Cleanse, tone, moisturise. The holy trinity of the skincare routine. Whilst the benefits of the first and last steps pretty much explain themselves – many are often left questioning, what the heck is toning and why do I need to use a toner?
Toners are ‘enriched’ liquids that take mere seconds to use after cleansing your skin. Most usually applied with saturated cotton pads or spritzed directly onto your face, neck and décolletage. Ideally, toning should take place in the morning and evening.
After many years of neglecting this step, I’ve recently got back into toning in a big way. Allow me to share the many benefits I’ve realised (and also a few of my favourite products)…
Toner restores your PH balance…
You are forgiven if this benefit leaves you staring blankly into space. However, this is the most important role that a toner fulfils.
The skin’s barrier, known as the acid mantle, is (in the most basic terms) responsible for keeping all the good stuff in and blocking all the bad stuff out. To achieve beautifully healthy skin, you need to maintain the right PH balance (acid-alkaline ratio). If your skin becomes too alkaline the result will be dryness and sensitivity – a pre-curser for premature ageing. If it becomes too acid, get ready to welcome oiliness and break-outs. Toners restore your skin’s PH balance after cleansing so it’s better protected and ready to do it’s job for you!
Tropic Skincare Vitamin Toner pore refining mist (£14) is particularly great for normal to dry skin types. This refreshing and light spray toner is brilliant at re-balancing PH and reducing pore size. It’s full of enriching, naturally derived ingredients such as organic Rose water, aloe vera & cucumber juices. The pore refining mist is suited for people who want to avoid the ‘tightened’ feeling that wipe-over toners can produce. For extra moisturising benefit, after spritzing allow to sink in, otherwise wipe away any excess with a cotton pad. Find out more here
Toners get you ultra squeaky clean…
I know I run the risk of being berated by skincare aficionados for stating this as a benefit of toner. However, toner is a great double-check that you’ve managed to get rid of all traces of makeup and impurities post cleanse. Yes, a good cleanser should get it all, and yes, there is a possibility – if makeup is showing up on a cotton pad during toning – that you didn’t cleanse throughly enough. Buy hey, we’re only human – we don’t all have time for a double-cleanse – and sometimes we miss a bit. Plus some toners multi-task and actually assist in removing eye makeup too.
Additionally, toners can remove any residue on our skin created by our cleansers.
Toners shouldn’t be an excuse to get lazy with the cleansing, but they are a comforting reassurance that you got it all.
Vichy Pureté Thermale Perfecting Toner (£9)* works gently but throughly to remove any residue makeup, cleanser and impurities; leaving you with hydrated & cleansed skin. Paraben and alcohol free. Vichy Perfecting Toner can even be used on eyelids. Suitable for all skin types including sensitive. Find out more here.
Toners help to create the optimum canvas…
Toners create the right conditioners on our skin to derive the greatest benefits from our moisturisers. They often contain humectants (such as Aloe and Hyaluronic acid) to help bind moisture to our skin.
Additionally, they can help to keep environmental aggressors at bay, meaning your skin will be more glowing and protected for longer.
Using a toner in the mornings can help to remove the sebum produced during the night, minimising shine and helping your makeup stay put for longer.
Sweeping Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (£15.50)* over skin daily assists in creating a more radiant canvas. Alcohol free, the tonic adds a fine layer of moisture to help brighten your skin. Suitable for all skin types. Reviews often state that through regular use of the Instant Boost Tonic, hormonal adult acne has been reduced. This is the perfect all-rounder. Find out more here.
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist* (£15.30) is a cooling mist which hydrates and balances the skin whilst reducing surface oil. White oak, witch hazel and peppermint provide mild astringent benefits. Kinetics Toning Mist lasts for ages, only a couple of spritz’s per application is required. Suitable for normal to oily skin. I use this toner in the morning to prep my skin nicely & take control of excess oil in readiness for my makeup application. You can find out more about it here.
Toners are packed with additional skincare benefits…
Aside from all the balancing and protecting they do, toners often address additional skincare concerns.
From anti-ageing to pore refining to break out control to moisture boosting. You name it, there is most likely a toner that offers it. Why wouldn’t we choose to hit those wrinkles or spots with everything we’ve got available to us?
L’Occitane Immortelle Essential Face Water* (£17) is enriched with Immortelle floral water – a Corsican grown flower that does not fade once picked due to it’s essential oil being rich in active molecules that have anti-ageing properties. Hydrating, smoothing, alcohol free and suitable for all skin types, this is a beauty of a toner! Find out more here.
Good to know If you’ve previously been put off of toners as you’ve found them too drying – select toners that are alcohol free. Toners containing alcohol are better suited for those looking to tackle acne/breakouts.
Top tip If you suffer from pimples on your chest and/or back – sweeping toner over these areas will help minimise the break-outs.
OK so there you have it! Isn’t it time to stop writing-off toners as a clever marketing ploy and start reaping the benefits they offer! Happy toning!
You might also like to read: Recommended: Facial Cleansers (For all skin types)
To tone or not to tone that is the question? Any toning tips you’d like to share or fab toning products you think I and others should discover? I would love to hear your thoughts – get in touch via the comments box below
This article contains non-sponsored affiliate links (marked with a *) – you can find out more about what that means here