My staff and I at The Portland Girl are experts in the art of skincare. We can melt your tensions, extract your blackheads and leave your skin feeling smooth like a baby’s bottom. But being experts in skincare means that we also spend a good deal of time, thought and effort deciding what products we think would be best for your particular skin.
Because what you use at home EVERY day…is even more important than getting regular facials. It’s extremely frustrating to try to help clients improve their skin when they only come in once a month for a facial and then don’t take care of their skin the other 29 days of the month. It’s like someone going to personal training once a month and then ignoring their eating and working out for the rest of the month, but then expecting to see miraculous results. It’s silly!
Which brings me back to toner…
I’ve worked in skincare for over 8 years and I must say that selling toner has been the biggest uphill battle. Moisture cream and serum fly off the shelf, but toner…well, not so much!
That is, until I learned to explain it in terms that my clients understood.
Yes- toner can help to reset the PH balance of your skin (which is slightly acidic at 5.5) post cleansing, but what does that REALLY mean for you?
Well let’s start with a basic explanation of PH levels. PH actually means “potential hydrogen” and it describes the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance that ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline)
“The skin’s barrier, which is known as the acid mantle, is responsible for keeping in lipids and moisture while blocking germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria,” explains Patricia Wexler, M.D., a New York City dermatologist. “To work its best, the acid mantle should be slightly acidic, at a 5.5 pH balance. When it’s too alkaline, skin becomes dry and sensitive; you may even get eczema. You may also experience inflammation, which inhibits the skin’s ability to ward off matrix metalloproteinases [MMPs], the enzymes that destroy collagen and cause wrinkles and sagging.”
At its most simple, skin that is too alkaline will likely suffer from more dryness and premature aging, while skin that is too acidic, will be more likely to suffer from angry breakouts.
Thus – our goal is to BALANCE out the acid mantle to avoid angry breakouts on one end or premature aging on the other!
The goal is plump, dewy skin. This happens when our acid mantle is balanced and happy.
How will toner help?
Most toners are specially formulated to re-balance the skin after it comes into contact with anything that knocks it off its balance (this can be anything from water, to cleanser, to life!)
The best time to use toner is after you have washed your face. After wrapping a towel around me, this is the FIRST thing that I do when I get out of the shower. After I cleanse my skin at night, this is the FIRST thing that I do before I apply my serum or moisture cream.
This can be misted on the skin or it can be applied with an toner soaked eye pad.
My favorite routine is to use spritz toner during the day before moisturizing and then a little bit of toner on an eye pad at night after cleansing (to help wipe off anything my cleanser missed). Yes, this means that I have two separate toners, which can seem excessive to some, but it is necessary to me!
I spend the same amount of money because I use each at half the rate I would be using them had I only purchased one and used it twice a day #shoppinglogic
What toner would work best for your skin?
If you struggle with more congestion and acne, then consider choosing a toner that is alcohol-free, but that contains a trace amount of witch hazel to help cut the bacteria. Make sure that it is full of other yummy ingredients and essential oils to help re-hydrate and brighten the skin (ahem – our Valencia My Love facial toner does all of these!)
If you struggle with the symptoms of slightly alkaline skin (i.e. premature aging and dryness), consider purchasing a totally alcohol free and witch hazel free toner that focuses solely on re-balancing the skin (our Susan Grace Partly Sunny toner contains Vitamin D and Geranium to boost collagen production and reduce fine lines!)
Would you like to get a better idea about the current health of your skin’s acid mantle? Stop by the studio and we can chat, assess your skin and match you with a TONER that will suit your skin’s individual needs!
Over and out,