Probably the most undervalued product on part of new-to-skincare customers is a toner. The poor middle child of a three-part regimen, a toner is often seen as something insignificant and skippable. This could be because it doesn’t have the same obvious need as a cleanser or the same basic sense as a moisturizer. It could be because you rarely see thin, smiley-faced 25 year-olds posing as pre-teens in Neutrogena commercials spraying their faces with cheery bottles of toner in the same vain as the emphatic morning face-splash of bursting-bead-filled gel “soap”.
Somehow, I don’t look like this while washing my face.
Or it could be because the real benefits of a toner are just too technical and chemical for the layperson to appreciate. But all of this disregard ends now.
A toner is the glue to your skincare routine. Applied after cleansing, its main purpose is to bring your skin’s pH to a slightly more acidic one (5.5-6 pH), as that is your skin’s ideal environment. As soap tends towards the alkaline side of the pH scale, after cleansing (and before moisturizing) it is imperative to get your skin back to where it belongs in order to allow it to function properly. So before slathering on your $300 take-you-back-in-time miracle cream, make sure your skin is properly set up to take it in.
(Your skin should be in between the banana and potatoes… but look at where the blue pump soap is!)
pH, or potential of hydrogen, is a scale that determines the acidity (or lack thereof) of an aqueous solution. When it comes to different bodily operations, your pH can play a huge role. For example, if you’ve read Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution, you know that your digestive system’s performance relies almost entirely on its pH- your stomach should be as alkaline as possible in order to ensure easy, effective and quick digestion (cue the #greenjuice).
Similarly, when it comes to skin, maintaining a balanced pH is key to letting it do what it needs to do. If your skin is too alkaline, it will be too dry. Too acidic, and you got oil. Most skin problems can be solved by diagnosing your skin type and adjusting your routine accordingly.
If you don’t have one already, try adding in a toner. A toner can help control oil for those slick-skinned ones out there, or it can help your desert faces prepare to drink in the subsequent moisture.
Other benefits of toners are pore shrinkage, skin tightening, hydration, and moisture. Toners can also be used as a mid-day/hot-weather refresher or even as a makeup setter. A toner can be applied either with a cotton ball to help wipe away excess dirt, grime and mineral deposits and chlorine from your tap water, or it can be sprayed on as a mist.
Toners with harsh alcohols (usually called astringents) should be avoided as they cause overdrying, which, in turn can lead to too much oil production. Instead, a toner should be mostly plant-based with high quality, potent ingredients. Toning should occur after cleansing and patting the face dry. After toning, on a still damp face, apply your serum, and then moisturizer.
You will feel a marked difference in the moisture level on your face, and in turn, become a kind, ambitious, loving and caring human being who will change the world.
Just kidding. Kind of.
In store, we carry at least 3 different toners at all times. Call us to find out which ones we’re loving now. (Gloria: 917.566.6145)
till next time,