by Christina

While sitting in on a product orientation recently, (will share with who soon!) the importance of using a toner got brought into the conversation. It's no secret the skincare industry and several other beauty experts swear by it, but I myself never truly cared to use the product. For those that know me personally, that may come as a shock, as I tend to be quite neurotic about my skincare regimen...leading the educator and my fellow colleagues to question my reasoning. It wasn't that I had a strong dislike for it, I just didn't understand it's purpose. My impression about toner was that they were quite harsh to the skin and an unnecessary step.

I can recall as a young teen, when I would constantly go through my mothers skincare, trying a bit here and there but never going too far off the deep end with anything I wasn't familiar with. Her Oil of Olay moisturizers and Borghese mud mask (a 90's skincare staple) were all that really appealed to me, as I was quite intimidated by the rest. My curiosity got the best of me one day and I decided to apply a bit of toner onto my face after cleansing. Burning, redness and sheer panic ensued, to which I wondered "why in the world did women use this, it's pure torture!" Never again....

In the 90's, formulations for toners were pure torture (one word: witch hazel....yowzers!) but as my product educator stressed to me, quite a lot has changed since the days of acidic, harsh toner. After our discussion, I decided to do a bit of research on the so called "staple product" and was surprised to see all of the positives surrounding it. Here's a few highlights:

  • Keeps your face pH balanced, creating a more harmonious environment for your skin. When our pH level is too high or too low, our skin goes into overdrive trying to repair, which can lead to more oil production than needed or sensitive skin.
  • Aides in binding moisture into your face, allowing other products, including your ultra important anti-aging serums and moisturizers to better absorb into the dermis.
  • Creates the illusion of smaller pores by clearing out dirt and debris that was not removed by cleansing alone.
  • It can brighten your complexion, depending on what formula you choose. For instance, A rose water based toner helps to even out your skin and fight pigmentation.

After two weeks of experimenting with a variety of different toner, I've found my staple skincare products have absorbed much better, certainly helping with my problematic, dry skin. It's safe to say that I have crossed over and am sold on the step being included into my regimen. If you are anything like me and are a bit weary of toner in general, I urge you to go out and try a few samples for yourself, keeping in mind my one major rule...

Determine your skin type if you haven't already. Dry, oily, sensitive, etc? All of these skin conditions play a major part in what type of formulation will be best for you. If you are more on the dry to sensitive side, stick to ingredients that will soothe and protect, such as rose or aloe with a low amount of alcohol content to avoid drying and irritating your skin. Oily or acneic? Orange flower water based formulas with a low to mid percentage of alcohol will be best suited for you. Stay clear of anything with the word "astringent", as it tends to be quite harsh for even the most problematic skin and is only recommended to spot treat rather than tone the entire face.

image via Google