Step by Step Guide to Facial Toner
First off, what is toner and why is it important to your skincare routine? Often people overlook toners as part of their skincare regimen, but it is especially important if you want to elevate your skincare routine. Using a toner could be one missing piece to the puzzle and the difference of having good skin and great skin.
What is a toner?
A toner for your skin is normally in the form of a liquid and can be used both morning and night. It tends to have a consistency of vinegar. A good toner will help shrink pores, exfoliate, remove dirt and bacteria, reduce redness and inflammation, calm, and balance the PH of your skin. A good toner will prep your skin for the next steps of your skincare and makeup routine.
Identify Your Skin Type
The first thing you will want to identify what type of skin you have and what skincare concern you would like to address. Toners are designed to target a specific concern and not all toners are created equal. There are toners that help combat aging/mature skin, acne, oil, dryness, and dark spots. Think of toner like a barrier for your face. Once you apply toner, it helps create a barrier for your skin and protects it from the bad things in our environment.
Spray vs. Liquid
Toners are designed in the form of a pour on liquid or a mist. The benefit of the liquid is you can control how and where the toner is applied. The benefit of a mist is you don’t have to rely on using a cotton ball to apply and you can reapply during the day if needed.
How to use Facial Toner:
It is recommended that toners are used as the second step in the skincare process, right after washing your face. It has been proven that toner works more effectively, not only as the second step in your skincare routine but applied within minutes of washing your face. Applying toner within minutes of washing your face helps the toner to work more effectively because your skin is still moist. When applying toner, it is best to use a cotton ball or pad because it does not absorb the liquid toner and more product gets on your skin. You can also apply toner to both your neck and chest for additional results.
Guide to Facial Toners by Skin Type
Toners for Dry Skin
If your skin looks dull or flaky, your will want to look for a toner that contains vitamin C, a moisturizing element, aloe, thermal water. Vitamin C is a great for the skin because it brightens and nourishes the skin. A toner with moisturizing properties provides a benefit to the skin by sneaking in extra hydration to your routine. Toners made with thermal water are very popular in the skincare market. Thermal water is a type of water that is formulated to balance the skin’s natural PH level. A toner made with rose water also has the added benefits of calming and nourishing the skin.
Toners for Oily Skin
If you suffer from excess oil on your face, you will want to look for a toner that combats and dissolves the excess oil on your face. The ideal toner contains acids that exfoliate and balance the skin. Naturally, you will want to avoid ingredients that are oil or alcohol based. Toners that contain (AHA’s) alpha hydroxy acids will exfoliate your skin leaving a great base for your remaining acne skincare regimen.
Toners for Aging and Mature Skin
Toners are play a key part in the prevention of aging. By choosing a toner that contains exfoliates the skin, it enhances the effectiveness of anti-aging treatments. This includes some toners contain oil to help moisturize the skin. You will want to look for an acid such as polyhydroxy acid or glycolic acid that will help exfoliate the skin and rid pores from dead skin cells.
Toners for Sensitive Skin
If you suffer from red, irritated, inflamed skin, you will want to look for a toner that is formulated especially for sensitivity. Ingredients that you would want to look for are aloe, chamomile, witch hazel, and spring thermal water or rose water.
Toners for Acne Prone Skin
If you suffer from acne, a toner is especially important when trying to manage breakouts. A good toner will help reduce inflammation as well as exfoliate the skin to remove pore clogging dirt and dead skin cells. A toner that contains glycolic or salicylic acid will help treat and prevent breakouts from forming.
Toners for Dark Spots
To help reduce or prevent darks spots using a toner that contains hydroquinone, kojic acid, and vitamins will dramatically increase your chances of brightening your skin. Using hydroquinone and kojic acid together, for example, is a great combination because it works to combat both aging and dark spots. When using hydroquinone or any skin lightening ingredient, it is important to remember to reapply sunscreen throughout the day because your skin tends to be more sensitive to light.
How do I find the best toner for my skin?
Once you have identified what skin concern you would like to tackle, finding a toner that works best with your skincare regimen is a must. With so many toners on the market, it is overwhelming to find the one that works the best for your skin type and budget. Prices can range from as low as $5 all the way up hundreds for high end skincare. When looking to buy keep in mind that not all toners are created equal. If you find a toner that has a great return policy, that will give you the opportunity to use the toner and see how well it works for your skin. Do a patch test on a small area to make sure that your skin will not have any adverse reactions to the ingredients. Due to the nature of the competition in the skincare market, there is more opportunity to find drugstore skincare brands that are just as effective as high-end skincare brands.
New Beauty created a blog post about the best toners in 2018. I think this is a great list and starting point in familiarizing yourself with the brands that lead the way in skincare. This list provides a wide price range that can fit any budget.
DIY Facial Toner
DIY toner is quick and easy to make and works very well. If you lean more towards the natural/organic side, a simple witch hazel/essential oil combination works as a great toner. There are some people who swear by apple cider vinegar as a great ingredient for homemade toner. A few drops of lemon, melaleuca, or orange essential oils are great additions to a homemade toner. If you are using essential oils for a homemade toner, but sure to use a glass bottle because the oils could break down the plastic bottle.
Additional Considerations for Facial Toner Use
You will want to stay away from alcohol-based toners. Although your skin will feel nice and tight, these toners tend to dry your skin out, which could speed up the aging process and may lead to the overproduction of oil. If you are making your toner with essential oils, use a glass bottle as essential oils can break down plastic bottles over time. Make sure to use sunscreen with an SPF of 20 or higher when using a toner that has acne, aging, or skin lightening ingredients.
Prior to being a busy mom of two, I used to make my own toner using a simple witch hazel essential oil mix. My skin has changed so much after having kids that I needed additional ingredients in my toner. Because I have both acne prone and aging concerns, I use two different types of toner in my regimen based on my daily needs.
If you would like to know what type of toner I use for my skin, subscribe below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!