It’s understandable that you may not use a toner-especially if you still associate skin toners with stinging and drying, not to mention the strong smell of alcohol that used to be the norm! Yet, toners have come a long way since the days of Ten-O-Six and Sea Breeze. In fact, a well-formulated toner will deliver anti-aging benefits similar to many of the top moisturizers and serums!
Using the right toner is critical. Skin toners from the ’80s and ’90s were disasters. Most were alcohol based and contained highly irritating ingredients (menthol, peppermint, etc.). While toner throwbacks still exist today, there are several worth investigating… providing you know how to separate the good from the bad.
Skin Toners are a Skin-Care Essential
There is a toner out there for every skin type. Below are the top reasons why the right toner may be your shortcut to better skin:
1. It’s a post-cleanser complexion booster. Cleansing skin in the morning and evening is critical to keeping it healthy. However, after this cleansing, your skin needs ingredients that help replenish its surface layer and pH balance (you can tell by how your face feels tight after rinsing). Skin-repairing substances such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and fatty acids are great for this.
2. Your perfect moisturizer may be a toner! If you have oily or combination skin with very oily areas, you may be searching for a moisturizer that won’t make things worse. The right toner can supply all the lightweight hydration your oil-prone skin needs-especially in the warmer summer months, or year-round in warm or humid climates.
3. Skin toners are more than makeup removers. A well-formulated toner not only will remove the last traces of makeup but will also provide benefits targeted to your specific skin concerns. The right toner will leave your skin smoother, soothe redness, and even help improve the appearance of enlarged pores.
Which Toner is Right for You?
So, now that you know the benefits of a well-formulated toner, how do you know which one is right for you and what you should avoid?
Be choosy. Great skin toners are not very common, but they are out there! Don’t bother with toners that contain too few beneficial ingredients (those that contain just water, aloe, and glycerin). You’ll also want to avoid toners loaded with skin-damaging ingredients (irritants) such as high amounts of alcohol, fragrance, or irritants like peppermint, citrus, or rosewater. Irritation does a number on your skin’s ability to heal and produce healthy collagen, and it can aggravate breakouts or create very oily and very dry spots.
Keep your skin type in mind. Although a good toner will always contain a mix of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients, keep your skin type in mind to find the right balance of moisturizing agents. Those with oily to combination skin should look for formulas that offer light hydration (think glycerin and lower amounts of fatty acids). Those with dry skin should look for toners with richer moisturizing agents, including plant oils and phospholipids. If you have normal skin, you can use any well-formulated toner you want, assuming you want the extra benefits a great toner can provide.