Is Toner an Essential Part of Our Daily Skincare Regimen?
The skincare regimen that promotes healthy skin used to be as simple as following just three steps: cleanse, tone, moisturize. With the ever-expanding menu of skincare products, however, consumers are left confused more than ever as to what types of products actually work out benefits for their skin and which ones are just around purely because of good marketing.
For one, toner was such an essential part of our daily skincare regimen but, that was not until after the very same sources that taught us to use them – skincare experts, top fashion magazines, go-to blogs, to name a few – began to make us unlearn the use of toners due to the alleged harm these products can cause our otherwise healthy skin. Still, some continue to favor the use of toners, and still some, recommend a middle ground.
If this debate has sent you off back to square one in as far as toners are concerned then, read on to brush up on your toner know-how.
What Is a Toner?
Toners were first introduced in reaction to the well-publicized skin drying and damaging effects of the once popular alcohol-based astringents. Toners were marketed as the better alternative – giving you the same deep clean effect without damaging your skin.
In the old world where bar soaps were commonly used for the face, toners were seen as the product that brings back skin’s natural pH balance. Well, it was just another marketing stunt, of course, because the fact is, skin naturally adjusts your skin’s pH levels without the need for toners. In this case therefore, use of toners is non-essential.
Then, there was the angle that discussed toners providing a follow through process of ridding skin of dead skin cells, unclogging pores, and regulating oil production, ultimately preventing skin infections. In this case, a toner is necessary but, then again, perhaps not for everyone.
Do You Need A Toner?
Thus, the real vital question to explore is whether or not you need to add a toner to your daily skincare routine. What you need to know at the onset is that, what used to be a reverberating ‘yes’ has now turned out to be ‘it depends’. There are two primary factors that determine whether or not you need a toner or, if you can drop it from your daily skincare regimen.
The first involves your skin type. Oily, combination normal to oily types, acne prone skin, and hypersensitive skin stand to benefit the most from toners, as toners generally help regulate excess oil and skin infections. Drier skin types may suffer from irritation from using toners, particularly when poor choice of toners is made, making it best to drop the toner all together.
The second involves your skincare regimen and your products’ ingredients. Products that you use on your skin certainly should be factored in as to whether or not you still need a toner or, if you may drop it from your long list of skin must-haves. For one, if your facial cleanser is already formulated with alpha or beta hydroxyl acids (AHA and BHA) that lift damaged and dead skin cells, and unclog pores of excess oil and dirt then, there’s no more use left for a toner.
Still, if you feel that your skin needs a toner and that it feels better with toner then, toner must work well for your skin so, continue to use it. The thing with our skin is that, there is no one-shot formula that fits us all. It involves plenty of trial and error but, because skincare products can do more harm than good, it pays to experiment with a good initial knowledge of what products and ingredients work well for skin, and even that, depends on the skin issues that you are attempting to address.
What are Your Options?
If there is a plethora of skincare products, you remain bombarded with a long list of available choices for toner. Generally, skincare experts who continue to recommend the use of toner are in unison when it comes to completely scratching off alcohol-based toners from your selection. Instead, water-based formulations are generally recommended if toners are deemed necessary for your skin.
Problematic skin types, particularly those that are prone to blemishes and acne, have been observed to benefit greatly from toners that contain gentle exfoliating ingredients such as AHAs and BHAs, as these help rid skin of impurities which may infect skin and cause breakouts. Skincare specialists who continue to recommend the use of toner also recommend toners as a great way to incorporate beneficial skin ingredients like antioxidants and Vitamin C to your daily skincare regimen.
In the end, the question surrounding toners isn’t limited to asking whether it should remain as a vital part of your skincare regimen. The dilemma lies on whether or not you need one – because every person needs an individualized skincare routine. If you haven’t been looking closely at your skincare products, perhaps now is the best time to perform a quick review and, if you need expert help, it’s probably time you sought out a skincare experts advise.