Thanks to one of my lovely readers, I realized I have just been throwing around some terms without actually explaining them. The term that this particular reader brought to my attention was : toning.
Generally, toners remove any residue of dirt left on the skin after cleansing and finish the job of closing the pores. However, any good toner should also balance the skin's pH (a slightly acidic 5.5), provide the skin with various benefits - such as evening out skin tone, detox it & remove blemishes - and slightly moisturize it.
Toners are a great addition to any skin regimen & can give way to amazing results on the skin. In fact, they are quite necessary for balancing the skin's pH especially for those that use cleansers that drastically strip the skin of all it's oils and moisture. Cleansers, bar soaps [etc] are alkaline (8 or more on the pH scale) and can promote acne if the skin's pH is not corrected afterwards because the skin's pH would not be acidic enough to fight bacterial infection.
Good toners are hard to find because most do not accomplish half of what is listed in the first paragraph & are hardly fashioned for unique needs. Moreover, commercial toners can be very costly & non beneficial for the skin that is why it is wise to read the ingredients list on any product. Some commercially sold toners contain alcohol and other skin irritating & drying ingredients.
The very best toners can be made in your own kitchen, so don't search far!
A basic toner contains :
- A hydrosol (or just plain water) as your base
ex. Witch hazel hydrosol
- Ingredient(s) loaded with skin-benefiting properties
ex. chamomile essential oil
- Ingredient(s) that benefits the skin & that can also help balance the pH to 5.5
ex. Aloe vera juice
- Ingredient(s) with cleansing properties
ex. Tea tree essential oil
You can then add other ingredients depending on your specific skin needs.
Toners are to be applied with cotton swabs or by using a spray bottle.
Do you use toners?
If so, which one(s) is (are) your favorite(s)?