Monday, August 10, 2020

TONERS 101: WHAT is a toner and WHY use one? Also HOW & WHEN to use a toner?

WHAT is a toner? 

Toner (also called freshener, astringent, clarifying lotion, etc.) is a water-based liquid designed to superficially hydrate and lower the pH of the skin. Almost all product lines have toners.

Technically, toners reacidify the epidermis and prepare the skin for moisturizer. To reacidify means to replace the skin’s naturally low (acidic) pH, which is disrupted somewhat even with gentle cleansers. Epidermis is just another word for your outer, dead skin, the skin you can touch. So toners help replace the natural acidic state of your skin. Toners are primarily water, so they also superficially hydrate the outer skin. After cleansing and toning, you are ready for Step 3: Moisturizing.

What a toner is not: A toner is not a product that should strip your skin of all the oil and water on the surface (this causes dehydration). A toner is not a product that should contain alcohol (the bad kind). And a toner is not a cleanser!

WHY use a toner? 

Toners are an important yet misunderstood step in your daily program. You may have heard they are the second step in cleansing: “Wipe your face with a cotton ball soaked in toner and look at all the dirt it picks up.” If the cotton is showing dirt, what that really means is you didn’t get your skin clean, so it’s back to Step 1: Cleansing for you. Cleansers cleanse, toners tone or prepare the skin. Toners are not cleansers. 

Some of you may be using toners thinking you are tightening or even shrinking your pores. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It is physiologically impossible to shrink the pores. Toners that have alcohol or other drying agents in them cause your skin to swell slightly, giving you the feeling of tightening. But actually these drying agents (especially alcohol) will strip the skin and eventually cause dehydration—making your skin feel dry. Toners prepare the skin for moisturizing, they do not alter the structure of the skin.

HOW to use a toner?

Most likely you have always put toner on a cotton pad and gone over your face with it. Or you may have been splashing it on like an aftershave. I recommend spraying toner on your face as the optimum way of applying it. This method is quick, economical, and the most effective way to apply toner evenly onto your face. It feels refreshing as well, and you don’t need to keep cotton around.

If your toner doesn’t already come in a spray bottle (Yonka toners do), empty spray bottles are easy to find at any beauty supply or grocery store. So just purchase one, pour your toner in it, and spray away. You’ll be so happy you did! It’s a quick and easy way to apply your toner, and it also is a refreshing blast of hydration for your face. For men, this spray method will eliminate the use of cotton that tends to stick in the beard.

WHEN to use a toner?

Always use a toner after washing your face. Because you have slightly disrupted the pH of your skin while cleansing, you want to reacidify the surface (get it back to its natural acid state). Using toner after cleansing sets up the right environment for your skin to be balanced and then prepared for hydration (moisturizing). Your toner should be gentle enough that you can spray it throughout the day.

Whenever I go into my bathroom, I grab my toner and enjoy a refreshing spray mist. It’s a wonderful little treat for my face. In general, however, after you have thoroughly washed your face and neck (morning and evening) and patted your skin dry with a towel, use your toner. After cleansing and toning, your skin is ready for your third and final step, moisturizing.

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