Toners are widely known as an important skin care step for people with acne-prone or oily skin. However, toners can also be used as an “added layer” of cleansing for those who wear heavy foundation or waterproof sunscreen. Or, for those who are on the run, after a workout at the gym. Toners can restore the pH of the skin after using a particularly alkaline cleanser.
The ingredients in the toner will determine its benefits.
For acne-prone skin
Use toners with salicylic acid and/or glycolic acid to get rid of excess oil, tighten the skin, exfoliate and remove dead skin, and reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs. Toners with clay and/or charcoal can reduce shine and tighten pores in oily and acne-prone skin. Natural anti-bacterial ingredients include tea tree and rose oil. Willow bark is a natural salicylic acid alternative. Natural toners can contain witch hazel, tea-tree oil and/or rose oil as astringents. Mint, and apple cider vinegar also act as astringents.
For combination and sensitive skin
Toners with lactic acid, and/or aloe vera are great for gentle hydration.
For mature and dry skin
Toners with glycerin and/or hyaluronic acid can hydrate and smooth skin. Natural tones with honey and algae are great.
For all skin types
Toners with Co-Q 10, anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and green tea can replenish moisture and provide anti-oxidant protection.
Be wary of toners with essential oil as they can cause hypersensitivity. In addition, toners should not contain alcohol which can be extremely drying. They also should NOT include parabens, phthalates, formaldehydes, ethoxylated ingredients, polysorbates, phenoxyethanol, petrochemicals, triclosan, TEA/DEA and synthetic fragrances and colors.