Skin Toners

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Skin toners should be an essential daily "do" for those wanting to take optimum care of their facial skin. Optimum skin care should include weekly exfoliation, weekly mask application to draw out impurities, twice daily facial cleansing, twice daily moisturizing and once or twice daily toning. Skin toners remove sweat and excess oil, and refresh tired skin helping it to appear glowing and healthy.

Skin toners have come a long way since the alcohol-based astringents popular in decades past. Toners with alcohol as the main ingredient strip natural oils from the skin leaving it vulnerable to dehydration, and redness. But toners today, even those specifically targeted to oily and acne prone skins, rarely feature alcohol as the top ingredient, using instead new ingredients that remove excess oils without overdrying.

Modern Skin Toner Ingredients

The simplest toners for regular skin contain ingredients that have been around for over a century: witch hazel, rosewater, and/or glycerin. A simple formula like this purifies and tones all skin types. Plus, it's a nice natural pick-me-up on hot summer days. Apply your facial toner via a cotton ball to the temples and at the base of the throat, neck and wrists. Keeping your toner in the refrigerator during the summer will increase both it's refreshing benefits, and pore-refining capabilities.

Additional ingredients to look for in skin toners, depending on skin type, are aloe vera, soy extracts, and specific botanical extracts to maintain pH balance. Popular, beneficial botanicals include extracts from chamomile, tomato, lettuce, comfrey, cucumber, and parsley. Men and women interested in anti-aging benefits should look for skin toners containing alpha and beta-hydroxy acids. If you feel your skin is oily and would benefit from some level of alcohol, look for products with natural alcohol derived from food sources like corn and molasses for gentle oil reduction without overstripping.

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