Meet the step most people skip entirely, toning (this could also be called an Essence depending on the product). It might seem like you’re purely misting your face or splashing some liquid onto your skin, but this tiny step will take your skincare routine to a whole new level!
Every time you cleanse, even if you’re using a pH balanced cleanser, the simple act of removing your cleanser with water, disrupts your skin’s pH. The “harder the water” the higher the pH, further throwing off your skin’s delicate equilibrium. I live in LA where there’s actually arsenic in our tap water. Crazy things like arsenic and less crazy things like fluoride, all part of what goes into your drinking water, affect your skin’s pH.
For products to penetrate properly, pH is incredibly important. For your skin’s barrier to function properly, pH is important.
In addition to pH balancing, your toner will also add hydration. The more hydrated your skin is the better it will function but also the better it will absorb products. Have you ever wiped up a spill with a dry sponge? It’s not very absorbent. A damp sponge, on the other hand, is much more efficient at wiping up that spill on your counter. Your skin works in a similar way. By first applying a toner, all of your expensive serums and moisturizers penetrate more readily. This makes them more effective and less irritating, especially when it comers to applying active serums.
Ever put on a retinol or vitamin C serum and felt your skin get a little irritated? These actives are meant to dive deep into the skin where they can stimulate all those amazing anti-aging components of cellular functions, things like cellular regeneration and collagen synthesis. When the upper layers of the skin are dry and dehydrated, these actives get stuck and aren’t able to get where they need to go, causing irritation. Thus another reason why using a toner is incredibly beneficial.
Lastly, the more hydrated your skin is from your toner application the better spreadability you’ll have. Which means, you’ll be able to use less product!
Okay, have I sold you on toner yet?!