What Is a Toner? 5 Must-Know Skin Care Tips
What Is A Toner?
Toners are the same as tonics, sprays and mists; beautiful liquid infusions of water-based ingredients. Toners were originally designed to tone the skin. Some of the more old-school versions contained alcohol and astringent ingredients like witch hazel, that would make the pores tighten, hence skin would appear tighter. Modern “green beauty” toners are different.
If you’re likely to miss out on this step of your daily practice, take note because what we’re about to tell you could change not only the appearance, but overall health of your skin:
Toners are a vital part of your skincare practice. They deliver moisture, vitamins, anti-oxidants… all sorts of yummy things that do wonders for your complexion.
Keep on reading as we show how to get the best out of a toner.
Tip 1: Spray it, don’t wipe it
Toners are best used as a spray because the fine mist settles onto skin, without the need for rubbing or wiping which can aggravate skin. The botanical ingredients can then seep deeper in, and become sealed in once you apply your moisturiser or serum.
So if you’ve been using a toner you really love, but it comes in a bottle that requires you to use a cotton pad, buy a spray bottle, and transfer it into that. The benefit (other than gloriously dewey skin) being that you don’t need to buy cotton pads, which is great for the environment too. Did you know that cotton is one of the most chemically sprayed crops in the world?
Tip 2: Use it morning, noon and night
You lose moisture through your skin throughout the day and night. Therefore, it makes sense to replenish lost moisture with a toner. After you’ve cleansed your face first thing in the morning, spritz face, neck and chest with a toner, then glide moisturiser onto face and neck while skin is still moist. This helps seal in moisture.
During the day, whatever the season, keep a toner handy to be able to spray onto face and neck for a quick refresh and hydration boost. It’s essential during Autumn/Winter as skin tends to be drier, and it’s essential during Spring/Summer because you lose more moisture through perspiration.
At night, use it the same way as you applied your toner in the morning. We find 4 sprays (1 on the forehead, 1 on your chin, 1 on the right side of face, 1 on the left) tends to do the job nicely. Hold it about 10-15cm away from your face as you spray.
Tip 3: Blend with your foundation or concealer
Foundations and concealers tend to be quite thick, and look unnatural once applied. I (Kim) don’t always wear foundation or concealer, but when I do, I place a blob into the palm of my hand, then spray toner onto the blob. I then swirl the mixture together in the palm of my hand with my fingertips, and apply to my face.
Now you may be thinking “but how does that work? One’s oil-based, the other’s water-based, so they won’t properly combine.” Trust me, they combine well enough to make application of your foundation/concealer much easier. Plus the end result is more natural and dewey… love that word!
Tip 4: Spray before and after you workout
Replace all that lost moisture that happens when you sweat, by using a toner. They’re fantastic at hydrating and refreshing skin.
Many contain ingredients like aloe, which naturally contains polysaccharides. These bind moisture into skin. Aloe can penetrate 7 layers of human skin, and does so 4 times faster than water. So for a really quick boost of skin hydration, look for toners that contain aloe high up on their ingredients list.
Post-workout, splash your face with cold water, then spray your toner a few times onto face and neck, plus wherever else needs it.
Tip 5: Keep it handy in your bag for flights
Flying is notorious for sucking every last droplet of moisture from your body. Slight exaggeration, we know.
So as well as keeping hydrated by drinking as much water as your bladder can tolerate, you should definitely keep a toner in your hand luggage or handbag (so long as it’s 100ml or less).
Not only will it deliver moisture to your skin as it normally would, but it’ll make you feel perkier and more refreshed! You’ll come off your flight with skin so plump and moist, people will think in-flight spas are now a thing.
Which are your favourite toners and how do you use yours?
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