Beauty Beat: What’s The Point Of Toner Anyway?

Back in the day, your mom used a bar of soap for everything—washing hands, body, and face. And once gals started catching on—that maybe there was more to moisture than just a bar of soap—well then came the 3-step process (cleans, tone, moisturize). Remember the original Clinque set? They’ve been doing it for years!

I polled a couple of skin experts—Dr. Murad and Dr. Leslie Baumann of Skin Type Solutions—to get the down-and-dirty on what toner’s all about anyway. First, Dr. Murad explains:

“Applied after cleansing to fully cleanse and hydrate skin, toners help restore the skin’s natural pH balance. Also, given how busy we all are these days, people tend to rush through the cleansing process and tonics can remove any impurities that may not have been washed away during cleansing.”

So how’s a girl to know which is best, Dr. Murad?

“For acne-prone skin, choose a toner with antioxidants like Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin E to help protect against free radicals, Chondrus Crispus Extract which regulates oil production, and Witch Hazel, which removes oil while tightening pores. If you have environmental damage, sun spots, or age spots, use a toner that features ingredients such as Bitter Orange Flower and Coneflower Extract that strengthen skin’s natural defense system while natural moisture factors gently condition and hydrate skin. For people with dry skin or hormonal aging, a hydrating toner featuring lecithin will lock in moisture and restore suppleness, will soften and smooth skin, and Chamomile and Cucumber Extract soothe irritation. Witch hazel is key for all skin types because it is gentle, tightens pores, and helps restore natural pH balance.”

He recommends Murad’s Hydrating Toner and Murad’s Clarifying Toner. While Dr. Murad is clearly a proponent of toners, Dr. Baumann is more particular about its usage.

“I only recommend toners for oily skin types [because they] tend to use cleansers that have ingredients that can throw off your skin’s normal pH balance (between 5–6 is normal) like: Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolics, etc. Dry skin types should not use toners at all [because] they can strip oil production and throw off your skin’s pH balance.”

For patients with sensitive skin, Dr. Baumann recommends SheaTerra Organics Rose Toner. I, personally, use the stuff religiously. My current favorite: Tammy Fender Essential Tonic C. If you’re unsure where to start, it looks like, according to our docs, when in doubt, get some Witch Hazel!

Don’t feel you have time for the stuff? Opt for a super-smoothing illuminator like this per-fékt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel (i.e, fab skin on-the-go).

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