A well formulated toner is not a toner as such, not in the traditional sense. In the early days when cold creams were used as cleansers, alcohol based toners were used to 'remove the greasy film left on the skin'. In the early days, alcohol toners were also thought to 'close the pores' creating a smooth skin. This of course was due to the mild swelling of the surface of the skin following the use of alcohol, making the pores appear temporarily smaller. As the inflammation cleared, the skin relaxed and the pores returned to their previous size.
Unfortunately the long-term use of toners containing alcohols or other strong astringent ingredients lead to dehydration, dryness, sensitivities or reactive seborrhoea (excessive oil production).
Professionally formulated toners are far more sophisticated and include botanicals, vitamins, antioxidants and other active ingredients to treat the skin. However, I still see alcohol as a key ingredient in cheaper, supermarket brads, so be careful what you put on your skin, cheaper is not necessarily better.
The products I work with actually call toners "lotions". They are in a sense like a diluted active serum. We prescribe lotions to care for various skin conditions such as clogging, dehydration, pigmentation, ageing and skin sensitivities as lotions improve penetration of products and enhance the treatment.
My clients ask me all the time if they can just use a cleanser. Yes, people can get away with just using a cleanser, if the cleansers are treatment cleansers and of very good quality. But they will find themselves having to use more of the moisturizer to try to dehydrate the skin. So in the long term, it's actually more expensive.
I found a lotion not only enhances the treatment and treats the skin. It also provides that instant hydrating relief, saturating the top layers of skin with moisture, creating a perfect environment for enhanced product penetration. When the skin is well hydrated, I find I use smaller amount of my serums and treatment creams.
A treatment lotion (a well formulated toner), adds to the skin results, instantly improves hydration, enhances penetration of products and allows you to use less of the products, ultimately saving you money!
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