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Toner: To use or not to use?

Posted by on 3/6/2017

Wikipedia defines topical skin toner as “a lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores…on the face.” There are several types: skin bracers or fresheners, skin tonics and astringents.

Skin fresheners are the mildest, containing water, a humectant such as glycerine, and small amounts of alcohol, typically for sensitive skin. Skin tonics are slightly stronger, with water, slightly more alcohol than fresheners – up to 20% -  and a humectant, typically for those with medium skin. And finally, astringents are the strongest with up to 60% alcohol, astringents, water and a humectant, typically for those with oily skin.

There’s more to the story than that, of course, more detail and definition, but that is the essence to sum up the three options in skin toners.

What’s best though, is to hear how skin toners benefit from the perspective of a skin professional, like dermatologist Dr. Michael S. Spicer. He created a line of skincare products called Épicé Skincare based on feedback he received from patients over more than 20 years in practice as a doctor specializing in diseases, disorders, and dysfunctions of the skin - in both the eastern and western parts of the United States, and abroad.

“Skin Toners are important in keeping the pores of the skin clean,” says Dr. Spicer, who runs his own practice, Brevard Medical Dermatology, in Florida.

“Dead skin cells can accumulate within the lining of the pores, plugging them and causing blackheads. Sometimes plugging just makes the pores look larger, so use your toner for clean, smaller looking pores.”

With feedback from, and a true desire to help, his patients, Dr. Spicer formulated a moisture-rich skin toner for all skin types. It contains mandelic acid to exfoliate and a mild alpha-hydroxy acid to unclog pores.

But what is truly special about the Épicé Toner is the pure and natural anti-inflammatory agents it contains, like Aloe, Kiwi Fruit, and Goldenseal, that work together to soothe the skin and balance all of the toner’s ingredients.

“I love aloe as a natural anti-inflammatory, keeping the skin calm. Kiwi fruit is an awesome antioxidant, and goldenseal is both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial,” he says. “Together, the combination of these ingredients keeps the skin clean, cool and calm.”

As if those ingredients were not enough to brand the Épicé Toner as being innovative and purely formulated, Dr. Spicer added White Grape Extract, Rosemary, Lemongrass and Honey Extract.

White grape is high in vitamin E, which serves as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from environmental damage,” he said. “Rosemary helps the circulation of the skin, increasing the skin’s oxygenation and nutrition. Lemongrass and Honey extract work as antimicrobials, helping to keep the skin clean and fresh.”

Épicé Toner may sound like a work of culinary artistry, but it’s not. It’s a work of the heart and mind of Dr. Spicer and his true desire to help people achieve optimum skin health.


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