Why Use a Facial Toner?

 

I get this question a lot. So I thought I would post a brief little article on using a facial toner and if it is necessary. There are so many toner options on the market today that it can be pretty overwhelming to figure out which one to get, if any at all. Toner usually has a water type consistency that is either sprayed on the face or rubbed on the face with a cotton ball or facial pads. It is not rinsed off. The main purpose of toner is to balance the skin. It is applied after cleansing. I think of toner as deepening my cleansing step. I like to use a toner when my skin feels out of balance, my skin feels extra greasy or am dealing with a breakout.

 

Do you have to use a toner? No, you don’t. And you don’t have to use toner all the time. You can just use it when you feel your skin is out of balance. However, some of us notice if we stop using a toner and like to include it in our everyday skincare routine.

General Skincare Procedure for Using a Toner:

🌀Cleanse
🌀Tone
🌀Serum
🌀Moisturizer

 

How to Choose the Right Toner:

If you follow my blog, you have probably gathered that I favor products that are all natural or organic. Since becoming an esthetician and being obsessed with reading labels, I discovered that many of the products on the market are completely full of chemicals and actually cause our skin more damage than good. Because of that, the toners I will be recommending are natural solutions. Rest assured I try to only recommend natural products that give great results. We all want to feel beautiful and it’s important to have products that make you feel amazing and that work! Here are a few of the toners I recommend:

Pure Witch Hazel (mild) – An amazing product that balances the skin but won’t dry it out.
Pure Witch Hazel with Organic Lemon Juice (strong) – This one can dry out the skin so don’t use if you have sensitive skin. Mix 60% witch hazel with 40% lemon juice. I like this mixture because it helps even out skin tone and reverse sun damage.
Orange Rose Healing Toner (medium) – Get the recipe here! This is a toner I initially made for a dear friend of mine who did not care for witch hazel. After sharing it with many of my friends and family, I have had such great feedback that I decided to share it with all of you.
Rose Hydrosol (mild) – A very mild toner which usually is best in spritz form. Feels great in the summer when the skin is hot.
Choose your own – When you choose a toner, my advice is to make sure the ingredients are all natural and/or organic. I would also avoid anything with harsh chemical ingredients or ingredients you cannot pronounce.
Also, it is important to note that some toners can cause sun sensitivity. For that reason, make sure you wear your SPF during the day and/or only use the toner in the evening for extra caution.

Benefits of Using a Toner:

🔸Shrinks pores
🔸PH balance
🔸Blast of vitamins (some toners are only used for this purpose)
🔸Removes excess oils and dirt
🔸Refreshes
🔸Helps absorption
🔸Helps with ingrown hairs
🔸Maintains breakouts
🔸Removes dead skin cells

Using a toner can help the absorption of other products such as serums and moisturizers. Using a gentle cleanser or having just wiped your face with a warm washcloth can also help with absorption but, in my opinion, using a toner goes a tiny step further in preparing the skin for the products.

Many people think of a toner as a harsh product that gives you a squeaky clean, tight face. If this is happening to you after you use a toner it is all wrong for you! A toner should not cause irritation or dry your face out. A toner should not burn the eyes when you smell it (ahem sea breeze ahem) or reek of alcohol.

Dangers of Using the Wrong Toner for your Skin:

🔻Irritation
🔻Redness
🔻Dryness
🔻Breakouts
🔻Imbalance

If you experience any of these issues after using a toner, stop using it immediately and allow your skin to heal. Try a more mild toner such as pure witch hazel or rose hydrosol. Also, keep in mind that toners can offer many uses to the skin in addition to balance.

Toners Can Serve Different Purposes for Your Face:

🌀An extra shot of vitamins
🌀Brightening
🌀Balancing
🌀Help with skin texture
🌀Anti-aging
🌀Acne

Overall I think having a toner in your regular skincare routine can be extremely beneficial. Especially if you struggle with combination or oily skin.

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DIY Orange-Rose Healing Facial Toner

 

Ever want to try to make your own healing facial toner? One that does not dry out your skin too much but gives your appearance an added glow? I love this Orange-Rose Healing Facial Toner because it is not too harsh on the skin but it does get that excess oil that can be left behind by a cleanser. It is simple to make and easy to use. Give this fun DIY a try:

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup aloe juice
1/2 teaspoon vitamin A
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E
1/2 teaspoon rose oil
1 1/2 teaspoons 80 proof Vodka (yes Vodka)
10 drops orange essential oil

 

There are many benefits to including a facial toner in your daily skin care routine, as I discussed in a separate post. And yes, you read that right LOL. It has vodka in it. I personally would rather put vodka on my face than rubbing alcohol or other harsh chemicals that are in a lot of toners.

