What are toners, exactly?
To put it simply, a toner looks just like (sometimes slightly colored) water, BUT it's not really water: depending on the toner you chose, it also contain acids, humectants (glycerin or others), and other ingredients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers hydration and helps remove some dead cells off the surface of the skin, and it should be used after your cleansing step. It brings your skin back to its natural acidic state, sweeping impurities away and helping with the absorption of your other skincare products.
So... while we don't have a toner in our store, we're going to share with you a quick, simple and very easy DIY recipe for you - with only two ingredients: a hydrosol of your choice and apple cider vinegar - made from fermented apples.
Just a quick note about the growing trend of fermented ingredients in skincare: we’re now learning how beneficial and balancing these can be for the health of our skin microbiome (aka the ecosystem of bacteria that lives on the surface of your skin and helps to protect it from the outside world).
Fermentation is a process where you introduce a microbe, bacteria, or yeast into an ingredient (like we do it with beer, or wine), and the process changes the chemical structure of the ingredient by breaking it down into the basic building blocks. This fermentation process creates something called postbiotics, or the chemical byproducts of bacteria, which show up in the form of peptides, enzymes, and acids that have anti-inflammatory benefits. This will create a better environment for calmer, less inflamed skin, and a more intact skin barrier.
And why Apple Cider Vinegar?
ACV, a fermented product, is full of healthy bacteria and enzymes that your body (including, of course, your beautiful skin) loves. It balances the pH, chemically exfoliates, it's antibacterial and it can also act as a spot treatment.
Apple cider vinegar has an acidic pH and can help balance the pH of the epidermis. It contains acetic acid, which has antibacterial and keratolytic properties, and malic acid (which is similar to alpha hydroxy acid), a gentle chemical exfoliant. It also stimulates circulation and can help with hyperpigmentation: malic acid is known for its ability to decrease the production of melanin, and melanin is what gives the skin its pigmentation. This component is also responsible for giving the skin a smoother appearance, and has been shown to stimulate the production of collagen.
ACV is suitable for all skin types - maybe better not for the more sensitive ones, but there's nothing as trying it in a small patch of skin first-, and it should always be diluted.
Using it in your toner is a great way to restore the skin's natural defenses, remove excess dirt, to fight against acne-causing bacteria and to reduce the appearance of pimples and scars.
Please note that as we are not going to use any preservative, you should do a very small quantity and keep it in the fridge (which will actually be good for your skin). And why not reuse your 50ml Névoa glass bottle for your toner? ;) Wash it well, sterilize it with 70º or 90º alcohol and we're ready to go!
For our toner, you should use 4 parts of the hydrosol of your choice to 1 part of ACV. Mix both ingredients together and your toner is ready to use: just spray it on your skin after cleansing, help spread it with your hands and you can go ahead unto your next skincare step: moisturizing!