‘Cleanse, tone, moisturise’ – it’s a mantra that’s as familiar to beauty addicts as ‘lather, rinse, repeat’. But while we understand the importance of cleansing and moisturising, the middle step can be somewhat of a mystery. Luckily we’re here to fill you in on this must-have product.
What is it a toner actually does?
Essentially a toner performs two very important functions (depending on your skin’s needs): 1) to eliminate oil, and 2) to tighten and minimise pores.
Sounds great! I’ll slap some on immediately!
Hold your horses! Before you rush out and buy the first toner you see, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying the right one for your skin type. You’ll have a choice between an astringent, a ‘freshener’ and a toner.
Okay, so what’s the difference?
Choosing whether you want an astringent, toner or freshener all depends on your skin type. Astringents are typified by including alcohol as their key ingredient and their main purpose is to tackle acne and to keep very oily skin at bay throughout the day. You’ll probably find these labelled as a rebalancing toner. Next up, fresheners work similarly to astringents but are better suited to combination skin as they tend to include more natural ingredients such as aloe vera or green tea. These act as a calming toner without drying out the skin as much as an alcohol-based astringent. Last but not least, dry-skinned ladies who still need pore refinement should opt for a hydrating toner. You don’t need to tackle oil so a drying toner is out of the question; hydrating toners will freshen up the skin and tighten pores while moisturising at the same time (also a great option for aging skin).
I think I know which one I need now, but how do I use it?
Just follow those three easy steps: cleanse, tone and moisturise. After you’ve made sure your skin is squeaky clean, apply your chosen toner to a cotton wool pad and swipe it over your face (if you do suffer from combination skin, make sure to focus on problem areas such as your t-zone and only apply lightly to drier areas like your cheeks.) When your face feels refreshed and dry, simply apply your moisturiser as normal. Easy!