I have to admit I am a bit lackadaisical when it comes to using a toner every day. If it is in front of me, I use one under my moisturizer but if it isn’t I don’t go searching. This is in contrast to Mary and Caitlyn, our Vitale beauty therapists – they both swear by toners and use them religiously. May I also add they both have gorgeous skin! So when the Dr recently told me to keep the scars on my face moist, I added in the use of a toner first under the healing oils to deliver extra moisture, with might I add, excellent results! Since then I have been using a toner daily.

There are three categories of toner so it is important to make the distinction between them: traditional toners, astringents and fresheners.

Traditional toners are used to restore moisture to the skin. They are ideal for those with normal to dry or dehydrated skin as they contain moisturizing ingredients, herbal extracts and essential oils. They do not contain alcohol, which can reduce moisture and oil content in the skin and potential cause irritation. Examples of traditional toners are:

Remedica Hydra Mist – this amazing looking and smelling product is an active hydrator, moisture retainer and lipid-acid mantle restorer. The effectiveness of this product is due to a complex synergism between antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins and of the natural water binder Lecithin (humectant) which attracts water molecules from the atmosphere and helps bind these molecules to the skin. These actions are exactly what are needed for dry, dehydrated or damaged skin.

La Mav Refining Toner – again excellent for normal to dry or dehydrated skin this toner contains loads of slow ageing ingredients which when used under the La Mav Wrinkle Smoother, layer nutrients and enhance their effects.

Astiringent Toners contain alcohol based (or ethanol) in some form, which has the effect of tightening pores and removing oil. The natural & organic skin care industry moved away from this type of toner a long time ago however, you can still get the pore tightening, cleansing and refreshing effect from other ingredients used in toners that are suitable for normal to oily skin. I will also add that I think toners are excellent and often overlooked for very oil and acne-prone skin. They can deliver a light layer of healing and oil minimizing ingredients without the congestion issues that are sometimes found with moisturizers. Acne prone or oily skin is surprisingly often quite dehydrated. Yes you can have oily but dehydrated (low water) skin. So delivering moisture to oily skin is essential.

Examples of toners for oily or acne-prone skin include:

Third Stone Botanicals Cedarwood Toner – this product delivers concentrated hydration to skin after cleansing just when it needs it and before acid mantle returns which is the best opportunity to lock in extra moisture. The cedarwood essential oil helps to balance out oil production.

Devita Cool Cucumber Toner – well this just smells divine for a start but it also contains chamomile to soothe irritated skin and natural fruit acids to help clean out and tighten pores.

Fresheners are a category of toners that are used for…well exactly that, freshening up your face on a hot day or resetting your mineral makeup, cleansing off makeup at the end of the day or just adding that extra bit of moisture when you look and feel tired or your skin is dehydrated. Based on floral waters, they give much needed moisture but without the drying effects of water (ironic isn’t it but one of the most drying thing we do to our faces everyday is wash with water!).

Treasured Earth Gardenia & Honeysuckle Rehydrating Mist uses rose and lemon myrtle floral water to refresh and rehydrated skin. It also includes the purifying qualities of Iceland Moss so is excellent to help cleanse skin after makeup removal.

For best results use toners twice a day, morning and night after washing your face. One or two sprays is usually enough.

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