I am not a big believer in toners to tone. I guess there should be a separate post about this, but all the reasons given for the rationale of toners, don’t really convince me, e.g.
- to remove remaining soils from your face –> errrr, because you did not sufficiently clean your face, ergo it’s still dirty? You probably need a better cleanser, then?
- to prove that your face is clean –> again, your cleanser and/or your cleansing technique is the problem.
- to remove residues that comes with the water you rinse your face with –> nope, i have got great, clear, delicious water at home
- to bring back the acidity (ph) of your face, after cleansing –> yeah, if you still use the harsh cleansers of the 1970s
- to prepare for your serums and lotions –> if your face is clean, what more do the serums/lotions need? unless you want the natural oils of your face to also be gone, which is not my preference. And actually, toners can be a barrier for the serum/lotion to penetrate, no?
But anyway, that doesn’t mean I don’t use toners, no! Because they’re just too wonderful not to be used. What I use them for:
1. A refreshing mid-day facial spritz or for anytime I need a pick-me-up. My recent favorite for this is a toner I found in Manila, Human Love Nature Balancing Toner. It is the most delicious-smelling concoction ever! The combination of orange oils and elemi oil is just so refreshing to my nose. It’s the ultimate hot day pick-me-up. I always stock up on these whenever I visit the Philippines. Rose toners from local brands Sariayu and Mustika Ratu are also great for this purpose (if you like rose scents, which I do). You can put the toner in a spritzer bottle, which you can also take on your travels or commute.
2. Sometimes I’m so rushed in the morning that I do not have the time to put on lotion and potions. Lush Eau Roma Toner Water to the rescue! This is probably the most moisturizing toner I’ve ever used. You just need a quick spray around your face (and hair, if so you wish), let it dry while you put on your clothes, then on to sunscreen and makeup, and you’re good to go!
3. To set makeup,especially powder ones. A quick spritzing followed by a little buffing and voila, powderiness be gone! Actually, any old liquid will probably work fine for this, but toners are probably cheaper than the fancy waters of Avene and the like.
4. There’s a few powder masks that I like, and. I mostly use honey to turn powder masks into paste, but I also like to add a little bit of Viva Face Tonic Green Tea in them. This Green Tea Tonic is also a nice alternative for a mid-day spritzing pick-me-up.
5. To turn powder eyeshadow into paste (to intensify their color) or into eyeliner. Again, the Viva Green Tea Tonic is a favorite since it is so mild and do not sting the eyes (not that it’s ever gotten in my eyes, I think). Another good alternative is Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner.
6. To clean my face. Yup, sometimes when I am staying at home, and my face is not so dirty from the environment, I just use the Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner to clean it, and follow up with a serum, lotion or cream of choice. No water, no cleanser, no cleansing oils. Just this toner, which is very acidic and will break down oils and dirt, so it is ideal for the job. I don’t use this often, though, as it can be drying.
7. To dilute thick body lotions and body butters so they can spread easily, and for this the Viva Green Tea Tonic also works well, as its scent won’t overpower the lotion, and it is quite cheap (since you need quite a bit of it).
8. As a body splash. The local brand toners are so cheap that using them as body splash is not going to break the bank, and they often smell nicer than the body splashes you find in the supermarkets. I like the rose-scented toners from local brands Sariayu and Mustika Ratu for this, as also the Mustika Ratu Sari Sekar Gambir toner, which is jasmine-scented.
I’d love to hear what other uses people have for their toners.