Friday, May 25, 2012

To Tone?

I always wondered about the point of toner. I never comprehended its purpose, but that didn't stop me in my teenage years when I would regularly soak a cotton ball of the stuff and swish it over my face after cleansing. 

Back then, when my cleaning ritual was not so thorough, the cotton ball would usually become grimy with residual dirt; nowadays, the cotton ball is squeaky clean, thanks to my face brush. 

I decided to google "purpose of toner," and this link shows a compilation of snippets from various publications, most stating that toner is unnecessary, except maybe in the case of very oily skin. 

My skin is combination, and it is the summers that unleash the facial oil; it is only during that sweltering time of year that I would use toner. 

One thing I've learned is that toners containing alcohol should be avoided; they just strip everything from the skin, and that is not the best way to go. 

Witch hazel is great stuff. For oily skin I would recommend Humphrey's Homeopathic Remedy Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Citrus Facial Toner. It contains no alcohol, I find it refreshing in the summer when I'm overheated, and I love the orange-y scent.
Always check the ingredients when purchasing toner! Alcohol can often manage to squirrel its way in there.  


Anonymous said...

I find toning important b/c after washing my face and drying it on the towel, I want to wipe off anything the towel may have left on my face (I use the same towel that I use after I shower).

Princess Lea said...

I know what you mean. I try to keep a separate towel for my face, but even so . . .

Mystery Woman said...

Hmm..I went home and checked my toner, and there's alcohol in there. Plus...I have dry skin, not oily. Am I doing everything wrong?

Princess Lea said...

If you have dry skin, alcohol will dry it further. There are a number of toners that will provide moisture rather than stripping the skin.

Khiel's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner (department stores)

Burt's Bees Rosewater and Glycerin Toner (Amazon)

Boscia Balancing Facial Tonic (Sephora)

Avalon Organics Balancing Facial Toner Vitamin C (

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner (drugstores)

Earth Science Aloe Vera Complexion Toner and Freshener (

Wig Making Diva said...

I have regular Clarins facials (my one splurge) and the therapist told me that toning is vital as it closes up your pores after cleansing. This means that you then are applying moisturiser without clogging up your pores... or something like that... don't know if this makes any sense!! Following the advice, I meakly bought the suggested toner haha.

Wig Making Diva said...


Sparrow said...

If not, just buy rosewater. It does work and smells really pretty. Look for it in a health food store, or one specializing in middle eastern foods.

Princess Lea said...

WMD: There is still debate as to whether pores "open" or "close." "Closed pores" are simply clogged pores, according to some.

Clarins facials . . . yummy.

But those estheticians can be scary. "Buy my product! Or your flesh will fall off your face!"

Sparrow: I actually own rosewater, but I've never used it. (Also available on