Do these products live up to expectations as the perfect care companion?
According to the classic definition, a tonic is usually an alcohol-based, liquid product for clarifying the skin after cleansing. It is usually placed on a cotton pad and spread over the skin. It fulfills various functions. On the one hand, it removes any remaining make-up residue and traces of limescale from the water from the skin. On the other hand, it has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. It also serves to bring the pH value of the skin to a skin-neutral value more quickly after cleansing. Above all, a facial tonic should refresh and clarify the skin, provide it with moisture, refine the pores and make the complexion rosy. Does that sound like the tonic is a genius among care products? Yes, in fact, the product can do a lot - even if not always everything at once.
The different types
There are different ways to tone the skin. The best-selling classic is the watery, alcoholic tonic. It consists of more than 85 percent water or hydrolates, i.e. aqueous plant extracts. These increase the concentration of active ingredients in the tonic. Depending on the type of skin, different extracts and plant extracts are added to the facial tonic. Antibacterial manuka oil, germicidal nasturtium containing vitamin C or witch hazel are suitable for oily skin. If the skin is dry and sensitive, kidney vetch, intensively moisturizing aloe vera and lotus, which protects against harmful environmental influences, are used. Tonics for sensitive and dry skin should contain no alcohol if possible.
In recent years, the range of toning gels has increased more and more. Gels combine two care properties: They refresh and tonify and at the same time moisturize the skin even more, since fresh leaf gels, such as that of aloe vera or the New Zealand harakeke plant, are used here. Toning gels convey even more of the feeling that the skin is being supplied with moisture.
What the tonic does in skin care
Numerous caring properties are attributed to toning. Can you leave them like this? Let's consider the following statements:
The tonic dissolves remaining make-up residues.
I am of the opinion that a good and thorough cleaning leaves the face absolutely clean. A make-up remover should gently but thoroughly remove all make-up and be removed with cosmetic tissues, cotton pads or microfiber cloths. The subsequent cleansing with a washing gel or cleansing milk dissolves all dirt particles that are still on the skin - the skin is now clear and clean.
A tonic removes limescale residue from the skin.
I didn't really understand this statement even during my cosmetology training. Why should there be scale on our skin after washing with water? Lime scale only dissolves from the water at temperatures above 65 °C. That's a temperature that we don't reach with facial care. And even if some lime should come loose, we dry your face. Just like the body after showering or bathing - here we don't have to tone ourselves to stay "lime-free".
A tonic refines the pores.
This is certainly a powerful selling point for many women and increasingly also men. An even complexion with fine pores is what many people want. Very effective astringent agents can be added to a tonic. Astringent, i.e. contracting, are for example yarrow, witch hazel, frankincense and arnica extract. Yarrow is also suitable for aftershave products, as it also has styptic properties.
Neutralize the pH of the skin
A cleaning product usually has a very low pH value of between 3 and 4 in order to be able to better fulfill its dirt-dissolving function. This is why fine and sensitive skin in particular sometimes feels dry and tense after cleaning. The skin is “thirsty”. This is where the moisturizing effect of a tonic - preferably an alcohol-free one - comes into its own. Mainly because, as described above, it transports nutrients from subsequent care into the skin better.
This long list of very positive properties explains why we at the institute should also use toning as part of a facial treatment. It should also be mentioned that a rather watery product has very fine molecular weight and serves as a precursor for the active ingredients in the subsequent care product to be absorbed into the skin. With rather oily skin, we use the antibacterial properties of the tonic to protect the skin after cleansing. For dry and demanding skin, we use the moisturizing effect of a toning gel. For example, it can replace the moisturizing gel mask.
My conclusion: Half facial cleansing, half care, a facial tonic is the perfect mediator between the skin care worlds. The tonic is certainly indispensable for beauticians and a must as a product recommendation for home care!