Toning gets a lot of slack, mainly because it’s not easy to hone down how effective it really is when it’s thrown in with a bunch of other skin-care steps. So, we thought we’d do a little explainer and advocate for a skincare step that often gets slept on!
What is toning?
It is not squatting, for your face. You’re not toiling away at your face the same way you would in the gym for your abs or your butt or any other bit that you’d like to tighten, it definitely isn’t as strenuous and it definitely doesn’t work that way on your face anyway!
Toning the skin on your face is more about balancing the PH of your skin at a point in your skin-care routine that has thrown it off balance, making it either more acidic or more alkaline on the spectrum. Our skin’s natural PH is about 5.5, making it slightly more acidic than alkaline. The acid mantle on your skin, which is comprised of the body’s natural facial excretions (a mix of sebum, lactic acid and amino acids) is there to protect your skin from getting attacked by a variety of internal and external forces that want to disrupt it.
It’s nearly impossible to find someone with enough self-restraint to not touch their face, and so our skin, without the right PH working on our skin, is vulnerable to bacterial infection from our hands and our surroundings on a secondly basis – this my friends, is what contributes to spots.
So, keeping the PH is very important.
What toner should I use?
I’m a personal advocate for home remedies and natural and organic (where possible) ingredients for use on my face, and an age old and memorialised facial routine for many has been the use of rose water as a toner.
Why Rose Water? Well, simply put, rose water is good for balancing the PH of your skin – it’s a natural balancing act all by itself. No nasty ingredients (or ones you can’t understand at the very least), it’s sourced from God’s green Earth and it smells beautiful.
I buy high quality distilled rose water and either leave it in it’s bottle or decant it into an amber spray bottle. I also sometimes mix it with shop-bought vegetable glycerin from the pharmacy, which is also completely natural and helps trap moisture in the skin, which is excellent for your base in these winter months!
How should I be toning?
If you’ve ever been inspired to emulate the Neutrogena girl and wipe endless amounts of cotton pads over your full face of make-up which also somehow remain clean and crisp white – I urge you to hold back in the name of Climate Change.
Although it’s not as glamorous a process, using your hands or even a spray bottle to get that toner on your face instead of disposable cotton pads is a small and wondrous step towards helping the environment – and also, it’s just not necessary. If you’re really stuck on the feeling of rubbing product into your face with cotton pads, why not try a laborious but worthwhile alternative in sewing your own organic, reusable cotton pads. There are plenty of tutorials online, and you can sew as many to last you the week and throw in the wash ready to be used again the next.
Lastly, when do I tone?
Really simple, just after you’ve cleansed your face or woken up in the morning.
After you’ve cleansed your face of make-up after a long day, you need to restore your skin’s acid mantle & PH before moisturising, so that it doesn’t have to do the hard work of restoring itself with extra products slathered on top. Clean, spray or dab on some toner with your fingers, wait a couple of seconds to dry and proceed to the rest of your skin-care routine, be it moisturising or putting on a serum.
I also use it in the morning when I wake up. If you’re washing your pillowcases regularly and taking your make-up off properly in the evening, you don’t need to be stripping your skin unnecessarily of it’s natural oils by giving it a full cleanse first thing in the morning. I personally like waking up to rinsing my face with a bit of water to wake me up, dabbing on some rose-water toner, moisturising and carrying on with my day!
We share tips, hacks, and products receommended by the Amaliah community across the world. We all have different skin, hair and nails so we want to cover tried and tested methods used by Muslim Women in the community.