Toners

If you've been asking yourself " what's the point? " and felt like you're the only one who "doesn't get i...



If you've been asking yourself "what's the point?" and felt like you're the only one who "doesn't get it," then join the club. I have tried a variety of toners and each one has been as unsuccessful as the last.

Toners can balance, hydrate, exfoliate, and aid absorption of other products such as serums, moisturisers, and masks. pH balancing toners can address the issue of a stripped down mantle as the result of cleansing; chemical exfoliation helps make the skin appear brighter and smoother; hydrating toners help attract moisture and trap it in the top layers of the skin.

pH Balancing
The skin's mantle (a mixture of sebum and sweat) keeps the pH of your skin at around 4 to 4.5, making your skin naturally acidic, which helps fight off any harmful bacteria. This acidity is stripped away when you cleanse your skin and toners can help restore the balance. However, your skin naturally regenerates the mantle by itself so if you're like myself, with 'normal/dry' skin, this type of toner might be less useful; oily skin types would definitely benefit from a pH balancing toner.

Exfoliating
Chemical/Acidic toners are said to be a more effective way of exfoliating the skin than manual exfoliation (using a scrub containing grains). The purpose of liquid exfoliants is to remove dead cells that accentuate dry lines and blocked pores, helping the skin appear brighter and smoother. But it's important not to overdo it; toners containing AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) are useful for all except very sensitive skin types and BHAs (salicylic acid) are better for spotty, oily, and sensitive skin types.

Hydrating
Whether you have normal, oily, or sensitive skin the chances are it's dehydrated; our environment and lifestyles rob the moisture from our skin leaving it needing rehydration in the form of moisturisers, serums, and toners.

I've tried a variety of toners with little to no success; I have 'normal/dry' skin, a little on the dehydrated side perhaps, but aside from that I have very few complaints. With the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner I saw and felt little change in my skin; having relatively even skin tone, few blemishes, and little scarring I felt chemical exfoliation wasn't a step in my skin care routine that I needed. Gentle exfoliation, for me, comes from the wash cloths I use to cleanse every evening and I find that's enough for my sensitive skin. The LUSH Tea Tree Toner Water (and my DIY equivalent) is something I definitely rely on when I'm suffering a minor breakout, although I see this more of a blemish treatment than a true toner. I use the Caudalie Beauty Elixir as a midday pick-me-up in summer when it's too hot to think straight; it does absolutely nothing to rehydrate the skin, due to the alcohol and fragrance content it dries the skin out, making it totally unsuitable as a toner. The Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster impressed me enough to consider repurchasing, my skin looked brighter and more radiant, but it did little in terms of rehydrating or moisturising. The No7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Toner is by far the best toner I've ever tried, providing a non-drying, pH balancing, rehydrating formula for sensitive skin. It doesn't contain alcohol, is fragrance free, and hypo-allergenic; it's the closest I've come to a suitable toner but I'm still left feeling "what's the point?"

My skin doesn't feel or look noticeably different when using a toner than when I'm simply applying a hydrating moisturiser or serum after cleansing. Perhaps I haven't found the one yet or perhaps using toners is a step I can afford to skip altogether.

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35 SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  1. I started using the Lush Tea Tree toner and I've definitely seen a difference in my pores, plus it always leaves me feeling really clean like I'm getting off the residue of my cleanser. I don't think I'd ever splash out on an expensive toner though for the effects I'm getting x


    hepburnspixiecrop.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I'm a similar skin type & I love the Lush Eau Roma Toner. Like you I'm not sure how much it actually does. But it feels soothing & hydrating on the skin!

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  3. Ioana Capraru2/17/2014

    Tones is always a must! Great post

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  4. I totally agree - I used to use toner but somewhere along the way I fell out of the habit and I don't feel that my skin has changed very much even without it. I don't think toner is super necessary, so generally speaking I've refrained from purchasing them.

    xx
    Stephanie | Love, August

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  5. Found this so super interesting. We have a completely different skin type but it's great to read about the different uses of toners in a super easy to understand format.

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  6. My friend and I have talk about this a lot and share the same experiences with toners - not showing much of an overall difference. You almost just feel obliged to buy toner to not disrupt the '3 step skin care routine' we hear so often. I've also used the No.7 one but again I never see any real effect on my skin apart from just feeling a bit more fresh faced after cleansing. I bought one of those beauty waters for taking off makeup which feels exactly like a toner and I often use that on days when I don't wear makeup too just to wipe away any oil/dirt, it does seem to do the trick and makes me feel less of a grease ball!

    The lush tea tree water sounds really interesting though, I've heard a few decent things about it helping those with blemishes. I thought my skin would have calmed down by now being 22 but I still suffer pretty frequent break outs regularly.

    Katie » Tattyboots

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  7. Natalie Stubbs2/17/2014

    I have to admit I've fallen hard for the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator hype; although I do suffer with blemishes and redness so it's probably easier for me to see results. I don't really go in for any other kind of toner though, I get enough hydration from my moisturisers so I don't use them on a regular basis. Really informative post though!

