Is a toner necessary for your skin?
This question often pops up in our head while going through skin care regimes. Almost all of these regimes recommend using toners. However, its purpose isn’t well understood by many.
What exactly does a toner do to your skin? Why is toning such an important step? How to use toner and when should a toner be used? In this article, we picked up and answered many such questions about skin toner from across the web and from our customers.
This guide to skin toners will help you understand which toner is best suited to your skin and how you can make it a part of your skincare regime.
So let’s get started with the basics.
What is a toner?
A toner is usually water-based skin care product that includes plant extracts and essential oils, tailored to address a variety of skin types.
Earlier, a lot of toners used to be alcohol based, but they had a reputation of being bad for the skin as they cause excessive dryness. Recently, natural water-based toners have become an essential part of skincare regimes. They are usually derived through steam-distillation of flowers and other ingredients that are known to be good for your skin.
For instance, Kama’s range of natural toners include distillations of Rose, Lavender, Vetiver & Mogra keep the skin hydrated and lightly fragranced.
The functions of a toner vary significantly based on its composition. However, there are some benefits that almost all of them provide. Let’s discover what they are.
What does a skin toner do?
If you are thinking of including toner in your skin care routine, you might be looking to get one or more of the following benefits.
1. Toner restores the pH balance of your skin
Ever felt your skin dry out after cleansing? Some cleansers are harsh on the skin. They contain ingredients that disrupt the natural pH balance of the skin, making it more prone to bacterial infection, inflammation or dryness.
Skin's optimal pH is 5.5. When you use toner on your face regularly, the optimum pH level (acid mantle) is maintained which acts a barrier to germs and bacteria while keeping the skin moisturized and healthy.
2. Toner tightens up the pores of your skin
More dirt and oil enters the skin when the pores are large. These impurities makes the skin more prone to acne and infections. Toners tighten the pores and shrink their overall size. Hence, less oil and toxins settle in the skin creating a fresher and cleaner look. By toning, the skin becomes visibly smoother, and it becomes harder for the debris to penetrate it.
3. Toner helps in preventing skin breakouts
When sweat, oil, and dirt become clogged in the pores, it results in skin breakouts. Oily skin is more prone to acne and pimples for this reason. Toners are helpful in treating this situation. By removing oil buildup, residue, and dead skin cells, facial toners control acne and other skin breakouts.
4. Toner hydrates and nourishes the skin
There is a reason why toning is done right after cleansing and just before moisturizing. The hydrating ingredients present in the toner prep the skin to absorb the moisture better. The skin is usually tight and dry right after cleansing. Moist skin can better absorb topical products than dry skin. Hence, toning ensures that your favorite moisturizer can nourish your skin deeply.
5. Toner helps in complete cleansing
Even after cleansing, some of the impurities remain on the skin. This might be the residual makeup or some of the oil content left behind by the cleansers. An essential purpose of a toner is to get rid of them and to clean the pores from within. Toners also remove environmental toxins and chemical residues from your skin, revealing a brighter and healthier complexion.
When To Use Toner?
The short answer to this question is "it goes after cleansing." A toner is used as the second part of the cleansing process, preferably once in the morning and once at night.
Now that you know the many benefits of using a toner let’s move on to understanding how to use toner and when to use it. Here are the steps that you need to follow to tone your skin well.
Step 1 - Wash your face with a mild natural cleanser. Gently massage the cleanser on your face to get rid of makeup and dirt.
Step 2 - Pour some toner on a cotton pad or cotton ball until it feels damp but not overly soaked. Gently wipe it on your face and neck to remove the remaining impurities.
Alternatively, you can even spray the toner on your face for a refreshing feeling and an extra dose of hydration.
Step 3 - After using the toner, your skin is ready to absorb skin care products. You can now apply your moisturizer or your skin treatment products.
While this is the most basic way to use the toner, it can also be used in combination with face packs and masks to help them penetrate deeper into the skin and get the best results.
Which skin toner should I use?
Now, you might be wondering which skin toner is most suited to your skin type. With a large number of options that exist, it can be challenging to choose the most suitable one.
Different toners target different, specific skin concerns, like dehydration, skin aging, sensitivity, and acne. Here, we have talked in detail about a few natural toners and the skin types they are best suited for.
Best Toner for Oily Skin
If you have an oily skin that is more prone to acne and skin breakouts, you require a toner that can relieve the skin from stickiness without leaving behind any residues stuck in the pores.
Pure Lavender Water is a suitable toner for oily skin type. Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredient that cools and refreshes in hot and humid weather. Refrigerating Lavender Water further amplifies its soothing properties and makes it even more useful for oily skin during summers. It serves as a natural astringent and doesn’t dry out the skin too much.
However, to ensure the best results, use only water-based alcohol-free lavender water. Kama’s Pure Lavender Water is prepared through steam distillation of lavender flowers sourced from the Himalayas. It is 100% pure, alcohol-free and well-suited toner for oily skin.
Best Toner for Dry Skin
For dry and sensitive skin, toners made from jasmine flowers are well suited. Jasmine is beneficial for dry skin as it provides natural moisture without clogging the pores. It efficiently replenishes lost moisture reserves, and restores lost radiance to the skin, smoothening any dehydration-induced early fine lines and wrinkles.
Kama’s Pure Mogra Water made from steam distillation of jasmine flowers sourced from Madurai is 100% pure, natural and highly recommended toner for sensitive skin and dry skin.
Best Toner for Acne Prone Skin
Rose water is a natural astringent that balances and restores skin's PH level, helps tighten pores and acts as the perfect alcohol-free toner for oily or acne-prone skin. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of rose make it an effective anti-acne ingredient. Rose also has cooling properties and is exceptionally gentle on the skin. Using rose water as toner prevents future breakouts and helps in healing of existing pimples and acne.
For best results, only 100% pure and natural rose water must be used. It’s suitable for all skin types and has a host of benefits for the skin. Kama’s Pure Rose Water is made from the roses of Kannauj - a region in North India, through a steam distillation process that ensures a high level of hygiene and unmatched purity.
Best Toner For Men
If you’re wondering whether toners are essential for men as well, then the answer is yes! If you’re looking for natural toners for men, then Vetiver water is the most suitable option. Vetiver grass (Khus) has roots that are bittersweet and aromatic in nature.
It is a refreshing face and body mist that is highly cooling, earthy and rejuvenating. Due to its earthy and woody scent, it’s well-suited toner for men and can also be used as an aftershave astringent.
Kama’s Pure Vetiver Water is steam distilled from the roots of perennial Vetiver grass native to Aligarh Region in north India. It’s a 100% pure natural toner for men.
Toners have become a necessary part of skin care regimes for women as well as men. However, every skin type is unique and has different requirements. Understanding the needs of your skin is vital for finding the right toner for yourself. Start by identifying your skin type and then pick a natural plant-derived water-based cleanser that is most suited for you. Make sure that your toner does not contain harmful chemicals.
The purpose of the toner is to keep your skin hydrated. Do not go for alcohol-based toners as they have a terrible reputation for drying out the skin too much. Plant-based toners that are derived through steam distillation process have unmatched purity, can be used regularly without any side effects and are highly recommended for the skin.
4. "Technical Bulletin No. 2001/1" (PDF). Pacific Rim Vetiver Network. September 2001.