Also known as tonic, lotion or astringent, the use of toner is quite possibly the most controversial step of the cleansing regimen. Beauty experts are conflicted in the use of toner and its effects on the skin.
On one hand, toner is designed to remove traces of oil, makeup and dirt from the face after cleaning. It can also freshen the skin, speed cell turnover, and temporarily tighten the look of pores.
One caveat about toners is that excessively harsh ones can over strip the face's mantle and disturb the delicate pH balance. Other experts counter that toners close the pores and might possibly obstruct the benefits of serums and moisturizers. The bottom line is, if you like the feeling of using a toner and feel that it benefits you, choose one wisely that is gentle and won't disturb the balance of your facial skin.
Keep in mind that some oil on the skin is desirable. It protects the skin from dirt and bacteria, as well as helps prevent moisture loss. After using a toner, the skin will always rebalance itself as the mantle regenerates itself.
How to Choose a Toner
Seek out a toner that is labeled as gentle and alcohol free. Astringent types of toners almost always contain alcohol, which is too harsh even for oily or acne prone skin types. Many types contain aloe vera, witch hazel, tea tree oil, glycerin, rose water, chamomile, salicylic or lactic acid.
How to Use a Toner
Toner can be used in one very quick and easy step. Simply saturate a cotton ball or pad and gently wipe the face, concentrating on the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin).