Yes, You Really Do Need to Use Toner: An Expert Explains

If there's one thing I believe it's safe to say we all skip out on (at least once in a while) in our skin care regimens it's got to be toner.  When I was younger I used to swear by oil-stripping astringent to help keep my pimples at bay (eek to both), but now I find my self including toner as an essential part of my daily routine (Phytomer Rosee Visage Toning Cleansing Lotion).  And just for the clarification – no, it's not the same thing.  So, what is toner and what does it actually do?  I spoke with Jamie Ahn, the Founder of the Townhouse Spa in NYC to get the 411. Why is using toner such an essential step in a skincare regimen?

Toners are great for balancing the skin, adding moisture by acting as a humectants and maintaining your skin's PH level.  A balanced PH is crucial for healthy skin – you do not want skin to be too dry or too oily and toners can establish a balance in the middle.  

There are so many different types of toners on the market, do you have a favorite that does it all?

My all time favorite is the Dew Perfector by Circ Cell –it has great active ingredients and the best I've used so far.

Do you believe home made toners are as effective as store bought ones?

You can very well make simple homemade toners, but they will have a short shelf life and may not have as effective ingredients- toners these days have much more sophisticated ingredients that make them more effective.

Do you have a recipe for an effective at-home toner?

Mint-Vinegar Toner 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 cup distilled water

You can also add aloe vera and lemon slices if you'd like.  Keep it refrigerated and toss it after a week.