If you've rounded the thirty year mark, you might remember the toner craze of the 1990s (Sea Breeze, anyone?). Back then it was a harsh, alcohol-laden slumber party-style spa skin treatment that stung like crazy, and which subsequently faded into obscurity. Thanks to cosmetic and dermatologic advancements, facial toner has made a comeback and achieved a certain sophistication with formulaic adjustments and variances to satisfy all skin types. In light of these changes, here's why facial toner is actually good for your skin, and why you should consider adding it to your regimen.
Toner does just what its name suggests: it corrects, lends strength, refines, and harmonizes skin, but it also has cleansing properties. While its recommended use is directly after a soap and water wash, in extenuating circumstances when water is not readily available, you can use it to effectively remove makeup, oils, sunscreen, and all manner of daily environmental deposits and impurities. Spray toner is a great thing to have in your purse or carry-on during long flights or in dry climates to freshen and rehydrate dry skin in moisture-deprived high altitudes.
Skin holds a naturally high acidity—right around 5.5 on the pH scale. Washing with soap strips skin of some of that acidity, causing it to work harder to recalibrate itself, resulting in increased oil production as it overcompensates for the imbalance. The moral of the story is that applying toner helps to restore skin's ideal pH level faster than washing alone.
Toner gives your skin a good base for application of products to follow. Like paint primer for walls and other surfaces, toner facilitates better absorption and integrity of whatever is applied to your skin after it, like, for example, your moisturizer. By making your skin more receptive, toner allows creams, serums and ointments to perform their respective functions better than if they were applied to dry, untoned (unprimed) skin.
By way of its most widely-known function, pore-tightening toner has the ability to not only visibly shrink enlarged pores, but to constrict them enough to make it very difficult for dirt, irritants and impurities to enter them, thus cutting down on the likelihood and severity of breakouts.
Posted by Katy Kirkpatrick