Here's how to find the right toner for your mature skin
As a 40 + year old woman you probably grew up hearing the adage, ‘cleanse, tone, moisturize,’ a trillion times. When you were old enough to learn skincare regimes your mom taught you to, “cleanse, tone, moisturize.” Did she set up a twice-daily practice where she reminded you to follow the ‘three-must-do skincare,’ procedures to make sure your skin remains healthy and glowing? Hear it often enough and it becomes ingrained in your mind, becoming a life-long habit. After all, your mom can’t be wrong – can she? Like most women of her generation, and ours, skincare companies preached that the only skincare products you needed were a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. They taught that the correct use of these products would slow down the effects of aging.
What was the reasoning behind this philosophy?
The number one reason behind this attitude is that cleansers at that time were very alkaline. They were designed to cleanse deeply and remove oils – this meant they were drying and sensitizing to your skin. To counteract the alkaline affect a toner was essential to rebalance the skin’s natural pH levels after cleansing.
In today’s world of cosmetology, there is a trend that advocates toning isn’t a necessary part of any anti-aging skincare routine. Skincare inventions today offer specific formulas that target symptoms of aging. Modern cleansers now contain ingredients that have a neutral pH. As a result of these new products, and the general illusion that toning isn’t needed, this is the step that most people delete from their skincare routine.
Reasons for not toning include:
- No time to do a complete routine as you’re running late.
- Too tired to bother taking off your makeup at the end of the night.
- Lack of enthusiasm or self-esteem to care about appearance.
- The alcohol in your toner stings and irritates your skin.
To tone or not to tone?
Aging interferes with our natural oil production. Skin loses its flexibility. Dehydrated skin is more prone to wrinkles and factors in the aging process. It’s for this reason that toning should be a fundamental element of your beauty sequence. Skincare companies of the past and our moms knew that toning closes our pores after cleansing – preventing them from clogging. Not using toner will leave your open pores visible, through your foundation – negating your desire for a flawless look. The best judge of whether toning works for you is how your skin feels after the toning application – if you like how it feels keep using it.
Further benefits of toning:
- It removes residue, dirt, oil and any trace of cleanser – regardless of type.
- Helps purify, calm, and soothes skin.
- Cleansing modifies your skin’s pH level – toners reset the balance.
- Toners prepare and absorb any products applied on top of it – serums, moisturizers, eye cream, night creams, and any other anti-aging products you may use.
So what is the best way to apply toner?
- Toner should be applied once you have dried your face after cleansing.
- Pump a tiny amount of toner onto your cotton pad, and starting at your neck, wipe the cotton pad upwards over your face, ending at your temples.
- You don’t need to rinse the toner off, because as it dries your skin receives beneficial nourishment.
Solutions to debunking the reason for not using toner
- Use the right toner for your skin tone – one that doesn’t disturb your skin’s delicate pH balance.
- If alcohol is too harsh, switch to an alcohol-free toner. Witch Hazel by itself or combined with hydrosol has low pH levels.
- If you are a heavy user of makeup and other facial products, it’s advisable to include a toner in your regimen.
- Make toning a part of your nightly ritual.
Deciding whether to tone or not is purely an individual choice. If after reading these tips you choose not to tone, your skin still needs hydrating. Do this by eating a healthy and nutritious diet and drink plenty of water. Using natural products won’t strip the skin of any natural lipids or fats and they are purported to slow down the aging process, making you look younger.
One final tip – the toning process is like your best friend and should be afforded the same care and respect. Instead of seeing toners as the end process of cleansing, think of them in a new light – purifiers, balancers, absorbers and, moisturizers – your aging skin will be the happy, healthy, glowing skin your mother promised.