We grow up listening to this ‘beauty mantra’: a healthy skin regime must include a cleanser, a toner and a moisturiser. Then, there’s Clinique’s 3 step-system to reinforce it and for many periods of my life I tried to stick to it (but not with Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion anymore because it contains alcohol – more of this later). But, we really need to use them all?
First of all, shall we remember what is a toner and what it does for the skin? Basically, this water based solution finishes the cleansing process and replenishes moisture. Is it essential? No, but can make a difference, especially if you wear makeup everyday (most of us, I believe) or have acne-prone skin. On the former case, I don’t need to explain much, right? On the latter, the toner will help to tighten pores and avoid blackheads if it contains ingredients like salicylic acid – my favourite is not a tonic per se, but since it’s liquid I assume it could be: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA. Important note: for years we believed that alcohol based formulas were good for oily skin but they are not (that’s why I gave up from Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion!). Besides being irritating, alcohol can cause collagen and elastin breakdown and actually age your skin. Who wants that?
For dry, normal or sensitive skins, the toner can act as a soothing, calming agent bringing an extra dose of hydration if it contains ingredients like green tea, chamomile, licorice and Panthenol.
For me, toners are key to give a refreshing feeling and leave that healthy glow on the skin. It can be unnecessary, but does make a difference!