The importance of using a toner

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The importance of toners in your skin care routine

As teenagers, we were told that a skin care routine consisted of three steps: cleanse, tone and moisturise. Then we saw an outburst of “new” skin care products like serums, cooling mists, primers and eye creams, and our trusty three-step regime was no longer the norm. With the rise of these additional products, many women began substituting their toner for a serum, or skipped this in-between step altogether.

This brings us to an important question: Is a toner really necessary?

A well-formulated toner that contains essential nutrients can add great benefits to your skin, however, ingredients are key. After we’ve cleansed, our skin needs certain ingredients to restore its surface. The most important of these are antioxidants and skin-repairers such as ceramides, glycerine and fatty acids. If your toner contains any of these skin-restoring ingredients and is of a gentle formulation, this extra step will leave your skin pH-balanced, calm, soft and refreshed. Plus, the added antioxidants will fight free radicals and help with the general health and condition of your skin.

However, if you use a toner that is too harsh for your skin (think along the lines of that tingly feeing you get when you use it), you may be causing irritation and even inflammation. Strong fragrances and too much alcohol in the formulation will promote and increase red marks, breakouts, oil production and even dry out the skin.

The bottom line? Toners are definitely still relevant, but if you’re going to use one, choose it carefully. Examine the list of ingredients before you buy it, and remember to look for gentle formulations. Fragrance free is always better, as is alcohol free (expert advice from the Cosmetics Cop, Paula Begoun). As with all skin care products, you need to find the one that is right for YOU. If you’re uncertain about it, chat to your beauty therapist or dermatologist.

Other articles you may be interested in:
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  1. Mark Parr

    I agree a toner is a must for the skin especially in the morning and before retiring to bed.

    5 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    I love using rosewater with witch hazel as a toner after I have cleansed. It makes a huge difference in the tone and texture of my skin. I was using an Avon one that had salicylic acid which is very good for the skin but I broke out badly. Then a relative suggested rosewater and I haven’t looked back since.

    6 years ago •

  1. Miss Addy M

    I learnt about a year and a half ago that my skin and toners just don’t go. Since I’ve stopped using toners my skin has become clearer and the break-outs aren’t frequent at all – just one or two small pimples that don’t really bother me and disappear without me even noticing. Thanks to a skin specialist, I have come to understand why a toner made my problem worse and why it irritated my skin so much. And trust me, at that point, I had tried all kinds of products each with their own types of toners. I now steer clear of toners. That has made such a great difference.

    6 years ago •

  1. de Klerk

    I wish there was more toners out there for sensitive skin.

    6 years ago •

  1. Charmaine

    I use toner everyday, L’OREAL works for me and I have also tried the Himalaya Gentle Refreshing Toner. Thanks for the advice and article..

    6 years ago •

  1. Nuri1

    I used to use the Clinique toner, and it may not have been the product, but probably the incorrect toner for my skin. It burned terribly, and I continued using it as I thought my skin would need time to adjust, but after 18days I could no longer take it. I stopped using it completely, my face was constantly red with blotchy marks.

    6 years ago •

    1. de Klerk

      Hey nuri1, at Clinique you can take the products back if its not agreeing with your skin.

      6 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    I will always use toner beacause my skin feels cleaner and fresher after using one.

    6 years ago •

  1. Brown_ndLovely

    Most alcohol free toners won’t leave your skin feeling tight.

    6 years ago •

  1. CherylGD

    A good toner to suit your skin condition is so vital. I switched to Guinot a few months back and what a difference. More expensive but well worth it

    6 years ago •

  1. Khalisi

    The toners I’ve used has always left me feeling a little itchy afterwards so I am one of those who’s swapped for serum, but I think I might need to have a better at something with the ingredients above. I hope I find something gentler. nice article!

    6 years ago •

  1. fay

    I use a toner on and off depending on my skin needs. And I dont generallly cave to being brand loyal and buying a whole range

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I spend a bit more money and research into cleaners, moisturisers and masks but not so much on toners. My standard rule with choosing a toner is just selecting one that is oil and alcohol free.

    6 years ago •

  1. Sammy

    Great read, it is important to look after your skin.

    6 years ago •

  1. Tanusta

    I value the importance of a toner!

    6 years ago •

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