Now that we have established the importance of a cleanser and which cleanser to use according to our skin type (normal, oily or acne prone, combination, dry, sensitive) we should look at the next step to build the perfect skincare regime. Using a toner specific for your skin type is a key step that should not be overlooked.
Toners are often ignored and, in the past, have received a bad reputation for drying and even sensitising the skin. However, todays modern toners are well researched to provide our skins with a vital step before applying our serums and moisturisers.
So, what are the benefits that toners provide for our skin:
1. Toners provide an extra layer of cleansing:
Even after cleansing our face with the best cleansers there will always be a small amount of makeup, dirt, impurities, dead skin cells, sebum and free radicals that have accumulated through the day. Toners have the ability to clean left over makeup and penetrate deep into pores to ensure that the skin is fully prepared for the next skincare regime step.
2. Toners tend to add an extra layer of skin hydration:
Modern day toners contain humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerine, ceramides and other moisturising ingredients. These act to soothe, repair and hydrate the outer skin barrier.
3. Toners provide much needed ingredients to rejuvenate the skin
Today’s toners contain ingredients that act as antioxidants and skin replenishing ingredients. These help to remove and neutralise environmental free radicals enhancing the rejuvenating capability of the skin and the rest of your skincare regime. Further benefits include balancing of our skin’s pH or acid/alkaline level.
Choosing the Best Toner For Your Skin Type:
In exactly the same fashion as our entire skincare regime we should only use a toner that is specific for our skin type. Choosing the incorrect toner will cause unwanted skin reactions including stripping the skin of essential nutrients, upsetting the natural pH, overly drying the skin and even increasing sebum production.
Here is a quick guide to choosing the best toner for your skin type:
Normal to Combination Skin:
The best toners for this skin type should contain ingredients that normalise the skin’s pH and remove any excess impurities and sebum. Ingredients to look out for include alphahydroxy and betahydroxy acids. These ingredients are typically found in low concentrations in toners to gently exfoliate and clean deep within pores and at the same time limiting sensitivity reactions.
People who suffer from sensitive skin may believe that they should stay away from toners however the correct toner can be a crucial step in healing, calming and balancing the pH of the skin.
With sensitive skin we need to choose toners that will replenish and repair the skin barrier without stripping the skin of its vital nutrients. Ingredients to look out for include hyaluronic acid, glycerine, antioxidants, and even ceramides.
Oily or Acne Prone Skin:
Excess oil or sebum tends to sit deep in our pores and the correct toner will ensure that all impurities are removed allowing our serums and moisturisers to penetrate the skin. Toners for acne or oily skin should contain beta hydroxy acids and fruit based exfoliants such as papaya or pineapple extracts that will provide both proteolytic and keratolytic effects on the skin.
Dry skin sufferers need to use toners that not only add that extra layer of cleanliness but also hydrate and repair the skin. Ingredients to look out for include hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerine, vitamin E and even aloe vera.
Following from the above we can clearly see that using the appropriate toner for your skin type will provide your skin with numerous benefits including hydration, balancing your skin’s pH, soothing and repairing properties, protection against environmental free radical damage, and most importantly preparing your skin with an effective deep cleanse.
Using a toner twice daily will allow you to visibly see the positive effects on your skin.
Yours in skin
Dr Alek Nikolic