Skin toners are the next step after a facial cleansing routine. Skin toners are used after cleansing to ensure complete removal from the skin of all cleansing preparations, and are also used after a facemask to remove all traces of the mask. Skin toners can also be used as interim cleansers as well, as they can remove grime and oils. They freshen and tone up the skin and prepare a clean surface for the application of make-up. They also restore the acid or alkali balance of the skin, because they are pH balanced. Let me explain this further to understand why a Skin Toner has an important job to do when it comes to skincare.

Why should you use a toner?
The first and the most important job of a toner is to restore the skins natural pH balance. The skin has a pH balance of 5.5, while water can have a pH balance as high as 9.5 depending on where you live and on how hard the water is. After washing your skin, your skins pH balance is completely distorted and your skin starts working overtime to restore pH levels; a process which may take up to half an hour. On the other hand, if you use toner, pH levels are restored in an instant. Your skin is now ready for the moisturizer

How to choose a Toner?
Alcohol and water are the main ingredients of a Skin Toner. Other additives for skincare include: Glycerine, witch hazel, menthol, camphor, boric acid, rose water and alum .The formulation of one skin toner differs from the other in terms of the alcohol content and specific additives. As alcohol has a very drying effect, there is little or none of it in the products intended for dry skin while the products for use on oily skin have high alcohol content. The over-drying action of stronger toners causes skin to react by producing excessive oil to combat the dryness, leading to more breakouts. It is thus safer to use an alcohol-free toner.

An option that everyone could use to avoid formulations is natural rosewater. Rosewater helps keep skin and face moisturized, fresh and balances the pH levels.

How to use a toner?
Follow this routine as part of your skincare regime after cleansing the skin with a cleanser. Apply the skin toner to a cotton ball and sweep it gently across your face. The cotton wool should come out relatively clean when toning. If it is not clean it indicates the cleansing has not been done properly. Do not succumb to the temptation to tone the skin whenever you feel it has become dirty. It should be used only after the skin has completed a cleansing routine and not as a substitute for cleansing. So, remember that your toner must function as a toner and not as a cleanser.

*Individual results may vary