After the cleanser, a toner is the second step in the step by step plan for a beautiful healthy skin.
The perfect step by step plan
- Sun cream
Why use a toner?
There is much discussion about the use of a toner. A classic toner is a disinfecting or de-greasing product, containing substances that give you a fresh feel. This fresh feel is mainly due to ingredients such as mint, eucalyptus or alcohol. None of which are beneficial to your skin.
Good, modern toners are mild and aren't meant to de-grease or disinfect the skin. What they do take care of, is the removal of soap residue after the face has been washed. A toner containing the right ingredients can sooth irritated skin. What's more, this product can add certain anti-oxidants and hydrating substances to the skin.
What does a good toner contain?
The same as with the cleanser, the toner should be mild. Use of a badly formulated toner can lead to irritation, dry or oily skin and even acne. So make sure that you always use a toner which doesn't contain perfume, colouring, alcohol and other irritating substances. A toner with such ingredients will definitely not improve your skin! A good toner contains substances which sooth and protect the skin. This is achieved by using anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory and hydrating ingredients.
Someone with dry skin uses a toner differently to someone with oily skin. People with oily skin use the toner as an alternative to a cream. For example, it is possible to use just a toner on the forehead, nose and chin and for the rest of the face a toner supplemented by a cream.
What many people do not realise is that using a toner on dry skin helps the moisturiser to be more effective. Many active substances in a cream absorb more easily into damp skin. So applying a moisturizer directly after the toner ensures that both moisture and the active ingredients in the toner become embedded in the skin. Another option for people with sensitive or dry skin is to use a toner instead of a cleanser to clean their face in the mornings.
The claim that a toner can close your pores is a myth. The structure of pores makes it impossible for them to change in size from one moment to another. If pores are visible, it is because they are either blocked or have stretched. The latter could be due to oily skin or acne in the past. Genes also play a role here. When there is mention of blockages it is recommended that a product containing salicylic acid is used. The salicylic acid ensures that sebum and dead skin cells no longer block the pores. Through this they become less visible. Vitamin A acid (prescription only) is also very effective. Cosmetic products, not containing salicylic acid, which promise to change the size of the pores do not work. Or they work very briefly because they make the skin swell or they contain colour pigments. This is obviously not good for the skin.
- A toner removes the last residues of cleanser and/or make-up
- A toner contains mild, non irritating ingredients
- For oily skin a toner can replace cream/moisturizer
- For dry skin a toner can make sure that more moisture and active substances are retained in the skin and that the moisturizer is more effective.
- A toner containing irritating ingredients will make your skin worse rather than better.
(firstname.lastname@example.org - Research Doctor and Head of Skin Therapy)
You can also read:
'help with choosing a toner',
'anti-oxidants in cosmetic products',
'natural cosmetic products. Safe or not?',