the truth about toners

The toning portion of a daily regimen is often misunderstood and not always necessary.  Many people feel that toning must be done on a daily basis to ensure clean skin.  Oily patients especially like to tone, because it makes their skin feel drier and tighter (if only for a small period of time).

There are many different toners available on the market today, and it is important to understand how they function, their formulation and benefits of use.

Toners were initially used to balance the skin’s pH after cleansing with soap, which can be more alkaline and drying to the skin.  Because of this alkalinity, toners with a more acidic base helped to lower the skin’s pH, bringing it back to its normal range.  For example, the skin has a pH of about 5.5 to 6.5.  If a person uses a soap that has a pH of 11, then applies a more acidic toner with a pH of 3.0 after cleansing, this will help to bring the pH level back down.

However, if the cleanser you are using is what we call “pH balanced,” then toning is not really necessary.  If you or your patients still feel the need to tone, look for toners that are alcohol-free – alcohol can cause unnecessary drying – and will enhance your daily regimen, such as toners that are formulated with alpha hydroxy acids, nutrients and antioxidants.  Also, try pouring some of your toner into a spray bottle and spray it on your skin throughout the day, especially if your toner is formulated with antioxidants and nutrients.  This way you are protecting and nourishing your skin throughout the day.  This will also help to avoid wasting product by using cotton squares.

PCA SKIN offers two toners:  Smoothing Toner, which is formulated with lactic acid (AHA), citric acid (AHA) and aloe vera (antibacterial and soothing) which is best suited for oily skin types; and Nutrient Toner, which is formulated with pumpkin wine (supplies rich vitamins and antioxidants to the skin), Glutathione (antioxidant) and lactic acid (AHA) which is suitable for all skin types and conditions.

Begin by using either of these toners once every other day, and then use more or less often based on skin type and condition.

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