When you have dry skin, it's easy to get stuck in the rut of using heavy, emollient-rich creams. However, the right toner can offer amazing benefits for your skin type.
If you have dry skin, you likely find yourself slathering on as many products as possible in a bid to rehydrate and lock in moisture. Your efforts are perfectly understandable, but using the right products—not necessarily LOTS of products—is a smarter strategy.
Most people turn to heavy, emollient-based creams in their quest for a softer, more attractive complexion. However, certain lightweight toners contain specific ingredients that are especially helpful in the treatment of dry skin.
How to Choose a Toner for Dry Skin
While there are many different toners to choose from, most excel at one of the below key benefits:
- Balancing pH
While your knee-jerk reaction may be to pick a rehydrating toner, this is actually a mistake.
A dry complexion does need rehydration, but without first taking steps to improve your skin's health, your moisturising efforts are redundant. Imagine trying to add water to a bathtub without putting the plug in first. This analogy adeptly describes the underlying problem with dry skin.
Your best bet is to choose a balancing or exfoliating toner for dry skin. Let's take a look at the benefits of both so you can understand which will work best for you.
PH-Balancing Toners for Dry Skin
Did you know your skin is naturally slightly acidic? Whereas water has a neutral pH, skin doesn't. The pH is rated on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 7 being the neutral point, and 14 being the most alkaline, or basic.
On this scale, a healthy complexion falls between 4.2 and 5.5. Your skin's pH is very important. It plays into several biological functions, including barrier creation.
Have you ever experienced dryness from using old-fashioned bar soaps? Or just heard of their bad reputation?
Bar soaps are extremely alkaline, meaning they rate significantly above pH 7. When you use an alkaline product on your skin, it upsets your natural pH balance, in turn impairing barrier function, commonly resulting in dry skin. Simply put, if your skin's pH is too high, that bathtub plug has been removed.
Cleansers commonly raise the pH of your skin. When these products are used on a healthy complexion, the pH naturally swings back to normal after a few hours.
However, dry skin recovers less quickly, which is why it especially benefits from a pH-balancing toner. Such products re-acidify your skin's acid mantle, which leads to a healthier barrier function.
Now that you understand the science, you might be wondering which products to use. We suggest one of the following:
- SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner
- Cosmedix Benefit Balance Antioxidant Prep
- Thalgo Pure Freshness Tonic Lotion
Exfoliating Toners for Dry Skin
If you struggle with persistent flaky skin, then an exfoliating toner many benefit you more than a pH-balancing toner. Exfoliating toners contain gently effective skincare acids, which work to slough away dead skin cells.
Acidic toners work immediately and continually by revealing softer, fresher skin. Exfoliating acids also have a humectant effect, which means that in addition to improving the appearance of dry skin, they actually hydrate your skin.
Finally, since acids are, well, acids, exfoliating toners by their nature will help balance your skin's pH.
Our favourite exfoliating toner for dry skin, SkinCeuticals LHA Solution Priming Toner, contains a trio of effective skincare acids. Not only does this product exfoliate, but it also contains anti-inflammatory extracts to effectively combat the signs of stress within your skin.