New skin care and beauty products hit the market every year as multiple benefit-touting serums, creams, and anti-aging treatments crowd the complicated beauty world. But there is one product that seems to have fallen out of favor and doesn’t get enough of the attention it deserves. Toner—once deemed an essential step in a skin care regimen, it is now often considered “outdated” with benefits shrouded in controversy.

Why toner?
So, what exactly is a toner and what does it do? A toner is a type of solution, usually liquid, that effectively works to eliminate excess oil and remaining dirt in your pores that your everyday cleanser may not have washed away. Toners also restore the skin’s natural pH balance so that the skin has just the right amount of oil to protect it without causing blockages. As we approach summer, toners can help control all of the dirt and oiliness that can be brought about by the hot weather. By removing oily buildup and residue, toners can help reduce acne and prevent future breakouts. Many people also like toners for the way they leave the skin feeling fresh and clean and make their pores appear tighter.

What to look for
When choosing the right toner for your skin, consider the product’s ingredients. Steer clear of toners or astringents that contain alcohol, as they can strip your skin of necessary oils and dry out your skin. For an alcohol-free toner, try the Obagi Nu-Derm® Toner. The Nu-Derm Toner contains a refreshing blend of natural skin-calming ingredients that hydrate and soothe your skin, including aloe vera, witch hazel, and sage. It effectively removes any remaining makeup residue or oils that sit in your pores, giving you a clean complexion. For best results, use as part of the Nu-Derm System, after the Cleanser and before applying Clear.

How to apply toner
Use toner after cleansing as part of your daily skin care routine. Pump or pour a small amount onto a cotton pad and gently apply to your face (tip: use a cotton pad instead of a cotton ball or tissues. Cotton balls and tissues absorb too much toner and can be wasteful). Start by swiping toner across your forehead and nose, also known as your “T-zone,” which usually contains the most oil on your face. Then gently brush on your cheeks and other areas of your face. Because toners also help increase penetration of product ingredients, don’t rinse the toner off; instead, let it air dry. That way, the next product in your skin care regimen gets thoroughly absorbed and its ingredients get optimally utilized for maximum effectiveness.

If you’re already using a toner as part of your skin care regimen, then you know the difference it makes. If you haven’t been a toner-believer, we encourage you to try it—not only will you love how refreshed your skin feels afterward, you might also be amazed at how much residue it actually clears off your skin, even after a thorough cleansing!

Here’s another great tip:

Keep your toner is a spray bottle and lightly mist your face after cleansing.  It is a great way to apply exactly the right amount and your toner will go a long way without wasting a drop!