What is Toner?
Toner is skin product that comes in a form of lotion or tonic whose purpose is to clean your skin and shrink enlarged pores. It is mostly used for cleaning sensitive skin on person’s face. It is usually applied with the help of a cotton pad, but some toners can be sprayed onto your face or applied in a form of facial mask. Toner should be included into regular skin care regime in order to have a healthy and protected skin, especially face.
Types of Toners
The term toner refers to three types of products, and they are:
- Skin bracers or fresheners – are also known as “traditional toners”. They contain water, humectant e.g. glycerin and are usually not consisted of alcohol. Some traditional toners can have up to 10% of alcohol, not more. Humectants moisturize the skin and prevent water in outer layers from evaporating. This type of toner is gentle and kindest to your face. Great example of this type of toner is rosewater.
- Skin tonics – unlike skin bracers or fresheners, they do contain alcohol (about 20%). Other ingredients of tonic include water and humectants. An example of skin tonic is orange flower water.
- Astringents – are the strongest type of toner, and they contain a bigger amount of alcohol, between 20% and 60%. Other ingredients of astringents include water, humectants, and antiseptic ingredients. Their purpose is to cool off the skin and tighten the pores. Witch hazel is a great example of astringent.
Toners for Different Skin Types
Like always, in order to get the best out of some product you should use the one that is recommended for your own skin type. Every type of the skin requires suitable treatment, and using wrong products can cause irritations. Information about what toner you should use for your skin type is listed below:
- Oily skin – if you have oily skin or you’re prone to blemishes, then you should avoid toners that contain a high amount of alcohol. Alcohol will irritate the skin, increase the growth of blemishes, and as the result your skin can produce even more oil. For this type of skin, tonics should be used. They contain low percentage of alcohol, but also they are consisted of humectants which will nourish your skin. Even though they contain alcohol, astringents can be used as well, but in order to prevent production of excess oil you should apply this product ONLY to affected areas (spots, or T-zone).
- Dry and sensitive skin – if you have dry skin you have to be careful about toners you choose. Choosing wrong toner can dry out the skin. And people with sensitive skin risk irritations if purchase toners with high alcohol percentage. The best solution for these skin types is skin bracers or fresheners. They do not contain alcohol, but at the same time they will clean and soothe your skin. The level of humectants in these toners is high which means the water from the outer layers of the skin will not evaporate, and your skin will stay protected and moisturized.
- Combination skin – is tricky. It is usually indicated by oily T-zone and dry or normal cheeks. You should use toners that contain low percentage of alcohol in order to normalize the skin on your face. Skin tonics are good for combination skin, they do not contain too much alcohol, but they’re stronger than traditional toners and softer than an astringent; which makes tonics perfect for combination skin.
- Normal skin – is not prone to any skin condition, damages, or irritations. However, in order to keep it that way you have to take care of properly. Right toners for this type of skin are skin tonics and skin bracers or fresheners.
Difference Between Toners (Facial, Hair, And Skin Toner)
There are different types of toners (as seen above), but there are also different purposes of toners. For example:
- Facial toners – used only for treating skin on the face. They clean, nourish, moisturize the skin without stripping its layers off.
- Hair toners – are used to conceal and correct unwanted tones in the hair. Their purpose is to even out your hair color and to soften the re-growth on highlights.
- Skin toners – can be used for the entire body. They are designed to clean and tighten the skin and to remove dead skin cells.
You should bear in mind that it is not recommended to use body toner for your face. Toners that are made for your body have a stronger structure than face toners that could cause irritations.
How Toner Works?
Toner is a versatile product which cleans, tightens and moisturizes the skin. Additionally, this product can balance the pH value of the damaged skin. Toner also removes any makeup residue from your face and regular usage of toner can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines under your eyes.
How to use and Choose Toner?
When you are purchasing toner you should always pay attention to ingredients. They will tell you what type of toner that is, and you are be able to choose right one for your skin. If you notice the high percentage of alcohol, you’ll immediately know it is astringent. If there is low amount of alcohol or no alcohol at all, it is traditional toner, and if there is up to 20% of alcohol it is a tonic.
Using toner is easy, and this is how you should do it:
- First, remove your makeup with a cleanser. Naturally, cleanser should be suitable for your skin type as well.
- Use a soft towel to dry your face by patting it gently, instead of rubbing the towel all over your face.
