Friday, 8 June 2012

The low down on toners

I have been reading a lot about toners that apparently close or shrink your pores. Don't believe it, the size of your pores is genetic and contrary to popular belief they do not open and close from the use of any product or hold/cold water. If you have oily skin (like myself) you are going to have larger pores, it is the trapped and hardened sebum that clogs the pore and makes it appear larger. Using steam on your face won't open your pores but it will soften the hardened sebum to make for easy removal. That said squeezing should be left to your therapist as they are trained to extract without leaving scars. Cleaner pores appear smaller so washing your face at least twice daily is your first step. I do a double cleanse in the evening, the first will remove your makeup and the second will thoroughly clean the skin and all those dreaded pores.

A wonderful teacher of mine once explained toners to me in this way. Imagine your skin is a sponge and it is very dry and hard, if you put one drop of water on it, it will take a while to absorb. But if you have a sponge that has just been wrung out and is still rather damp and put a drop of water on it, it will be absorbed immediately. The toner is helping your skin to stay hydrated and ready to absorb your serum and moisturiser. I currently using Pelactiv (no not Proactive!) Essential Clarifying Toner $27.00 from I find it is great for my oily/combination skin as it contains aloe vera for hydration but also witch hazel to help reduce the oil flow. I also just purchased Kama Pure Rosewater although this is an Indian product you could use any pure steam distilled rosewater. This is a beautiful hydrating toner more suited to dryer skin types, or anyone wanting a more natural alternative. If your using an oil in the evenings such as rose hip or jojoba having your face hydrated with rosewater will help give slip for an even application. I've been spraying it on my face to cool down from the desert heat here in Udaipur and it smells divine.