I admit that, back in the day, when I first started using any kind of real skincare ‘routine’, I used to think that cleanser and toner were pretty much the same thing. After being presented with the Clinique three-step skincare system by my mama (thanks Hils), I have to admit that there were more than a few nights when I skipped the cleanser and went straight to the toner, thinking ‘eh, they do the same thing’.
Having read something similar to the above in a magazine a few weeks ago, I thought I would put my old theory to the test, skipping cleanser for a couple of weeks in favour of just using my toners.
To begin with, this new skincare system was actually a lot easier – and more effective – than I thought it would be. Although the cotton wool pads that I was using were covered in make-up, and I found that, in order to actually get rid of all of my foundation and mascara etc I had to use my second toner on a cotton pad, rather than spritzing it on my face as I would have normally done.
A few days in, and I wasn’t finding my new routine too awful, to be honest. However, I didn’t feel like my face was getting the proper cleanse that I needed; I kept waking up in the morning to find a smear of foundation on my pillow, or a blob of mascara on my cheek, which made me think that perhaps my skin wasn’t quite as clean as it might have felt.
Towards the end of week one, however, my skin started getting grumpy – blemishes started popping up all over my face, those nasty horrible under-the-skin ones, as well as numerous blackheads around my nose, chin and cheeks. In other words, my skin was feeling seriously congested, and it looked as though the two-step toner routine just wasn’t doing enough to get rid of all of my make-up.
True, it didn’t feel that awful while I was doing it, but when I finally brought the no-cleanser routine to an end I was amazed at just how good it felt to whip out a good cleansing balm and really clean my face at the end of the day. It. Was. Awesome.
The real issue for me with using toner instead of cleanser is that you aren’t really getting many – or any! – of the actual benefits of the toner, because those need to work on clean skin, not skin that still has make up on it. So why waste your money on a fancy toner, only to use it as make up remover?
And you know, I really do think that you could get away with the toner-only system if you’re someone who doesn’t wear a whole heap of make-up – or maybe just on days when you don’t wear any at all – but personally, I won’t be abandoning my cleansers any time soon.