A person dispensing lotion onto their hand from a bottle.

Give Your Skin A Drink

5 Ways A Toning Mist Will Transform Your Skin Care Routine  

By Kendall Farr, Licensed Esthetician, SPADA Skincare  

Every year, new skin-care innovations arrive on the scene. And with every new trend that emerges, products once considered essential fall to the wayside. Take toner, for example. In the 90’s and early aughts, toners were mostly astringent and popular for ‘pore shrinking’ and ‘zit zapping’ as they removed surface oil from the skin. This was considered Skincare101. What resulted however, was a lot of dry, dehydrated, and miserable skin. By the mid 2010’s, the skin world questioned the use of toners all together. Since then, numerous skin care brands have gone back to the lab to formulate updated toners that deliver hydration or mild exfoliation. I find that many clients are confused about what toner is for (if not to strip away oil) and what it should be doing for their skin.  

If you ‘ve been wondering if you need a toner in your routine or if it’s ‘just one more thing’, here’s this esthetician’s assessment: toner is critical. In fact, it’s the single step that enhances any skin care routine.  Here are 5 reasons to add a toner to your skin routine now.  

Toners Support Your Moisture Barrier  

When you supply your skin with essential hydration and nutrients you are also supporting your skin barrier – the outermost layer of your skin that provides protection against external irritants like bacteria and environmental debris. Think of your barrier as your skin’s bodyguard working hard to keep good things in your skin and to keep bad things out. When your barrier is balanced it means you have a good mix of lipids (oils) that bind your skin cells together and that hold vital water in your skin cells. The result? Skin that is soft, calm, and healthy- looking. Toner provides this essential moisture applied right after every cleanse – AM and PM.   

Toners Remove Chlorine and Minerals From Tap Water. 

One of the most common skin conditions is dehydration. You can have any skin type – even oily skin- and suffer from surface dehydration or barrier imbalance. Basically, when the oil your skin produces flows to lubricate your skin’s surface, if it’s blocked by cleanser residue and film left on your skin from tap water (yes, even filtered tap water), your skin cells lose much needed cellular moisture. This is dehydration. Here’s a visual: Think of a glass shower door covered in film – this is chlorine, salt, and minerals all found in tap (hard) water. Post face wash, massaging a toner over the skin moves off the residue that could be blocking the total absorption of your serum and moisturizer. 

Toner Gives Your Skin A Drink.  

Our skin cells need water to survive and thrive and an easy way to hydrate the skin is using a toner. Suggested use: cleanse your skin, then apply toner, and leave it damp on your skin. Immediately follow up with your next product. This step not only boosts absorption of your products but provides instant hydration to parched skin cells. Leaving toner damp on your skin before applying your next product is the easiest way to get plump, hydrated skin and to increase your skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMF).  

Pro Tip: You may drink a gallon of water a day and only a small percentage of that water will have an effect on your skin’s hydration levels. Read more about effective skin hydration here:  

Toners Can Balance Your Skin’s pH 

Bar soap and many foaming face washes can be very high in pH.  High Ph can cause dryness, dehydration, and irritation. If you use either of these to cleanse your face, they may be damaging your barrier. One of the many benefits of using a toner is that it balances your pH to counteract potential dryness. If your cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight then it’s time to switch to something gentle, low foaming, and sulfate free. Try G.M. Collin Hydramucine cleanser for any skin type but especially for dehydrated skin, Sensiderm cleanser for all skin types but especially helpful for sensitive skin, and Pureactive a foamy gel suitable for normal to oily skin followed by their companion mists. Talk with your esthetician about the best combination of cleanser and mist for your skin type and condition.   

Toners Formulated with Actives Ingredients Enhance Your Care 

Toners often contain active ingredients to help calm the skin, control oil production and combat breakouts, deliver antioxidant benefits, and much more. Today’s toners are sophisticated and formulated to deliver ingredients along with moisture into the skin. What’s key is to find the right toner formulation to hydrate and improve your skin with every use.  

PRO TIP: It is thought that moist skin is 10 times more permeable than dry skin. This means that by leaving your skin damp after you apply toner, and then applying your next product immediately afterwards, you’re allowing any active ingredients to penetrate deeper into your skin. This will, in turn, enhance the results of your skincare routine. GM Collin provides a range of options: 

  • G.M. Collin Hydramucine Toning Mist is formulated with super-hydrators sodium hyaluronate and aloe barbadensis leaf along with Arginine, an essential amino acid that helps skin to better protect itself against dehydrating conditions. 
  • Sensiderm Soothing Mist is fragrance free and combines a unique formula of soothing amino acids and honey for instant hydration, visibly reduced redness and added comfort for stressed out and sensitive skin.  
  • Pureactive + Purifying Mist is formulated with skin purifying, antibacterial essential oils, zinc for oil control, and copper for skin protection along with deep hydration.  

For any skin type, adding toner into your daily cleansing routine is an immediate way to give your skin a boost of vital hydration along with needed residue removal.  And then, enjoy the instant, visible results of skincare that is working as effectively as it can.