Tune Up Your Skin With Toner

by Carol Gomes

Care for your skin involves a lot more than simply cleansing your skin with soap. Proper skin care especially when it comes to the face, can involve the use of moisturizers, cleansers and toners. In the past, skin toners were considered to do more harm than good, being primarily accused of drying out the skin. This was caused mainly by ignorance of the different types of toners and their uses.

Skin toners are different from astringents and fresheners, containing moisturizers, oils and other extracts that help soothe the skin and keep it nourished. Astringents on the other hand, have an alcohol base and help to remove excessive oil and tighten the skin pores. Fresheners are similar to astringents in effect but are made from natural substances such as caffeine and green tea and do not contain alcohol.

The term skin toner is loosely used to describe all three types of products and has led to a lot of confusion and inappropriate usage. Good skin toners are those that are used in the proper manner on the proper skin type. An astringent used on dry skin will only dry the skin some more and damage it, while a moisturizing skin toner when used on oily skin will impart a greasy appearance and may result in blocked pores and skin infection. An effective face or skin toner is one that restores the pH balance of the skin and keeps it healthy.

To choose the correct product, you must have knowledge about your skin type. Examine the contents on the package before using them. For example, if you have dry skin do not use any alcohol based products as they will only dry your skin further. Here is a list of skin toners for different skin types.

  • Astringents: These should only be used on oily skin. Astringents may contain compounds such as alcohol, witch hazel or salicylic acid that help reduce the production of oils. Excessive skin oil can cause skin infections and outbreaks of pimples and acne. Using an astringent can help to tighten the skin making it more difficult for oil and dirt to block the pores and cause outbreaks of pimples.
  • Alcohol Free Toners: These should be used on dry or sensitive skin. They are usually water based and contain compounds such as panthenol, a vitamin B derivative or extracts of chamomile or rosewater that help the skin to retain moisture. Avoid using toners containing retinols, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol or glycols as these will dry the skin further.

Before applying a skin toner, you will need to wash your face with a gentle cleanser. The cleanser used should also suit your skin type. Avoid using soap on your face. Dry your face with a soft towel.  After this you will need to soak some cotton swabs in the skin toner o your choice. First, wipe your forehead and nose. These are usually the oiliest areas of your face and will benefit from an astringent. Proceed to the other areas of your face and allow it to dry before applying any lotion or makeup.

You can also try making a skin toner at home using ingredients commonly found in the kitchen.

For oily skin, make a skin toner by grating a fresh cucumber and mixing it with ½ a cup of yogurt. This can be applied to the face and left for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off. For acne, a pinch of camphor added to a bottle of rose syrup makes for an excellent toner which can be applied 3 to 4 times a day.

For dry and flaky skin, try peeling and then mashing 2 peaches and mixing them with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of fresh cream. Apply this mixture to your face and wash it off after 10 minutes.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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