Whenever i ask my friends what skincare step they think is skippable, the answer almost all the the time is using a toner. Many people don’t realise how pivotal this step is in maintaining a healthy, balanced and clear skin. What really makes skin beautiful at its core is its PH level.
When we wash our faces, we’re exposing our skin to tap water and cleansers which are highly alkaline. Our skin’s optimum PH level on the other hand is slightly acidic at PH 5.5. A toner functions as a skin balancer by reducing the skin’s PH to its optimum level. A good toner not only balances the skin’s PH, but also removes cleanser residue on the face, hydrate the skin and effective at removing excess perspiration and oil.
When our skin’s PH is not balanced back to its slightly acidic environment after cleansing, it gets weaker and is more vulnerable to getting infections, blemishes and dryness, leading to breakouts and premature ageing. Therefore, using a toner is a crucial step that shouldn’t be missed in skin maintenance.
Mainstream toners that are poorly formulated get a lot of bad rep simply because they do more harm than good to the skin. Most commercial toners contain irritating ingredients that would sting my face. If this happens to you too, then i’d like to suggest for you to stay away from toners with high concentrations of alcohol and fragrance. These two ingredients are the main culprits for sensitising and damaging the skin.
Balancing the pH of your skin doesn’t mean you have to invest in expensive products. You can easily reset your skin by avoiding commercial astringents and using budget-friendly, skin soothing herbal toners. When i was in the UK, my skin was so sensitive and dry that i wouldn’t even touch commercial toners! After a little research, i decided that my skin (and my wallet) would benefit the most by using a simple 100% pure floral water as a toner. So my saviour when my skin was unbalanced and dry was rose water.
Rose water is slightly astringent and balances all skin types. Jessica Weiser (MD), a dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group, commonly recommends products with rosewater or rose properties for acne or rosacea-prone patients because “it reduces bacteria on the skin, decreases inflammation, and simultaneously hydrates and soothes the skin”
Being back in Malaysia has changed my skin from being dry to normal-combination. Hence, i decided to switch things up and use a cucumber-infused witch hazel toner instead. I chose the cucumber version of Thayers toner because it ticks all the boxes for my skin’s current needs. Cucumber and witch hazel are mildly astringent, but i love how cooling and soothing this toner feels on my skin. Living in a tropical climate, i welcome anything that gives a cooling sensation to my face! Another bonus of using cucumber-infused product is that it has a mild bleaching action, making it an excellent remedy to fade out any hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
Thayers toner is probably the easiest natural toner to get a hold of in Malaysia. I bought mine from M+ Pharmacy at Bangsar Village 1. You can also buy it online at Natta Cosme and M+Pharmacy‘s online store. If you’re in the US or the UK, you can easily get a hold of Thayers toner on Amazon or the official website.