While facial toners might be a relatively new concept in the skin care industry, their capability to enhance the health of skin is mentioned in Ayurveda, which is a 3000+ year-old system of health and well being that traces its origins to India. In Ayurveda, rosewater has been suggested repeatedly as a skin soothing and skin beautifying ingredient. Queens rinsed their skin with rosewater, and soaked in baths filled with fragrant rose petals. Rosewater is the nature’s most effective skin toner.
Facial toners are generally liquids. When applied on the skin they tighten the open pores, thus improving its tone and texture. Open pores are especially visible in the t-zone, or the area of the face including the nose and the forehead. Open pores are mostly associated with oily and acne-prone skin types, and can take away from the healthy appearance of skin.
Facial toners are generally astringent in nature and in addition to closing open pores they are also very useful in tightening the skin and making the appearance of the skin uniform and calm. Thus skin does not prematurely age and the natural sagging of the skin can be delayed and minimized.
Unfortunately, most facial toners available in the market contain many harmful chemicals that over a period of time can create some serious skin issues like allergies and chronic dryness. Of the harmful ingredients in facial toners, the most notorious is alcohol. Due to its astringent properties, commercially available toners use alcohol in very high percentage. The skin tightening effect achieved by using alcohol is accompanied by dehydration and loss of natural moisture, which can cause the skin to look lifeless. When used regularly, alcohol will eventually cause the skin to age prematurely and make it susceptible to conditions like eczema. Therefore it becomes very important to choose a safe toner that can enhance the health of your skin, and with long-term use can even correct any imbalances.
Choose a toner based on 100% natural rosewater. Witch hazel is also a good base for a facial toner. Both of these base ingredients have natural astringent properties without the harmful side effects of alcohol. They are effective yet very safe and gentle to your skin. In addition to closing open pores, improving tone and texture, delaying aging, both rosewater and witch hazel also reduce the redness of skin. An ideal facial toner should also have some additional active ingredients that are suitable for your individual skin type. Eg. Vegetable glycerin is a great ingredient to look for if your skin is dry. It attracts moisture from the atmosphere and thus increases the natural hydration levels of dry skin. Geranium, due to its oil balancing properties, could be an ingredient to look for if your skin is oily or acne-prone.
Toning your skin everyday after cleansing AM and PM is a skin care habit that can have long-lasting and very beneficial effects on your skin. With regular use your skin will look calm, tight, youthful, and open pores will be a problem of the past! However, it is important to choose a toner that is natural and free of alcohol.