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There are several approaches to using toners in your skin-care routine, especially if you want to amp up the results for a specific skin concern. When the perfect toner is selected, it can help-

  • Tighten pore size
  • Remove oil and other impurities
  • Firm skin texture
  • Enhance skin radiance

Toners are formulated to balance and hydrate your skin after cleansing, in addition, they can also aid in refining overall skin texture and tone. Facial toners have subsequently witnessed a well-deserved revival in popularity, this is entirely due to the wide array of more modern and effective formulations available today which also help in maintaining the overall pH of the skin.

Role of toners in controlling pore size

Although toners with alcohol content effectively fight bacteria but they are also the major reason behind skin irritation, redness, and inflammation. When alcohol-enriched formulations interact with body pores at the top of our hair follicles, they tend to strip them of their natural moisture content causing dryness and skin rashes.

Just like facial cleansers have become scientifically more balanced and gentle over time, face toners have progressed by dropping contents like high concentrations of alcohol. They are now curated to successfully address a multitude of skincare concerns suitable to specific skin types. They accommodate way more than just maintaining the skin's pH level. Toners

  • Improves skin tone
  • Boosts hydration
  • Reduce the appearance of enlarged pores
  • Refines skin texture
  • Regulating sebum production.

Larger pores are typically determined by genetics. Nevertheless, ageing, sun damage, and greasy skin can also contribute to the appearance of larger pores. Even though you cannot do much about adjusting the size of your pores, however, one can minimize how prominent enlarged pores appear with the use of a suitable toner.

Four major benefits of using toner

1. Balances the pH levels of the skin

Certain cleansers can dry up your skin leading to a flaky, over-stretched texture. Post-cleansing, using a toner helps restore the natural oils and maintain the required pH levels while preventing your skin from feeling overly tight or dry. One of the most efficient ingredients to look out for in a pH-balanced toner is witch hazel extract.

2. Retains moisture level

Water-based facial toners effectively work to replenish the moisture levels in the skin. To treat your dehydrated skin, one may rely on hydrating toners that have a high concentration of water and water-attracting components like hyaluronic acid, propolis, and glycerine.

3. Regulates oil production

Sebum production can be regulated with toners to prevent a greasy-glazed appearance. Witch hazel and tea tree oil are two such astringent ingredients in toners that can gently remove extra oils from the skin, help tighten pores and soothe acne-inflamed skin.

4. Lightens pigmentation

Alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs present in several toners improve skin texture. They aid in the removal of dead skin cells and inhibit ingrown hair growth. They act as a second cleanse by speeding up cell turnover, which promotes the formation of new skin cells and a clearer skin tone.

Specific toners for pigmentation, dark spots, and enlarged pores

Pigmentation and dark spots

Toning is an essential link to the effectiveness of other skincare products. In addition to removing pollutants and excess dirt, toners are formulated to target specific skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. You can opt for an alcohol-free vitamin C-enriched face toner with the following combination of ingredients -

  • Witch hazel extract- helps reduce oil production, tighten pores, and also aid in reducing acne breakouts and scars.
  • Allantoin- This emollient is excellent for sensitive skin types and is known for its anti-ageing properties. It aids in removing fine lines, dark patches, and acne scars.
  • Citric acid- helps in removing free radicals from the skin, lightens dark spots, evens out uneven skin tone, reduces wrinkles, reverses photo-aging, and clears clogged pores.

Enlarged pores

If you are struggling with enlarged pores and seeking out for a specific solution to regulate sebum production and minimizing pore size, go for a formulation that consists of active ingredients like-

  • Ivy leaf extract- This works around the eradication of fine lines, wrinkles, and stress on the face. It helps in deeply moisturising skin and easing inflammation from acne breakouts, eczema, skin pits, etc.
  • Witch hazel- This active compound helps decrease pore inflammation. They work by removing extra oils from the skin that helps the pores adjust to normal size and give the skin a more balanced firm appearance. It also helps balance the pH of the skin.
  • Arctium majus- This element has natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. When used topically, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of burdock root may benefit a variety of skin issues, including wrinkles, eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Scientific research claims that burdock may be beneficial for acne that is inflammatory and improves skin quality and elasticity.
  • Watercress plant extract- Watercress has an ingredient called isothiocyanate (ITC), which, along with vitamin C, prevents the breakdown of collagen and elastin and in turn increases collagen formation, resulting in younger, healthier, and more firm skin.
More FAQs
1. Can toner application be skipped in a skincare regime?

Toner improves moisture retention, balances pH, brightens tone, reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, and nourishes skin with nutrients. So the answer is NO, you shall not skip it.

Toners effectively aid in removing dirt, pollution, and deeply ingrained makeup residue from the skin's pores. In this way, it facilitates easy absorption of other skin care products into the skin.

2. Can using toners be harmful to sensitive skin types?

Using harsh toners on the skin or a sensitive area might quickly result in flushed skin, irritation, and inflammation. This is due to the high concentrations of acids, alcohol, or other irritants in the formula. So, be more cautious about selecting a toner. A few hygiene checks for opting for a toner for sensitive skin are -

  • Gentle on skin
  • Alcohol-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Irritation-free
  • Enriched with allantoin, aloe vera, and burdock
3. What more products can be used in conjunction with a face toner to reap maximum skin benefits?

If you inherently have an oily skin type, then you maybe be dealing with troubling enlarged pores, acne breakouts, etc. The best combination to get rid of enlarged pores is to follow this simple three-step process-

  1. Begin by washing your face with lukewarm water with oil control and anti-acne face wash.
  2. Tone it up with pore-refining face toner
  3. Finally, apply some oil-free mattifying moisturiser.

For dry and pigmented skin type, follows this three-step process-

  1. Wash your face with an AHA-enriched face wash.
  2. To help diminish pigmentation and dark spots, use a vitamin C-enriched face toner.
  3. The Cherry on the cake for dry skin type would be to top it up with ingredients like ceramide and hyaluronic acid enriched moisturiser.

Note - Do not forget to add sunscreen to your daytime skincare regime.