Who remembers learning about pH balances in high school? Didn't think so; but, here's a reason to pay attention - our skin depends on its pH balance to give us that just-had-a-facial glow we all envy.
The pH value of our skin needs to sit around 4.5 - 5.5 (don't confuse this with the internal body's ideal pH which is slightly alkaline) to ensure our "force field" is turned on. While we could trust the body to achieve balance on its own, our environments push us out of homeostasis on the daily. Chemicals, pollutants, dirt and stress wreak havoc on our acid mantle and ultimately our pH balance. Ever notice a sticky film on eyeglasses or sunglasses after wearing them for a while? Yeah, that builds up on our skin, too. This is why cleansing is important, but toning and cleansing go hand in hand.
Toning helps to seal our pores from further grim infestation and to foster ideal pH levels for healthy and radiant skin. Applied after a cleanser and before a face cream, a toner tightens and preps the skin for moisturizing, removes any residual product left over from cleansing and promotes even skin tone. But, as in life, there are always a few bad apples sitting on the shelves. Here are a few things on our "no" list:
- Alcohol - Easy on the bottle, please; this can reduce natural oil production.
- Strong astringents - A toner should not be purely astringent. Instead look for other moisturizing and healing properties to prevent over-drying.
- Heavy fragrance - Even "natural" fragrances. Might as well bathe in chemicals. A common cause for irritation.
- Unpronounceables - Is that a word? The pores are most open after cleansing, so a toner should never be chemically-laden.
All in all, we can't beat nature at what nature does best - heals and keeps living. So, what we put on our bodies should harness this innate power. In the spirit of transparency that is so important to our values, see below for the scrutiny of our toning water and why every organic and raw ingredient matters. Feel free to compare.
- Apple Cider Vinegar has an acidic pH to promote skin balance and lighten dark spots for a more even skin tone. High in acetic acid, it also dissolves lingering dead skin.
- Witch Hazel is arguably nature's best astringent. It tightens and refine pores which will help regulate the amount of impurities the skin takes in.
- Lemon balm is high in quercetin and works on free-radical damages that cause premature aging.
- Chamomile is high in bisabolol and boasts anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
- Rose. What's not to love, seriously. Gently astringent, but balancing in it's ability to moisturize and soothe.
- Calendula is an amazing healing herb that aids in tissue repair and increases circulation.
- Comfrey is high in allatoin and long known for its moisturizing benefits.
- Lemon peel uses its citric acid content to lighten and brighten skin tone and promote cell turnover.
- Rosemary raves its antioxidant content and increases skin elasticity.
- Sage provides benefits of vitamin A and evens skin tone.
- Oil of Immortelle is a very rare and luxurious essential oil that is praised for its ability to renew and heal the skin.
We're different (thankfully). Here's what to expect:
- This formulation is more pungent than traditional toners. Therefore, a slight vinegar scent may be observed, but will not linger.
- Sedimentation from herbal constituents is normal.