There are good balancers, and there are bad astringents. Being able to tell the difference between skin that’s been stripped bare, and skin that’s been restored, is the key to understanding the modern way to tone. From there, balancing skin becomes simple.
If you’ve ever used a toner back in your teenage years for balancing skin, you probably remember the pungent smell of alcohol and the tingly/stinging-clean feeling as it swiped away every last bit of oil (good and bad) on your skin. You probably thought that your skin could handle that if it was super oily and pimple-prone, or if you lived in a very humid climate. But the truth is, whether you live there, or if you live in a desert or polar climate where your skin is already prone to dryness, a toner is the last thing you should use. Instead, what your skin needs is a hydrating skin prep that wipes away impurities while balancing skin’s pH levels and providing a first layer of hydration. Enter Pour Moi’s Hydrating Balancer—it’s nothing like the astringent, overly-drying formulas of the past. And even those who live in a low-humidity, dry climate can benefit from it. We asked top skin experts to break down the benefits of a Hydrating Balancer and why, yes, you should be using one.
It Keeps pH Levels in Check, Essential for Balancing Skin.
Let’s take it back to a little high school chemistry: Skin is happiest and healthiest when it has a slightly acidic pH—typically a five on a scale of zero (highly acidic) to 14 (alkaline), with seven being neutral. “Keeping your skin slightly acidic helps keep its enzymes working to protect your skin function,” says Avnee Shah, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Soaps, harsh products, and even the environment around you—UV radiation from the sun and air pollution—can throw skin’s pH off balance. This can be a problem because studies show that having more alkaline skin can make skin even more vulnerable to climate aggressors (sun, pollution, etc.), increasing inflammation, dryness, breakouts, sensitivity, and even skin aging. Skin’s barrier won’t be as effective at warding off the damage, nor will it be able to maintain its moisture levels, Shah explains. Fortunately, the citric acid and sodium hydroxide in Pour Moi’s Hydrating Balancer, which is applied right after cleansing twice daily, helps by balancing skin back to its optimal pH. “Re-balancing your skin allows it to perform at its best,” says Shah.
It Gets Skin Ready to Receive Hydration and Other Active Ingredients.
For balancing skin most effectively, a balancer goes on after the cleansing process and before your Serum or Day Cream. The glycolic fruit acids in the Hydrating Balancer dissolve and clear away complexion-dulling dead skin. So, whatever you layer on top (hydrating and anti-aging ingredients tailored to the climate you live in) will penetrate deeper into skin and be more effective.
It Gets the Spots Your Cleanser Missed.
Sometimes even the best face washes leave behind a little residue—makeup, dirt, or even just a thin layer of cleanser that didn’t fully rinse off the surface. A skin balancer gets rid of any debris left behind. “By removing these pore-clogging elements, you can reduce acne and balance and smooth your complexion, setting your skin at the ideal healthy pH,” says Christina Dukes, PharmD, BCOP, a pharmacy specialist.
It Helps Skin Fight Damage.
Remember when we said that unbalanced skin can’t effectively fight off damage from climate aggressors like UV radiation and air pollution. Well, the Hydrating Balancer boosts skin’s natural defenses. Vitamins A, C, and E are potent antioxidants work together to fight off free radicals, unstable molecules unleashed by those aggressors that get into skin’s cells and cause damage and speed up skin aging.
It Adds Hydration.
While those old-school astringent toners removed moisture, the Hydrating Balancer adds it. It contains glycerin, a humectant that draws hydration into skin from the air, helping to replenish any moisture lost during the cleansing process—without any oil. This is key if you live in a low-humidity polar or desert climate where skin is easily dehydrated, but also if you live in a humid tropical climate. Skin feels fresh, clean, and hydrated, but never greasy. Poor me? No, Pour Moi!