August summer heat is here, and the word of the week is toner! Refreshing, cleansing, and balancing, a good toner is the step between your cleanser and moisturizer that helps remove the last traces of makeup and surface skin debris while restoring healthy pH levels. Toners also help prep the skin for your next skincare step (serum and moisturizer). Let’s take a look at how they set the tone (I know, bad pun, but so obvious!) for radiant, healthy skin – and why you care.
The skin is naturally acidic. That can change after cleansing due to the alkalinity of facial cleansers. The skin must then work harder to return itself to normal pH levels. This can cause increased oil production in oily or combination skin. Using a toner can help tighten cell gaps after cleansing which reduces penetration of environmental pollutants. It also helps shrink pore size and remove any traces of minerals or chlorine present in your water. It’s part of your foundation for softer and smoother skin.
Regardless of your skin type, avoid alcohol-based toners, especially sensitive skin types – which also may need to avoid toners containing glycolic or salicylic acid. Look for a water-based or aloe vera based toner with ingredients like rose, lavender or chamomile extracts and formulas that contain hyaluronic which helps replenish the skin’s moisture levels, making it feel softer and hydrated.
Toner Ingredients to Look for:
Exfoliation: Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid. These work to gently exfoliate your skin, accelerate skin cell turnover and reveal a clearer complexion. They can be beneficial targeting problems like skin dullness and hyperpigmentation.
Hydration: Look for ingredients like glycerin, allantoin, and hyaluronic acid. HA is the ultimate hydrating molecule. It helps boost moisture by binding water to the skin, thereby improving the appearance of fine lines.
Vitamin C: Its antioxidant and skin brightening properties make Vitamin C a go to ingredient. It also helps protect skin from aging free-radicals.