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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Toner Is Vital to Skincare Routine: “This one small step will go a long way to making a positive change in your skin."

Most people know that toner is a skincare product, but few people understand exactly what it does. According to Amy Kowal, owner of Reviva Skin and Body Solutions in Fishkill, toner is a vital part of any healthy skincare routine because it helps restore pH balance.

The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 being highly acidic, and 14 being highly alkaline. (Water is neutral, with a pH of 7.) Our skin has a natural pH balance of 5.5, which means it’s slightly acidic, Kowal says.

“Cleansers, especially bar soaps—which you should never use—are alkaline,” she says. “They usually have a pH of 8 to 11. So when you wash your face with cleanser, you will increase its pH from 5.5 to somewhere between 8 and 11. If you rinse with water and stop right there, your skin will dry out and get very irritated, leading to dryness or a breakout. A toner is acidic. You need it following a cleansing to return your skin back to its normal pH of 5.5.

 Kowal suggests using toner immediately after washing your face. Apply it with a cotton pad, and then rinse it off with water so your skin won’t become too acidic.

“This one small step will go a long way to making a positive change in your skin,” she says. “Also, unless you have cystic acne or very oily skin, avoid using astringent. It’s way too strong for most skin types.”

To make your own natural toner at home, mix three tablespoons aloe vera juice, two teaspoons witch hazel and one teaspoon glycerin—all available at most drugstores—and add five to ten drops of your favorite essential oils. Store the toner in a two-ounce bottle.

For more info, contact Amy Kowal at 844.363.7894 or visit

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