Facial Toner Birmingham AL

As the name suggests, toner also helps support the tone and elasticity of skin, says Olympia, Washington-based holistic esthetician Kerri Ward Merrill, owner of Kosmea skincare. Need more convincing? Merrill says toners soften skin, allowing moisturizer to penetrate better.

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Natural Radiance—Getting the Skin You Want

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By Vicky Uhland

Late for work again, you barely have time to wash your face and brush your teeth, let alone exfoliate, tone, and moisturize your skin. So which step do you skip? For most people, toner gets the boot. After all, we rationalize, it’s mainly teenagers with oily skin who need toner. But many holistic skincare experts disagree. They believe toner can do much more for your skin than just prevent pimples.

“Toner is another way to help further cleanse, nourish, and balance the skin,” says Brigitte Mars, a Boulder, Colorado-based herbalist and author of Beauty by Nature (Book Publishing Co., 2006). Depending on their ingredients, Mars says toners can be anti-inflammatory and energizing, and they can even calm a hot flash. And because they’re acidic, toners help restore the skin’s natural acid mantle, which holds in moisture and can prevent infections and acne. They can also rebalance the skin’s pH, by counteracting the shift caused by alkaline soaps or synthetic creams. What about the beauty myth that toners help close the pores after washing the face? Mars has a simple answer—they don’t.

As the name suggests, toner also helps support the tone and elasticity of skin, says Olympia, Washington-based holistic esthetician Kerri Ward Merrill, owner of Kosmea skincare. Need more convincing? Merrill says toners soften skin, allowing moisturizer to penetrate better.

You should use a toner after washing your face but before applying moisturizer, serums, or makeup. Merrill recommends opening up the pores with a warm compress before applying toner, so the skin will absorb the ingredients better. To improve circulation and massage the skin, she likes to pour some toner into her cupped hand, rub her hands together, and apply the toner by pressing both hands against her face. Mars suggests you should apply toners with gentle, upward strokes, with either your hands or a cotton ball. If you use a toner mist, hold the bottle about six inches away from your face and then spray, she says.

The toner family includes astringents, fresheners, and facial mists. Mars says a mist is basically a toner in spray form, while an astringent is a toner with extra alcohol.

You may want to vary toner ingredients depending on your type of skin. Dry skin responds well to rose, chamomile, and calendula, Mars says, and older, wrinkled skin, may benefit from frankincense, rose, or rose geranium, all rich in antioxidants. Oily skin ingredients include witch hazel, grapefruit, tea tree oil, and nasturtium, Merrill adds. Lavender and chamomile have natural anti-inflammatory qualities, while rosemary increases circulation, a plus for all skin types.

Natural or organic toners generally include only herbs or flowers that have been extracted into a liquid, typically water and some sort of preservative. Traditionally, alcohol serves as the preservative, but it’s a controversial ingredient.

Author: Vicky Uhland

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