Well, if you know anything about the 3-step skincare regimen that most people follow, it’s “advisable” to wash your face, preferably with a dedicated facial cleanser, at least twice a day; apply a toner to freshen and brighten the skin; and finally a moisturiser especially for those susceptible to dry skin, or living in harsh climates to well, moisturise.
So, toner. Freshen and brighten. Huh? How?
Here’s the nitty gritty. Any product that you use to clean – your hair, your body, your hands, your face – is most probably is soap-based. If you remember high-school chemistry, soap is a very alkaline compound i.e has a pH >7. (Think sodium hydroxide!) Our skin however, is a very delicate slightly acidic layer that has a pH below 5, therefore, high-alkaline cleansers can disrupt the skin surface for up to 16 hours. Even tap water, depending on the hardness (and thus alkalinity) will increase skin pH for up to 6 hours before it returns to the normal below 5. We therefore primarily use the toner to counter the abrasive nature of soaps (including cleansers), prevent that scaly/flaky dryness people with dry skin are familiar with and removing excess oil and makeup for people with oily skin. Hence brighter, fresher skin at the right pH! In fact, when the natural acidic environment is altered, it promotes abnormal bacteria growth, and our skin becomes more susceptible to diseases, infections, and even wrinkles in the long-term.
I personally chose a natural acidic toner, over the concoctions made up in the laboratory to achieve this same natural pH.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for the toner?
If toners, are just supposed to be slightly acidic components, one may ask why they have to use ACV rather any other naturally occurring item that can be used on skin, like y’know; lime. Well, the thing is you can use any of these! If it’s what you have available and depending on your skin sensitivity. But, back to ACV.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is simply the by-product of the fermentation of apples. Apples are loaded with potassium, pectin, malic acid and calcium, and the fermentation process fortifies the end product with even more beneficial acids and enzymes. While it may seem weird to put apple cider vinegar on your face (the smell is like an acquired taste), it’s antiseptic and antibacterial, which is an added bonus when dealing with skin infections and conditions like acne and eczema.
Apple cider vinegar facial toner made from raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar balances the natural pH of the skin, clears away excess oils and make-up, and breaks up the bonds between dead skin cells (akin to exfoliation) to keep the skin pores open. It is also known improve acne and acne scars, and achieving that even skin tone we all secretly crave.