…to tone and moisturise.
There is some debate as to the necessity of toning your skin but the vast majority of skin care houses advocate this.
Toning is the final stage of your cleansing routine. Cleansing and toning should be thought of as one step yet never combined into one product. It is simply not effective to do two things at once, despite what we think about our multitasking abilities, when you give focus to one task at a time, you do it properly, the same is said of two in one products.
We are often in a rush these days and to think that you get everything off of your face in one cleanse is not realistic. Your cleanser will ensure all traces of make up remover are gone and your toner does the same for any traces of cleanser. Whilst also introducing soothing and nourishing ingredients to your skin, it soothes and prepares it for your moisturiser. In the days of old there were three main categories of toner, namely fresheners, tonics and astringents. Research has made these three types virtually redundant, especially the astringent variety which, traditionally was high in alcohol. We know now that stripping the skin of oil is the surest way of sending oil production into hyper drive and exacerbating the problem while simultaneously dehydrating the skin.
For this same reason you find more gel cleansers that are free of soap, because we now know that soap strips and dehydrates the skin, much like alcohol does. Modern toners are predominantly free of alcohol and rich in botanicals and vitamins. Look out for vitamins in the form of esters as they are the purest form of the vitamin and are fat soluble, which is important for penetration and efficacy as water-soluble vitamins need transportation mechanisms–like nanotechnology for example–to penetrate the epidermis.
Some of my favourite toners are Africology’s Rose Absolute tonic, Dermalogica’s Multi-Active toner and Nimue’s Skin Conditioner. I particularly like the Nimue Skin conditioner because you spray it onto gauze first and then wipe the gauze over your skin. Gauze gives back–where cotton soaks up a lot of product–but it also provides a light manual exfoliation which compliments the enzymatic exfoliation that Nimue provides throughout the vast majority of their range.
These toners are all quite different and best used in conjunction with the correct cleanser and within a prescribed regime. Again, when in doubt, consult a skin care professional! She will assist you in finding the correct products and saving you time and money in the long run.
Once you have correctly cleansed and prepped your skin the fourth and final step is moisturising. I spoke last time on the important functions the skin provides as the body’s largest organ, one of the main functions being; protection. The skin can only protect us properly if it is in good working order and moisturisers play a crucial role in maintaining skin health.
One of the most obvious reasons to use a moisturiser is to keep skin hydrated and prevent trans-epidermal water loss. Dry skin has a lower pH, due to low levels of sebum which is what helps to maintain the pH of our skin, so for dry skins it is critical that this very important step is given the proper attention.
Skins that produce high amounts of oil need to be moisturised to balance out oil production and regulate it. It is a fallacy that if you have oily skin you don’t have to moisturise. You will get away with it for longer in terms of aging but you will regret it soon after you turn forty, especially in areas like your neck, décolleté and the backs of your hands.
Not only must you moisturise regularly but you must use an effective product that suits your skin type, addresses your skin condition(s) and delivers the right ingredients into your dermis and in the correct manner.
You want a derma-cosmeceutical. You want ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ascorbic acid, peptides and key amino acids – usually a combination of all of them. These ingredients are more expensive but will guarantee the results you are looking for. Off the shelf products may tell you they have these ingredients in them but they are often in quantities too small to be effective.
A prime example of this is Q10. There are many cosmetic companies who claim Q10 in their products however Q10 is an expensive ingredient, so to make the off the shelf product affordable they use miniscule amounts. You will get a superficial effect at best.
Skin care is not a luxury. Skin care is a necessity.
If you have any questions regarding your current skin care regime, please feel free to either leave a comment or pop me a message using the form on my contact page and I will be happy to help you.