The Balancing Act: Using Toner to Regulate our Skin’s pH

by lucy

in Skin Care

The other day I was reading a beauty blog that said toners were an unnecessary part of a daily skin care regime. From my perspective that is not entirely true.

In fact, toning is an important follow-up to daily gentle cleansing, helping close pores and making skin more receptive to age management serums and moisturizers.

A skin neutralizer, toning is all about balancing the skin’s pH, the measure of acidity / alkalinity or the measure of hydrogen ion concentration. If that sounds like too much weird science, think of it this way…
The pores of our skin are made up of a combination of oil and sweat glands (sebaceous and soporiferous glands) helping to keep our skin healthy, elastic and in balance.  PH is ideal at levels 4.5 – 5.5, but pH levels are in a constant state of change.

With age, illness, exposure to chemicals and synthetic substances and of course, hormone fluctuations, our skin pH changes. When we are born our skin’s pH is considered neutral at 7.0 and as we age our skin becomes more acidic, especially in the teenage years.

At normal pH levels, there is a slightly acidic layer called the skin’s acid mantle, a result of sebum production and pressperson on the skin. This layer is our body’s first defense against bacteria invasion, protecting the skin from life’s daily challenges and exposure to bacteria and fungus.

Skincare regimens which take pH balance into account are by far the most effective for regulating sebum production and helping expensive age-management products to be more effective.

An obvious example of skin which is out of pH balance is teenage acne- here the skin is too acidic and can be brought into balance with a neutralizing toner to help regulate the sebaceous glands in secreting sebum.

As the skin ages and becomes less elastic it may also becomes drier; you can aggravate your dry skin by using harsh soaps and cleansers that actually strip away the protective acid mantle balance.

From there, the underlying fatty tissue begins to disappear resulting in the appearance of sagging skin. As the skin becomes less supple, wrinkles begin to form, it is more easily injured,  heals more slowly and tends to dry out more quickly. Dry skin can be rebalanced with specific toners which help regulate sebum production.

If you are lucky enough to have perfect skin, then great, but even you will benefit from using a toner to counteract the negative effects of soaps, alcohol based cleansers, age, and environmental pollutants.

So how do you know what toners are right for your skin? Read labels and stay away from products which have a long list of harsh ingredients such as alcohol.

I personally use organic hydrosols and look for natural ingredients like rose and helichryshum for dry to normal skin and lavender and tea tree for acne skin. Some of my other favorite nourishing ingredients are petitgrain, jasmine, chamomile and neroli.

Most product manufactures recommend a protocol specific for your skin type and condition. Remember, to avoid the eye area when using toners and cleansers and if you are allergic to plant nectars, take a pass.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: