“I’m pretty blessed when it comes to clear skin. I owe that to being Cape Verdian. My whole family has great skin. My grandfather is 80 but doesn’t look a day over 50.” So goes Amber Rose who, most people would find eclectic, thanks to her excellent fashion sense but, who does have one of the most beautiful skin in Hollywood when stripped with the heavy foundations and creams.
The role of a good routine in your skin health.
The kind of environment that your skin is exposed to everyday does influence your skin health, so does your genes, sun exposure, diet, physical activity and a host of other factors but, most importantly, your skincare routine. You must have already heard about the most basic daily regimen: cleanse, tone and moisturize then exfoliate in between? All of the steps except for toning are well understood and have enjoyed a warm reception among women and men alike.
Listed below are five facts about toning and toners that demonstrate why a toner must be part of your skincare routine too:
Fact No. 1: A toner clears your skin pores.
Cleansing with lukewarm water and a gentle facial cleanser alone will never be enough to clear your skin of dirt, excess oils and dry skin stuck in your pores. A toner helps draw out skin impurities from your pores. This action instantly helps your skin in two ways.
First, when your pores are cleared of debris, your skin is less likely to develop an infection. Pimple-causing bacteria adhere to impurities stuck in your pores to start a breakout. That is why toner is a must for everyone but most especially for women and men with oily, acne-prone skin. Second, toning prepares your skin to better and more quickly absorb your moisturizing products.
Fact No. 2: A toner improves your skin’s moisture content.
A toner serves other purposes apart from the ones mentioned in Fact No. 1, above. What most people are unaware of is that a good toner will help restore your skin’s moisture content after a facial wash. Toners are made with ingredients that soothe skin, thereby regulating the opening of the pores. As a result, your skin becomes more evenly textured and smoother to the touch.
Fact No. 3: A toner helps restore your skin’s pH balance.
pH level is the ratio of alkaline and acid in your skin. Healthy skin needs to be slightly acidic to be able to resist infection-causing bacteria without unnecessarily drying up your skin — a good toner till help you achieve that balance.
When your skin’s pH level is too alkaline, your skin becomes dry. When acid levels are higher than ideal, your skin becomes chronically inflamed. Either way, your skin’s natural protective barrier suffers from its inability to restore your skin’s outer layer, causing your skin to break, become more prone to infection and become less effective at repairing wounds and marks on your skin.
Fact No. 4: Drying alcohol-based toners will damage your skin.
One of the reasons why toners have lost their mass appeal is because of irresponsibly formulated alcohol-based toners. Instead of taming your skin’s pores, and restoring lost moisture and pH on your skin, these products compromise your skin cells’ natural ability to effectively absorb and hold moisture like a sponge. Not even oily skin types benefit from alcohol. In fact, when alcohol causes oily skin types to dry up, skin retaliates with even more grease to compensate for lost moisture
Not all alcohols are bad for your skin, however. When people say “alcohol” in relation to skincare, what they really mean are “drying alcohols” like denatured alcohol (“alcohol denat.” on product labels). Fatty alcohols such as stearyl and cetearyl alcohols are good for your skin.
Fact No. 5: Some toners work better than others.
Beyond alcohol content, some toners will work better on your skin compared to others. A good toner will include potent but mild levels of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) such as glycolic acid or lactic acid. AHAs help gently clear your skin of impurities inside the pores and on the surface of your skin. Other ingredients to look for are antioxidants, emollients, as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients such as green tea or white tea, resveratrol, peptides, chamomile and licorice extracts.
Outstanding skincare requires extensive research and a dedication to seek out and use only products that promote your skin health. Beautiful skin that’s noticeably improved is not easy to achieve but it neither is impossible to achieve.