We welcome Jenna to the Living Nature blog - her OhNatural site is a gorgeous 'go to' place for natural beauty and wellness, featuring product reviews, DIY recipies and Brand and Destination directories. Here Jenna shares her thoughts on toning...
I think toners have to be one of the most misunderstood parts of any skincare routine. What do they even DO? Ever since I read in one of my very first ‘Green’ beauty books that the authors didn’t ‘believe in’ toners, I have always been a little sceptical of their inclusion in my skincare routine.
Well traditionally toners were used to remove any remaining product or other residue from your skin after cleansing. They were also used to rebalance the pH level of the skin which can be altered after using a soapy or synthetic face wash. However if you are using a natural cleansing product this is not such an issue and the purpose of a good toner is also to take care of the skin and restore/repair its surface for they contain substances like fatty acids, glycerin and other antioxidants to give your skin a healthier and younger look.
So when the right products are used they can provide the perfect opportunity to shower your skin in extra skin-loving ingredients and provide the optimal conditions for the rest of your skincare products to be applied.
Not all toners are created equal!
Alcohol-based formulas, which usually include "astringent" ingredients are probably best avoided. The alcohol and astringent ingredients in these products can cause skin irritation, free-radical damage and can be extremely drying to the skin.
Fragranced Water/Glycerin Based Spritzers probably fall into the ‘nice-to-have’ category. When spritzed onto the face they may smell nice and moisten the skin a little making further product application easier but that’s about it. Do beware of any skin care product that is heavily fragranced (even if it’s all natural) as this is one of the most common causes of skin irritations.
‘Action-packed toners’ are in my opinion are the only ones worth spending your hard-earned cash on. I’m talking about those packed full of beneficial ingredients to soothe and treat the skin, like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals so you’re really making this step of your skin care routine work for you. A great example of these are the toning gels from Living Nature which are up there with the best I have tried. The gel solution is a completely different take on your regular spritz-on / wipe-on liquid and it is totally addictive to use.
The Hydrating Toning Gel is perfect for most skin types in particular those tending towards more oily/combination skin. It’s refreshing and lightweight and works hard to restore the skins natural pH levels after cleansing. As the Living Nature website states “The gentle Gel also helps prevent oil overproduction, firms, tones and adds moisture naturally. Soothing and calming Harakeke Flax Gel tones and hydrates, while antiseptic humectant Active Manuka Honey nourishes, and helps maintain skin health. It's not your average toner, it's your skin hydration saviour.” (I couldn’t really have said it better myself!)
The Extra Hydrating Toning Gel is like giving your skin a great big cool glass of water and is my personal favourite toner for my normal but sometimes dry/sensitive skin. You can feel the soothing effects of the product as soon as you apply it (making it great for sunburn too). It contains Active Manuka Honey which has a plethora of benefits to the skin, along with Larch Tree extract which helps counter dehydration by drawing moisture into the skin.
These toners are a great place to start if you are looking to add a bit of an X factor to your skin care routine! But there is the perfect product out there for everyone so don’t skimp on products that aren’t doing the job or contain potentially skin irritating (or worse) ingredients – it just isn’t worth it!