Many of us who have been indoctrinated in the “3-step” skincare method of cleanser, toner and moisturiser will have at least once in our lives, used a toner with a cotton pad to prep skin before applying moisturiser. I used to do it from way back.
But about 5 years ago, I stopped using this method. It was also when I stopped using “toner” in the sense of an astringent lotion to “close your pores” which I’d tell you not to believe. Pores aren’t doors you can open and close at will. I started using the SKII Facial Treatment Essence which the SA told me can be patted directly on skin. Then, I went on to use Japanese brand lotions which I found better for my skin as they were more hydrating and less astringent. Some, like the Hada Labo SHA lotion advise you to pat it on. Some of them advised the use of a cotton pad, but I was stubborn, prefering “not to waste” product. So I continued with the no-cotton pad method, patting product directly on skin which I thought was good enough.
I’ve been doing this for at least 5 years. But in the past 2 months, in my bid to get my troublesome skin under control, I switched things around and decided to go back to using a cotton pad with a lotion/toner. To my surprise, I’m reaping benefits so I’m once again sold on the idea. I’ll tell you why
A point to note is to follow the instructions on the skincare you use. So naturally, if they ask you to pat it on, as the Hada Labo lotion does, then do so. Swiping it on skin with a cotton pad will not reap you the maximum benefits.
However, with those that do advise the use of a cotton pad, then do so too. I am presently using lotions that are hydrating for skin so these aren’t the traditional “toners” in a true sense (I’ll tell you about the ones I’m using in a future post). They cool down my skin, prep my skin for moisturiser and helps my skin feel more hydrated.
What I do is saturate a cotton pad with the lotion (toner), wipe it all over my face and then lightly pat the cotton pad all over my skin. When I was using the Kanebo Blanchir Clear Conditioner (which I still use to this day) this was the way I was taught and I’ve carried it over to any hydrating lotion. It serves to provide a combination of benefits – light exfoliation with the cotton pad, and helping product penetrate better when patting on skin.
A cotton pad will help exfoliate and remove surface dead skin cells which can help product penetrate better. This is the primary benefit I derive personally. I was having a lot of problems with my skin – dry and flaky skin all over, rough and “hard” skin that didn’t seem to get any better no matter what I used, and enlarged pores.
My skin is on the mend which has also to do with a whole change in skincare routine and that includes using a cotton pad with my lotion/toner after washing my face. Here’s a tip I picked up from a trainer at Estee Lauder:-
- If you wipe the toner/lotion infused cotton pad over your face and see that its BROWN – that’s remnants of foundation and you should be cleansing your skin better or change your cleanser
- If you wipe the toner/lotion infused cotton pad over your face and see that its GREY – that’s dead skin cells
Truth or not, I found it interesting, because I was surprised at how grey my cotton pad was when I started this routine. Now that I do it daily, twice a day, my cotton pad no longer looks as grey. Maybe there’s truth in that tip?
Do you use a cotton pad with your toner or lotion? If you do, have you derived benefits from this? If you don’t, why not?
I’m coming back full circle after years away and I’m seeing benefits. I personally feel that the light exfoliation with the cotton pad helps prep my skin for the skincare to follow and even reduces the appearance of pores. The hydrating lotions do help my skin feel better and more comfortable and things are finally looking up. How about you?