Toners – Their Uses, Benefits, and So Much More

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you’re having a great week. I am slowly but surely drowning in homework (so much fun!)

Today’s post is on toners. I know, I know….

Why am I talking about toners?

Well, because not everyone understands what they are or what type they should be using for their current skin conditions. Don’t worry, I’m also in this group, I only figured out what toner I needed this past summer.

Toners are used right after cleansing but before serums/essences. They are used to add moisture back into the skin barrier.

In other terms, our society is obsessed with things that foam and having our skin squeaky clean. This is bad because using harsh surfactants disrupt the delicate skin barrier by getting rid of / shrivelling up the lovely microbes (the good bacteria that heals and protects you and your skin).

What do they do exactly?

Toners are water-based liquids with a very liquidy consistency that generally contain certain active ingredients and extracts. They are used to prepare the skin for the products coming after it. By using a toner, it balances the skin’s PH to a safer level and moisturizes skin so that it can also get rid of any last remnants of dirt, oil, or makeup.

They also soothe skin (or should) and contain large amounts of extracts and nourishing ingredients.

Think of it this way: You know when you’ve just woken up from a 6-8 hour sleep in the morning and you’re really thirsty? Think about eating a sandwich or something that is pretty dry without any water to help push it down. That’s what you’re doing to your skin when you skip toner and move on to your next product (unless you’re only using an oil cleanser).

What Type of Toner do I Need?

To be honest, toners differ and cater towards individual needs. But there are certain ingredients everyone should steer clear of.

Personally, I use toners that focus on hydration because that is what my skin lacks. Not in moisture, but in hydration.

Mature/ Dry/ Dehydrated skin: nourishing and hydrating

Sensitive: soothing

Normal: hydrating

Oily: Calming, relaxing

Either way, always look for something that is alcohol free because (more often than not) alcohol will dry out your skin and speed up the aging process (over time) and cause wrinkles and stress faster.

How to Apply

There are two ways of applying toners — either with a cotton round that you can swipe all over your face, neck, and chest (this is very important. Don’t forget about this other delicate places!)

You can also use your hands and pat it into your skin which will give you the full benefits of the toner as well as being absorbed quickly.

How often should I use it?

Generally, morning and night. If it’s a spray then use it whenever you feel like. Especially when your skin is dry. I also recommend doing a few layers of toner in the morning and at night for extra hydration that really sinks in. This practice is referred to as ‘skins’ and anywhere between two and six skins is great.

Do I need a Toner?

Depends on the type of cleanser you use and your skin concerns.

If it’s a foaming cleanser, don’t skip a toner because foam strips the moisture barrier and speeds up aging and attributes to other problems.

As long as the toner doesn’t have alcohol or mineral oil in it, there is no downside to a toner. They are used to restore skin moisture after cleansing and I really think they’re great.

Some of my favourites:

Make P:rem Hydrate Me Micro Essence Toner

Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner

Rose Water

Belif Bergamot Toner

I recommend the Make P:rem toner to everyone because it’s a hydrating toner and everyone can benefit from a little more hydration.

Do you use a toner? If so, which one?

Morning Skincare Routine | Sincerely, Debbie

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. I finally had a weekend off, after six months (yay!) Only to be sick the whole weekend. So, what better time than this to show my daily morning skincare routine. I usually stick to the same routine all year round but cut a few steps or add in extra steps during the summer. For some reason, during the summer I tend to have several sudden breakouts probably because my skin is absolutely freaked by warm weather. The same happened when I went to Africa and Vancouver. I guess it’s just used to crappy Toronto weather.

Anyway, morning skincare routines are all about hydration and protection. This is where all those antioxidants and protection from free radicals come in handy. So, here we go:

Cleanser

For my cleanser, I use an extra gentle one. I tend to use my homemade cleanser because it’s insanely moisturizing. With it, I sometimes skip a toner all together because it’s jam packed with manuka honey, which has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has some macadamia nut oil, hemp seed oil, and golden jojoba. Also a ton of brewed tea and some essential oils. It’s great

Glossier Milky Jelly When I’m not in the mood to use that though, I turn towards my Glossier Milky Jelly because it’s kind of awesome. It contains rose water-known to soothe skin and comfrey root extract which is used to soothe and quicken the healing process of burns and wounds. This is a very mild cleanser and I used it about a few times a week when I feel my skin really needs a break from life.

