In the last post we looked at washes and exfoliators. But after cleaning, you’re going to need a toner, to ensure all excess oils and dirt’s, are removed, especially if you chose not to wash your face, for lack of make-up.
The way I explain toners is that they soothe the skin, giving it an even finish, getting rid of any final traces of dirt. For oily, or combination skin you want a toner that is slightly astringent to tighten the pores.
There are a few nice toners from The Body Shop, like the aloe vera toner, which is meant to be soothing, and a few others from boots, but the problem with most toners is that they have alcohol in them, even the soothing ones. No matter how simple they say they are.
So the best solution is usually to go for an alcohol-free option, you can either: 1) switch just to using micellar water as a cleanser AND toner,
because it is gentler and purer, OR 2) use something like witch hazel water, Tea Tree toner, or rose water.
The Lush Tea Tree toner is good for cleaning the bacteria from the face and giving it one last anti-bacterial wipe before moisturizing, especially for REALLY oily skinned people. But if you, like me, find it isn’t strong enough, add a few drops of pure tea tree oil (you can it from any drug store). I find it best used at night on its one to really allow your skin to feel the effects of the tea tree.
I always recommend witch hazel water to people, because it’s a really gentle cleanser and toner. Even the most sensitive of skins can use witch hazel water, and because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and ani-bacterial, it’s good at keeping spots at bay, keeping away dirt and tightening pores. You could buy it from places like Neal’s yard, but in the long run, that doesn’t really work because you’re being sold 100 ml for 11 pounds . If you want to use their’s to start off with at first that’s great, but if you intend t keep using this toner as a long term thing I would say it will probably be cheaper for you just to go to Superdrug by the 200 ml of 100% pure witch hazel, (its only 2.59), and in a separate bottle mix it ½ and ½ with just regular tap water – its the same as buying the Neal’s yard mixture, and it’s just that pure.
Another good option, for if you like to switch is up a bit, is rose water. Witch hazel is amazing and can be used by average skinned and oily/combo people all the time. But if your skin is seriously sensitive, or has recently broken out in a rash, rose water is a good option because it’s soothing. Again you can get places like Neal’s yard or online. I get mine from Al Junaina (translation: little Garden, so cute), it’s really pure and really natural, really good for soothing irritate skin. You can get 30ML for , it’s not much, but considering the price its worth it and is well worth buying multiple bottles, especially if you only plan on using it at intervals with other toners.
This is the tricky part. I’ve had oil/combo skin people come and tell me that they don’t moisturise their skin AT ALL after washing it because it’s too oily.
YOU CAN’T NOT MOISTURISE.
It doesn’t matter how oily your skin is – you can’t just wash your face and then leave the house because:
1) Washing strips your face of its essential oils and can make it dry and/or less nourished.
2) if you wear make-up it’s really not a good idea to apply make-up straight onto your skin. Your skin needs that base.
3)The city is full of nasty stuff in the air: smog, bacteria, human filth and dead cells. Imagine your on the jubilee line and you’re standing by the window to get some air, and all of that nasty underground air is blowing in your face – if you had put a moisturiser on you would be ok – but you decided to go bare skinned, so all of that dirt is hitting your skin directly. And, already having oily skin, imagine the effect all of that bacteria is going to have on your face. DON’T DO IT.
As with most things, your body can get used to a certain product. So like with anything else its good to rotate your moisturisers, from day to night and between seasons make sure your skin always just moist enough.
For Autumn-Winter: For this time of year you might want something a bit thicker because the cold air will dry your skin out a bit, but –as you know- oily skin does get clogged so you do need something that isn’t too excessive. The body shop’s Seaweed mattifying day cream is really good because it’s creamy, but isn’t oily at all and really leaves your skin feeling soft and supple, without being cakey. Really good for using under make-up as well, because it’s so light.
Spring-Summer: Come 2017 you’ll need something else. Recalling my ‘3 of nature’s secrets….’ blog again. Aloe Vera gel; brilliant for hot and humid days where you need just enough moisture and nourishing to get by.
At night time, if you feel your skin is really bad you can use a night cream like the Body shop’s Vitamin E cream, which I find is good, especially for winter nights, or you can use the Aloe Vera gel, but, as a general rule, I would use the night time to let the effects of the cleansing toner’s sink in, so that all of their anti-bacterial qualities can work their magic overnight.
But if you’re going to use a mask, I would suggest you go with the moisturising option.
Now you’re washed, toned, and hydrated. But doing this every day all week can take its toll on your skin, and when you’re in a hurry to get to bed or get to work, it’s unlikely that you’re going to take a long time to wash off the day’s dirt. So you’re going to need a deep penetrating cleanse at the end of the week.
Watch this space for masks 🙂