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Why Should I Use a Toner?

tonerIf you donít use a toner, itís probably because you donít know what one is or what it does - essentially you donít know why you are shelling out $5-$15 for one. Well, wonder no more.


What are Toners?

These clear liquids, collectively called ďtoners,Ē (a term created by the beauty industry) also go by many other names: clarifying lotions, toning lotions, refiners, tonics, balancers, astringents, skin purifiers or cleansing waters. Toners are consistently encouraged as the middle step in a basic three-step skin-care system, smack dab between cleansing and moisturizing. Many people, however, are unclear as to what exactly a toner does.


What Toners donít do.

Before we get into what toners actually do, itís helpful to dispel some misconceptions and talk about what a toner doesnít do. Despite the name, a toner does not tone anything. Meaning, it doesnít tighten or firm the skin. Some may reduce the size of pores, but only for a few minutes. They also do not deep clean pores or reduce the production of oil. You may have heard that toners balance the skinís pH level. Well, sort of. Most traditional soaps, which are alkaline, tend to increase your pH which can lead to dryness and irritation. What a toner really does is just restore your skin to its normal pH. Despite the fallacies about toners, there are great benefits to be gained by using a toner.  


What are the Benefits of Using a Toner?

All skin-types can benefit from using toners. Well formulated toners help to reduce inflammation of the skin, add water-binding agents and natural moisturizing ingredients to the skin, as well as help remove those last traces of make-up and add some lightweight moisturizing ingredients to the skin. They can also provide some antioxidant and anti-irritant protection.


Choosing a Toner.

First, identify what type of skin you have; then look for one specifically formulated for your skin-type. Itís important, then, to find a toner that is as free of irritants as possible. Irritants to avoid are acetone, citrus, camphor, mint, peppermint, menthol, volatile plant extracts, fragrance, and witch hazel. Also steer clear of toners that list the following as ingredients: SD alcohol (will be followed by a number), ethanol and isopropyl alcohol.


How do you Use a Toner?

As previously mentioned, toners should be used after you cleanse your face, but before you moisturize. To apply, add a generous amount to a cotton ball and gently stroke over your face and neck. A well formulated toner should sooth the skin - if it burns, look for a new one immediately.


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