Toner(s)

Pyunkang Yul has an amazing line out and I love using their toner spray and if you haven’t heard anything about them, I suggest that you check them out first here and then buy here (because it’s cheaper). It consists of mostly Coptis Japonica Root Extract, a lovely extract that prevents moisture loss and UV sun damage. I love using this right after washing my face. One or two sprays and then done!

Make P:rem’s Hydrate Me Toner is the toner I have been missing all my life. Sadly, I bought this at the end of the summer but once I got this in the mall, my summer skin problems instantly calmed. It’s so insanely hydrating especially when I layer it three to four times. Best thing ever with apple fruit water, fennel, and arctic raspberries or Nordic berries are great for hydration and full of antioxidants.

Booster Serum and Serum

Eminence Bright Skin Booster Serum is the secret to clearing up hyper pigmentation. Now, it’s not cheap nor is it actually a serum but it boosts the products that are put on after it. I use this both morning and night right before my oils to aid in their effectiveness. Using this stuff, which is full of aloe, licorice root-great for naturally brightening the complexion, and willow bark-amazing for calming skin and reducing redness.

Vivier Canada Vitamin C+E Serum is the only real serum that I used within my skincare. But with a hefty price tag of $149 CAD I can’t say I’m going to buy it again. It contains only L-Ascorbic Acid USP (vitamin C), vitamin E, and grapefruit extract. While I do recommend it for anyone who is dealing with large amounts of pigmentation, using this day and night did wonders for my skin. I used to have awful scars because I was naive and young and this cleared them up. While I didn’t find this right away, I’m glad I eventually did because it really helped me a lot. I just finished it and I believe that now I know more about my skin to not need a vitamin C serum anymore.

Oils/Moisturizer

Oils- Oils are great. As I’ve said before, I love using rosehip and raspberry oil in the morning as a moisturizer mixed in with some grapefruit and frankincense essential oils. Rosehip is high in vitamin C and contains a natural derivative of vitamin A, while raspberry oil is a natural sunscreen. Grapefruit is great for clearing bacteria and frankincense is just all around awesome. Moisturizer-As of lately I’ve been trying out a bunch of moisturizers. Because it’s so cold out and the amount I already have on, I need to do everything on a day-by-day basis. I really like Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer and Skyn’s Cooling Daily Lotion because it has kelp in it. I love seaweed, it’s great.

Sunscreen

Etude House has one of the best international sunscreens known. And that is their Sunprise sunscreen. This is probably because it’s a calming lotion with aloe. Best part is, since a lot of people don’t like chemical sunscreens, this mineral one is such a great choice. It contains sunflower seeds and acai berries which protect the skin.

Avene Mineral Sunscreen is a sunscreen that I have a love hate relationship with. It contains their world famous thermal spring water and vitamin E. I’m not exactly sure what’s in it but during the summer, this breaks me out. I still really like it and it’s an international bestseller.

 

All right, that’s it! Comment below if you use any of these items or have in he past. Or what your morning routine looks like.

How Important is a Skincare Routine?

Really important, actually.

One of the most important things the body needs is consistency. A routine that the body can conform and take from every day or every week, etc. Rarely do things work after a few times of use. Rather they take a lot of time and patience in order to see improvement, your skin especially.

Skincare routines are important as they continuously give your skin the vitamins needed in order for it to rejuvenate itself. Due to its many layers, the stable routine will slowly but steadily penetrate the layers and aid the skin.

Moreover, this is why it is essential to have both a morning and nighttime routine (even if it’s just three products each). Morning routines should be lighter and easily absorbed into the skin. It’s not fun looking like a grease ball during the day. At night, it’s all about restoring and repairing the epidermis due to free radicals, stress, and pollution.

Without a skincare routine, the percentage of bacteria and dirt clogging pores, large amounts of sebum creation, and acne–all things that suck.

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to have a 10-step night routine (but if you’re already doing this and/or have the money to do so, then hey, go you!) It’s unnecessary because most of the products do the same things or do nothing at all.

A good skincare routine should include:

  • Cleanser 

It should be something super light and non abrasive.

  • Toner

Alcohol free toners are always best. They do not remove any of the good bacteria or strip your skin but toners should restore the skin’s natural PH. I love this hydrating toner from Make P:rem, a lovely Korean brand. 

  • Moisturizer

Lock in moisture and aid in protecting your skin. This doesn’t always have to be a cream, I really enjoy using oils on my face.