You will need to give the toner a little shake with each use to make sure the ingredients are distributed properly. Since it is an all natural product without preservatives, it is best to use it up within a month of making it.  I hope you enjoy this moisturizing toner. It smells amazing!

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Pros and Cons of Exfoliating ~ Easy Solutions to Beautiful Skin

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Exfoliating is one of the easiest things you can do to instantly improve the texture and appearance of your skin. There are many benefits to exfoliating, which I will discuss below. However, it is important to note some of the dangers as well. Extreme exfoliating has become quite popular. As an esthetician, microdermabrasion and harsh chemical peels were the procedures that brought in the most money for a professional. But it may not be the best option for the client. When exfoliation is done gently and correctly, it can be one of the best things you do for your complexion.

BENEFITS:

* Removes dead skin cells
* Helps keep the pores clear, which helps with acne and breakouts
* Increases circulation (when massaging the exfoliant into the skin)
* Stimulates cell turnover (when massaging the exfoliant into the skin)
* Helps even out skin tone and discoloration
* Gives the skin a beautiful glow
* Keeps the skin soft and supple
* Helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles

DIFFERENT TYPES OF EXFOLIANTS:

Chemical Exfoliants – Usually referred to products that contain certain chemicals that have ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).

Mechanical Exfoliants – Usually referred to as scrubs, include products that have ingredients such as salt, sugar, finely ground grains, beads and even fine sand.
* Microdermabrasion is technically a mechanical exfoliation but I am listing it separate because it is a little different than the other mechanical exfoliants. Microderm is performed with an expensive machine, generally either the crystal microdermabrasion technology or a diamond-tip microdermabrasion. This procedure should always be done under the care of a licensed professional and ideally someone who has had extensive training on the machine they use and how it performs on clients with a variety of different skin types.
* Brushes or Gloves are also considered mechanical exfoliants. A rotating brush can be a great option for the skin because you can move it very lightly over the skin and start with a very small amount of time. The gloves can vary so be careful not to get one that is too rough on the skin.

Enzyme Exfoliants – Fruits or ingredients in products with enzyme properties that break down dead skin cells, these can include fruits such as pineapple or papaya.

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As mentioned above, there can be dangers when using some of the exfoliants. Many times when trying to reverse damage to the skin, i.e. sun, scarring or discoloration, we think we need extreme measures. But this is not true. It is important to remember that it took time to create damage to the skin and it will take time to reverse it. The cell regeneration cycle of the skin takes about 30 days. You will see immediate results from exfoliation but it may take about a month to see the best results.

DANGERS:

* Inflammation
* Scarring or damage to the skin
* Redness
* Burning
* Unnecessary Peeling
* Sensitivity

Get to know your skin’s sensitivity level and know your skin type. Start with a very gentle exfoliant and move up from there.

SKIN TYPE:

Knowing your skin type before you choose the exfoliant you want to use will help you get the best results. Also, having a consistent skincare routine is very important. The most common skin types are:
* Oily = Skin feels oily most of the time, constantly fighting shine or greasiness, feeling like you constantly need to wash your face.
~ Recommend a mechanical salt or sugar scrub, gentle enzyme peels
* Dry = Dry and/or flaky patches on the face, skin regularly feels tight or itchy. ~ Recommend a sugar scrub or rotating brush
* Normal = No real trouble with oily or dry skin, easy to take care of
~ Recommend any of the exfoliants
* Combination = Part of the face is dry and part oily or part dry/oily and part normal, a constant battle trying to balance the skin.
~ Recommend salt or sugar scrub, gentle enzyme peels or a rotating brush
* Sensitive = Any of the above skin types can have sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin I would recommend you start with a VERY GENTLE exfoliant. A rotating brush or a natural product that has the micro-beads may be a good place to start. I have sensitive skin and use a sugar scrub but everyone’s skin is different.

HOW OFTEN TO EXFOLIATE:

Exfoliate 1-3 times per week depending on skin sensitivity and skin type.

Gently massage exfoliants into the skin, taking your time.
If a product irritates your skin, stop using it.
Use a good serum and moisturizer after you have exfoliated.

My recommendation is to begin with a simple sugar scrub. Here is my favorite sugar scrub recipe that works for most skin types. Easy to make and gives the skin a beautiful glow!

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DIY – Face & Body – Coconut Lemon Sugar Scrub

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Making your own sugar scrubs can be a little intimidating but it is really no trouble at all. Just follow these easy steps to make your own. It’s much cheaper than buying a pre-made sugar scrub in the store AND the ingredients are more natural! Using a sugar scrub will give your skin a beautiful glow and it will help slough off dead skin cells. Check out the benefits!

HOMEMADE COCONUT LEMON
SUGAR SCRUB (FACE & BODY)

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup pure white sugar
1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 tablespoons 100% lemon juice

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Combine all ingredients. Should be a nice thick paste. Use on the face and body 2-3 times a week to exfoliate skin. Store in a plastic container with a lid. Keep in the shower. Should stay fresh for about a month.

