You may wonder why many skincare routines consist of three steps and if they're all necessary. Find out if and when it's okay to skip 'Step 2', the insider term for toning.
If you have a large breakfast late in the morning, you might pass up lunch. If you plan to feast at a weekend party, you might make an extra effort to eat clean for the week prior. Monitoring and adjusting your eating habits according to your circumstances helps you maintain health and fitness over the long haul.
Designing and following a skincare routine revolves around a similar concept. While you'll have a backbone of consistency, it's likely you'll vary the products you use based on the daily, weekly, or seasonal needs of your complexion.
Deciding whether you can skip toner depends on the needs of your skin at a given time and the details of the product you're using.
What Kind of Toner Are You Using?
We delve more deeply into the anatomy of toners in our Ultimate Guide article, 'What Are Toners For?'. To summarise, today's toners fall into one of three new-age categories:
- Oil-free, hydrating tonics and mists
- pH-balancing toners
- Exfoliating fluids
These three kinds of toning lotions offer several different benefits to skin. Each is best used when your skin is in a certain condition.
1. Oil-Free, Hydrating Toners
Oil-free, hydration-based toners improve the condition of your skin by:
- Locking water into your skin
- Providing lightweight hydration that's easily and quickly absorbed
These toning mists and waters are great to use when your skin is:
- Temporarily dehydrated
- Oily or combination (two skin types that have difficulty absorbing moisture during summer months)
Skip hydrating toners when your skin doesn't meet either criterion, and add these products back when your skin changes.
Some of our favourites include:
- Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner, featuring soothing aloe and cucumber extracts alongside a trio of moisture-binding actives
- Alpha-H Moisture Boosting Facial Mist, enriched with arnica, soothing bisabolol, and moisture-boosting sodium PCA
- NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, using plant-based sugars to hydrate and protect
2. pH-Balancing Toners
One of the characteristics of healthy skin is an acidic pH. Water is neutral at pH 7, and skin is acidic at an average pH between 4.2 and 5.5. Toners that balance pH are very beneficial to skin that's:
These changes to your skin are signs that your skin's pH has been neutralised. This is much more common than you'd expect, and several household and personal care products can cause this shift to occur.
pH protection is the reason soap has such a bad reputation. With its naturally alkaline pH, soap neutralises your skin.
Can you skip using a pH-balancing toner? If your skin isn't dry, irritated, uncomfortable, or reactive, sure. Otherwise, be sure to phase an acidifying product into your routine.
Our most recommended pH-balancing toners include:
3. Exfoliating Acid-Based Toners
You're probably aware that toners can't shrink pores, even if you've heard the rumour that they can. However, an exfoliating toner can help to reduce the visibility of enlarged pores by removing the impurities trapped within them. These types of toners are great if your complexion currently:
An exfoliating toner will help to:
- Increase your skin's natural cell turnover rate to reveal a brighter and healthier complexion
- Dissolve dead skin and impurities trapped within your pores
- Reduce the amount of dead skin that's able to collect and promote spots
Can you skip using an exfoliating toner? If you have normal, clear, healthy skin, go ahead and skip this step. Otherwise, you'd benefit from using such a product.
Looking for exfoliating toners? Try one of our favourites:
As always, if you need help finding the perfect toner for your current skin condition, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 03 9486 7179. Our trained and friendly skincare experts are always happy to help.