Saturday, May 16, 2009


Dear Friend…

Do you currently use a toner after cleansing your face? Think toner is a gimmick concocted by cosmetic companies to get more of your hard earned dollars? I felt the same way until I learned the science behind using toner.

Take a step back to high school science class for a minute. Remember the pH scale? It determines if a substance is either alkaline, like lye, or acidic like vinegar. Our skin registers at approximately 5.5 on a scale from 0 to 7 pH so it’s happiest, and healthiest, in a slightly acidic environment.

Good cleaners are more alkaline than our skin for two reasons. When lower than 5.5 pH:

1) Cleansers relax our skin slightly and opens our pores for more thorough cleansing, and

2) Cleansers loosen the accumulated dead skin cell layer on the surface our face so it can be gradually washed away.

Following a second cleanse, your skin’s pH is way below its normal range. This is why your skin feels and looks tight and dry. Using toner immediately after cleansing restores the acid level your skin craves. If left on its own, it will take 10 to 12 hours for your skin to achieve its correct acid level again. During that time, your skin is struggling to perform is normal functions and since the acid in our skin is our first line of defense against the zillions of invisible airborne bacteria that land on it constantly, those bacteria are able to thrive and have a party there!

Unfortunately, commercial products don’t reveal their pH reading on labels. You can be sure that any of the mid- to higher priced products are pH balanced. But I’m not sure about products available at drug or discount stores. The only way to be sure of the acidity of any skin care product is to test them with inexpensive pH strips found at aquarium or pool suppliers.

Since you may run into a problem if you’re found dipping pH strips into products at your local drug store, I’ll include a recipe for a natural and inexpensive toner you can make in a few minutes while spending less than a dollar for the ingredients. This toner provides all the ‘good’ effects of a toner as described above.



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