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Back when I was at school, toners were an essential part of my skincare routine. Cleanse, tone, moisturise. That’s how it went. No one deviated from the routine. No matter what your skin type or concern, you used a toner.
A toner was a product that promised to remove any makeup, dirt or sunscreen left over after cleansing. It closed the pores and prepared the skin for moisturiser. And they stung like hell.
These days it seems that so many of us are shunning toner and instead cleansing, double cleansing and going straight to our hydrating or skin perfecting treatments. But in doing so, we’re actually neglecting a very important step in our skin care regime. You see, toners these days are a far cry from the harsh alcohol based ones many of us have experienced.
Emma Hobson, Education Manager International Dermal Institute & Dermalogica says toners should still be an integral part of our skin care.
"Toners originally were developed to ‘remove’ mineral oil-based cleansers, which required a toner to contain SD alcohol. The issue that arose from this is that many people found the SD alcohol irritating and drying to their skin, so avoided using a toner," Hobson explains.
"Following on from this, a ‘new’ toner emerged into the market place, predominantly spritz toners which were designed as a treatment product infused with skin actives to achieve marked results on the skin."
It seems that gone are the days of harsh astringents that make you breathe through your eyeballs and in their place, a range of toners aimed at a wide range of skin concerns. There are of course pore-reducing toners like the old days, but now we also have the option of hydrating toners, exfoliating toners and brightening toners - most of which are available in spritz form.
Hobson says when choosing the right toner for your skin type you should always avoid products that contain SD alcohol as they can be drying and sensitising. Opt for spritz toners over rub on toners for all skin types.
"The vast majority of spritz toners are all purpose built to hydrate the skin regardless of the skin type and condition. Ideally choose a ‘treatment’ toner that contains actives that benefit your skin condition, such as ultra-calming, anti-inflammatory toners for sensitised skin, toners with anti-oxidants and peptides for prematurely aging skin, toners that control excess oil and help eliminate breakouts for oily, acne prone skin," she explains.
So, I'd say it's time for all of us to embrace the new generation of skincare and add a toner to our daily routine.
Here's our pick of the best toners for all skin types...
Do you use a toner as part of your skincare regime?