Does Using a Skin Toner Do More Harm Than Good?

There are many factors in choosing the best products to use on your skin. Some include the type of skin that you have; oily, combination, dry, or sensitive. Another factor may be whether or not active acne is present. And, as always, age is a significant factor that determines what products are tolerable for our skin.

What Is a Toner?

One of the questions we encounter is if we actually need to use a toner on a regular basis as part of our skin care routine. But what exactly is a toner?

A skin toner, or referred to as simply a “toner,” is a topical product, usually in the form of a liquid that is used to achieve various results. Some promise to cleanse, moisturize, refresh the skin, and “reduce” pore size.

These products were originally developed a long time ago to remove soap scum after washing from lye-based soaps combined with hard water which could leave a sticky residue left on the face. Toners were used to remove this residue without causing additional irritation. However, in today’s world, skin cleansers have come a long way since then, to say the least.

How Can a Toner Be Beneficial?

A skin toner may not be necessary depending upon your skin care regimen. We recommend sticking to a basic morning and night regimen. Check out one of our previous blogs for more information on this:

However, if you have oily or acne-prone skin and are not very sensitive, you can try a toner for some of these benefits:

-Some include hydrating ingredients to bind water to the skin which increases hydration.

-The spa effect; the skin may feel more refreshed after using a toner.

-Some toners claim to help calm redness.

-They may help to remove impurities on the skin such as makeup and excess oil.

-Some toners may include antioxidants.

What Are the Disadvantages of using A Toner?

Perhaps the most significant downside of toners are that they can cause dryness. We know that as we age, our skin becomes more susceptible to dryness and irritation from certain products. The patients that are most likely to benefit from using these products are younger patients with oily or acne-prone skin.

The main disadvantages of using a toner are:

-Many toners contain alcohol.

-Toners may compromise the skin barrier leading to dryness, irritation.

It can be overwhelming to select products to care for your skin given the astronomical number of options available today. Our recommendation is to keep your routine simple. Using a toner may not be necessary.

The Derm NP Is Here for You!

If you have any skin concerns or would like to be evaluated virtually from the comfort of your own space for treatment of acne, anti-aging, or many other common conditions, visit our portal to schedule your telehealth visit today! Our dermatology-certified nurse practitioner has over eighteen years of exclusive dermatology experience.

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