As far as skin care is concerned, there is no doubt that the sooner we worry about taking care of it, the greater benefits we will obtain in the long run. And it will mean that we will be providing all the hydration, protection and nutrition that you need so much every day. And, in addition, we will be carrying it out on a regular basis. To do this, it is not necessary to wait for the first wrinkles to begin to form, since although it is true that these are part of the natural aging process of our body (so that, ultimately, they are simply inevitable), it is not the same that arise as we are turning years, to that they do so prematurely.
The truth is that when it comes to preventing the formation of wrinkles prematurely, it is essential to try to take maximum care of the skin, maintaining a skin care routine if possible on a regular basis over time, which means carrying it out, at least every day. Likewise, it is essential to avoid or reduce to the maximum those habits that directly influence premature aging of the skin. A good example is found in sun exposure: it is estimated that 80 percent of premature aging is directly caused by the sun (in this case it is called photoaging).
Hence, it is of vital importance to try, at least, to protect our skin whenever we go outdoors, and above all, every time we go to sunbathe on the beach or in the pool, with the use of a protector. broad-spectrum sunscreen -which means that it will protect us from both UVA and UVB rays-, and at least a sun protection factor of 30 or more. Likewise, it is also advisable not only to apply it 40 minutes before leaving home, but to renew it at least every 2 hours, and to avoid sunbathing at the times considered to be the most dangerous of the day (the period between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.). 4 p.m.).
If we take into account that, from the age of 25, the normal production of collagen by our skin tends to decrease by around 1 percent each year, it is clear that trying to take care of it every day is, at least, fundamental. Even when, as is logical to assume at first, the main damage caused by this natural decrease in collagen does not become truly visible until a few decades have passed (even when the first fine lines of wrinkles and fine lines of expression appear around the 30 years of age, it is not until the age of 45-50 that the first deeper wrinkles begin to form).
Therefore, everything we do when it comes to taking care of our skin is essential. And it is even more important if we start as soon as possible. This means that it is not necessary to wait for the first wrinkles to form above the upper part of the lip or for the so-called “crow’s feet” to appear (these are some of the first to appear on the face even when we are still quite young). ), to start following a daily skin care routine, which provides the skin with regular care, using products specially designed not only for our skin type itself, but also when it comes to providing it with nutrients, active ingredients and a whole set of benefits that will not only be seen in the short term, but particularly in the long term, as time progresses.
Among the different products that we should add to our beauty routine, the facial toner is one of the most interesting, thanks not only to its ease of use and application, but also to the different benefits and qualities it provides to the skin when used with some regularity. Do you want to discover more about him? This time we explain to you what it consists of, when to use it and what benefits it provides you (that is, what its main uses are).
What exactly is a facial toner?
There is no doubt: the proper care of the skin of our face requires patience and perseverance. It is essential to carry it out with some regularity, daily, or even in the morning and at night. And it is also essential to clean and moisturize it periodically. However, facial toners also play an important role in ensuring that our skin looks as healthy and clean as possible.
Basically a facial toner becomes an intermediate step for skin care. It becomes a commonly used product to be used after washing your face (for example, after you have thoroughly cleansed your skin), but before using a serum or moisturizer. It is often known by other names, such as exfoliating essence or acid.
It basically consists of a liquid capable of rapidly penetrating the skin, which provides or provides a rapid hydration effect, helping to eliminate some dead cells present on the skin’s surface; although, obviously, it is not an exfoliant. The result is more than evident: the skin appears smoother and brighter. And as most experts agree, facial toner should be part of your skin care routine, just like moisturizers or serums.
Until a few years ago, facial toners were used as a way to balance the pH of the skin immediately after using an alkaline soap product (commonly used during the skin cleansing procedure). However, since today most of the cleansers that we can find in stores have a pH that is not only much more balanced, but above all softer, most toners have evolved in such a way that they have become their own dedicated products. for skin care, and are not used solely for pH balance. This means that there is now a wide variety of toners that provide different benefits, rather than the typical astringent product that was only used once in a while.
Of course, we should not confuse a facial toner with an astringent product. But differentiating them is extremely simple and easy. In fact, we only have to bear in mind that astringents are generally formulated based on alcohol solvents, while toners, although it is true that they may also contain alcohol, in turn there are options available under formulation without alcohol (an option, not in vain, extremely useful for dry and sensitive skin, since as you probably know, alcohol tends to irritate and dry the skin even more).
However, it is true that they share some basic qualities. For example, astringents also help minimize the appearance of open or very large pores. However, alcohol can end up drying out your skin too much.
For this reason, alcohol-free facial toners are characterized by being gentler and more gentle on the skin, compared to an astringent. And this does not mean that it is not just as effective. In addition, toners -especially those formulated without alcohol- can be used practically every day to help finish cleaning the skin in depth. The same does not happen with astringents, which, although they can also be used daily, can dry out the skin excessively, so it is not very suitable if, in addition, we tend to have skin that is already dry or too sensitive.
What are the benefits of facial toner? What is it for
There is no doubt that, due to their main qualities and effects, facial toners become an excellent option for people with oily skin or with a certain tendency to acne, as well as for all those women who want additional cleaning after using makeup. or any other product with a heavier texture and consistency on the skin, such as sunscreen.
But this is not the only thing that the facial toner can do. Here are some of its main benefits for the skin:
Helps restore the skin’s pH balance
Our skin is generally naturally acidic, with a pH balance that typically averages between five and six (on a scale originally from 0 to 14).
However, especially after a cleaning in which we have used soap (due to its alkaline nature), this natural balance can end up getting out of control. If this happens, the skin needs to “work” overtime to return to its normal levels, which will end up producing a greater amount of oil.
Luckily, regular use of a facial toner restores balance, and more quickly, too.
Help remove makeup
Did you know that facial toners were originally designed as an additional cleansing step to remove makeup impurities, dirt, and environmental pollution?
While it’s true that cleansers have come a long way to get here, and can be a huge help in removing makeup, if you don’t do it quite right (or even choose to double cleanse), some remains may remain. So the best – and easiest – way to ensure that your complexion will be impeccably clean is by using a toner.
Helps shrink pores
Pores can get clogged quite easily when you’re in the habit of leaving your makeup on at night, when you don’t remove it properly (which ends up leaving some traces of cosmetics on your skin), or when you don’t cleanse your skin thoroughly on a regular basis, which can also cause excess oil and dirt to build up.
The truth is that applying a small amount of facial toner to a soft cotton ball or pad, and gently drying and cleansing the face with it, will help remove any excess oil that we may have on the skin, which will provide an added benefit., since it will give the appearance of having much smaller pores.
Provides a layer of protection
Since toners can be extremely helpful in closing and shrinking pores, tightening the spaces between cells after cleansing provides an extra or additional layer of protection.
This is very helpful, since it reduces not only the penetration of impurities, but especially of certain environmental contaminants. What’s more, it could protect even from the minerals present in tap water, and other substances that are not so beneficial for skin health, such as chlorine.
In short, it helps to improve the skin when we need it, providing another layer of hydration, especially in those moments when we need an extra contribution, and we do not have the moisturizer at hand. In fact, with a quick injection of the toner itself with the help of a cotton pad, we will not only be able to clean our skin, but it will moisten it until it is fresh and soft, without the need to use water!
It acts in a similar way to a moisturizer and also refreshes the skin
Some facial toners, due to their composition and the presence of certain ingredients with moisturizing qualities, can act in the same way that a moisturizing product would, which means that they help preserve the moisture naturally present in the skin.
In addition, if at any time you have already applied a toner to your skin, since you will have noticed one of its fastest and most powerful effects: it’s refreshing qualities, leaving the skin completely revitalized even when you are not at home, particularly when your skin feels dirty or too oily.
May help prevent the formation of ingrown hairs
There is nothing more painful and uncomfortable than an ingrown hair. Luckily, since some toners contain glycolic acid or any other alpha hydroxy acid, they can help prevent ingrown hairs.
Removes excess oil
When the skin produces too much oil, and we also do nothing to try to prevent it from building up by maintaining at least one skincare routine specifically for oily skin, we are more likely to have problems related to breakouts. of acne.
Luckily, facial toners are precisely known for their qualities when it comes to removing excess oil, which is ultimately what clogs pores and causes uncomfortable and annoying blackheads in the long run.
The fundamental thing if you have oily skin, prone to excessive oil production, and also prone to acne, is to choose a facial toner that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid in its composition, since it will help reduce excessive shine and, also the oil.
This quality is even more interesting during the summer months, since when we tend to sweat a lot, this combines with excess oils, bacteria and dirt, which results in an increase in acne breakouts. Why do you usually suffer from many pimple problems throughout the summer months? It is mainly for this reason.
However, you have to be careful with toners that contain salicylic acid, as it tends to have a reputation for being slightly harsh, causing some dryness on the skin. For this reason, salicylic acid facial toners should only be used to combat acne-related problems.
The same thing happens, for example, with facial toners that contain benzoyl peroxide in their composition, which is generally used to treat and combat acne. In some people, especially those with very sensitive skin, it can end up being enormously intense, causing more harm than good.
