Summer days sure creep up fast, don't they? After the long, dry winter and the almost too oily spring, summer seems like a refreshing respite as we trade out our sweaters for tank tops and start getting back out in the sun. Your skin, however, might not be celebrating as thoroughly as you are, and it's around this time that you start to notice the redness, bumps and irritation that come from a combination of over-washing and the application of poor-quality products. If your skin is having its acid mantle repeatedly disrupted while you are also stripping off its top layer of protective oils, it's going to fight back.
Luckily, we have you covered on the moisturizer front (go get yourself some BRILLIANT DAILY BODY SERUM Antiox Multi-Task Elixir or, if you've already discovered it, one of our refill packs) but if you're looking for a fast, effective and inexpensive way to replace a litany of products that may or may not be effective for you, then it's time to turn to an age-old secret well-kept by the beauty industry: sake.
We've already detailed how adding rice bran oil to our serum and creme has innumerable benefits for your skin. These same benefits are available from sake in the form of kojic acid. The fermentation process that rice undergoes to become wine makes this amazing byproduct that not only tones but also brightens your skin. If you have issues with hyperpigmentation, it's recommended to bathe in sake regularly; for our purposes, we recommend it as a toner after you have thoroughly cleansed with some raw honey (and before you apply some serum for the day.) Buy a small bottle and keep it on your bathroom counter with some cotton balls.
THE NECESSITY OF TONER
It can be confusing as to why a toner is necessary, especially after you've just washed your face. What, exactly, does a toner do? Primarily, it helps do a second cleaning (think of a dust wipe after you've scrubbed a surface) and eliminate stubborn impurities that cleansers don't budge. Many cleansers contain oils, which remain on your face after they finish what they are doing. Toners help remove this, and also improve the look of your skin by tightening your pores. You can use toner at night just before bed for this purpose, and in the morning to remove the sebum produced while you slept.
It may seem confusing, but part of the purpose of toner is to keep your skin balanced, clean and smooth. If your current toner isn't doing these things, have a look at the contents: toners for oily skin often contain alcohol, which can be over-drying if you use it too much. Avoid DIY toner recipes that ask you to put in citrus juices like lemon--these can be extremely photosensitizing to your skin!
CLEANSE + TONE + MOISTURIZE
Your best bet for keeping your skin happy is a simple routine: gently cleanse, softly tone, and sweetly moisturize. By repeating these steps on a regular basis you can fight the innumerable toxins that threaten all day to destroy what it seems like we work so hard to preserve. By keeping your skin healthfully clean and toned WITHOUT harsh chemicals, you can reduce inflammation and preserve your skin's strength for many years to come.