Why Toner is Important To Your Skin Care
There are a lot of misconceptions about toner. A lot of you don’t know what it is or why this step is important in your skin care regime. To not tone your skin is to not finish washing your face essentially.
So what is toner? It is a product you apply after you wash your face, that removes residue and preps your skin for the moisturizer by balancing the pH level of your skin. What does all that mean? Well, lets back up a little here…
Your skin is an organ. Let’s let that digest for a minute. Your skin is an organ, it performs specialized tasks for the body. It has many functions that I can go into in great detail, but I will make this brief. The skin’s functions are:
- Protection. It protects us from infection as well as impact.
- Immunity. The skin has an acidity to it that acts as a defense against bacteria and germs.
- Temperature Regulation. For the most part the inside of your body stays the same temperature thanks to the skin. It does this by sweating when it gets hot and constricting the blood vessels when it gets cold.
- Sensation. Nerves in the skin let you know if it’s hot outside or if it’s raining or that your belt is too tight.
- Vitamin D production. Vitamin D is made in your skin by UV light.
- Absorption. Your skin takes in oxygen, and even some medicines are taken through the skin.
Now, on the point of your skin working to give you immunity, here is the scoop. Your skin excretes oil. That oil has a slight acidity to it that prevents germs and bacteria from going inside your body. This is called the “acid mantle.” If you remember from chemistry class there is a pH scale of 1-14. Anything 1-6 is acidic, 7 is neutral and 8-14 is alkaline.
Healthy skin’s pH is typically 4.5-5.5. Cleansers on the other hand are more alkaline. So by washing your face with cleanser it removes the acid mantle and makes your skin go from acidic to alkaline. Now don’t freak out and stop washing your face, you want your cleanser to break down the oils and dirt. You just also want to balance the pH back out. And how do you do that? Apply toner!
Typically toners are applied with a cotton pad and left on the skin. There are also toning mists that are fabulous.
Another thing toner does is it removes the residue sometimes left by the cleanser and water. It leaves your skin free of all the junk and correctly pH’ed.
Other names for toner are astringent, toning mist, and sometimes lotion (mostly in French lines). Astringents typically have alcohol in them which I don’t recommend. Alcohol is not so skin friendly. You may find that toning your skin helps you use less moisturizer as your skin isn’t so dried out from cleansing (given you an alcohol-free toner).
Hope this was helpful.