What are the Benefits of Adding Toner to Your Skincare Routine?

Does a good toner feature in your skincare routine? It tends to be one of those products that a lot of people are willing to skip. They have a reputation of being drying, irritating to sensitive skin and are seen as an extra step in most of our already-time-consuming skincare routines. A quick Google search showed that lots of people are uncertain about what they're even used for, and more often than not the packaging is vague and doesn't state exactly what it's supposed to do. When you cleanse your face you know that you're getting rid of dirt, oils and makeup. When you moisturise you know you're adding moisture back to your skin. So what exactly is it that toners do? That indefinable step between cleansing and moisturising?

Removes Residual Makeup
It's estimated that after cleansing there's still around ten and fifteen percent of residual makeup left on your face. This can lead to blocked pores and breakouts, and very importantly it can create a barrier on your skin which reduces how effective the rest of your skincare is. You might be investing up to £70 on a high end moisturiser and reaping few of the benefits it has to offer, because of remaining makeup in your pores stopping it from properly absorbing. Toners help to remove this built up residue- used on a cotton pad after cleansing and exfoliating can get rid of of the remaining dirt, makeup and oils that have been left behind.

Restores PH Balance
Without getting too sciency, the skin's pH balance is normally at around 5.5 which leans slightly acidic on the pH scale. Maintaining this pH means the skin is more efficient at preventing acne, infection and irritation and also slow down aging. After you wash your face, the skin's pH is distorted by the alkaline components in the water which has shown to be one of the causes of acne. Those with sensitive skin are likely to be even more affected, and unfortunately it's these people who are likely to be skipping products like toners in the worry that they'll do more harm than good. A good toner will restore pH balance offering a number of skin benefits.

Shrinks Pores
Large pores are caused by an overproduction of skin oil, and over time will enlarge which can look unsightly. Toners are said to reduce the appearance of pores by sweeping away dead skin cells and removing clogged and accumulated oils. If you suffer with large pores, it's definitely worth incorporating a toner into your skincare routine and seeing how it works for you.

Refreshes and Conditions
Many toners have ingredients like vitamins and botanics that are beneficial to the skin in the same way as other products in your skincare routine. While they will never be a substitute for moisturiser they work effectively alongside it. Toner refreshes and perks up the skin too, which I find is really useful in the mornings!

With all cosmetics, skincare and haircare products, it's a case of trying different things and finding what works for you. If you've had a negative experience from using toners in the past, try looking for one that's alcohol free or designed for sensitive skin. Not all toners are the same, and if you choose one based on your particular skincare needs you're much more likely to find one that works well for you.