can irritate your skin. While this might seem like a good formula for oily and acne-prone skin, this type of toner can cause skin damage.

    Toners are essential products in your skin care routine. There is a big difference in how your skin looks and feels when you use a toner. Most toners you can get today have gentle formulas and may even be alcohol-free. Discover what toners are and why they are important in your skin care routine.

    What Are Toners

    Toners have very thin consistency like water. They are often clear and colorless liquid applied after cleansing skin. Back in the ’90s, toners contain a large amount of alcohol, which can help remove makeup and excess oil from face. However, they cause a stinging sensation on skin. They can also cause dryness and irritation, which are signs of skin damage.

    Toners, in particular, are not made to cleanse skin. In fact, these products help improve your skin’s hydration. The formula for these products delivers water to the deeper layers of your skin. Since they have a very thin consistency, they reach the deeper layers of skin faster. This allows the formula to hydrate skin and make it plump again.

    Toner in an orange container

    The problem when you use moisturizers directly after cleansing is that most of the moisture doesn’t penetrate skin. The increased dryness and tight feeling on skin’s surface prevent moisture from absorbing into skin. A toner helps prep your skin, especially the pores, to absorb moisture.

    Toners are also made with a balanced pH level or a slightly acidic formula. This formula helps restore your skin’s pH balance. Toners have various benefits for acne-prone skin as well. Most formulas have anti-inflammatory property that can help reduce the size of acne and pimples.

    Dermatologists recommend everyone to use toners in their face care routine. Toners can help maintain healthy skin and its radiance. It can also be applied before serums, making them absorb faster and deeper into skin. Check out these serums that work well with any toner and skin type.

    Read More Read More: Face Serums

    How Toners Help Maintain Healthy Skin

    Lots of women skip toners thinking that it will only cause irritation. However, it all depends on the product that you are using. Your skin care products should not leave your skin dry and irritated. When you experience these effects, they are signs that you are not using the right formula.

    Toners should be gentle on skin. Their astringent properties should not cause irritation. In fact, a toner should leave your skin smooth, plump, and glowing. Below, you’ll find the benefits when you use a suitable toner for your skin type.

    Removes Dead Skin Cells and Oil

    Toners help remove dead skin cells and excess oil from skin. They leave your skin smoother and more radiant. The formula of toners clings to dead cells and oil, preventing them from clogging the pores. This leaves you with a brighter and clearer skin tone. It also helps reduce the risk of acne and breakouts. Acne happens when excess oil and dead skin cells clog the pores. They harden and cause inflammation from under the skin.

    Hydrates Skin

    One of the primary roles of toners is to hydrate skin. The formula provides fast-absorbing moisture that can help prepare skin. It makes your skin absorb more moisture and nutrients. Cleansing skin removes necessary moisture, which leaves the surface dry, tight, and rough. This makes it harder for moisturizers to hydrate and nourish skin. Toners hydrate fast so formulas penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin.

    Woman touching her face

    Gets Rid of Residue

    Not all cleansers can remove impurities from the surface of your skin. There are residue of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that might be left on your face. Residue does not only block formulas, but it can also clog the pores. This leads to skin concerns such as acne. Toners lift away makeup, dirt, dead cells, and excess oil left on skin. It also kills bacteria that can cause acne.

    Restores Skin’s pH Balance

    Your skin has 5.5 pH level, which is ideal for all skin types. The slight acidity prevents bacteria and fungi from growing and causing damage to skin. Your skin’s acidity also prevents acne-causing bacteria from growing. Cleansing makes your skin more alkaline. This leaves your face dry, rough, irritated, and prone to acne. Using toners can restore skin's pH balance so it feels softer and suppler to touch. 

    Soothes Skin Inflammation

    Depending on the ingredients of the toner, most formulas have anti-inflammatory properties. This helps reduce size of acne and pimples. Toners increase blood circulation on your face as well. It is important to maintain a good blood flow on skin, since it helps keep your face radiant and soft.

    Reduces Appearance of Large Pores

    Toners are astringent, which means that they make skin feel tighter and look smoother. Astringents shrink tissues on your face, which gives your skin a tighter and firmer look. They make your pores appear smaller while giving your skin a smoother texture. Toners protect the skin from acne as well. Their formulas draw impurities and prevent oil and dirt from clogging pores.