- Use a cotton pad or facial tissues to apply toner or astringent. Start with T-zone first (forehead, nose, and chin) and then do the same with your cheeks.
- Wait for a few minutes and then apply cream or lotion.
- You can repeat the same procedure before applying makeup as well. It is advised to apply makeup onto clean face and toner does the trick.
Why you should use Facial Toner?
In case you have not used toner before you should definitely include it in your skin care regime. Moreover, here is why:
- It shrinks the pores on your face – enlarged pores are unappealing, but regular usage of toner removes excess oil from your skin, and the pores will appear smaller.
- Balances the skin – toner balances the pH level of our skin. Some cleansers or harsh soaps are alkaline that negatively affects our usually acidic skin, and the result is increased production of oil. However, toner is there to restore the balance and improve the health of your skin.
- Offers protection – along with hydrating and cleaning our skin, it also prevents dirt and other particles from penetrating into the skin.
- It moisturizes – all toners contain humectants that moisturize your skin.
- Refreshment – by removing dirt, oil or makeup residue, your skin is revitalized.
- Prevents ingrown hairs – toners that contain glycolic or other alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) prevent ingrown hairs which often cause irritation.
Dos and Don’t’s for Toner
- DO use toner regularly in order to clean your face. It is advised to do it in the morning and before bed.
- DON’T use expired toners. Expired products can cause irritations.
- DON’T apply creamy toner with your fingers. When you apply creamy toner with your fingertips, you are transmitting bacteria onto your face.
- DON’T apply toner after makeup. Toner either goes before makeup or after removing it. You should never apply your makeup and then use toner.
- DO apply astringent on oily areas or blemishes only.
- DO apply toner after cleanser in order to hydrate your skin and get a smooth texture.
Frequently Asked questions(FAQ’s)
Can I skip the toner?
It is recommended to include toner in your skin care regime. However, you should choose right toner for your skin type in order to see results and have a smooth, clean, and nourished skin. Toner is beneficial for your skin and it should not be skipped.
Does toner reverse aging and sun damage?
Toner can help treat sun damaged from excessive exposure to sun. Additionally, due to the fact they balance pH level in our skin and make it tighter and smoother appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is reduced.
Do I need moisturizer after toner?
You do. Beauty experts and dermatologists advise using moisturizer or cream after toner. You should not dry or pat your face with a towel after applying toner. Instead, let it soak in for a few minutes, and then apply moisturizer or cream in order to have even smoother skin and smaller pores.
Can toner help me to have flawless skin?
Yes, it is because toners clean your skin, but they also reduce the pores, hydrate it, nourish the skin, and are good for blemishes. If you have blemishes, then use an astringent and apply it only to the affected area. Their alcohol formula will make them fade away soon.
Does toner balance my skin pH?
Yes. PH level is disturbed after using cleanser or soap. Our skin is acidic, but these products are usually alkaline. Toner fixes that lack of balance and makes our skin smooth and healthy. Well-balanced pH level is one of the requirements for having a healthy skin. The pH level of our skin should be approximately 5.5.That is why toner is beneficial for our skin. It restores the balance that is important because unbalanced pH leads to excessive production of oil, inflammations, irritations or dryness.
Can I use toner daily?
It is recommended to use toner everyday. You can use it in the morning before you apply makeup, or you can use it at night before bed after you remove the makeup. Naturally, if you’re applying it before bed, you should always remove your makeup with a cleanser and then apply toner so it can remove any makeup residue that might be left behind the cleanser.
What’s the difference between astringent and toner?
Astringent is a type of toner and their difference is in formula. Toners contain little or no alcohol at all; their formula is water-based. On the other hand, astringents contain up to 60% of alcohol. Their structure is stronger and they should be used only for oily skin or blemishes. Even then it is necessary to apply it onto the certain areas, like T-zone or spots in order to prevent it from drying out or irritating other parts of your skin.
Is it necessary to use different toner during summer and winter time?
It depends on your skin type. If you have dry skin at all times, then you should stick to traditional toners, however if you have any other type of skin and it gets dry during winter then you should switch from tonics to traditional toners. It is recommended to use toner all year long. They offer great protection during summer, and treat your skin during winter when cold temperatures dry out the skin.
Toners are versatile products that do everything from cleaning to nourishing our skin and should be included in skin care regime by choosing the right product bearing in mind type of the skin.