Organic Hydrosols: The Perfect Natural Toner
Old-school toners are often alcohol-based astringents focused on treating acne and oily skin. You squirt them onto a cotton ball, and wipe it across your skin, stripping it clean - drying and damaging it in the process.
A healthy toner should actually be the first step in hydrating skin. By applying it post cleansing, it prepares skin for maximum serum absorption.
Here's a quick run-down of how and why a good toner works. A pH of 7 is neutral, above is alkaline and below is acidic. There is a lot of debate about the “optimal” pH balance for skin, but most people pin point numbers between 4.5-5.5. The Acid Mantle is the surface layer of skin that keeps good stuff (hydration, beneficial enzymes, antigens) in, and bad stuff (bacteria, pollution, environmental toxins) out. Many cleansers are alkaline (soapy water's pH is around 12!), and damage the Acid Mantle. By using an alcohol-free, low pH toner, you help your skin rebalance to it's natural acidic state.
So, what exactly is a hydrsol? It is the water used for the steam distillation of plant material to produce essential oils. I love essential oils, but decided early on to not use them in Paraguas Beauty products due to their high potency and potential side effects for pregnant mamas. Hydrosols, by contrast, are much less concentrated and therefore pregnancy-safe. During the distillation process, the plant matter imparts the hydrosol with the water-soluble aromatic and therapeutic properties of the plant. They contain the essence of the plant in every drop, just like essential oils. With a naturally low pH, they make the perfect natural toner.
As with oils, each hydrosol has its unique superpowers. It's a balancing act to make sure you don't crowd the room with so many ingredients that none has an opportunity to actually deliver, but also to garner as much skin-loving benefit as possible in a single application. Our bliss range is 3-5 ingredients per product, and with our Exhale Toner, you get pore-tightening from Rose Hydrosol, elasticity from Orange Blossom Hydrosol, and aromatherapy from Lavender Hydrosol.
In case you're wondering....This is the first water introduced to our line up! All other products are intentionally water-free so that they can also be preservative-free (Paraguas means “umbrella” in Spanish). These beauties get to join our organic skincare squad, because hydrosols are actually stable and capable of being free of microbial contamination without a preservative – IF (and this is a big if) they are not combined with other ingredients. So, a lotion that combines oils, butters and hydrosols would absolutely need a preservative. But, a hydrosol blend on its own? All natural goodness.
Our favorite ways to use Exhale Toner: