So for the next "Step by Step" installment. We're going to talk about liquid toners. Now these toners are gonna focus on the benefits for the skin. Like AHA/BHA ingredients possibly or mattifying benefits. Not the conventional method of liquid toners which is getting off any left over residue of makeup, or cleanser. Typically, they are thought to be reserved for oilier skin types. However, they've come a long way since Clinique toners hit the market and they can now do things that go unnoticed but are super beneficial for your skin "behind the scenes".
First of all, let's just get this out the way, Astringents and Toners are two different things. Think Sea Breeze vs Clinique Clarifying Lotion. Astringents are much more harsh in my opinion and not in a good way because they typically have a more alcohol base or heavy on the chemicals. The idea is to tighten the skin, close the pores, remove oils, and cleanse the skin. A toner is, traditionally, to remove residue left over either from cleanser or makeup and help adjust the skins pH and "tone". Toners actually can come in a moisturizer, spray, serum, etc. Toner is just an "umbrella" term for a lot of different products. Growing up you think of anti-aging, tightening the skin, removing left over residue from pores, and so on. Which sounds amazing actually.
For a while toners were thought to restore the skins ph balance because cleansers were not properly ph'd thus the skins ph balance got out of wack. Turns out cleansers are mostly balanced now and even if they weren't the skin would balance itself out in most cases. So then it came down to, are toners necessary? My answer yes, as long as you're using the right ones. So I don't like one trick ponies, I need to see them do something. There is a big buzz around acid toning right now and we will get into that at a later date. These are going to be more mild than that but they do more than remove oil, and what have you.
I use liquid toners in the morning after I've cleansed my skin. If you'd like to know my favorite cleansers then I will direct you to my other blog post. I have a few that serve different purposes. So let's get into my top 5:
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution with a pH of 3-6. This is really inexpensive and it's 8 oz for $8.70. I actually love this as a morning mild AHA.. I use stronger AHA's at night. AHA's help with texture and making the skin brighter. I feel like this does that and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try acid toning in the form of AHA. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to those with problematic skin because AHA's tend to be better for dry, dull, and aging skin. If you're in your teens, have acne, an oily skin type, the next toner will be better for you I think.
Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3. This is 6.7 oz for $14.50, but there are other sizes available. Clinique is notorious for not providing their ingredients so they're not easily accessible. There are actually 5 toners but only 4 on most stockist sites. My choice for every skin type is Lotion 3. It does a combination of things. It removes residue and takes care of excess oil. It also exfoliates dead skin and dull skin and then helps manage breakouts. It's really stood the test of time in my opinion. I think it's a great option for teens and early 20's.
Botanics Shine Away Toner. This is at Ulta. It's 8.4 oz for $9 (on sale right now at Ulta for $7.19.). This is also available at Target as well. This is cool, you have to shake to activate because it has powders in it that mattify the skin. I use this specifically on hot days where I need my makeup to last, well.... any day that I need my makeup to last. Then I use it especially under dewy finish foundations. It really does work. Botanics is a very few ingredients and more of an "organic brand" all the way around. This product resembles that because there are very few ingredients, it doesn't say it's organic though. This keeps my T-Zone matte for most of the day and I love it. Plus you have the added bonus of clarifying the skin as well.
Caudalie Grape Water, which has changed since I last bought it. It's $22 (it was $18 I swear) for 6.7 oz. I find this a good antioxidant and hydrating toner. For those of you that are super dry. It has good skin care benefits being antioxidants, not necessarily a targeted treatment say for clearing up blemishes and acne. This is an aerosol spray which I love and it is very hydrating and refreshing. It's a no bells and whistles so it's not for you if you're wanting a product that "multi tasks",this is my only one trick pony. Only because it does provide antioxidants and it's an aerosol spray so it's easier to use or more convenient I should say.
Apsara Rosewater and Turmeric Facial Toner Spray. This is $22 for 4 oz. I find it lasts quite a while. I use this the most at night or after treatments. OR to help with "cake face". This is obviously refreshing, suited or everyone but marketed for normal skin types. Rosewater is naturally an "astringent". This spray is very soothing and brightening in my opinion. The soothing part is why I use it after treatments that are intense. It's fast and easy. It also minimizes the look of pores. In general I like a rosewater spray but this is my favorite. I really like their Rosedew one as well it's for combo skin. Apsara is a natural brand and this is non-alcohol based. It has only 7 ingredients 3 of which being Essential Oils so if you're sensitive to EO's then avoid this one.
So there ya go, sometimes I do use "toners" more than once a day, like if I need some hydration or need my makeup to look less cakey, or if I'm using it underneath foundation specifically to help keep away shine through out the day. I'll use my Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution every morning and then who knows what the day will hold from there on, so I might have to use more than one. Like I said I will get into my AHA's which are acid toners for the skin but right now I'm working through the day time skin care steps and then I'll add the night time steps.
So to recap so far we have:
Step 1 Cleansing and Pre Cleansing ( if needed)
Step 2 Liquid Toner
I hope you're enjoying these. I've been doing a lot of skincare posts lately and that is just how the cookie crumbles right now we have a lot of skincare to discuss. I am going to get up some reviews on some more makeup products soon and hopefully there will be a good mix of stuff.
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I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.