If you are one of many who believe that including a Toner in your skincare routine is an unnecessary waste of time and money then you will definitely want to keep reading…

In fact, the Toner may very well be the most important step in your routine if you are battling certain skin conditions such as acne and sensitivity or if you are working on skin texture and pigmentation because unlike the alcohol and fragrance fuelled Toners of the past, our modern Toners are power packed with active ingredients that set the scene for the rest of your skin care arsenal.

Lets take a logical look at this ‘for or against’ debate:

It’s a given that the first step in your skin care routine should be ‘Cleansing’… we all agree on that. You need to remove your make-up and/or dirt, pollutants and skin secretions that build up on your skin over the 12 hour period during the day and night. Cleanse in the morning and cleanse at night before bed… got it?

But your Cleanser should be rinsed away with water to thoroughly remove all the make-up, oil secretions and remnants of previously applied moisturizes so there is not much use in having active ingredients (that should remain on the skin) in your cleanser because you are about to wash it away!

So, now your skin is squeaky clean… with nothing on it… no make-up, no oil, nothing stopping the next thing that hits your skin from doing it’s 110% best. I know you get that this is the Toner step… but I want to explain why a toner is usually a liquid or sometimes a serum and almost never a cream.

These days, with all the amazing ‘active’ ingredients available to skincare manufactures, it is crucial that these ingredients are incorporated into the correct ‘vehicle’ so that these Actives can reach the part of the skin that needs them most. Some Actives need to reach deep down into the skin and some are best at the surface.

Liquids and serums are able to travel down into the deeper layers of our epidermis, easily flowing through the intercellular spaces between skin cells, whereas creams are too thick so sit on the surface of the skin. So it makes sense that some important active ingredients would need to be in your Toner rather than your moisturizer and skipping the Toner step means you may only be getting half of the pie.

My rule of thumb is always to follow your chosen skin care’s advice. If they make a toner, then use the toner! And always try to use one skin care range for your entire regimen… don’t use a cleanser from one brand and a toner from another and so on. A good quality brand of skin care will have cleansers, toners and moisturizers who’s active ingredients interlock from one step to the other. Using different brands within one regimen puts you at risk of skin reactions and sensitivities if some of the active ingredients do not play well together.

As always, I recommend you take the time to visit your Beauty Therapist or Skin Care Specialist. They will be able to analyze your skin and not only recommend the most suitable skin care regimen for your skin needs but also explain the most effective way to use those products.