Skin toning is one of the stages of skincare, but it’s often overlooked in the daily routine and is considered by many to be another marketing idea. Is a tonic an essential cosmetic?
What is toning and how does a tonic work?
The pH scale known from chemistry lessons ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being a neutral environment. The higher the value, the more alkaline the pH, the lower – acidic.
The toning process is to restore the physiological pH of the skin. Its natural pH is around 5, so it’s a slightly acidic environment. This pH level helps to maintain the sebaceous and sweat glands, which produce the hydrolipid layer. Its task is to prevent water loss from the epidermis and protect against the growth of microorganisms. The secretion of the glands guarantees protection against the development of many harmful microorganisms that cannot function in an acidic environment.
Washing the skin disrupts the hydrolipid barrier, especially the use of strong cleansing ingridients causes rising the pH to alkaline. Therefore, the main role of the tonic is to restore the skin’s balance and regain its acidic reaction. For example, classic soap has a pH of 10, so it can significantly change the skin environment.
Currently, many cleansing products are based on mild agents and are designed so that they don’t disturb the natural pH of the skin. Therefore, the necessity to use a tonic depends on the type of detergent we use. However, it is worth using.
Why is it worth using a tonic?
The main reason the tonic is used is to prevent the multiplication of microorganisms in an alkaline environment. The tonic, thanks to the addition of active ingredients, can diversify the daily skincare. Depending on its composition, it may have different effects on a given skin problem. We moisturize the skin with a tonic, which supports the penetration of active ingredients from the cream or serum into the epidermis and they work more effectively. A toner with an atomizer can also be used as a refreshing or moisturizing mist.
How and when to use a tonic?
We use the tonic after each use of detergent, i.e. after removing make-up and proper skin cleansing. You should bear in mind that acid tonics should not be used every day. Always use them as recommended by the manufacturer. The ones in the package with an atomizer work best. Then you do not need to use cotton pads and rub the skin with them. Other tonics, if you do not want to use cosmetic pads, can be applied to the hands and spread over the face.
Can a hydrolate be used instead of a tonic?
Hydrolates are an alternative to classic tonics. These are plant waters – floral or fruit. They are created in the process of distilling plants using steam. Their pH is similar to the pH of the skin, so they can act as a tonic, and additionally have nourishing properties, depending on the product. It is worth finding out about the action of a given hydrolate first and choosing it to the needs of your skin.
Can micellar water replace tonic?
These two cosmetics are completely different products! They are used for other purposes and should not be used as substitutes. Micellar fluids contain washing substances, with their help we remove makeup. After removing make-up, we go on to the second stage of cleansing, washing off the liquid and remains of color cosmetics. We do not leave micelles on the skin, and tonics – yes. I came across 2in1 products – micellar fluid and tonic, which is completely opposite to their appliction.