Do men need facial toners? A toner or astringent is often the last thing on a man’s list of skin care products, but the truth is, a toner can do a lot of good for a man’s skin. In reality, a toner is the last step in properly washing your face.
A toner can:
- Help remove soap residue left from cleansing.
- Reduce oils that lead to shine.
- Prevent breakouts and help tighten up pores.
- Help calm irritation and reduce redness after shaving.
- Repair and restore your skin’s surface.
- Prepare your skin for maximum absorption of your moisturizer or serum.
- Stimulate cell renewal, fortify elasticity, and boost collagen synthesis.
Choosing a toner can be a daunting task, as there are so many choices. I recommend using an organic or natural toner. You shouldn’t be using synthetic fragrances and chemical preservatives on your skin – they will only dry out, irritate and age your skin faster. By choosing a simple, natural formula, you will be avoiding chemicals that contribute to the toxic burden your body is exposed to in our industrial world. [Read: 15 Toxins in Your Personal Care Products]
Using a Toner
Toners can be applied with a spritz or with cotton pads. The proper way to use a toner is after you have cleansed your face and before you apply a moisturizer.
A well formulated toner helps repair and restore your skin’s surface. When you have finished cleansing, your skin is thirsty. Now is the time to feed it nourishing ingredients, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. A great toner will contain all of those things, and your thirsty skin will drink it up.
Ingredients in Toners
Many toners contain astringent ingredients such as alcohol and witch hazel. An astringent shrinks and constricts bodily tissues, and in a toner, it shrink pores. Alcohol should be avoided because it dries out the skin, and can hurt the skin’s natural healing process. Witch hazel is a more gentle astringent. It is a skin soother and has been shown to have antioxidant properties.
Moisturizing and Soothing Ingredients
Aloe Vera and Glycerin smooth and soften the skin. Chamomile is an excellent ingredient for calming redness and irritation.
Emulsifiers and Preservatives
Emulsifiers help keep oil and water from separating, examples are polysorbate and hydrogenated castor oil. Preservatives keep microorganisms from growing in a formula, these include parabens (which should be avoided), citric acid and potassium sorbate.
Essential oils and Fragrances
Essential oils provide scent and therapeutic benefits. Many essential oils are anti-microbial and help prevent breakouts. Others have anti-aging properties. The term “fragrance” can include up to 4000 different chemicals – many of them being endocrine disruptors (believe me guys, you do not want your hormones messed with). “Fragrance” is best avoided.
Toners for Your Skin Type
The type of toner you choose will depend on your skin type. The different skin types are:
- Oily skin – your skin gets shiny quickly, you may deal with breakouts.
- Dry skin – you deal with itchy, tight skin that lacks moisture.
- Combination skin – you have an oily T-zone (forehead/nose/chin) and dry skin on the rest of your face.
- Sensitive skin – your skin gets easily irritated, red and itchy.
All skin types will benefit from toners containing skin-softening ingredients such as glycerin or aloe vera, antioxidants such as vitamin C, and cell-communicating ingredients such as niacinamide (Vitamin B3).
Toners for Oily Skin
Oily skin produces too much sebum, leading to shine and clogged, enlarged pores. A toner can help regulate this executive sebum production, reducing shine and breakouts. A good quality toner will help balance oil production without stripping and irritating the skin.
Many toners formulated for oily skin contain drying ingredients such as alcohol and witch hazel. Alcohol should be avoided, as it can hurt your skin’s natural healing process, and actually increase oil production.
Toners with a low alcohol content can be tolerated. Witch hazel is a great astringent that has skin soothing properties. If you are wanting to combat breakouts, using an acid toner with lactic or glycolic acid can help ease skin congestion by reducing dead skin cell buildup.
Toners for Dry Skin
Toners can brighten and refresh your dry skin. Using a toner with hydrating ingredients will help give your skin a boost of moisture, and prep your skin for better absorption of your moisturizer or serum.
Dry skin will want to avoid toners containing lots of alcohol or witch hazel, as these ingredients will dry the skin further. Aloe vera, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid are excellent ingredients for dry skin as they will help the skin retain moisture.
Toners for Combination Skin
Dealing with combination skin means trying to balance oily and dry areas of your face. The wrong toner can make dry areas worse and exaggerate oily areas. You need a gentle, alcohol-free toner that will help normalize your skin, by keeping skin hydrated while reducing oiliness.
A toner containing glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid can be used on just your t-zone to combat oiliness and reduce breakouts.
Toners for Sensitive Skin
A toner formulated for sensitive skin can help combat redness and irritation. Toners can be very gentle and hydrating, as well as help restore the skin’s natural protection barrier.
Sensitive skin needs calming and soothing ingredients such as chamomile or willow bark extract.
The Best Toners For Men
Men want a toner that is not in a frilly, girly package and that doesn’t smell like a flower shop. I have done much research to find a couple of toners that are suitable for men, work for all skin types, contain potent antioxidants and skin-repairing benefits and do not contain toxic ingredients.
The following toners will help improve the condition of your skin by softening, repairing and feeding it nourishing ingredients.
An alcohol free toner containing Aloe Vera and mineral rich kelp and skin-repairing blue-green algae. Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic scid) replenishes moisture to the skin. It is lightweight and refreshing. It refines pores, hydrates and balances the skin, nourishes with antioxidants and adjusts the skin’s pH. Tea tree oil gives it a nice scent and combats breakouts.
This is a more robust toner than the one above, boasting collagen stimulating Vitmain C and cell-regenerating amino acids. This toner is alcohol free, and contains one of the most potent anti-aging peptides, Matrixyl 3000.
This toner helps remove excess oil and dead skin cells, while preparing your skin for better absorption of your serum and moisturizer. It tones and conditions the skin – never drying it out, and repairs and rejuvenates damaged tissue.
Amino acids and collagen stimulating peptides promote firmness and elasticity to the skin. This toner soothes, freshens, and brightens.
Glycolic acid removes dead skin and stimulates cell renewal, revealing younger skin. This potent toner is suitable for all skin types and will produce noticeable results.
A well formulated toner can be an integral part to your skin care routine. When a toner contains potent skin repairing and collagen boosting ingredients, it is the perfect anti-aging product.
After you cleanse is the perfect time to apply a product that will soak into your skin and nourish it, and a good toner will do just that. Even better, a toner will increase the permeability of your skin allowing your moisturizer to absorb better, bringing the beneficial ingredients deeper into your skin where they can do their best work.
A toner is a great product for men because their skin needs renewal, especially after shaving. The toners I recommend above are the best of the best. It took me hours of research to choose them. I hope you try adding a toner to your skin care routine, you will not be disappointed!