Can I skip using toner? And other toner FAQs
I care for my skin. I cleanse & moisturize regularly. I even wear sunscreen. So what if I skip using a toner? Is it really that important? After hearing so many of our loyal Plumsters ask these questions, we decided we should explain why ‘toning’ is a part of C-T-M. Here are 5 FAQs that you should read if you are giving toner a miss.
FAQ 1: What exactly is Toning?
Literally, “toning” means to make things firmer. Another widely used meaning is to "bring things in line". Essentially, toners have been used for two purposes:
- To make skin firmer, and to shrink pores
- To bring skin pH "back in line" after the sometimes harsh cleansing process.
If you ask us, though, toning is about much more than these two things. It’s the first step towards skin repair, to give skin anti-oxidants and nutrients, to exfoliate skin and control blemishes, and to give a "goodness treat" to the skin.
FAQ 2: I have dry skin. Do I need a toner?
Using a good toner is an easy way to maintain a youthful and vibrant complexion, think of it as a tonic for your skin. Should you go for alcohol-based toners? Definitely no. But should you go for a water-based or water & glycerin-based toner with skin repairing nutrients, anti-oxidants and plant extracts like rose, citrus, green tea, liquorice, aloe vera etc.? Absolutely!
Pro-tip: Toners for dry or normal-dry skin, are a.k.a. skin tonic and gentle skin toner.
FAQ 3: I have sensitive skin, can I use a toner?
Sensitive skin doesn’t mean you should not apply anything on your face. It simply means that you cannot apply everything on your face- i.e. you should be looking at milder and safer products. So yes, you can use alcohol-free toners with gentle fragrances.
FAQ 4: What if alcohol is a must-have in toners for shrinking open pores?
"Shrinking pores" is one of the enduring mysteries of our lives. Alcohol-based toner can indeed make big pores look smaller. The problem is that the alcohol strips the skin of essential moisture, leading it to produce more sebum, which in turn worsens oily-skin symptoms. Plus, alcohol is not at all suitable for sensitive skin, and many with oily-combi skin also tend to have sensitive skin.
Our recommendation is to focus on gentle skin exfoliation as it makes pores look smaller (besides keeping skin clear and healthy). This can be achieved by:
- Going for toners with ingredients which exfoliate skin: like AHAs and BHAs.
- Using gentle exfoliants - with your face wash - or occasionally
- Regular use of face masks to exfoliate and condition skin
FAQ 5: When and how to use toner?
Ideally, you should use a toner twice a day, but at least once a day is recommended. And here's the right way to use a toner:
Wash face with gentle cleanser and pat dry. Pour out a little quantity of toner on your palm and apply it on your face.
- Alternatively, moisten a cotton ball with the toner, and dab softly in small circles across your face.
- Let the toner air dry, don't hurry to wipe it off.
- Follow up with a moisturizer
Hope that cleared it up for you! Until next time!