To my heart's content, I finally found a toner that works wonder on my skin: rose water. This natural skin care triumphs over all branded toners, at least for me.
The toners I used in the past dried out my skin, and did not help much with the blackheads. The nose pores appear larger somehow. The pH 5.5 and non-alcohol toners did no better. I was so unhappy with the toner step, that I omitted it from my skin care routine, which should be an important step to balancing the skin after facial cleansing and prep it for moisturizer absorption.
All that to say that I'm ecstatic when I learned about rose water. It soothes my skin, keeps it less oily, and most important, it tightens my nose pores without drying them. It's a perfect compliment to the home routine I follow to getting rid of blackheads/whiteheads, natural and effective. Love it!
Instead of the homemade rose water method, I went for a 100ml bottle at the pharmacy, and used it according to instructions: dilute it to 2.5% with filtered water. I store the diluted rose water in an empty bottle.
You might also like this rose water tutorial on Flickr by Chronographia (click on her photo below).
Try it out, and let me know if it works for you.