The chances are that amongst the menagerie of skin products you own, there is a toner in your collection. They are extremely popular, however many of us aren’t quite sure why we use this product or what benefits it contains for our skin. Well, initially toners came into fashion as a way of shrinking your pores and removing excess oil from your skin, although conventional ingredients such as alcohol have caused toners to come under heavy criticism in recent years.
This is because the alcohol in these toners can irritate the skin, even triggering outbreaks of acne and rosacea.1 What about natural toners though? The good news is that natural toners do not usually contain the same harsh ingredients as high-street toners meaning that they can still benefit your skin without causing any upset or irritation!
What is a skin toner used for?
As I mentioned, traditionally toners are used to remove any excess oil, diminishing the appearance of your pores. This makes them extremely popular with oily skin types, although toners can also serve a number of other functions, such as:
1. Balancing your skin’s pH: Understanding what is meant by the term ‘pH balance’ can be confusing but it simply refers to our acid/alkaline balance. Certain parts of our body are intended to be slightly more acidic and, believe it or not, your skin is one of these places. However, beauty products such as soaps and lotions can upset this delicate balance, which can result in excess oil. Toners gently restore your pH to its natural balance, preventing these side-effects from occurring.
2. Removing impurities: Doubtless, many of you own a cleanser that you use to remove any dirt or leftover make-up. However, your toner can also perform this function, picking up any excess impurities for a deeper cleansing experience. It also helps to unclog your pores, preventing a build-up of impurities that may inspire an outbreak.
3. Hydrating your skin: Despite what I said earlier about alcohol-based toners, many natural toners contain ingredients that can help to moisturise your skin, especially after cleansing. Ingredients such as aloe vera, witch hazel and rosewater are particularly good for this purpose, even containing natural antibacterial qualities that can help to ward off bacteria.
What should be in your skin toner?
These are just three of the main reasons that toners still remain a popular skincare option. However, if you are aiming to pick a natural toner, you might be wondering what ingredients you should be looking out for, especially if you suffer from dry, sensitive or oily skin?
If you suffer from dry skin, you really need to aim for a gentle toner that doesn’t contain too many harsh ingredients. Personally, I would focus on chamomile extract and rosewater – both of these ingredients are very soothing for your skin.
A good, natural toner that I always recommend to customers suffering from dry skin is Green People’s Toning Hydrating Mist. This lightweight formula provides a gentle blend of aloe vera, orange blossom and rosewater and, best of all, it is made without any alcohol, parabens or artificial perfumes! It’s great for removing impurities but you can also use it on-the-go – I normally take it with me if I’m going on a long-haul flight or holidaying somewhere warm.
Toners traditionally have good results on those with oily skin so I would absolutely recommend investing in one. However, you do still have to keep an eye on the ingredients list as oily skin is often slightly more prone to breakouts than other types.
I’d suggest using Dr Hauschka’s Clarifying Toner. This seamless combination of calendula, nasturtium and anthyllis is infused with extracts of witch hazel, horse chestnut and even Echinacea! Specifically formulated for oily, blemish-prone skin it helps to balance your skin tone whilst reducing the production of excess oil. Cruelty-free and 100% vegan-friendly, Dr. Hauschka is a lovely, natural brand that I’m always happy to recommend. Please check out the video below for more information!
Similar to dry skin, those who are prone to sensitive skin are naturally wary around toners, due to their history with harsh chemicals. If you do suffer from delicate skin, it can be easily distressed, prompting symptoms such as inflammation, redness and breakouts.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Avalon Organic’s Brilliant Balance Toner. Not only does this contain a plethora of outstanding natural ingredients, including chamomile, aloe vera, cucumber extract and lavender, it’s also infused with natural probiotic components, such as kombucha, to help balance your skin’s natural tone. No GMOS, no parabens and absolutely no phthalates, this is definitely the toner for soft, luminescent skin!
What else to keep an eye out for
It’s always nice to have a good toner on hand, however there are a number of natural products that, on their own, may help to tone and cleanse your skin on- the-go. As I have mentioned, rosewater is incredibly refreshing and calming for your skin and, interestingly enough, Pukka have concocted their own Rosewater Spray!
Pukka? As in the same people that make the tea? Yes! It might sound unusual but Pukka are far from a one trick pony and their rosewater spray is ideal if you need to give your skin a quick tone on-the-go. It’s naturally astringent and capable of balancing your skin’s pH but without any alcohol!
If convenience is your main aim though, you could try Faith in Nature’s 3 in 1 Facial Wipes that cleanse, tone and moisturise. Perfect for taking with you on holiday, I’m a bit prone to using them after a night out – they’re great for removing tough make-up stains and refreshing delicate skin. They even combine a range of natural ingredients, including chamomile and organic aloe vera which definitely makes them stand out from their competitors!
Finally, it’s worth mentioning a natural skincare ingredient that is definitely rising in popularity here at Jan de Vries – rosehip oil! Not only is this oil amazing for ageing skin, it’s also intensely moisturising and a natural toner in its own right. I would definitely try and get your hands on some, especially if you have dry or oily skin! Kinvara Skincare’s Rosehip Face Serum gets my personal recommendation. It absorbs quickly and is rich in collagen-boosting vitamin C and omega fatty acids!