As a teen, I once tried an astringent, thinking it was a toner. My naturally dry and sensitive skin began to severely burn and sting. At the time, I thought that astringents and toners were one in the same, however, that could not be farther from the truth. Astringents, designed for oily skin, are very harsh and contain alcohol. They dry the skin as well as potentially dehydrate it in a bid to reduce excess facial oil.
Now that I am wiser (and older!) and much more skincare savvy, I have come to realize that not only are astringents and toners completely different, but toners are an integral part of a complete skincare routine. Especially when living in Dubai!
Why is toner necessary?
To restore pH balance to the skin after washing the face.
Skin naturally has a slightly acidic pH. This can be offset by alkaline facial cleanser. Toners help to quickly restore harmony in the skin and return it to a normal pH. Normal skin pH is the first line of defense against bacteria as well as makes the skin look luminous.
2. To remove all remaining bits of dirt, makeup and dust that your cleanser did not wash off.
Throughout the day, skin comes in contact with all types of grime as well as makeup. When skin is cleansed at night, most of the debris on the skin is removed, but not all. Toner does the finishing job and removes all traces of dirt, makeup and dust that is on skin.
3. To increase skin hydration.
Hydrating toners contains humectants. Humectants mimic Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs) in the skin. NMFs are water-binding components that help the skin attract and retain water throughout the day. After a hydrating toner is applied, the skin expands, allowing more ingredients from skincare products to be absorbed.
Okay, got it. Now which one should I use?
I recently discovered the Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner. I like this water-based, alcohol-free toner because it is a hydrating toner containing humectants. I have noticed that after I apply the Multi-Active toner, my skin feels more soft and hydrated because it absorbs more of my serum and moisturizer. Dry patches on my skin have been reduced, improving my skin's porosity. This toner has a luxurious spa-like scent because it contains Lavender (soothing), Balm Mint (conditioning), and Arnica (calming and brightening).
I love that the toner comes in a spray bottle. I always feel that when I use a cotton pad for toners, so much of my product is absorbed into the pad. With the Multi-Active Toner, I easily spray the product directly onto my face and rub it in with the tips of my fingers. I do not sacrifice any toner this way, therefore saving me money!
Since using the Multi-Active Toner, my skin has felt more moisturized and, because of this, my fine lines have been minimized (hurrah!). I like this product so much that often times during the day, I will give my skin another spray (even with makeup on) to refresh and hydrate.
You can find Dermalogica products at their flagship stores in the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. You can also purchase online at dermalogicame.com.