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  8. Agoprime2/17/2014

    I love clarins!
    www.agoprime.com

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  9. I have exfoliating (Clarins Gentle) and hydrating (Melvita Extraordinary Water) and feel like the latter makes the most difference, but it could just be that it's a nice pre-moisturiser step and smells good too. I'll see if there's any difference when it runs out!

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  10. I never really saw the point of toners, but the LUSH one sounds interesting and I might try to find a pH balancing one.
    ~Sara

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  11. rebecca strutt2/17/2014

    I love all of the background information you gave on the different tyes of toners! Wicked helpful.


    xo, Rebecca


    wednesdaypress.blogspot.com

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  12. I always thought that a toner only exfoliates, had no clue it balances pH levels or can hydrate the skin :). So grateful for this new information, can't wait to put it into practice! x.

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  13. Parisian To Be2/17/2014

    Toners are always hard. I'm really keen on a Derma E offering at the moment, but I really want to pick up the No7 one--I'm always in need of a hydrating boost. xo


    Lillian | Parisian To Be

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  14. Celina2/18/2014

    I adore the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner and LUSH Tea Tree Water. The Caudalie Beauty Elixir is nice to have too. I recently purchased the Origins United State toner as well but I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. We'll see! xx

    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

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  15. Same, people keep telling me it's so important, but if that's true, then why do I never see a difference? The only toner with which I do, is a pretty drying toner for oily skin (I have normal skin) which I use on blemishes. So yeah, it does do something, but I wouldn't exactly use it as a toner all over my face.

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  16. Yep, I don't see something like the LUSH Tea Tree Toner to be a "true toner" as it's really just a simple, basic blemish treatment.

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  17. The Beauty Elixir isn't really a great toner, it contains so much alcohol and fragrance.. I use it mostly on hot days and on the odd occasion because it smells SO GOOD :))

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  18. AHH, pick up the No 7 one! I usually avoid this beauty range but this toner is wicked and if you have a voucher you can get it SO CHEAP (£3!)

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  19. Yes, there's a ton of uses for them.. I just can't see to find one that works for me ;))

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  20. Glad you liked the post :))

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  21. The Lush one is great.. but it's easy to make your own one at home :))

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  22. AHHH, the Melvita one is on my list.. but I didn't know whether it was worth buying since I can't seem to see any difference between when I use a toner and when I don't.

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  23. They have some really lovely skin care products

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  24. Even when I have a few pigmentation issues, the Clarins toner doesn't really appear to do much for my skin.. my complexion has been far brighter since using coconut oil as a cleanser than by using a toner regularly.

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  25. You said it right, "you almost feel obliged to buy a toner."
    I think a lot of people buy one because they are told they should but if you have 'normal/dry' skin then there really is no need for them.


    I did a DIY toner post ages ago; you can make the Lush toner at home :))

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  26. I didn't want people to think I was dissing toners for all skin types, they can definitely help other people.. but for 'normal/dry' types they are pretty much defunct. Glad you found it useful :))

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  27. Definitely. I don't mind having the No 7 toner because it's super cheap (£3 if you buy if with those Boots vouchers they're always giving out!) and it does feel nice after heavier treatments like face masks.

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  28. Hmm, I don't think it is though.. which was the point of my post!

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  29. Sometimes it's nice to have a little something just 'because it's nice.'
    But I really don't get the deal with being told to 'always use a toner' because that seems dumb to me!

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  30. I don't have noticeable pores and I generally just use a tea tree toner to treat break-outs. I definitely wouldn't spend a lot on toners in the future.

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  31. But what if there is literally no effect after using one?
    There isn't really much point.


    BUT it all depends on your skin type.

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  32. I definitely agree about the Lush toner - it's easily made at home too. Tea Tree oil certainly helps treat my blemishes and I wouldn't be without it.

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  33. Ah didn't know this! Will have a browse and ta for the heads up!

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  34. K Hibberd8/13/2014

    I honestly didn't know that toners did all that... I thought they were for reducing pore size! I've been using the BodyShop aloe toner as it was the only one that didn't irritate my skin, for about 4 weeks, but I haven't noticed any difference (in fact, the addition of that and a serum has only seen to make my face spottier; though the spots heal a lot faster). Do you think I should keep going with it, or give it up?

    I've never really learned about my skin-type - I've been told it's oily, and I've been told it's dry, and I've been told it's sensitive. I do get quite red and am prone to irritations, I have an oily t-zone (especially when indoors), and have found dry patches around my nose. I also get eczema above my eyelids (wow, I sound attractive). I've also just started keeping track of my skin using that little survey you posted recently. You seem to be very knowledgeable about skincare; I'd love your advice for reducing my spottiness!

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  35. I'm not a professional, I just read a lot about things I'm interested in and skin care happens to be one of those things! I'm not sure if I can advise with much authority but I would say, if you can't see a difference when using that toner and a product is causing spots (or you think it is) then ditch them.

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