I receive tons—TONS!—of questions about toner daily: “when am I supposed to use it?”…“I thought it was an unnecessary fluff product?”…"didn’t someone tell me I wasn’t supposed to use it?” Toner is a quick, easy, and often-overlooked step in many skincare regimes. Basically, it’s silly to apply beautiful serums and creams to your skin without properly cleansing and toning first. A great skincare regimen includes the following: 1) CLEANSER(S); 2) TONER; 3) SERUM / TARGETED TREATMENT; and 4) MOISTURIZER / SPF...in THAT order! Apply toner with a (preferably unbleached, organic) cotton pad, cotton ball, or spray diffuser--whatever you like best--and then allow it to soak into your skin a few seconds. Your face should still be "dew-y" (not wet) with toner when you apply your serum or moisturizer. Here’s why toners are so important to the process:
- Toners balance skin, preparing it to absorb serums and moisturizers better (cleansing is necessary, but also leaves skin unbalanced);
- Toners remove any cleanser, dirt, or impurities left on your skin (serums and moisturizers cannot penetrate skin and do their best “work” if there’s still residue there);
- Toners can also sometimes tighten pores. Just make sure they are using something like lavender or green tea caffeine (not alcohol!) to do this.
If you still think the idea is "fluff", I challenge you to use toner for one month, and then try going without it for 3 or 4 days. You’ll see what I mean…HUGE difference in your skin! Please remember—a healthy, chemical-free, and alcohol-free toner is NOTHING like the astringent toners of your adolescence. Those products strip skin, leaving it red, irritated, and helpless. "Avoid alcohol" is another good mantra...for toner, at least! Currently at Follain, you can choose from Shamanuti’s Seaweed Toner, Herbivore Botanicals’ Balance Toner, and SW Basics’ Toner. Beth Hopkins, founder of Shamanuti, describes her Seaweed Toner as “rich with minerals and antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and improve skin cell structure and performance.” It also has a vegan hyaluronic that “encapsulates mineral rich hydration into the dermis before it evaporates off.” Julia Wills from Herbivore Botanicals says that she created the Balance Toner to “restore pH balance to combination or oily skin after cleansing. Additionally, it removes any impurities remaining after cleansing, tightens pores and prepares your face for better moisturizer absorption." According to SW Basics, their toner “evens skin tone and neutralizes pH, meaning we wake up both less oily AND less dry.” If you’re wondering which of these (or other) toners is best for your skin type, feel free to reach out and ask me! X