A clear for­mula for GET­TING THE TONE RIGHT

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

Toner is an el­e­ment of sk­in­care that has been much ma­ligned in re­cent years. As we all jumped on the serum wagon, we for­got about the sim­ple ton­ing lo­tion that once was very much part of how we treated our skin af­ter cleans­ing, pre­par­ing it for a layer of moisturiser. So why have we lost touch with ton­ing? My guess is that the pop­u­lar­ity of make-up wipes su­per­seded proper cleans­ing, and us­ing a cleanser fol­lowed by toner be­came a chore. Add to that the gen­eral per­cep­tion that ton­ers are solely for oily skin and spots, then any­one bar teenagers would give them a wide berth.

But why ex­actly should we use toner? Start­ing with prod­ucts for oilier skins that break out, astringent ton­ers are wa­ter-based liq­uids that may con­tain al­co­hol and of­ten have an­ti­sep­tic qual­i­ties that help deep-clean the pores and help pre­vent spots and black­heads.

Ton­ers for drier skins are also wa­ter-based but their func­tion is en­tirely dif­fer­ent. Yes, they will re­move im­pu­ri­ties — any re­main­ing make-up or cleans­ing lo­tion, or, if you use a wash, a toner will re­move chlo­rine de­posits left on the skin from the tap wa­ter. But that’s not all: ton­ers can help with a num­ber of skin con­cerns and will bol­ster the ef­fects of your en­tire rou­tine. Be­cause they are wa­ter-based, ap­ply­ing them to a freshly cleaned face lets them pen­e­trate the skin’s up­per lay­ers in­stantly. Ton­ers for dry, de­hy­drated or sen­si­tive skins have high lev­els of humec­tants such as glyc­er­ine, rose wa­ter or aloe vera that at­tract and re­tain wa­ter in the skin, keep­ing it com­forted.

Also in to­day’s more so­phis­ti­cated ton­ers, you will find other ben­e­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents that will ad­dress par­tic­u­lar skin con­cerns. Dullness, age­ing, red­ness and sen­si­tiv­ity are just some of the is­sues that can be helped by us­ing the right toner as part of a thor­ough regime that works syn­er­gis­ti­cally. If you have a serum in your daily rou­tine al­ready, toner should be used be­fore­hand, right af­ter cleans­ing.

Sounds too time-con­sum­ing? Well, if you’re are a devo­tee of wipes but are con­stantly fight­ing de­hy­dra­tion, shine or ir­ri­ta­tion, per­haps it’s time to go old school and get into a cleanse­and-tone rou­tine for the sake of your skin!

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