How do you define your skincare regimen?
Cleansing and moisturizing, that’s it? Or at the maximum, a night cream or face serum before bed, right? A gentle, soothing face toner is something that most people miss in their skincare routine! It is not only essential to maintain healthy skin but also plays a key role in unclogging the pores by removing oils and traces of dirt from your face. Let’s see how!
What exactly are toners, why they are essential?
Skin toner or simply a toner refers to a lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores. It also moisturizes, protects and refreshes the skin. Toner may look like water but they tend to pack with more than that – glycerin, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, acids.
Do you remember the 90’s when toners were dreaded as incredibly drying astringents that are not good for radiant and healthy skin? Today, the newest generations of toners do the opposite, they are moisturizing, skin nourishing and enhance the skin brightness! Many of these are natural and alcohol-free, address every skin concern and no longer limited to acne or oily skin.
Astringents are the stronger form of toner that contain a high proportion of synthetic alcohol (20-60%), antiseptic ingredients, water and humectants. These can be damaging and irritating to the skin as they can remove excess protective lipids as well as denature proteins in the skin due to a high percentage of alcohol.
The best routine for face toner
Best time to use a toner is “just after cleansing” and use in both day as well as night routines. Deep cleansing removes dead cells, makeup, dirt & grime so that toner can get to places where it needs to.
Apply toner within one minute of cleansing, the reason being the active ingredients of toner penetrates the skin better when the skin is wet and gives best results. After applying toner, you can proceed with moisturizers, serums, SPF, night creams, etc.
A very important point to remember – toners are NOT a replacement for washing your face! They add an extra step but not a shortcut to your skincare regimen. Toners prepare your skin to absorb moisture better as the moisturizing creams or serums will sink in more easily.
Face toner – natural vs synthetic?
There were times when we had to live with toners loaded with alcohol that were used to “tighten” the skin, remove excess oil and minimize large pores. But the alcohols in them – isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and benzyl alcohol wreaked havoc on the skin by stripping it of its natural moisturizer, misbalancing natural pH and causes irritation. Combine this with the chemical ingredients and unnatural preservatives such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes that again led to dry and irritated skin.
Today we have the option of face toners devoid of these harsh chemicals or unnatural preservatives and have their ingredients not only with natural origin but that is “organic” in nature.
Which common natural ingredients should I look for in my facial toner?
It is very important to read the label of your toner and look for the ingredients that make your skin feel and look fresh, balanced and squeaky clean. You need to look for ingredients that address your specific concerns. Some of these include:
- Cucumber: Cools & soothes the skin, high in antioxidants & Vitamin C. Provides a healthy glow to the skin.
- Fig fruit extract: Enhance skin hydration by preventing water loss, improves skin color by addressing the skin enzyme – tyrosinase responsible for dark spots.
- Honeysuckle extract: Treat skin conditions like Rosacea, Eczema and Acne, improve uneven skin tone and dullness.
- Lentil Fruit Extract: Controls & combats oily areas of the skin without dehydrating dryer areas.
- Watermelon Extract: Improves skin’s texture by non-abrasive exfoliation, source of Vitamin A & C and lycopene, regenerates the skin.
- Apple Fruit Extract: Anti-aging and skin-smoothing, high in antioxidants to protect skin from free radicals, maintain its youthful elasticity.
- Algae Extract: Provides suppleness and clarity to the epidermis.
You may notice that each of the ingredients has a specific purpose and besides these, you may find toners in the market with rose water, pumpkin extract, vinegar, charcoal, witch hazel, tea tree or with citrus extracts as lemon or grapefruit.
It’s a bit challenging to find a toner that has all these important ingredients but the Canadian brand – Refresh Botanicals has formulated one such toner that not only covers almost all skin issues but is also suitable for all skin types including those with acne, rosacea, eczema or sensitive skin.
The TONER is not only 99.74% natural but also 85.57% organic!