Toners are often the forgotten step...the afterthought and the most neglected step in skincare routines. There is no documented reason as to why but I am sure we can agree that our lives are busy and every extra minute counts. A quick swoosh of the right toner can make a huge difference in the appearance of our skin not to mention it’s overall good health. Our skin is acidic by nature so helping to balance the PH can avoid a slew of issues from large pores to blackheads and choosing a suitable toner is simple. Avoid rubbing alcohol, witch hazel and pure lemon. Pure lemon has been suggested in every beauty magazine as a “miracle” toner when in fact it is simply far too strong to use on its own. When shopping for a toner it should not have more than 3 or 4 ingredients and that list should start with water (distilled preferably) You may see “rosewater, cucumber water or any botanically based water and that is perfect. There are also a large number of toners that are tea based and providing there is no alcohol are equally beneficial to those botanically based. Even if you have acne prone skin the harsh reality of Witch Hazel and alcohols is that they promote damage from free radicals, over stimulate oil production and strip the cells of all protection and remember that we are simply “toning” to protect our skin and close pores to the daily toxins we encounter.
The use of a toner can be both am and pm however if you are just too tired at night after washing your face skipping it until morning is ok and research shows that using a toner every morning offers superior protection throughout the entire day.
A high quality toner can easily be made at home using a cup of tea, specifically chamomile or green tea for their antioxidant powers. If you are feeling crafty as I do from time to time just brew 1 cup of either tea and apply to clean skin with a cotton ball. You can store the tea in the fridge for 1 week. The only problem I have run into with that is I do not wash my face in my kitchen so I wind up missing the toning step from sheer laziness of not getting it from the fridge and or returning it. I am a tea drinker though and I have made a morning cup of tea to drink while I get ready and used a tablespoon of it as toner, it isn’t gross sounding if you lack certain morning motivations like me.Cleansing and toning in these simplified ways may seem sketchy to those of us who have been brought up on believing everything the advertisements of big name and high priced products but there is a mental shift taking place in our intelligence as a society and we are rising above commercials, costly magazine ads and celebrity spokespeople...we are realizing that just because it is expensive and promises to work our own common sense prevailing. If this weren’t the case there would be very few all natural products and even fewer resources on alternatives to chemically synthesized cosmetic ingredients. We are immersed in a world where a skincare company spends more money on advertising a product than they actually spend on the quality of the same item.