What’s Trending? Glycolic Acid Toners
Just like other trends from the 90s, facial toners are officially back en vogue. These “secret weapon” skincare products are being heralded once again by the beauty media for their multipurpose nature and incredible ability to unclog pores, treat acne, and improve skin all in a few quick swipes.
This recent interest in facial toners is also inextricably linked to one kind of facial toner in particular: the ultra-effective, consumer- and dermatologist-beloved glycolic acid facial toner.
What exactly is a toner?
Referred to as “the silver bullets that you can aim directly at a specific skin issue that you wish to address,” facial toners are penetrative liquid products, packed with beneficial active ingredients like glycolic acid. Toners are multipurpose by their nature, and can help remove leftover makeup or sunscreen, finish cleansing the skin, and also treat a wide variety of skincare issues. Toners are usually applied with a cotton pad or cloth and are most effective when used after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Charlotte Cho, co-founder of Soko Glam, also classified toner as a steppingstone to other skincare products:
“Think of toner as prep for your pores,” she told Allure. “It brings your skin back to its natural acidic state, sweeping impurities away and helping your skin absorb your skincare products. Your skin is like a dried-up sponge. If you put a thick cream on a brittle dry sponge, it won’t accept it and it isn’t ‘prepped’ for moisture. But if you wet the sponge, the cream will sink in more easily.”
The modern toner
Facial toners used to be alcohol-based products, designed to strip oils from the face. While many consumers both enjoyed and dreaded the stinging associated with the astringent toners of the past, today’s toners are more sophisticated and nuanced.
“They used to contain high concentrations of alcohol to help remove oil from the skin,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Allure. “The newest generation of toners, however, have more than astringent properties, and many of them are alcohol-free. Currently, there are toners on the market to address almost every skin concern and are no longer limited to treating acne and oily skin.”
In particular, glycolic acid-based facial toners reign supreme, as more and more consumers discover the benefits of using this hero ingredient in a toner format.
Multipurpose heroes: glycolic acid toners
Glycolic acid based toners are some of the best – and most popular – facial toners on the market today, thanks to their workhorse multifunctionality.
Glycolic acid is known by dermatologists as the “gold standard” of exfoliation, because it quickly and effectively penetrates the top layer of the skin to dissolve the bonds holding skin cells together. By sloughing off these dead skin cells so quickly, glycolic acid toners help skin appear brighter, smoother, and more evenly toned fast.
Additionally, glycolic acid toners are also extra-beneficial for keeping pores clean and combating acne.
“Whether you’re talking about a little blackhead or a big acne cyst, if you look at it under the microscope on a skin biopsy, [it all] starts from dead cells getting plugged up within our pore,” said dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, in an interview with HuffPost.
Regular use of glycolic acid toners helps to sweep away the dead skin cells that can clog up pores, and thus also helps to effectively reduce the occurrence of breakouts over time.
Finally, glycolic acid toners are helpful for consumers who shave. Post-shave, a glycolic acid based toner applied to the skin can help stop ingrown hairs from happening and soothe razor burn or bumps.
Toning it up
Just like other 90s hallmarks, toners are back and consumers are loving this multipurpose skincare helper. Glycolic acid based toners can help combat acne, heal and protect from razor burn, and promote a glowing, healthy complexion.
For consumers seeking their next hero skincare product, a modern, innovative glycolic acid facial toner could be just the product for delivering “flawless skin in a single swipe.”