1. Your skin needs to “breathe”. Skin doesn’t breathe. Not externally, anyway. Your skin doesn’t breathe like your lungs breathe. Your skin is nourished from the oxygen and nutrients carried in the blood. No measurable amount of oxygen is absorbed from the outside air. In that same vein, pores don’t open or close!
2. Steam your face before using a mask. Pores don’t open or close so splashing with cold water to “close” them or steaming your face before using a mask will just cause dehydration, irritation and broken capillaries. Heat causes vasodilation, cold causes vasoconstriction. The effect you see by using hot/cold water isn’t caused by your pores. It’s best to use lukewarm water on your skin, not hot or cold.
3. Bar soaps make good cleansers. The ingredients used to keep these type of cleansers in bar form generally aren’t good for your skin. Furthermore, soap itself is too harsh to use on your face. Most foaming soaps will strip your skin and give it that “squeaky clean” feeling. Lazy soap-makers even put clay in their bar soaps to give it a smoother feel. Even if you moisturize after and even if your skin is naturally oily, using these sorts of cleansers are not recommended. Even using a toner after can’t reverse the damage done from using an alkaline cleanser. Instead, opt for a soap-free, water-soluble cleansing milk/gel/lotion/whatever or micellar water.
4. Toners are a necessary step. If your cleanser is doing its job, you don’t need a (traditional) toner. Toners are just a way for companies to sell you more stuff. They’ve been riding high since the Clinique 3-step system hit the market in the 90s, but guess what? That was just a marketing angle. And it worked. Clinique still sells that 3-step system – although the second step is actually not a toner but a liquid exfoliant.
Originally, the purpose of toner was to reacidify your skin. They replaced the natural acidic state of your skin after cleansing. They were also used to remove residue from thick, heavy cleansers. Nowadays, all good cleansers are formulated to be within your skin’s normal pH range and just rinse off clean with water. Today, people refer to toners as any liquid you swipe over your face after cleansing and before moisturizing. They’re nice for layering products and targeting specific problems – but no, they’re not necessary.
What do you think beauty mags are always getting wrong?