Cleanse, tone, moisturize ― those three steps have long been ingrained in our minds as the basis of a skin care routine. Despite that, three of the dermatologists we spoke to revealed they don’t actually use toner themselves.
“Some people like to use toners, if they feel like their skin’s really oily, but I don’t find it super necessary,” Jaber said.
“Many toners contain alcohol which is drying (which may be fine if you have oilier, acne-prone skin),” Dr. Jennifer Chwalek, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology, told HuffPost by email. “Instead, I spritz my face with rose water in the morning before applying vitamin C and SPF. I find the rose water helps to hydrate my skin and it can also calm down any inflammation since it contains various vitamins and antioxidants. Once it dries, I apply a vitamin C serum and then sunscreen.”
“I don’t use a toner and I don’t see any need for a toner, because toners are classically alcohol-based, and I don’t think they add anything to skin care,” Nazarian said. “They certainly don’t enhance my skin care. These days, a lot of the toners are different ― they’re not alcohol-based, but they’re more the Korean sense of a toner, where they’ll prep the skin for better absorption. They’re basically wetting the skin, so when you wet skin, things absorb better. I just put a lot of products on after the shower after I wash my face, so I don’t feel the need to ever pay for a toner.”
Parabens are essentially preservatives used in beauty products that help limit the development of bacteria, mold and yeast. The most commonly used parabens are methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl parabens, and they’re often found in moisturizers, foundations and anti-aging creams.
Over the years, parabens have gotten a pretty bad reputation, and while there still isn’t strong enough evidence that proves they’re extremely harmful to our health, the dermatologists we spoke to stay away from them.
“It certainly is a taboo ingredient, so for me it’s like, why take the risk?” Mark told HuffPost.
Nazarian explained that her reason for avoiding parabens isn’t simply health-related.
“I read a journal article about some bench research that was done in the past few years, and it showed there to be potential acceleration of skin aging,” she said. “I just know that, in terms of how much I’m putting on, and it’s in so many different products, that I wouldn’t even risk it for the slightest amount. I won’t do parabens.”
Jaber’s view was slightly more relaxed, but still, he said he avoids parabens and believes “it’s better to avoid them if you can find something that’s paraben-free.”
6. Hotel Soaps
You may not think twice about using the soaps you find on the counter in your hotel bathroom, but they may not be great for your skin. Especially when it comes to using them on your face.
“I’m really careful at hotels,” Jaber said. “I never use the hotel soaps because they really dry me out, because they’re heavily fragranced. I always bring soap with me.”
The dermatologists agreed that scented products in general can irritate the skin, and said they avoid using products with added fragrances.
“No perfume; it has to be unscented, because that does nothing but irritate,” Nazarian said. “There’s nothing good that comes from adding fragrance to your cleanser.”