Do you really need a toner?
Toners help people with normal, oily, combination, and acne-prone skin types or for individuals who prefer an extra cleanser after wearing heavy skin products such as sunscreens and make up.
What is a toner?
Toners are a lightweight liquid that balances the skins Ph, and also removes leftover dirt, makeup, and oil from freshly cleansed skin. Toners can be used in both your AM and PM routine. They can be sprayed on, or applied on a cotton pad and then onto your skin.
Because of the astringent nature of toners, they can sometimes cause minor irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin or have never used them previously.
Types of toners
Astringents. They are the strongest type and contain a higher percentage of alcohol ranging between 20 to 60%, water, antiseptic ingredients, and a humectant ingredient. In some cases, these ingredients can irritate and damage your skin because they remove excess protein lipids and denature proteins in your skin. This typically only happens in toners with a very high alcohol content. These toners are more suitable for oily and acne prone skin types.
Acid toners. These are strong toners that usually contain beta hydroxy acid and alpha hydroxy acid. Such toners are manufactured to chemically exfoliate your skin. Alpha hydroxy acids used include Mandelic, Lactic, and Glycolic acids to exfoliate the surface of your skin. Salicylic acid is the most common Beta hydroxy acid used in exfoliating into the deeper skin layers as well as remedying acne. These toners are suitable for normal, oily, and combination skin types.
Tonics. They are a bit stronger and contain a small amount of alcohol of 20%, a humectant ingredient, and water. These toners are suitable for oily, normal, and combination skin types.
Fresheners or bracers. Such toners are the mildest type that contains a humectant, water, and a bit of alcohol of about 0 to 10%. Humectants help maintain the moisture of your epidermis' upper skin layers by blocking it from evaporating. These toners are more gentle to your skin and are excellent for dry, normal, sensitive, and dehydrated skin types.
How do you benefit from using a toner?
Toner helps you shrink and clean the pores of your skin. After applying a small amount of toner to a soft cotton pad and gently blotting wiping your skin with it, it will eliminate the oil on your skin and make your skin pores appear small.
Toners promote clear skin and prevent ingrown hairs. Some toners contain glycolic acid or other alpha-hydroxy acids that improve texture and block the growth of ingrown hairs and excess sebum in pores. Using toner adds a layer of protection to your skin. Toners can help close skin pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, which reduces the influx of polluted material and other environmental contaminants into your skin surface.
Do you need a toner? Not necessarily, but, given all the benefits of adding it to your skincare routine, it's recommended to use them for your skins best health.