Do you need a toner?

¿Necesitas un tónico?

Maria Teresa Moneo |

We receive many questions about toners. Most want to know what a toner does for their skin, if they need to use it, and which one is best for their skin type. As a result of so much outdated information, toners have become confusing skin care products. Many times toners are not recommended or are simply discarded as an optional step. This is disappointing, as a well-formulated toner can provide truly amazing benefits to your skin.

Once we understand how toners work, we must know what are the beneficial or harmful ingredients that are used in toner formulations.

All about toners

Toners are designed to be used after cleansing. In the past, they were recommended to restore the skin's pH balance after applying a bar of soap or various cleansers, as these types of cleansers raise the skin's natural pH to a level that is not beneficial.

"However, with today's soap-free water-soluble cleansers or irritant-free cleansers, the skin's pH is not altered."

What we now know is that after cleansing, the skin needs a range of ingredients to restore and repair its surface. The skin will never get too much of these essential ingredients, which include antioxidants and repairing substances such as glycerin, essential fatty acids or ceramides. A suitable toner can offer a very good dose of these ingredients, to show off younger, fresher and softer skin, after cleansing and throughout the day.

What differences exist between tonics?

Finding the perfect skin toner is not easy, especially since there are many poorly formulated toners on the market. Basically, toners can be broadly divided into three types:

1- Alcohol-based formulas, which are often sold as "astringent" ingredients. Toners with alcohol and astringent ingredients should always be avoided because they cause irritation and free radical damage, which impairs the skin's ability to self-repair and damages the ability to produce healthy collagen.

2- Formulas based on water and glycerin or glycol with aromatic extracts, such as rose or citrus water. These toners are labeled as air fresheners or refreshers and are little more than cologne for your skin. These overly scented toners are a common cause of harmful skin reactions.

3- Water-based formulas loaded with beneficial ingredients such as skin repair substances, antioxidants and inter-cellular communicator ingredients such as Niacinamide. These are the ONLY toners we recommend. We guarantee that every Paula's Choice toner matches this description.

Can I not use a toner?

If the toner is well formulated, Paula and her team highly recommend that you use it, as an essential part of your daily cleansing routine, as the benefits can be felt and seen almost instantly.

On the other hand, we do not recommend that you use a toner that contains irritating ingredients, such as alcohol, citrus fruits, perfumes or excessively smelly ingredients, whether synthetic or natural. Irritation damages the skin's healing process and reduces healthy collagen production - two things we should avoid if we want to improve our skin!

If the toner you have is packed with beneficial ingredients (like Paula's Choice toners), we recommend using them. If we skip this step, we are preventing our skin from absorbing beneficial and healthy ingredients! A toner that contains the best formulation tested to smooth, soften, soothe and repair the skin, is a wonderful addition to everyone's skin care routine!

Toners for oily or aneic-prone skin

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you need to be especially careful when purchasing a toner. Almost without exception, toners that claim to be specifically for these skin problems are not going to help.

Why are they a problem? They are a problem because most toners for oily or acne-prone skin contain irritants (such as alcohol, witch hazel, or menthol) that impair the skin's healing process, worsen breakouts, and surprisingly, stimulate the skin's healing process. production of sebum inside the pore.
Using a poorly formulated toner, on oily or acne-prone skin, guarantees that we will see more shine, general redness and more persistent red marks, in addition to a dehydrated and flaky surface, with oily skin beneath the surface. These toners destroy the skin's natural protective barrier and throw it out of control.

The best toners for oily or acne-prone skin are those whose ingredients help repair the skin's surface, make the skin feel smoother, reduce enlarged pores, and contain ingredients that regulate the sebaceous gland. For some skin types, especially during the summer or in very hot climates, a well-formulated toner may be the only “moisturizer” your skin needs!

Tonics for dry or sensitive skin

People with dry or sensitive skin often shy away from toners due to their reputation for being astringent or drying. After all, the last thing dry or sensitive skin needs is irritants making it even drier or redder! However, the right toner, for dry or sensitive skin, can make a big difference: You'll see less redness, less peeling, and your skin will feel calm and comfortable.

If you're skeptical (and we can't blame you), we challenge you to try a well-formulated toner and we're sure you'll be pleasantly surprised with the improvement in your skin!

Tonics for combination skin

If your skin is oily on the forehead, nose and chin and dry on the cheeks and jaw area, then you have classic combination skin. If you use a poorly formulated toner on combination skin, dry areas are exaggerated and oily areas are worse.

What is the solution? You need a gentle alcohol-free toner, with ingredients that help normalize and balance the skin, so you will see less dehydration and reduce excess sebum. With continued use, as part of a complete skin care routine, you will also see enlarged pores become smaller.

Which Paula's Choice toner is right for me?

Although each Paula's Choice toner contains a number of ingredients that provide multiple benefits, each has distinctions that make them preferable for certain skin types or concerns:

RESIST ADVANCED REPLENISHING TONER SKIN REMODELING COMPLEX: It is recommended for all skin types (including sensitive skin) in which your main concern is the reduction of wrinkles and the repair of skin damaged by the sun, it has a serum texture.

HYDRALIGHT HEALTHY SKIN REFRESHING TONER: It is designed to hydrate and refresh normal, oily, or combination skin that may also be sensitive or with rosacea.

SKIN BALANCING PORE-REDUCING TONER: It is designed to normalize, balance and reduce enlarged pores, for those with normal, oily or combination skin, which may also be sensitive.

MOISTURE BOOST ESSENTIAL HYDRATING TONER: It is designed to hydrate and regenerate normal to dry skin, which may also be sensitive.

SKIN RECOVERY ENRICHED CALMING TONER: It is designed to address persistent dryness or sensitivity, even rosacea, indicated for people with normal, dry or very dry skin, with anti-aging ingredients.

EARTH SOURCED PERFECTLY NATURAL REFRESING TONER: It is designed for all skin types that want an extra contribution of natural moisturizing and antioxidant ingredients. Even for rosacea.

RESIST WEIGHTLESS ADVANCED REPAIRING TONER: Designed for combination-oily, aging skin and acne marks, it reduces the size of pores and works on multiple causes of aging.

All of Paula's Choice toners are excellent options to fight aging and help repair sun damage, while addressing other concerns. In addition, we can alternate, using any of our tonics together with RESIST Advanced Replenishing toner for exceptional results.
As we've talked about before, when purchasing a toner, it's critical that you only purchase those that contain ingredients beneficial to your skin. There is no reason to use a toner with irritants.
A well-formulated toner can create a big difference in your skin, whether you are fighting dehydration, aging, excess sebum, sensitivity, enlarged pores or combination skin.