Truly Skin-Deep

Toning isn't just for abs anymore. That's right, it's time to tone your face! In fact, facial toner can freshen up your skin and even keep you looking younger. For all the pricey skincare products promising amazing results, toner is a wise investment sure to amp up your skin care regime. Read on to discover why you shouldn't skip the toner.

Woman using facial toner

1Get a cheap deep clean

Joy N Randall, licensed cosmetoligst and owner of Flawless Make-up Art, recommends toners for all skin types, as they provide extra cleansing and, at times, soothing properties, to the skin. Randall explains that natural toners like witch hazel cleanse the skin more deeply than a cleanser, without stripping away valuable moisture. Further, they can help remove any residue left by cleanser. Toners also help balance the skin's PH levels, combat bacteria (particularly for acne-prone skin) and remove impurities. It can also minimize the appearance of pores, calm oil production for oily-skin types and stimulate circulation, leaving your skin looking fresh and clean!

Another toner perk? They can be extremely inexpensive.

  • A bottle of generic witch hazel costs less than $3, and is an effective option.
  • If you prefer a name-brand product, hair and make-up artist Heather Adessa advises selecting the same brand of toner that you use for your other skin products. "Products from the same company are made to work best together, so if you have a moisturizer or cleanser you love, try to see if they have a toner that will work for your skin type."
  • Look for products specifically called "toners", and stick to the alcohol-free variety. Avoid toners' "sister-product" astringents, which are drying and harsh.

2Boost the performance of make-up

Applying a toner followed by a moisturizer can help provide a "prime palette" for make-up application. Adessa explains that because toner allows moisturizer to more easily absorb, your foundation or powder also applies more smoothly.

3Look younger

Because toner helps refresh the skin and boost the power of your moisturizer, it can ultimately keep you looking younger. Nourished and hydrated skin conceals the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

4Protect your skin from the environment

Skin-care expert and celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau recommends toners as a great way to minimize the effects of the environment beyond the sun. Hydrated skin will absorb your daily moisturizer (which should always contain SPF), leaving it better equipped to fight off harmful sun rays. "By supplying the skin with essential hydration and nutrients, you repair the skin's protective barrier, making it less sensitive and resistant to environmental damage," she advises.

Further, regular use of a toner can help protect skin from a culprit you may have never suspected was causing damage: tap water. Rouleau explains that "chlorine and chemicals are put into tap water to destroy harmful bacteria, but they can be dehydrating to the skin."

Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA, Dr. Ava Shamban, shares these toner application tips: "To apply toner, cleanse and gently pat your face dry, moisten a cotton pad with a generous amount of toner and apply to face in a sweeping motion; immediately follow with a serum and/or moisturizer and sun protection."

Is your skincare routine healthy?

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