Enjoy your beautiful glow! For more tips, articles and recipes follow me at www.greeneyedgrace.com. Thanks for visiting!!!

Fighting Eczema At All Ages ~ Causes and Natural Treatments

 

Eczema can be one of the most frustrating skin issues for estheticians because there can be so many reasons (internally and externally) for a flare up. Consequently, it can take a while to get the outbreak under control and begin to reverse the breakout. Many people who suffer from eczema become very frustrated as well and at times feel like living with eczema is just a way of life. This does not have to be the case. There is always a reason for the problem and always a solution that will work. Patience and getting the correct remedy is the key. I am going to briefly go over the major causes. Keep in mind that it can be different for everyone.

DIET

When dealing with skin problems we usually assume it is something we put on our skin but more likely it is a deeper problem. What we put into our bodies is reflected in our skin. This can also be true with eczema. A breakout can be triggered by foods that your body may be rejecting. You may have an allergy to certain foods or perhaps an overload of processed foods, alcohol or medications (to name a few). Begin a diet full of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants. The more color the better! Avoid processed foods and excess sugar. Avoid soda pop and energy drinks that can be full of harmful ingredients. Read your labels! If you don’t know what the word means, such as maltodextrin, don’t buy it!

STRESS

Eczema is a nerve related disorder. It is your body’s way of letting you know there is a problem. If you suffer from anxiety you may be more prone to an eczema breakout. If you believe this may be the reason for the problem, try to eliminate stress and take care of yourself, such as a massage, venting to a loved one, prayer, meditation or yoga.

HORMONES

Believe it or not, hormones can also play a role. Sometimes women will see a difference in their eczema around the time of menstruation. If you believe hormones are an issue, try to eliminate dairy products with rBST and buy organic. This may help. Organic milk with no added hormones and greek yogurt with no added hormones are best if you love your dairy products!

SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Your personal care products can also cause problems when it comes to your skin. Many department store products contain harmful, and sometimes toxic, ingredients that can be very irritating to the skin. Even if you see results right away from a product, over time it can actually age your skin and cause more damage. Ever notice how certain more extreme facial products gives quick results but then several months down the road you feel like it quit working? Avoid products that have a lot of ingredients that are hard to understand.

A WORD ON BATH-TIME

For bath-time – Avoid harsh soaps. Use natural soft soaps and cleansers. After the bath put a pure oil on your skin instead of a lotion. Some helpful oils are organic sunflower oil or virgin, cold pressed coconut oil. Avoid olive oil since it can over time breakdown your skin’s natural barrier. HERE is a post on oils that can be helpful for eczema prone skin.

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

One thing that gets overlooked is your laundry detergent. Washing your clothes in a detergent riddled with chemicals and/or bleach can be very irritating to the skin. Try using a ‘free and clear’ detergent or make your own. Even some of the ‘free and clear’ detergents can be irritating. Also, wearing new clothes, scarfs or coats without washing them first can cause a breakout. Anything that touches your skin can bother your skin.

PETS

We love them to death but they can cause skin irritation, if you have a pet allergy. If you love playing with your pets and they irritate your skin you may try to lessen the amount of time your skin comes in contact with their fur. Also, if they sleep on your bed or your couch this can cause irritation to your skin because that is where you spend much of your time. Try throwing a sheet over the couch or bed or no longer let them hang out there (easier said than done, I know!)

ALLERGIES

People prone to seasonal allergies or have a family history of allergies are more likely to suffer from eczema. Sometimes being aware of things you need to avoid can help improve breakouts.

HEAT

One of the worst eczema breakouts my son had as an infant was when he was in his carseat for a long car ride. The weather was very hot and even with air conditioning the car was not staying cool enough. I even took him to the doctor, afraid it was an allergic reaction to something and was told it was ‘just eczema’. He was miserable and that is around the time I made it a life goal to figure out how to help him with his eczema and others too!

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS

* Adults
I recommend starting with personal care products and detergent since it is the easiest way to start. If that doesn’t help move to food and so on. When all else fails, get a blood test! There are rare occasions that an eczema outbreak, as an adult, is your body’s way of raising a red flag. There may be more going on inside than you know. Get a blood test and see a doctor.

* Infants/Children
Keep in mind that many infants outgrow eczema and other unexplained breakouts like cradle cap. However, eczema in infants and children can be uncomfortable for them and cause bad sleep habits. Getting professional help is important if natural remedies do not help.

Eczema can be a very frustrating skin problem. But keep looking for solutions! Don’t give up. Personally, natural remedies have been better for our family than the traditional medicine remedies I was given in the beginning. But everyone is different. Keep searching for solutions and remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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