If you usually moisturise skin right after cleansing, here’s what you’re missing out on.
Should you skip step two? (Photo: Shao-Chun Wang / www.123rf.com)
Toning seems to have gotten a bad rep recently. Harsh ingredients such as alcohol, which can be extremely drying, and parabens, which can cause allergic reactions, are partly to blame. So, should you skip step two of your beauty routine?
No, says Dr Cheong Wai Kwong, senior consultant dermatologist from Specialist Skin Clinic.
Toning is an essential step in basic skincare. Used after cleansing, the right toner can enhance the effects of other products. It removes leftover impurities and enables skin to better absorb the serum, moisturiser and even topical medication that you layer on afterwards, he says.
What’s the right toner? You ask. The right formulation depends on your skin type.
If your skin is… Oily
It’s safe to use a toner that contains alcohol if your skin doesn’t react badly (it doesn’t get inflamed or break out) to most skincare products, says Dr Cheong. “Alcohol deep cleans pores and reduces oiliness.”
If your skin is… Acne-prone
Skip alcohol-based toners and look for those with salicylic acid, alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) or glycolic acid. These slough off dead skin and speed up cell renewal, so dirt and excess sebum won’t get trapped inside pores and breed infection.
If your skin is… Dry, dehydrated and sensitive
You’ll want to stick to an alcohol-free toner. “AHAs and glycolic acid may be too harsh on such complexions,” says Dr Cheong.