After a weekend of excessive makeup, Halloween face paint, and maybe one too many pieces of candy, it is crucial that we start November off with a little extra pampering to ensure our complexion is healthy and happy for the month ahead. This post I am going to discuss the importance of toners, the benefits they provide; especially after a crazy Halloween weekend, and a couple of my favourite go-to toner products.
Some of you may be confused as to what I am talking about, having never heard of facial toners before. Don’t worry, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really begun to understand what a facial toner was and how fundamental it is to incorporate it into my skin care routine.
A facial toner is a product that is applied to the face after cleansing, both day and night. Although you don’t need a lot of the product when applying it, the benefits that come along with that small dose go a long way. Here are some of the top benefits that toner provides:
1. Toners remove any excess makeup and/or residues that your makeup wipes or cleanser may have missed. It may sound crazy that bacteria, makeup, and other residues can still linger on your face even after both makeup remover and cleansers have been applied to your skin. When really focusing on how much our face endures throughout the day, its not that surprising that it may take a few steps to really get deep into your pores and ensure that you create a clean, blank canvas. This product is great because it targets not only leftover makeup, but also dirt, germs, and other harmful toxins that accumulate throughout the day. Toners have the job of giving you that extra clean feeling, and the satisfaction of having a fresh base for the remaining of your skin care regimen.
2. Toners soothe the face after cleansing. Although cleansing the face is essential for healthy, blemish-free skin, the process can sometimes be invasive, and irritate sensitive areas we may have. I’ve had times where I may have left cleanser on too long, or scrubbed a little to harshly, which resulted in redness, stinging sensations, and even excessive dryness. This is where toner is important, for it has the properties of soothing the skin after cleansing, allowing us to feel refreshed and comforted after a deep clean. Toners usually have properties like chamomile, which is known for its calming effects for both the body and mind, and many toners are based with natural ingredients, NOT alcohol, which means it delivers hydration, resulting in plumpness rather than dry and brittle skin. The soothing abilities of toner allows you to feel refreshed, youthful, and moisturized.
3. Toners repair and balance the PH levels of your face. Our face is one of the most sensitive areas of our body, so the PH levels can be shifted quite easily. Environmental toxins, diet, and many other factors can almost effortlessly alter the balance of our skin. PH balance works off of a scale of 0-14. The lower on the scale means the more acidic the balance is, and the higher up on the scale mean the more alkaline the balance is. This means that the lower on the scale ones facial PH level is results in oiler skin, and the higher on the scale means the more dry ones skin will be. Researchers and dermatologists suggest that skin should have a healthy balance of a 5.5 PH level. Applying toner to the skin helps to shift your skins balance back to its healthy state. This means it will either seal in oils on areas of the face that are too high in PH level, or it will strip oils in areas that are too low in PH levels. This being said, although toner has remarkable effects on our skin, a healthy diet is needed for toner to be able to work most efficiently. Think of it the same as trying to lose weight. Although we know that exercise will help us reach our dream body, the benefits of exercise will never reach full potential without being paired with a healthy diet.
Although toner has an outlasting amount of benefits, these are definitely the top 3 reasons as to why I incorporate them into my skin care routine. Toner can also act as a shield against toxins in the environment, add a glow to the complexion, and create a steady base for moisturizer and serum. All toners are different as well in regards to what they can do for the skin. Next I will talk about some of my favourite toners, and why I enjoy the specific properties of each one!
My Top Two Facial Toners
1. CLINQUE Clarifying Facial Toner #2 ($28)
Although I tend to have dry skin all year-round, the properties of my skin do slightly change between summer and winter. In the summer I still struggle with a dry face, but it isn’t as overwhelming as it is in the winter months. For this reason I flop between two different toners depending on the season I find myself in.
During the summer, I like to use CLINIQUE Clarifying Facial Toner #2. Although this toner is part of their 3-step skin care system, I find it still fits in nicely with the products I have come to incorporate into my own personalized skin care system. This toner is formulated for people with dry or combination skin. I tend to reach for this product in the summer because even though my skin is dry, the summer air can create my T-Zone to become slightly oiler than normal, resulting in combination skin.
This product has an exfoliating effect, meaning that it is able to remove the excess oils that I endure during summer days, but at the same time fights against the flakiness of dry skin. This product is amazing because it targets different areas of my face in different ways, allowing me to achieve an overall even complexion. I have repurchased this product many times, and I don’t see it leaving my routine during the summer any time soon.
2. FRESH Black Tea Age-Delaying Instant Infusion Treatment Toner ($56)
Going off of what I discussed above, my skin tends to be more dry in the Autumn/Winter season, as I’m sure is a common problem of many people. The harsh winds are inevitable to avoid, no matter how big your infinity scarf is. For this reason I tend to switch up my toner during this time to get that extra boost of hydration that my skin longs for.
A new product that I have been loving this fall is the FRESH Black Tea Age-Delaying Instant Infusion Treatment Toner. This product is definitely on the pricier side, but the benefits of this toner are worth the splurge. This product is the ultimate moisturizing toner. The consistency is different than any toner I have ever used. It is a lot thicker and creamier than other toners, which allows for the extra boost of moisture and radiance it promises. I can feel the hydrating properties it adds to my face, for my skin instantly looks dewy and bright. This product advertises 24-hours of moisture and I believe it. After applying this product at night, my skin in the morning still has a subtle glow to it, which is impressive after having it rub against a pillow for 8 hours.
Not only do I love the hydration that this product provides, this treatment toner also focuses on anti-aging and the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles. You may be thinking that I’m a crazy 21 year old for being so interested in anti-aging, and you’re right, I am crazy. Anti-aging has been somewhat of an obsession for me since I was 13. Yes, at 13 years old I bought my first anti-aging product, but my mom told me that it’s never too early to start! Funny enough, I actually fully believe that statement because I believe anti-aging should be a preventative process. It’s much easier to start preparing now for fine lines, rather than facing it for the first time once they have already made residency on your face. Anyways, that’s a topic for another day.
Overall, I love this product and I am happy that I made the splurge on it. Although I believe it may have one too many moisturizing properties for the summer months, it is essential for my winter battle against the cold.
How To Apply Toner
You would think that a product as intense as toner would require a very delicate application method, but it’s surprisingly the simplest part of the skin care process. All you have to do is apply a small amount to cotton pad and wipe it entirely over the face. Make sure the product has been dispersed evenly across the face. Wait a minute or two for the product to absorb into the skin before following with serum and face cream. Apply this both during the day and at night before bed.
For those of you who are new to trying toner, it may take you a few tries to find the one that is a perfect fit for your skin care needs. I would recommend trying a toner designed for sensitive skin to get an idea as to how your skin reacts to the product. Everyone’s skin needs are different so it is important to organize your options to result in the best possible care! For beginners, I would recommend trying out THE FACE SHOP Smim Fermentation Concentrate Total Treatment. This is one of the first toners I ever used, and repurchased it for quite a few years. It is priced at $30, which is pretty good for the amount you get. Using this both day and night I would have to repurchase every 3 months or so, which is quite a long-lasting time for a single product. The SMIM line at The Face Shop is an overall great line, so if you find yourself liking this product, you may also enjoy the accompanying products of the SMIM line.
Well, that’s about all I have to say about toner for the time being. I know this is quite a lot of information to take in, but I believe that it is crucial to know as much information as possible about a product before blindly putting it all over my skin. It is important to protect our skin and the best way to provide care to our face is to be as knowledgeable as we can about products, ingredients, and the properties we need.
Until next time, I hope you have a day of (b)liss!