Facial toners are a great at-home skincare tool and can be used in several different ways. Traditionally, toners were used to bring the pH of the skin back to neutral and close the pores. This is because cleansers used to be very alkaline, which would open the pores and remove dirt and debris. (Some cleansers, like soaps and foaming cleansers containing harsh detergent ingredients, will still throw off the pH balance of the skin.and this is why we avoid them)
Most modern-day cleansers are pH balanced for gentle yet effective cleansing and do not need an acidic counterpart, which means that the concept of toning needed to be redefined…and it was. Toners now offer three basic skin benefits: cleansing, exfoliating and product penetration.
Toners make a great second cleanser, especially for make-up users and oily skin conditions. A toner will help dissolve make-up, excess oil and debris that may remain on the skin after cleansing. Double cleansing, or using a tool like Clarisonic are great solutions for those needing more cleansing as well.
Many toners are slightly acidic which makes them gentle exfoliants as well. They can contain witch hazel, citrus extracts, glycolic, lactic, malic or salicylic acids. Each of these natural ingredients aids in exfoliation of excess dead skin cells right at the skin’s surface. Each acidic ingredient caters to special skin needs: Salicylic acid also eats away excess oil and bacteria lingering in pores, while citrus oils and glycolic brighten skin and lactic acid aids in moisture retention.
Because toners are made to be slightly acidic, they lower your skin’s pH to allow for better product penetration and absorption rate of active ingredients like Vitamins, antioxidants, moisturizers and more.
Toners can be used as a weekly treatment following cleansing and masking, used in lieu of a cleanser in the morning, or used after cleansing morning and night. Choosing the best toner depends on your skin’s condition, needs and sensitivity level. For some of us, a simple healing and hydrating floral water is best. For others, a stimulating acid based toner is the better choice. Generally, every skin can benefit from an exfoliating or active toner. Sensitive skins should always dilute active toners by applying them to wet skin, and limit use to 1-3 times a week. Floral waters or non acidic toners work really well on the other days.
Our favorite toners include:
Sanitas Mild Medicated Toner for Oily or Congested skin
Sanitas Hydrating Toner for Dry skin
Sanitas Glycotoner 5% and 10% for Normal to Dry or Normal to Oily skins (non sensitive)
DNA Floral Bliss and Aroma Bella Aloe Freshner for sensitive skins and on “non active toner days”
You can also make your own Rosewater at home and use right before applying serums or moisturizers for added calming and hydration.
Recipe For Home made Rose Water: courtesy of girltalks.org
Take one cup of Rose Petals, 2 cups of water, a glass bowl with lid. Glass bowl should be heat resistant. Water should be filtered or distilled. Take cheesecloth and also a glass jar with lid.
Take freshly picked rose petals. Wash them thoroughly to remove any chemical on them. Quantity of rose petals should be fully packed one cup. Separately boil two cups of water and pour over the rose petals in the glass bowl. After this cover the glass bowl with lid and let rose petals steep for 30 minutes. Then remove it from fire and allow it to cool. Strain this water from a cheesecloth or fine strainer. Throw away the rose petals and collect the pure rose water in a glass jar with lid.
This rose water can be used only up to 10 days. To use it up to one month, pour one tbsp of vodka to it as preservative.