Why Your Alcohol-Based Toner Might Be Harming Your Skin
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With at-home self-care and DIY skin care on the rise, women are turning more to natural ingredients that are gentler on the skin and on mother earth. For Black women, the stakes are even higher to get it right, avoiding products and ingredients that could have lasting damaging effects on skin prone to dark marks and scarring.

Marla Rene, Founder and Owner of Marla Reńe Skincare, says that includes your toner. For years, women with melanin-rich skin invested in alcohol-based toners, oftentimes not realizing that they were having adverse effects on their regimen. Sometimes they realized it but didn’t understand why.

“It’s important to have alcohol free toner because alcohol will dry your skin out,” Rene said in a Shop ESSENCE Live interview on Facebook. “It’s especially important for our oily skin beauties. I know that we tend to want to use things like witch hazel or alcohol-based products because we want to dry the oils out of our skin, but we’re actually doing more harm than good [that way]. And it causes our skin to respond by producing more oils. So it’s very counterproductive.”

Most of us have had our witch hazel days for sure. And now, some women are doing away with toner completely to reverse the damage they’ve inflicted. But toners can be a helpful and essential part of your skincare regimen with the right ingredients. They help remove excess cleanser left behind not visible to the eye, infuse skin with additional nutrients and moisture, and rebalance the pH levels in the skin.

“These days there are so many wonderfully formulated facial sprays that are loaded with botanicals, moisture drawing type of ingredients that don’t really need the alcohol,” Rene continued. “So forget alcohol-based toners.”

Her facial focused vegan-friendly line specializes in products formulated to combat acne, hyperpigmentation, and aging through eco-conscious cruelty-free ingredients. Made in micro batches, the products sell out quickly due to their top star reviews and proven results. And her community of melababes, which she calls her customers, love Rene for her inspirational beauty advice and mantras.

“Your beauty is you,” finished Rene. “Own it and don’t be distracted by the noise. Just live in your own wonder.”

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