Do skin toners reduce skin oil?

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The history of a good skin care routine goes back thousands of years to when ancient cultures like the Egyptians and Greeks used things found naturally in the environment including herbs and oils (even animal fats!), honey and naturally occurring bicarb soda as part of their regular skin care maintenance.1,2 Our great grandmothers used to use vinegar, lemon juice, and milk as toners to freshen the skin after cleansing! But now it is a different story. Many of today’s commonly used toners contain astringents, such as witch hazel, alcohol and chemicals which are designed to remove the excess oil. The toning step is important to get rid of any excess dirt that the cleansing process didn’t remove, and close your pores to prepare your face for the moisturiser. But are astringents & harsh ingredients really necessary in a toner? My answer is no. Astringents strip the natural sebum of the face, which can cause excessive dryness and irritation and can also cause the skin to produce more oil to make up for it being stripped away. Our skin has a very delicate pH balance, which is a measure of the acidity of your skin. The skin’s pH should sit at about 5.5 or below, which is slightly acidic. This helps to fight off bacteria and fungi. Studies show that when it is more alkaline, it is more prone to infection.3 Harsh toners can affect this delicate balance, leaving it more prone to infection and oiliness. A skin with a perfectly balanced slightly acidic pH will likely be more radiant, bright, smooth and less prone to damage from the elements. Don’t continue the vicious cycle of overproduction of oil – if you keep your skin care routine simple with the SkinB5 simple 4 step system, your sebum production will remain balanced and the oil production should normalise because it is not having to fight against being stripped off!

Simple natural toner remedies:

The most gentle and effective toners don’t contain astringents, alcohols or chemicals – keep it simple! I recommend using flower waters/hydrosols such as rose, lavender or chamomile water on a cotton bud, which will gently remove any left-over surface dirt, and the cooling nature will close the pores again after cleansing. You can also use a dilute mix of raw organic apple cider vinegar (with the ‘mother’), which can assist to keep the face at a slightly acidic pH – use 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water for sensitive skin and 1 part ACV to 2 parts water for normal skin.4 Patch test first to check sensitivity, and apply with a cotton ball. References:
  1. The history of skincare, a series of articles by J.K. Knowles. Ancient Greece: The Archaic Period, 750 BC-500 BC . J.K.Knowles. 2013. Available from:
  2. The history of skincare, a series of articles by J.K.Knowles. The Common People of Ancient Egypt, 3000 BC-1070 BC . J.K.Knowles. 2013. Available from:
  3. Coconuts & Kettlebells. DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Facial Toner . 2015. Available from:
  4. Lambers H, Piessens S, Bloem A, Pronk H, Finkel P. Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Oct:28(5):359-70.
Haley is a passionate Naturopath & nutrition expert, writer, and mum of 2 young children, with years of experience in the industry. She is a known as a real 'nutrition nerd' and follows the latest natural health research. As a Paleo and raw food enthusiast, she coaches people in healthy living, beauty and positive mindset. Haley has personally experienced the benefits of the SkinB5 natural acne treatment system and is happy to offer her guidance to help others regain clear skin. Follow her blog at & link with her on facebook at
acne and health Acne Myths Category_LIFESTYLE>Skin Wellness chemicals Naturopath Haley Yates skincare and health

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