For years, the beauty industry has been banging on about the fact that your skincare regime should be 'cleanse, tone, moisturise' but I must confess that I've never been good in the 'toning' department. When I was a teen, I would religiously use a toner and I remember that it felt very satisfying seeing the last bits of dirt on a cotton pad, after I swiped my face (or is swept?) with it. But for the past 8 years, I've found myself skipping the 'toning step' out of my skincare routine. Should have I kept using a toner for the past 8 years? I don't know. My view is that if using a toner had been so crucial, skin care experts and the beauty industry would have made big campaigns about it, campaigns similar to 'you should eat five portions of fruit and veg a day' or 'smoking can kill you'.
I am finding it hard to trust skincare advice online. Most of the articles I stumble on are usually infomercials trying to sell me some products. However I do trust Skincare Care expert Caroline from The Beauty Mouth and when she says it's good for you, then I believe her. For her, using a toner has three basic functions (you can read her article in full here) one of them which I couldn't dismiss any further: 'A good toner helps hydrating your skin. It acts as a humectant - attracting moisture from the air and trapping it in the top layers of the skin'
My skin being very dehydrated, I couldn't carry on with not using a toner any longer. So I went ahead and bought a cheapo toner from Boots. I got home with the 'Boots Vitamin E' toner (£2.54 for 150 ml)
What they say:
Boots Vitamin E Hydrating toner gently and effectively removes makeup and excess oils to leave the skin toned and refreshed. Contains Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, to help protect the skin against environmental damage. Naturally derived Wheatgerm Oil conditions, moisturises and nourishes the skin.
The fact that it contains vitamin E is making me very happy. Vitamin E (together with vitamins A and C) has been hailed as a very good anti ageing ingredient and anti ageing, together with addressing the dehydration of my skin have become my skincare/beauty priorities.
Does this toner work then? Not only does it work but I could kick myself for not having tried it any sooner. While people would usually apply their toner on a cotton pad to then sweep over their face, I like to pour a little bit into my hand (the stuff is so inexpensive, I can afford to) and then pat it onto my face. I don't know how it does it, but my skin feels like I've applied a moisturising water over it. It's not like I've applied a proper bona fide moisturiser - obviously - but my skin feels magically already a bit smoother and softer, even before I apply my moisturiser. For me, it's mind blowing and the lovely delicate fresh smell adds to the pleasure of the experience. Call me sad, I actually look forward to the toner step in the morning and evening.
Will I repurchase this? The question doesn't even need asking. I need ample supplies of this, before Boots goes off on one and decide to discontinue it. As luck would have it, my local shop never seems to have any but this is what the website is for, right?
Let's face it: Skipping a toner would never be as dangerous as skipping brushing your teeth, time in the morning is precious and toning your skin is not vital. You'd knowit if it were absolutely crucial. But if your skin is dehydrated, it is a step you might want to consider. It will cost you £2.54 if wanted to take the risk to find out :)
what: Boots Vitamin E toner
where: erm, Boots, innit
how much: £2.54. Special offer (Buy 2 for £4)
further reading: Toner: The basics (Beauty Mouth)