Thorough cleansing removes more than makeup, grime, and cellular debris. It also strips your skin of its protective shield. Toners, fresheners, and astringents restore the pH balance of the acid mantle; remove any remaining makeup that was not cleaned up, oily cleanser, or soap film.
After the skin is thoroughly clean, apply a skin toner or rinse that has an astringent effect. This will close the pores, tighten the skin, and keep it from being exposed to many of the toxins that are floating in the air or other environmental pollutants.
The common herbs used in toners include witch hazel, geranium, honey, lemon, ivy, sage, nettle, and burdock. Witch hazel has a tendency to dry the skin. So, this should be balanced with moisturizers such as Vitamin E, honey, etc.
Essential oils are the gentlest way of toning up. Rose water for normal or dry/sensitive skin or witch hazel for oilier skins are ideal bases for fresheners. These can be applied with cotton wool or for a more refreshing tone, sprayed on to the face.
Herbal tea infusions are also ideal toners. Boil a cup of water and infuse chamomile, marigold, rosehip or nettle teas (you can also use herbal tea bags), add 2 drops of orange or lavender oil and leave to cool. Oily skin benefits from juniper or lemongrass whereas drier skins would benefit from rose or sandalwood.
See Also: Basic Skin Care
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