    Helps Slow Down Skin Aging

    Most toners contain active ingredients and antioxidants that nourish skin from the deeper layers. They also slow down skin aging to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from happening. Toners may also have formulas that target specific skin concerns such as acne, skin aging, and dryness. These toners restore your skin’s radiance and suppleness so it stays healthy and youthful. For more tips on how to maintain young-looking skin, visit the page below.

    Read More Read More: Anti-Aging

    How to Apply Toners

    There are many ways to use toner. However, there is a proper method that can help bring greater results. Toners contain active ingredients that help hydrate and nourish skin. You can get all these benefits when you use toners properly. Most products come with instructions on how to apply the formula. However, if they don’t have specific instructions, below are the general steps to properly apply toner:

    Woman applying toner on face

    1. Pat skin dry after cleansing and apply toner right after. Slightly damp skin absorbs more toner and allows the active ingredients to work on skin better.
    2. Put the toner on palms and gently pat all over the face. Smooth the toner under the eye area. You can use cotton pads as well. However, most cotton pads absorb the formula, which makes you use more toner. Avoid using cotton balls. Most brands bleach cotton balls, which can damage skin. Choose silky and soft cotton pads to prevent irritation.
    3. Wait for a few minutes and spritz another layer of toner on skin. This fortifies your skin’s natural barrier to protect it from damage. Pat all over face.
    4. Leave it on for a few minutes before you apply serum or moisturizer. You can use hydrating serums to help make your skin extremely moisturized. Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a great choice. Check out this serum and its benefits when used with a suitable toner.
    Read More Read More: Hyaluronic Acid Serum

    Best Toners for Your Skin Type

    Using suitable toner can help maintain healthy skin. However, using the wrong product can cause irritation and skin damage. You should choose a toner based on your skin type and any concerns you might have. Below are some tips when choosing the best toners for each skin type.

    Normal Skin Type

    Normal skin has very few imperfections. It has balanced oil production and the pores appear very small. This skin type also rarely experiences skin issues such as acne and breakouts. If you have normal skin, choose balancing toners that help restore skin’s pH level. You should also avoid alcohols, which can irritate your skin.  

    Dry Skin Type

    Dry skin is characterized by tight and rough surface texture. Lack of moisture leaves dry skin dull as well. Alcohol-free toner is the best choice for dry skin. This toner has a very gentle formula. It also prevents dryness and irritation. You should look for toners that are extremely hydrating. They help keep dry skin plump and radiant from the inside.

    Oily Skin Type

    If you have oily skin, your large pores might be your biggest concern. They are very noticeable and may also lead to the formation of blackheads. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, look for toners that contain alpha hydroxyl acids. Do not use toners that contain alcohol. They will only trigger excessive oil production, leaving your skin very oily. Alpha hydroxy acid helps remove dead skin cells that clog the pores, which makes them appear smaller.

    Smiling woman with clear and glowing skin

    Combination Skin Type

    Combination skin may be comprised of various skin types. This skin type typically gets oily around the T-zone area. As recommended, avoid alcohol-free toners. Look for toners that can help restore your skin’s pH balance. Balancing toners help regulate oil production on skin. They also kill bacteria and fungi that can cause acne. A balancing toner will not dry your skin nor trigger excessive oil production.

    Mature Skin Type

    The biggest issue for mature skin is the thinness or lack of volume. This also makes skin feel dry to the touch. If you have mature skin, use toners that are rich in antioxidants and hydrating ingredients. These toners help restore hydration to skin while preventing sagging skin or loss of volume.

    Sensitive Skin Type

    Sensitive skin is prone to allergic reactions and irritations. Most common signs include redness, inflammation, rashes, and acne. If you have sensitive skin, use soothing toners that contain botanicals. These botanicals have therapeutic effects that help reduce inflammation and irritation. They are also gentle on skin and do not cause irritation. For more tips on how to take care of sensitive skin, visit the page below.

    Read More Read More: Sensitive Skin

    Toners are unpopular compared to moisturizers and cleansers. However, they are becoming bigger nowadays. The perfect toner might be the key to healthier and suppler skin. Discover the best toner for your skin type for a fresh and radiant appearance.

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