What is a toner and do you really need one?
It's an often asked question of skin care professionals: "Is toner really necessary?"
In a word, yes.
I think that some people are skeptical of trying toners because they associate toner with the old SD alcohol-based astringents that used to strip skin and leave it feeling tight and dry. Many toners out there still have some less than stellar ingredients, but that's not what we're talking about.
Let's compare popular facial toners:
Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 is one of the best-selling products on the market, but have you ever taken a look at the ingredients in this product, which is marketed toward those with "dry or combination" skin?
Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau , Alcohol Denat. , Glycerin , Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) , Menthol , Acetyl Glucosamine , Trehalose , Sodium Hyaluronate , Butylene Glycol , Sodium Bicarbonate , Red 6 (Ci 15850) , Red 33 (Ci 17200) , Ext. Violet 2 (Ci 60730)
This toner is a mix of water, a stripping alcohol (Alcohol Denat), menthol (harsh for facial use) and artificial dyes. While it does have a form of Hyaluronic Acid and glycerin, the majority of ingredients are quite harsh.
Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion is a toner described as one which will be soothing to the skin. What is in it?
Ingredients: Aqua (Water, Eau), Isopropyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract,Polysorbate 20, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Chloride, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1), Citronellol,Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
While there is, indeed, cucumber fruit extract, water, rubbing alcohol and propylene glycol make up a large portion of the formula. There are also artificial colors and fragrance.
Let's look at a toner with benefits.
A good toner will be free of harsh ingredients artificial colors or fragrance and actually serves a purpose to the skin.
Toner helps to remove any traces of makeup left behind after cleansing. A well-formulated toner can also restore the skin’s pH.
Benefits of Seed Advanced Botanicals Toner:
- Refreshes with aromatic plant distillates
- After cleansing, our toner balances your skin's pH prior to moisturizing
- Ultra-clean feel
- Cleanses any remaining make-up
- Soothes and calms skin
- "One-Touch" dispenser conserves product, keeps out germs and air
- Available in Lemon Balm or Cucumber
After cleansing, use a cotton ball or cotton pad and dispense toner onto it. Swipe across the skin and apply moisturizer.
What ingredients are in Seed Advanced Botanicals Toner?
Lemon Balm: Aqua (Water), Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Distillate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativis (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Gluconolactone.
Cucumber: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Distillate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Gluconolactone.
As you can see, we just use the good stuff. You will not find drying alcohols, fragrance, colorants or any unnecessary ingredients. You -- and your skin -- deserve the best!
Tip for a hot day: toner chilled in the fridge feels amazing on the skin!
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Also in Lately I've been paying more attention
Skin care products with alcohol will cause dryness, right? Not necessarily.
There is confusion surrounding different types of alcohol. I think that when we think of alcohol, many of us picture a bottle of drugstore rubbing alcohol. It is very drying. There are several different types of alcohol that are used in formulating skin care products. Some of these are drying, while others are emollient. The difference lies in the molecular size of the alcohol molecule as well as the amount.
In chemistry terms, alcohol really just means that a molecule has an -OH (or hydroxyl group). This hydroxyl group is attached to a carbon. There can be any number of carbon atoms in this molecule. Short chain alcohols have from 1-3 carbons while long chain alcohols are considered those with more than 8 carbons.
Smooth lips are key for matte lipstick and lip stain application.
Red, bold berries, and purples can be unforgiving, especially when you have dry lips. Lips need to be primed and prepped before you apply lip color.
Picture the exterior of a house with paint that has chipped and peeled. If you hired a painter, would he just take out the paint and roll right over the shingles? No. The paint would not go on evenly and it would be bumpy and peel even more. The painter would scrape away the old paint, smooth the wood, make sure it is cleaned properly and prepped for painting. The canvas needs to be smooth for the paint to adhere and look its best. The same goes for your lips. If your lips are chapped or flaky and you apply lipstick, every imperfection show. The color will not properly adhere and your lips will not look good. You need to prepare the lip surface first.
Fragrance free is what you are looking for.
This means that no fragrances (artificial or otherwise) have been added to the product (or should mean that, watch for tougher regulations monitoring that coming). As we know, artificial fragrances are the #1 irritant on skin and one of the most potentially harmful ingredients we can encounter - because they contain phthalates -- see more information below.
They are linked to many health issues, from allergies and asthma to cancer. Simply put, these fragrances are making people sick. In its truest definition, "fragrance free," means you should not have to worry about those nasty synthetics. Nothing should be added to remove the natural scents from the butters, oils, and other natural ingredients in the products. In other words, you may smell some of the product’s ingredients such as the olive oil or shea butter.
Did you know?
Honestly, it can be confusing. Many people assume that unscented and fragrance free are interchangeable terms. This is wrong, however.