To address steps 4 and 5 from our original post on the 10 Steps of Skincare, today we are talking about toners.
We are all enticed, and often overwhelmed, by the myriad of choices out there in terms of skincare. You may find yourself asking whether you need a cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliating treatment, toner…and even then, which one? And do you really need all of them? Is it really necessary to DO all of this? What about the serums and this thing called an essence?
Now, before you bury your head in your hands and say, "FORGET IT," let's keep breaking this down and see if you really do want or need everything out there. This may be much simpler than you think.
First of all, we have already established that a cleanser is a must because we can't walk around with a dirty face. Exfoliating can be done once-in-a-while and needs to be gentle and really can be achieved with a particular sponge or wash mitt. No product necessary, right? Feeling better already?
Now for Toners:
We can likely relate to the old school late 70's versions of the toners we drenched our faces with that left the scent of alcohol permanently engrained in our scent memory. There's a reason that toners are a subject of controversy these days…many of them contain irritating ingredients, like alcohol.
Some say the concept has outgrown it's lifespan and is simply an unnecessary step that can be achieved with a double skin cleanse with a gentle cleanser. After all, one of the aims of the toner is to wipe away any residual dirt or make-up the cleanser leaves behind. Additionally, if we are trying to disrupt the acid mantle of the skin as little as possible and maintain a balanced ph, it seems the process would be contraindicative to this goal. Others stand their ground on the theory that toners complete the process of dirt and grime removal and prepare the skin with a lovely smooth surface for the next step in the skincare routine: serums, (essence), and creams.
The general theme emerging here is gentle and simple, but let's keep going. Up next: Serums.