Skin toners are the next step after a facial cleansing routine. Skin toners ensure complete removal from the skin of all cleansing preparations. They freshen and tone up the skin and prepare a clean surface for the application of make-up. They also restore the acid or alkali balance of the skin, because they are pH balanced. They are designed to penetrate pores, refresh and cool your skin while clearing away excess oil, impurities and dead skin cells that were not removed with your cleanser.
Toners restore the skin’s natural pH balance. When you wash your face, the pH balance of the skin is distorted leading to skin working overtime to restore pH levels; the process of skin restoring the pH levels on its own can take up as much as half and hour or more. By using a skin toner, the pH level of your skin is restored instantly.
Choose a toner appropriate for your skin type. A wide variety of toners are available. Alcohol dries the skin and harms the soluble collagen below the surface of the skin. It is thus safer to use an alcohol-free toner.
The common herbs used in toners include witch hazel, geranium, honey, lemon, ivy, sage, nettle and burdock. Witch hazel has a tendency to dry the skin. It is ideal to combine it with moisturizers such as Vitamin E, honey, etc. Rosewater helps keep skin and face moisturized, fresh and balances the pH levels.
Essential oils are the gentlest way of toning up. Rose water for normal or dry/sensitive skin or witch hazel for oilier skins is ideal bases for fresheners. These can be applied with cotton wool, using smooth, gentle upward strokes or sprayed on to the face. Oily skin benefits from juniper or lemongrass whereas drier skins would benefit from rose or sandalwood.
Apply the skin toner to a cotton ball and sweep it gently across your face. The cotton wool should come out relatively clean when toning. If it is not clean it indicates the cleansing has not been done properly. Do not succumb to the temptation to tone the skin whenever you feel it has become dirty. It should be used only after the skin has completed a cleansing routine and not as a substitute for cleansing. So, remember that your toner must function as a toner and not as a cleanser.
Toning is pleasant and refreshing, can act as an additional cleanser on very oily or dirty skin, and is valuable in removing any traces of grease that the cleanser may have left behind. Think of it as the polishing touch in your skin care treatment.
Homemade Toner Recipes
1 cup watermelon chunks, 2 tbsp witch hazel and 2 tbsp distilled water
Purée watermelon chunks in a processor or blender. Strain the liquid and discard the solids. Mix the strained liquid with the remaining ingredients, stir and pour into a glass bottle. Dab on face using a cotton ball. This is rich in sugar and vitamins A, B and cup Watermelon has astringent properties, and the super high water content makes it an excellent skin refresher.
Rose Skin Toner
3 ½ cups of witch hazel, ½ cup dried rose petals and 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Mix ingredients together making sure it is all blended well. Strain the blend and splash on your face after cleansing.
The reader of this article should exercise all precautions while following instructions on the recipes from this article. Avoid using if you are allergic to something. The responsibility lies with the reader and not the site and the writer.
Sharon Hopkins is the webmaster of http://www.skin-care-at-home.com. The site provides information on natural skin care with the help of home made skin care recipes and tips on skin nutrition. Read up on skin toning, commonly used herbs and home made toner recipes.