Why Is It Important to Use Toner After Washing Your Face?
The Western world is waking up to the potential of good skincare in a big way. Products that have been popular in Asia for decades but mostly unnoticed in the West are suddenly all over the shelves, from drugstores to high-end beauty shops. One product, part of the infamous seven-step Japanese skincare routine, is toner. Non-astringent and gentle toners have become more available to the casual consumer, but not many people know what it is. Here’s a crash course on the benefits of toning your skin.
What Is Toner?
Basically, toner is an absorbent, hydrating liquid that washes away excess dirt, oils and dead skin cells, but also restores your skin’s pH levels to their natural state. Human skin is naturally slightly acidic, but pretty much all face cleansers are alkaline. Washing your face with soap reduces the skin’s natural acidity, and without resetting it, your skin may not be as healthy as it could be.
How Does It Work?
A quality toner delivers a dose of hydration and washes away impurities on the skin not fully taken off by a basic wash with soap, all while its acids penetrate the skin and reset the alkalinity left by your cleanser. Most toners tighten up pores as well, which protects against dirt, oil and other comedogenic (acne-forming) materials. Some toners also act as humectants, meaning they bind existing moisture to the skin for a gentle hydrating effect. The effect is smoother skin that’s better prepared to absorb whatever product you put on it next, whether that’s lotion, a mask or a layer of foundation. Co-founder of Soko Glam and esthetician Charlotte Cho compares the process to wetting a sponge—“If you put thick cream on a brittle dry sponge, it won’t accept it…but if you wet the sponge, the cream will sink in more easily”.
Most toners are formulated with varying blends of acids, antioxidants and glycerin to strike a balance between hydration, purification and acidity. Different skin types will need different things in a toner to get the most out of it. Oily skin might benefit from a toner made with salicylic acid or an astringent like witch hazel, which removes oils and clears pores without being too harshly drying. On the flip side, dry skin might be helped by a toner with amino acids and fermented yeasts for hydration and nourishment. If your skin is sensitive, steer clear of toners with astringents or perfumes, which can cause excessive drying and irritation. If your skin is normal or combination, it’s hard to go wrong with a toner made with hyaluronic acid, glycerin and vitamin C. Just know your skin type and always check the ingredient list to find out what toner is right for you.
Now that you know all the basics of toning your skin, check out our selection of toners here at Keshoume! Japanese toners are some of the best in the world, so maybe you’ll find the perfect thing to add to your skincare routine right here.
Rowan Thompson - July 13, 2020
Abelman, Devon. “Here's Why You Should Be Using Toner in Your Skin-Care Routine.” Allure, 2 Feb. 2020, https://www.allure.com/story/what-is-toner.
n.a. “Guide to Skin Toner: Do You Need It & How to Use It.” Cleure, n.d, https://www.cleure.com/guide-to-skin-toner-s/551.htm.
Usigan, Ysolt. “The 1 Product You Should Add to Your Beauty Routine for Clearer Skin.” TODAY.com, The Today Show, 2 Aug. 2019, https://www.today.com/shop/6-reasons-why-you-should-use-facial-toner-t73941.