Toners, do you need them?
For a while, I definitely did NOT think that toners were a necessary step in my skincare routine. Admittedly I just finished eating approximately 25 pieces of chocolate after work, so at the moment I cannot be a reputable authority on skincare routines by any stretch. Alas, in my quest to always be bettering my troubled and acne prone/oily skin (despite the few food/drink based slip-ups) I was reading one of the seemingly 50 beauty blogs and articles I read on a daily basis and somewhere along the way I decided that I should incorporate toners back into my routine --am and pm.
According to an interview from Women's Health mag with Joel Schlessinger, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, “Not only does it remove debris like oil and traces of makeup, but it soothes, repairs, and smooths the skin’s surface—diminishing blemishes and minimizing signs of redness and inflammation.” Still, I don't know if that is enough to convince someone. Fast forward to more information gleaned regarding the effects that it has on skin's p.h. (which should be a bit on the acidic side, about 5.5) and some moreeee info from my beloved Into the Gloss, who interviewed another derm, and she advised that: “I’d look for rosewater—for its hydrating, clarifying, and energizing properties—or chamomile, which is wonderful for calming and soothing the skin. Or both! Alcohol is usually found in astringent toners for oily skin. Their function is to dry out the skin and be especially anti-bacterial."
Long story short - ish - I have now decided that I should always be using a toner after cleansing no matter how tired I am on a Tuesday night or how many glasses of wine I have had on a Friday night - just always do it! Now the problem is though, are all toners the same? Which toner is right for me?
I love all of Renee Rouleau's products (I am skintype 1 -- you should definitely take her quiz it is so great) and I think I have used them all with regards to my skintype. I love her cleanser, serums, mattifying gel as my daytime moisturizer, as well as her top rated cyst gel (cano you tell I'm a superfan?) and I wanted to add the toner. I used it on and off until I really started getting into my research and now I am a full fledged toner user. It has some ingredients that are notably good for problem skin: Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis Virginiana) - astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) - soothing hydrator that also reduces the appearance of post-breakout discoloration. Polysorbate 20 - gentle pore-purifying agent derived from coconuts. Geranium Flower Oil - Reduces oil to return the skin to a normal balance. Elemi Oil - Natural antibacterial activity to prevent visible blemishes.
Onto the next one: Thayer's Witch Hazel toner with Rose Petal. This one is actually new to me even though it is probably considered a classic. It has been around for a long time, but I didn't think to use it until I started following Sarah's instagram page @hydratedho -- check her out she has SUCH an amazing page with some even more amazing product reviews. I ordered mine on amazon but you can get it at Target too. I actually just picked up a mini travel sized one at Target and brought it on vacation with me last week and I have to say I really liked it. I am sure this wasn't the only cause, but my acne did not get worse on vacation necessarily despite the copious amounts of food and alcohol that I consumed...
Last but not least the Glow Tonic by Pixi beauty. This one I have only been using for a couple of days now since I got it, but honestly I have only heard good reviews. It has a 5% Glyolic Acid Formula with Aloe Vera and Ginseng. It gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells, revealing healthy glowing skin. For all skin types. Clinically proven results. Alcohol free. Hypoallergenic. Paraben free. I think I like it so far, it has an interesting an non medicinal smell, and I like that it has the glycolic for my skin type. I am excited to keep using it and report back with my results!