There seems to have mixed feelings about toner. Unlike moisturizers and sunscreen, a toner is optional despite they may help to clean away anything your cleanser has left behind. For those with excessively oily and congested skin, they can greatly improve the overall condition of your skin. However, toners cannot shrink your pores as the skin is a very complex organ, its function, and size of its vital parts such as pores cannot be simply altered by a single lick of a cotton ball.
There are various names for toner: astringents, fresheners, clarifying lotions, facial mists, and floral water. Toners are fluids or lotions often sold as a must-use step and designed as a second tier to the cleansing process to remove surface skin cells, excess oils and exfoliate dead skin cells.
The cleansers these days perform well and is sufficient enough to remove makeup, oil, dirt, and debris from the skin without leaving any residue. If you prefer to keep skin care regimes simple and you double cleanse, a toner can truly be optional. If you consider making a toner apart of your daily skin care regimen, you may use a mild acidic toner if you double-cleanse with an alkaline-based foaming cleanser that may leave the skin pH off balance. A mild acidic toner will neutralize the alkalinity and return the skin’s acidic balance to normal.
A good toner should soothe, nourishes calms blemishes, and delivers active ingredients to the freshly cleansed skin. It should be mild, hydrate and lightweight, allowing your skin to breathe and heal itself during the night. It can be served as a great multipurpose beauty product if you are on the run, for example, you can pack a mini spray bottle of toner or face mist of your choice as a beauty kit to the gym. Spray your face after strenuous activity that makes you sweat, and finish your shower with a dab of toner to soothe your skin and prepare it for moisturizer. Toners can be packed for your travel, as a dispensable and economical way of face mist to fresh and mist your face during the air travel.
The most common application of toner is with a clean, cotton pad but the most economical way to use a toner is to spray or spritz it on your face. Hold the atomizer or spray bottle about 10-12 inches from your face, close your eyes, mist it over your face 2-3 times. Massage or pat the liquid into your skin.
A word of warning, avoid alcohol-based toners as they are very drying. If a toner contains alcohol, it should be grain alcohol (ethanol), not petroleum-derived isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol), which considered poisonous. Common irritants include menthol (menthol, menthyl acetate, and menthyl PCA) should be avoided as well.
Witch hazel, rose water, calendula, green tea, lavender suit all skin needs. If you have acne, the best toner is one with salicylic or glycolic acid, and such toners are best applied with a cotton ball, not with a vaporizer. Toners with glycerin and hyaluronic acid can help hydrate the skin and prevent dryness. Another good choice of toner is one formulated with floral water, they are essentially a mix of distilled water with a small percentage of plant extract and can also be known as a hydrosol. You can learn more about hydrosols and different types of hydrosol and their benefits here.
As with so much relating to beauty, if toner works for you, embrace it.
You can also make your own toners and face mist. See the homemade recipes if you like to try or start with a homemade toner to replace your over-the-counter toner or face mist.