Toning & Balancing (Guide To Flawless Skin Part 2)
Using a toner or astringent formulated for your skin type is an essential step in completing the cleansing process. A non-alcohol, hydrating toner that is gentle and contains plant extracts and humectants (moisture-building ingredients) will restore moisture-balance to counteract dryness and help normalize oil secretions, while removing any missed traces of dirt or makeup.
Toners are generally of two types: Toners or Astringents. Some contain alcohol, others do not.
Astringents contain special plant extracts, herbs, or ingredients to help “draw together” the surface look of pores to minimize their appearance, but they do not “close” the pores.
Toners are often found to be gentler than Astringents, although this can vary between product lines. Other functions of toners and astringents are as follows:
- To Balance the pH of the skin (which should ideally be around 5.5 to 6 for generally healthy skin).
- To ensure that the skin and the pores are completely clean and free of cleanser residue.
- To help minimize the appearance of pores while improving skin smoothness, texture, and resiliency.
- To begin the hydrating process, by supplying the moisture-building ingredients (humectants) needed by all types of oily, dry, and mature skins.
- To enhance the skin’s ability to absorb the performance ingredients in any serums, concentrates, treatment creams and lotions applied afterward.
- To assist in the correction and prevention of acne. There are toners that have been designed for Acne-Prone skin. These often contain anti-bacterial agents to help reduce p. acnes, the bacteria that cause breakouts.
Cleansing, Toning, and Aging Skin
As the skin ages, it tends to “stretch” or lose elasticity and resiliency, and pores may appear slightly “enlarged” as they become more visible. This is a natural progression of aging on the skin. One of the most important things we can do to slow this natural development is by performing proper daily cleansing and toning, morning and evening, starting at a young age. This can help slow down that process while improving skin texture, tone, elasticity, and resiliency.
How to Apply a Toner
After cleansing, moisten a soft cotton pad with toner and whisk over face, neck, and décolleté. Repeat, if necessary, with a second cotton pad until there is no residue left on the pad or the skin.