Your complete guide to skin toner – why you need it and how to use it.
Using a toner is an essential, yet often forgotten step in our skincare routine. While many of us tend to skip this important skincare step, there is a reason why k-beauty lovers and skincare fanatics swear by it. Read on for your complete guide to toners, including what they are, why you need to be using one, and how to add a toner to your daily skincare regime.
What is a toner
Traditionally, toners were designed to restore the skin to a natural ‘acid’ balance following the use of an oil stripping and alkaline cleanser. Both toners and cleansers have since come a long way. Cleansers are now more pH balanced and gentle on the skin, and toners have now evolved into a whole skincare category of their own! Toners are now designed to preserve and protect the skins barrier, remove excess dirt and makeup and even balance oil production.
A good toner will help to:
- Increase the absorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals from serums, oils and moisturisers.
- Balance oil production without stripping the skin.
- Minimise the appearance of pores.
- Remove excess grime and makeup that your cleanser may not have removed.
- Reduce the predisposition to acne and breakouts.
- Visibly reduce the appearance of fine line and wrinkles.
- Brighten and uplifts skin appearance.
- Add a protective layer to the skin’s barrier.
- Act as a humectant to draw moisture into the skin.
- Refresh and revitalise your skin on the go.
- Prevent “mask-ne” and skin breakouts linked to mask use.
Toner vs Astringents
The main difference between a toner and an astringent is their ingredients. Astringents are typically alcohol based and designed to remove excess oil from the skin and reset the skins acid mantle and pH balance. Because of their high alcohol and chemical content Astringents are extremely drying as they strip the skin of its natural barrier. This can leave the skin feeling tight, and prone to redness and irritation.
Astringents should not be overused for this reason, whereas it is safe to use a toner multiple times a day.
People with acne prone skin should avoid astringents as they can further irritate breakouts, causing peeling, irritation, and additional redness. People with dry or sensitive skin, or eczema and rosacea should also avoid astringents as they will exacerbate these concerns.
While astringents are typically used by people with oily skin, a toner is a much safer option for balancing oil production and preventing breakouts. Toners are also suitable for all skin types and cannot be ‘overused’, unlike astringents.
How to choose the right toner for your skin type
No matter your skin type, its important to choose a toner that is natural, and alcohol free. Your toner should also compliment your cleanser. Our No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist and No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk are pH balanced (at approx. 5.3), which means they will not affect your skins natural pH balance. This also means you prevent the accelerated ageing, hypersensitivity and dryness that result from acidic and alkaline product formulas.
For oily and acne prone skin, look for botanicals with astringent properties to help balance excess oil. Our No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist contains May Chang, which works to remove excess oil without stripping the skin’s natural barrier.
Sensitive skin types will benefit from ingredients that are calming. The Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist contains Calendula, which has soothing properties, as well as a high content of carotenes, phytosterols and polyphenols to help preserve skin moisture levels.
Ingredients high in antioxidants are wonderful for mature skin to protect against oxidative damage. Nourishing Vitamins such as Vitamin E and C will help to nourish and support radiance for dry skin types. The No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist contains Bilberry which is abundant in the antioxidants resveratrol and quercetin, and is enriched with Vitamins B, C and E.
How to incorporate a toner into your skincare regime
For your night time routine, we recommend a double cleanse using an oil based cleanser, followed by a milk based cleanser to ensure all makeup, dirt and grime is removed effectively and your skin can easily absorb the nutrients from your toner and other products.