Toners 101: Your go-to guide to this powerhouse skincare step!

A skincare routine can be really tricky to orchestrate without direction. To create a custom regimen it’s important to consider all of the steps offered in the multi-billion dollar industry that is also known as the beauty industry. There’s the obvious, sometimes confusing, often forgotten, and the overused steps. Today I’m going to talk about the often forgotten and sometimes confusing step of toning. I never truly understood why this step would even be left out because it is incredibly easy and sets your skin up for success. That’s when I realized that there is little to no education out there on the why and how of toning. Here is an easy breakdown of this skin changing step you will soon not be able to live without.

What is a toner? A toner is the water based step you use immediately after cleansing your skin. This step is designed to assist your cleanser to finalize the cleaning process and set you up for the rest of your skincare routine.

How do you use a toner? Depending on the type of toner that you have there are different methods of application. The first type of application would be in a spray form. If you prefer this method it can be very beneficial since it’s quick, easy and can also help determine if you took all of your cleanser off well enough. The way in which you can do this is if you spray the toner on your face and notice little white bubbles on the skin. This is a strong indication that there is still product on your face. If this happens, simply splash your face with more cool water and wipe dry in an upward motion. The most common and effective is to apply the liquid a cotton pad and massage it over the skin. What you may often find is residual makeup, debris and cleanser. This particular toning method helps give you a visual for how much needs to be removed. As mentioned in my previous post about cleansing it is common to not remove your cleanser effectively enough, leaving you with the potential to breakout. I recommend a double cleanse if this is often an issue for you. A great option for the cotton swab method is Vered Organic Botanical’s Herb Infused Toner. The beautiful hibiscus color is rich in vitamin C which is perfect would strengthening even the most weakened and inflamed skin. The organic grape alcohol base is also food grade so it’s gentle and effective. A full wipe down plus an extra pump for gently pressed into the skin is your cleanse and tone method!

When should you use a toner? A toner needs to be used immediately after cleansing once you have wiped your skin dry. This is another reason as to why you shouldn’t cleanse in the shower since it is virtually impossible to tone immediately after cleansing. Once you cleanse you are manipulating your natural PH level to rise above neutral and it can take up to several hours for your PH to rebalance without the help of a toner. Once you are exposed to natural elements in the environment such as pollution and sunlight, it can create a risk for inflammation since your PH is fighting to neutralize. Your protective barrier is compromised and your skin is working really hard to help find a balance.

Why you should use a toner? As mentioned above, why you should use a toner is very simply. To finalize cleansing, regulate your PH levels so your protective barrier isn’t compromised, and to start the process of hydrating your skin. When your skin is dampened by the toner it will help absorb the oil base molecules of your serum or face oil to better penetrate your product. Have you ever put on a serum or oil and wondered why it’s just sitting on the skin? The missing step was to create a water base. You’ll find you need far less product this way and that everything will melt into the skin quite nicely. This is the concept behind Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator and Deep Hydrating Serum. When you use them in order your skin will have the maximum benefits of his beautiful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herbal blend.

How to determine the right toner for your routine? Many toners will be in a base of aloe water, rose water or another hydrosol (flower water). Some will have herbal infusions to help with different skin conditions but for the most part they are all incredibly neutralizing and comforting to the skin. An ingredient to be mindful of would certainly be witch hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can often dry out excess oil. For most of us, this can be too much on a regular basis. Stick with a low and 100% natural ingredient count on this product. My go-to recommendation for anybody would be May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden, Odacite’s Aloe and Immortelle and Mun’s Anarose Toner.

Other uses for toners? The possibilities are endless here! Toners can be great for refreshing the skin when feeling very oily, dehydrated or even inflamed. The permeability of this product will help naturally set makeup and create a glow as well. If you are a active and on the go, a great toner such as the Indie Lee COQ-10 toner is a great way to clean up the skin after exercising. It’s simple and effective.   

So if I haven’t convinced you of the benefits of toning yet my suggestion would be to experience it. Whenever I feel stressed or anxious the natural calming effects of a little toner spritz relaxes my senses and gives me a burst of skin energy. Try it and see how you will immediately glow! As the easiest and sometimes most important step in a routine it is important to never skip for best skincare practices. It’s my secret to skin success and now your new favorite addition to your skin routine!