Basically, below we summarize some of the main benefits that the use of a facial toner provides us with on a regular basis:
- It helps to cleanse the skin, even improving the effect of the cleanser that we have used previously.
- Restores the pH balance of the skin.
- It keeps away impurities such as dirt, oil and the makeup itself that could not be properly removed with the help of the cleanser.
- Moisturizes the skin, adding an extra layer of protection/hydration.
- Reduces acne and pimples. In fact, it reduces the risk of acne breakouts.
- Reduces the appearance of pores.
- Helps unify skin tone.
- The skin becomes younger, softer, smoother and more vibrant.
And what’s even better: when used daily in conjunction with a skin care routine specific to our skin type, fine lines and wrinkles will diminish in appearance.
When is the best time to use a toner?
Although the short answer is to use it immediately after you have thoroughly cleansed your skin, most specialists and beauty experts advise including the toner in your skincare routine, not only in the morning, but also at night.
In fact, they recommend using the facial toner after the double facial cleansing and after having exfoliated the skin. Since it is not recommended to exfoliate your skin quite regularly (far from doing it daily, it is best to do it once or twice a week), it is therefore advisable to try to use this product every day after facial cleansing, and when it’s your turn to exfoliate your skin, use it on that occasion after exfoliation.
Many experts speak wonderfully of double facial cleansing. And if you have already tried it, it is possible that you will too. And how to do it? It is as simple as first applying a cleanser, for example micellar water with which you can clean makeup and dirt accumulated throughout the day, without the need to rinse your skin, and finally use a somewhat deeper cleanser.
As we explained to you on a previous occasion, double facial cleansing becomes the best way to cleanse the skin in depth, something elementary if, above all, you have worn makeup throughout the day, since it will help to remove it. in an effective and simple way, and you will make sure that no cosmetic product remains on your face.
While leaving a bit of makeup on at bedtime probably won’t cause any problems, it won’t if you’re in the habit of doing it too often, as suddenly the next day you could find yourself with a dull complexion and dull, without light, red, inflamed, and what’s even worse… with a higher risk of acne breakouts as a result of clogged pores (indeed, caused by makeup and dirt accumulated throughout the day).
Carrying out a thorough skin cleansing, daily, is essential to remove dirt and grime, makeup and dead skin cells. And this not only offers the added benefits of perfectly clean skin. Did you know that it also helps to ensure that the most beneficial ingredients that you will find in the composition of the tonic, can better reach where it is truly necessary?
Therefore, it is essential to use a toner after cleansing. And as many beauty experts also advise, it is essential to do it within the next minute after finishing cleaning. Why? The truth is that it is not a banal recommendation, given without meaning. On the contrary, it has a reason: most molecules tend to penetrate our skin much better when it is still wet, so if we apply these active ingredients immediately after finishing the cleansing process, the product will ultimately will end up offering the best results.
On the other hand, some experts recommend using the facial toner morning and night. Especially when the skin is dry, or too easily irritated, it is advised to use it once a day, or every other day. We must remember that these tonics contain a series of certainly powerful active ingredients. However, if you want to go for a more astringent formula (especially designed for acne-prone or oily skin), you should ideally use it every other day, then gradually increase it depending on how your skin responds to it.
In short, as long as the formulation is tolerated by the skin, it is highly recommended to use facial toners twice a day, after each cleansing.
How is it recommended to apply the toner?
As far as the actual application method of the facial toner is concerned, there is no specific guideline on its use, in the same way that, for example, most experts do agree on the timing of the skin care routine. more timely when using it. In this case, everything will depend directly on the personal taste of each one.
So, this means that you could dispense the toner onto a cotton pad or ball and gently glide it around your face, always working from the inside out. Or, alternatively, spray a little toning product on your hands and hit it directly on the skin (applying it, yes, gently and delicately). The truth is that both options are equally suitable: the key, basically, is to use the facial toner at the most opportune moment, regardless of the steps you follow when applying it.
However, some beauty specialists advise opting for what is known as the 7-step method, a Korean technique specially designed to recover the skin in depth, and which basically consists of the act of applying a light and aqueous toner or essence to the skin. your face up to seven times, just after you have cleansed your skin, and immediately before proceeding to moisturize it.
Theoretically, by layering the toner several times, the skin is able to absorb more of the moisturizing ingredients, so we could enjoy even more hydrated and healthy skin. And it is that, as its main defenders believe, with a single application the product does not manage to reach the epidermis, so it is necessary to resort to applying it several times.
Of course, for the toner to work properly, it is essential to opt for a light and less concentrated toner, with a watery texture, which has the advantage of being absorbed very quickly, not drying out the skin, nourishing it and moisturizing it. In addition, it is essential to let the product in question be completely absorbed between layers. Only in this way will we ensure that the product will penetrate the skin as it should.
