Should You Use A Skin Toner?

Do You Really Need A Toner?

Are toners a necessary part of your beauty regimen, or just another product meant to grab your hard-earned money?

I get this question frequently when I tell people what I do, and part of the reason is that women don’t really what the purpose of a skin toner is.

We’re going to discuss this in the next few paragraphs in order to see if you really need to use a toner or if it’s just another cosmetic gimmick.

What is it?

A basic skin toner is used to refresh the skin, diminish the look of pores and dissolve any last traces of cleanser after washing so that your face is ready for bed or makeup. But are they all the same? The answer is no. There are 3 basic types of toners.

3 Types of Toners

The most common type of toner is simply a skin freshener. This is good for just about all skin types because all that’s really in it are water and humectants such as glycerin to keep your skin from drying out. This is pretty important as we age because we lose the ability to retain moisture independently.

There’s not usually much, if any, alcohol in this type of toner, which is a often a good thing – alcohol dries your skin out. Plain rosewater is a good example of this type of toner. Click here to try L’Oreal’s Hydrafresh Alcohol Free Toner.

The second type of toner is an astringent. People with oily skin or acne problems may use this kind to keep their skin from being too oily. People with normal skin may also use it just to clean their pores. The number one ingredient is often witch hazel or alcohol. Remember Seabreeze? That’s a good old school example of this type of toner. Click here to try Neutrogena’s Clear Pore Oil Eliminating Astringent Toner.

The third type of toner is sort of a mix of the first two. It’s more potent than rosewater but not as harsh as an astringent. These types of skin toners add fancy stuff that they call “natural botanicals” (plant extracts) which may or may not be of benefit to your complexion.

Many of these types of toners also contain perfumes and dyes which can irritate your skin. Depending on your actual skin type, be careful when using anything with these additives. Click here to try Dermalogica’s Age Smart Antioxidant Hydramist. It’s got polypeptides, antioxidants, and moisturizers. To really sell it, it has no added fragrance or dyes.

How Do You Use A Toner?

Toners are used just after washing your face but before applying your moisturizer or makeup. Most people only use astringent toners at night but if you’re using one in the morning, it may be a good idea to wait a few minutes before applying your makeup so that your pores have a chance to close. Otherwise, you’re just re-clogging them.

Final Word

When it comes to skin-care products, the manufacture’s goal is always the same thing-to sell their product. Toners are no exception to this standard. Some people can benefit from using a good toner and some won’t. It all depends on your skin type, cleansing products, and beauty practices.

My advice to people who search endlessly for the fountain of youth in beauty products is simple — use your head and don’t be distracted by slick commercials or fancy packaging. Sometimes a toner is awesome. It helps remove the last traces of dirt and makeup and can help with other skin problems, too.

In most cases though, you’ll find that the simplest and least expensive toners work just as well as the pricey products. Your big money’s probably better spent on a good moisturizer or foundation.

If you use a toner as part of your anti-aging regimen, tell us about in the comments section below.

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