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To Tone or Not to Tone?

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

"Toners are products that don’t get much of a look in during our skincare regimes. But they can be used to clean your skin, remove excess oil and reduce pore size." Dr Anjali Mahto

There are skincare theories which suggest that toning is an optional step, something that is incidental and doesn't necessarily have a big role in one's routine. To answer the question of whether one should tone or not, our answer is yes; once in the morning and once at night. To learn more about the benefits of using a toner and to see which ones are #SkinFood favourites, keep reading.


Key Benefits

Balances Your Skin's pH levels

The principle purpose of a toner is to help rebalance the pH levels of your skin after cleansing. Our pH levels determine how acidic or alkaline our skin is. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 with 1 being the most acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 the most alkaline. As our skin needs to constantly fight bacteria and microbes, the ideal pH for a healthy complexion is slightly acidic and should measure approximately 5.5 on the scale. Typically after cleansing, our skin's pH becomes too alkaline, throwing off its optimal state. This leaves your complexion working overtime to find its sweet spot again. By using toner after you cleanse, this essential balance is restored, leaving your skin perfectly primed for the next step in your routine.


Reduces Pore Size

Enlarged pores is a skin complaint that many people deal with. As we age, our pores typically increase in size. With consistent daily use, toners can often be one of the most effective solutions in combatting this issue. "Toners can help close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin. It can even protect and remove chlorine and minerals present in tap water." The ingredients contained within your toner (even when naturally derived) act as an astringent to our pores encouraging them to contract and thus appear smaller in size.


Hydrates and Nourishes

There are a variety of toners on the market which include hydrating and nourishing ingredients in the form of oils, antioxidants and natural extracts. The use of these feed your skin, restoring lost hydration and nutrients. Once you have applied your toner, it leaves your skin perfectly primed before moving onto your moisturising agents.


How To

Toning your skin is the step which comes after you have cleansed your skin. Take your spray bottle and spritz it several times across your whole face until your feel a light layer start to sink in. Cleanse, tone, moisturise - this is the order in which your should apply your products.

We recommend toning once in the morning after you have cleansed, and once again in the evening after you have double cleansed.


*Things to Note*

You can either get spray toners or those which you dispense onto a cotton pad. Our view is that, your skin can be a little sensitive once you come out of the shower (which is normally when you would start your morning routine) so we prefer using a spray to minimise rubbing and irritating the skin too much. For the evening, if you are cleansing your face properly and following our steps on how to effectively double cleanse, you should not need to use a cotton pad to tone your skin, as your face should be perfectly clean, and it can just be sprayed on.

There are increasingly more and more options for acid-based toners on the market. However, if you are already using a retinol daily and acid based faced masks once a week, we do not suggest incorporating these into your skincare practise. Over stripping the skin leaves it thin, fragile and often irritated where unexpected breakouts or sensitivities can occur.

Finally, avoid toners which are alcohol-based at all costs. This ingredient is incredibly outdated hence why most reputable brands avoid using it. Alcohol-based toners leave your skin tight, dry and unbalanced. Rest assured none of our #SkinFood favourites below contain alcohol.


See below to check out our #SkinFood favourite products!


Caudalie - Eau de Beauté

Caudlie's, Eau De Beauté is our number one #SkinFood favourite. It hydrates, tones and refreshes all at the same time thanks to its cocktail of plant extracts and essential oils. It is also perfect to apply midday or in the evening, over make up, when your skin is in need of a pick-me-up.

Elemis - Superfood Kefir Mist

Elemis' Superfood Kefir Tea mist promises to balance, tone and hydrate. Its kefir ferment helps to nourish the skin whilst the mixture of rooibos tea and coconut extracts add a boost of antioxidants and hydration.

Mario Badescu - Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

Mario Badescu's facial spray combines two incredibly calming and hydrating ingredients; rosewater and aloe. If your skin is slightly more sensitive, this is a perfect option for you. It is also competitively priced and can be purchased easily from Amazon. Please note, plain rosewater also makes an effective toner and can be easily purchased from your local pharmacy or health food store.

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