Do you really need to use toner?

Toners suit some skin types but not all.

For as long as I can remember, the debate for and against toner has raged. I am a non-toner person myself as the mere thought of adding any extra steps to my pared-down, three-step, skin care routine of double cleansing, serum and moisturiser with SPF50 for day, plus night cream in the evening, is enough to send me into orbit.

One expert who agrees with me is facialist supremo Melanie Grant, who says: “I prefer to keep skin care regimes simple and believe that cleansers perform well enough these days to sufficiently remove make-up, oil, dirt and debris from the skin without leaving any residue, therefore a toner is an unnecessary step.

“I recommend spritzing a hydrating mist over the skin after cleansing to soften, rebalance and prepare the skin for serums and moisturiser.” (Try Sisley Floral Hydrating Mist.)

Make-up guru Bobbi Brown holds the middle ground. She says in her book Bobby Brown Beauty: “Often sold as a must-use step, toners are truly optional. If skin feels too oily or you’re wearing a lot of make-up, a toner can clean away anything your cleanser has left behind. The newest formulas are alcohol-free and don’t strip skin of its necessary oils.”

Then there is the argument for toner as a second tier to the cleansing process. Toners can help remove excess oil and exfoliate dead skin cells and the new breed contains exfoliating agents like beta and alpha hydroxy acids to help exfoliate acne-prone skin, antioxidants, vitamins, witch hazel, and aloe vera. A word of warning though: avoid alcohol-based toners are they are very drying.

So are you confused yet?

Last word: toners are not essential but they may help those with excessively oily, congested skin. As with so much relating to beauty, if it works for you, embrace it.

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