Updated: Nov 6, 2021
A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO UNDERSTAND WHY TONERS MAY CAUSE BREAKOUTS
Toners can be used for many reasons: hydration, oil control, or even for a dewy look. If you are a toner user, you probably love the soft, blurring effect of toner on your skin. The ultimate radiant, poreless skin can be achieved with the right toner in your skincare routine. But what can cause breakouts when using toners, and how can this be avoided?
Before getting to the cure of toner breakout (a word of my own creation), lets first discuss 3 reasons that may be causing it:
1. Overusing a specific toner for too long
2. Using the wrong toner for your skin type
3. Skin purging, not skin breakouts
Without any further ado, let’s jump right in.
1. It's not you, it’s me.
The first and foremost reason worth mentioning is the possibility that it isn’t the toner that is causing breakouts, it’s you. This may be the case if you have been using a certain toner over a long course of time, and with no recent changes made to your skincare routine, you start breaking out. There are multiple reasons as to why this could occur. A possible reason could be that your skin has become used to the toner you have been using and has hence stopped reacting to the skin healing properties in the toner. If this is the case, switch it up ladies, its time to buy a new toner! Additional reasons for breakouts could be poor diet, food allergies and even overexposure to the sun, but more to that in another (upcoming) post!
2. I'm sorry, but we’re just not the right match for each other.
The second cause of breakouts while using toners may be that your toner is not best suited for your skin type. Many of my friends have complained to me about their toners causing breakouts, and many a times, I have found them using toners which contain certain ingredients that would cause aggravation specifically to their skin types. For example, people with acne-prone skin should refrain from using toners that are designed for people with dry skin, as these toners aim to create an extra layer of moisture deep within the pores, which could potentially make acne worse. So, second tip: do your research before purchasing a toner and make sure its best suited for your skin type! (quick tip: if you have dry skin, be careful when using toners with hyaluronic acid in your skincare, as it may cause irritation).
3. I'm going on a purge. It's time to move on.
The third reason causing sudden breakouts may be due to skin purging. According to the dermatologist Dr Deanne Mraz Robinson, skin purging is when your skin reacts to an active ingredient in a product which accelerates skin cell turnover rate. Initially, this means by using cell turnover promoting products, dead skin cells in the deeper layer of the skin are removed quicker, therefore unclogging your pores and revealing a purer inner layer of skin. (For more to this, check out this Healthline post.)
Here are 3 signs that your skin is purging and not breaking out:
- Your skin is purging in areas that are more prone to breakouts (commonly the cheeks, forehead, or chin)
- Your purging clears up quicker than your usual breakouts
- You’re breaking out shortly after using a product which promotes cell turnover (and have no allergies to any ingredients used in the product).
If this should occur, though this may be difficult, try to be patient about it until your skin renews itself (this happens approximately every 28 days). Skin purging means that your skin is being purified from deep within, which could save you from the sorrow of many future breakouts. Think of it as an annoying task that may take some time, but the results will be very much worth the wait. As they say, patience is bitter, but its fruit sure is sweet!
There are many causes of toner breakout, however it is vital to remember that breakouts are temporary. This is just a phase that will pass, and you’re still beautiful. Don’t ever think otherwise!