It is much better, for example, to rub the toner around the face, starting from the so-called T-zone and working outwards. It is always recommended to start with a small amount, without going overboard, and then add more if needed.
Basically, the process to follow -especially if you don’t want to get too complicated- is extremely simple, easy and simple: soak a cotton ball or pad in the toning product you have chosen and gently rub it over the skin, immediately after cleansing, all mornings and also before going to bed at night. As we have told you, this should actually be the second step (remember that the first is to clean your facial skin in depth), with which we prepare the skin so that it can better absorb the moisturizer (third step), and the different treatments of the skin that you are going to use later, if they exist (fourth step).
However, remember one essential thing: the way you apply the toner will vary depending on the type of toner you are going to use, and will also depend on the desired amount.
What kind of facial toner to use?
As with most products commonly used in the skin care routine (we can mention, for example, moisturizing creams), in the world of facial toners there is also the possibility of choosing from a wide variety, which will depend on directly from the particular needs of our skin, as well as -obviously- our skin type itself. Using a toner for dry skin is not the same as using a toner for skin with excess oil, wrinkles or dark spots.
- Facial toners for sensitive skin. Alcohol-containing toners are not suitable or recommended, as they will end up further irritating sensitive skin, increasing the risk of drying it out. Ideally, look for a toner that contains natural ingredients that help soothe the skin, providing relief and deep hydration. The best? Choose those that only contain one hundred percent natural ingredients, and that, above all, do not contain any alcohol.
- Facial toners for oily or acne-prone skin. It is best to opt for a facial toner based on glycolic acid, which consists of a common ingredient in many products commonly used for skin care, and which consists of an acid derived from sugar cane, which belongs to the family of alpha hydroxy acids, and which consists of a small molecule capable of penetrating the skin quite easily. It is also appropriate to opt for an astringent toner, which is actually a good way to balance the pH levels of the skin, while also acting as a gentle exfoliant to help prevent future acne breakouts. Toners with salicylic acid are also interesting, which will provide an even better boost when it comes to lightening the skin. Likewise, it is best to opt for non-alcoholic tonics and, if possible,
- Facial toners for large pores. If you have pores that are too large and visible, the best thing to do is to choose a facial toner that contains alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, which we have already talked about in the previous section. It will help to better eliminate the dead cells that accumulate around the pores, and that cause them to look so prominent.
- Facial toners for dull skin. If you tend to have dull, dull complexions, toners that contain natural exfoliating ingredients (such as lactic acid or papaya extract) are great options for getting your skin glowing. Of course, on this occasion it is also essential to avoid any facial tonic that contains alcohol among its composition.
- Facial toners for dry skin. When you have dry skin, a toner can offer you the possibility of keeping it properly hydrated; always, of course, that tonics that contain alcohol and that are astringent are avoided, since, as we have seen, these ingredients can end up being too strong. Look for toners that contain coconut water and rose water, which help nourish the skin, while witch hazel helps gently detoxify bacteria while naturally cleansing the skin.
- Facial toners for mixed skin. A combination skin means that it is a normal skin type, on some sides, while in other areas of the face there is an oilier tendency. The best thing in these cases is to opt for a facial toner that is neither too strong nor too light. Look for those that help balance the pH levels of combination skin, while moisturizing dry parts and controlling blemishes and oily patches.
- Facial toners for normal skin. If you are lucky enough to have normal skin, then congratulations, as a facial toner can serve you almost perfectly for a wide variety of different purposes. Although in these cases, remember that it is best to use toners with natural ingredients, such as green tea extract or chamomile flowers, which relax and care for the skin while increasing shine and evening out the tone.
As we can see, we can often find different formulations specially manufactured for each type of skin. Although, since the main objective is to gently refresh the skin, without removing natural moisture, in most cases a facial toner will never irritate sensitive skin, nor cause the appearance of excessive dryness. However, the key is to know how to use it correctly, and ultimately to use the most appropriate option depending on the type of skin we have, or the needs it has at a given time.
What to do after facial toner?
Remember that the application of the facial toner should be part of your daily skin care routine, in the same way that, for example, the skin cleanser and the use of moisturizer or moisturizer do. Therefore, the key is to integrate the toning product into your daily routine, and above all, do it at the most appropriate (and opportune) time.
Don’t forget that the ideal time to apply the toner is after deep cleansing, when the skin is still damp. This means that it is best to do it immediately afterwards, within a minute (at most) or less. But what about afterwards? What should we do once we have applied the facial toner?
