Turns out what's standing between you and and unclogged pores might be just adding one product into your beauty routine. When asked "what's the secret weapoon to healthy skin?" Dr. Hadley King, a New York City board-certified dermatologist, had a simple answer: toner.
She says not to pile on extra makeup to mask acne and oil problems. Instead, use a gentle, soothing toner to remove oil and traces of dirt and grime. "Toners are most helpful and necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin, or for people who want extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavy skin products such as sun screen," she explains.
That's not all toner can do. Dr. King explains all of the toner benefits:
It shrinks pores.
Applying a small amount of toner to a soft cotton ball or pad and gently blotting and wiping your face with it will remove oil and give the appearance of smaller pores.
It gives your skin pH balance.
Our skin is naturally acidic, normally with a pH balance of between five and six. After cleansing, due to the alkaline nature of soap, the pH balance of skin gets disturbed. When this happens your skin needs to work overtime to restore the balance (and that may result in oil), but using a toner helps to restore this balance quickly.
It adds a layer of protection.
Toners can help close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, thus reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin. It can even protect and remove chlorines and minerals present in tap water.
Some toners are humectants, which means that they help to bind moisture to the skin.
It refreshes skin.
Toner can also be used in lieu of washing your skin when it's oily or dirt. It will leave your skin revitalized, even when you're on-the-go.
It can prevent ingrown hairs.
Toners containing glycolic or other alpha hydroxy acids can help to prevent ingrown hairs, so it also aids in grooming.
This story was originally on June 15, 2010 on TODAY.com.