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26 Feb 2018

Why that extra step may just transform your skin...

The mantra “cleanse, tone, moisturise” is seemingly engraved in the tenets of good skincare. Yet after reaching the heights of fashion in the 80s, toners fell by the wayside, relegated by their more glamorous beauty cousins – serums, creams, masks and exotic-sounding “gelées”.

Originally created to counteract the drying effect of the cleansing soaps our mothers or grandmothers might have used, the first facial toners acted to restore the skin’s optimum pH (to around 5.5). They also commonly contained high concentrations of alcohol and had an astringent effect – meaning they tightened pores and reduced sebum levels, but were often still too harsh for dry or sensitive skin types.

So what’s new about toners now – and do you really need one? We’ve answered your top 5 questions about modern day formulas. Get ready to tone up…

What is a facial toner?

Essentially, a toner is a water-based product with added plant extracts and essential oils that can perform one or a variety of functions, such as cleansing, hydrating, re-balancing the skin pH and improving the performance of the products you apply later. What’s new is that all ELEMIS toners are alcohol-free – so the natural, beneficial oils of your skin are preserved, without the risk of dryness or sensitivity.

Why are they making a comeback?

In fact, your skin’s need for a toner may be greater now than it ever has been. One of the biggest skin issues being discussed by beauty experts right now is the link between pollution and skin ageing – as airborne particles such as nitrogen dioxide compromise the health and natural regeneration process of our cells. So whilst we’d never condone skipping your regular cleanser, a well-chosen face toner applied after cleansing can help to remove all traces of old make-up, grime and pollution and help preserve your youthful glow.

Do I need one – and which one is right for me?

By adapting which natural oils and plant extracts are included within a toner’s water-based formulation, we’re able to tailor them to skin’s different needs. So our ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner is ideal for calming and nourishing irritable skin, our Rehydrating Ginseng Toner adds moisture to dry or mature skin, and our Balancing Lavender Toner purifies blemish-prone skin to help clear the complexion.

ELEMIS Balancing Lavender Toner

ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner


How is a toner different from an “essence”?

One reason why toners are enjoying something of a revival right now is the current vogue for Korean - or K - Beauty. Amazingly, Korean women’s skincare routines may often comprise of 10 or more steps – of which a cleanser, toner, essence and serum make up the first few. Which is where it can get confusing. However, most experts would agree that whilst a toner (also referred to in the East as a “softening lotion”) smoothes, plumps, hydrates and re-balances the skin, an essence contains more actively anti-ageing ingredients – whilst a serum is even more concentrated and designed to deal with specific issues such as lines, pigmentation or dullness.

How do I use a face toner?

The great thing about the new generation of facial toners is that they’re much more than the one trick ponies of old. Both our Soothing Apricot Toner and Balancing Lavender Toner come in a more liquefied formulation that means they’re delivered through a nozzle. So you can spray them onto cotton wool pads to be swiped over your face in the morning or before bed – or they can be spritzed directly onto your skin whenever you want to refresh your make-up and re-energise your skin during the day.

Multi-tasking, multi-purpose, the time to tone is now. Pick your perfect toner from our tailor-made collection…

ELEMIS Rehydrating Ginseng Toner, $87.00
ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner, $87.00
ELEMIS Balancing Lavender Toner, $87.00

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