Once applied, it is advisable to let it penetrate the skin until it has practically completely disappeared. Remember that, thanks to its watery texture and its composition of active ingredients, it has the ability to penetrate the skin more quickly, especially when you comply with the essential point of doing it right after cleansing, when the skin is still damp (since it favors and further facilitates the penetration of the product in question).
Then it is essential to follow with your usual moisturizer, which is nothing more than your favorite facial moisturizer. It is equally essential to always finish the routine with the application of moisturizer, since it helps to block the water present in the skin, while absorbing water from the outside. The result is more than evident: the skin looks and feels smoother absolutely immediately, while appearing healthier. But its qualities do not end there, since, in the long run, it helps prevent wrinkles and reduces the tired appearance of the face.
However, in relation to the type of moisturizer or moisturizer to use, everything will depend on the moment in which you are carrying out the skin care routine. For example, if in the morning you usually briefly cleanse your facial skin, apply a toner and finally use a moisturizer for the day, it is best that it has a sunscreen with SPF, which will help protect the skin from the effects of sunburn. sun aging (don’t forget that ultraviolet rays cause 80 percent of skin wrinkles, and are directly related to premature aging, or photoaging).
However, if you apply it only at night (for example, in your night skin care routine), it is best to finally opt for a night action moisturizer, which will provide the necessary ingredients to care for and hydrate the skin during the night. the night.
What ingredients should our facial toner contain?
Once we are clear about which ingredients and substances we should avoid containing in our facial toner (especially alcohol, as well as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide if we do not have acne problems), it is best to check the ingredients label in search of compounds of botanical origin. And, in particular, some of the following are extremely interesting:
- Aloe vera. It is very popular for its calming effect. When found in a toner it can help provide a boost of hydration, relieving redness or temporary discomfort.
- Green Tea. It is a wonderful natural ingredient when found as an extract in many skin care products. It is recognized -and known- for its natural antioxidant properties, being able to equalize the appearance of the skin and help rejuvenate it.
- Water of roses. It basically consists of rose petals soaked in purified water, which provides excellent benefits for the skin. In the form of a toner, for example, it helps remove impurities completely and completely naturally, while temporarily tightening the skin. It hydrates the skin naturally and helps increase the absorption of the moisturizer when it is applied later, helping the skin to better retain moisture.
- Tea tree oil. Traditionally, tea tree oil has been used to remove oil and dirt build-up from the skin’s surface, thereby unclogging and unclogging pores. As a toner, for example, it can minimize the appearance of pores, while renewing the skin and leaving a slightly more matte finish.
What to do if you have sensitive skin? Can you still use a facial toner?
As we have mentioned, any type of skin can enjoy the different qualities and benefits that a facial toner provides. But when we have sensitive skin, it is vitally important to pay close attention to what type of facial toner we are using; and, above all, what ingredients and active substances it contains. Indeed, toners for sensitive skin should always be alcohol-free, since alcohol irritates the skin, and if it is already sensitive (or quite sensitive), it will increase irritation, redness… and, in addition, it will increase the dryness
But alcohol is not the only ingredient that may not be so positive for sensitive skin. For example, dermatologists agree that certain ingredients are irritating, particularly to sensitive skin, causing some problems. This is the case with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), one of those ingredients commonly added to cleansers and bar soaps. It is a chemical with foaming qualities, which is actually a strong detergent, which can end up being too irritating. In this sense, when you have sensitive skin, it is not only essential to opt for a facial toner without alcohol, but also without SLS.
Finding a mild, soap-free cleanser and alcohol-free toner for sensitive skin that doesn’t strip the skin of vital nutrients and natural oils is essential. Therefore, it is the skin that, in the end, will determine what type of cleanser and what variety of toner to use.
The process you follow is also, to say the least, fundamental. It is not recommended to use hot or very cold water when rinsing your face. The best? Always use warm water, which tends to be much more comfortable for the skin, and more respectful. Next, you need to make sure to wash your face with the help of a soap-free cleanser to remove dead skin cells, makeup, built-up oil, and pollutants. Later, once you have applied the alcohol-free facial toner for sensitive skin, remember to finish with a fragrance-free moisturizer, also specially designed for use on sensitive skin.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to use a facial toner, there are other products that can do similar jobs. This is the case, for example, of micellar water, which has been specifically formulated as a second cleaning step with which to remove traces of dirt, grime and makeup. In addition, it becomes an easy way to refresh the skin and hydrate it, while reducing the appearance of pores in just an instant.
However, as the specialists say, when you already use micellar water, it is perfectly possible to skip the tonic, so it is not so advisable to use both at the same time. Unless, of course, you like to follow a routine with absolutely all the steps.