It resets skin’s moisture balance
In her famously multi-faceted facials, A-list aesthetician Joanna Czech frequently applies a toner in between massaging, masking and devices. That’s “because it’s a very important step,” she says. “After you cleanse the skin, you must tone it; before a sheet mask, you tone the skin; and always after a clay mask. And, of course, after peeling, a toner is essential.” Colette Haydon, a doctor in dermo-pharmacy who has formulated many famous and bestselling products over the past 20 years, explains why: “A toner removes anything left of your cleanser or face mask and rebalances the skin’s pH at the same time [which has a huge impact on your skin’s barrier function and moisture retention].” If you use a rich balm cleanser, it is highly likely some residue will be left on your skin. Or, if you use any cleanser that is rinsed off, the water will affect your skin’s pH (skin is mildly acidic, with a pH of around 4.7, while water is more alkaline: between 6.5 and 9.5). Use a toner post-cleanse and you rectify both problems and ensure your skin is perfectly balanced.
Toner makes your other products work harder
A far cry from the harsh alcohol-based toners of the ’80s, celebrity aesthetician Georgia Louise (who counts Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Aniston as clients) affirms that today’s formulas are gentler and more diverse: “They include calming, hydrating and purifying options, and can be very effective as a skincare primer.” She also includes toners in her clients’ routines “to enhance facial results, especially before chemical peels or enzyme treatments, as it serves as a vital preparatory step”. If you have oily skin or tend to wear heavy makeup, toners are especially valuable: “They add an extra cleansing and purifying boost to your regular cleansing routine,” says Louise. “Equally, there are also water-based toners that function as essences for added hydration and soothing benefits.”
It visibly improves texture and tone
“It might take around six weeks to see results, but smoother skin, tightened pores and better hydration are big benefits of using a toner regularly,” says Louise. While exfoliating toners can speed up skin-cell turnover, you don’t need a dedicated peeling product to see texture-transforming benefits. In fact, Haydon advises sticking with a standard toner rather than anything that also peels the skin: “You use a peel twice a week, never twice a day.” Using a toner regularly (twice a day is recommended by all our experts) also reportedly works on the cohesion of the skin cells, giving you a smoother, softer surface.
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