Do I really need a toner?

"Do I really need a toner?" or "What does a toner actually do?"

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked those questions.

Toners have been around for a very long time. They used to be known as astringents. Astringents were very harsh and very drying to the skin so most of them have been reformulated and are now referred to as toners.

Toners have two specific jobs. One is to remove any excess cleanser that is left on the skin and the other is to return the pH balance of the skin back to normal.

The skin has a thin layer of oil on the outer layer called the acid mantle. This is the bodies first line of defense. It helps to fight off acne bacteria, pollutants, even the common cold. Most cleansers can strip the acid mantle leaving the skin feeling tight and dry. Some of the better cleansers today do a better job at not stripping the acid mantle but even the best cleansers strip the skin slightly. Toners usually have a proper pH so they return the skin back to an acidic state and (as stated above) remove any excess cleanser. Toners that have a little alpha hydroxy acid in them can also act as an mild exfoliator.

They are not an absolute necessity but they really are helpful to a proper skin care regimen.



Cleansers are one of the most important aspects of your skin care regimen. They set the stage for the rest of the routine.

Cleansers that dry the skin really reek havoc. Usually people with oily skin feel that they need to dry out their skin so they use cleansers that strip the oil. When the natural oil of the skin is stripped it dries out the outer layer. The skin then tells the oil glands "OK I'm dry" so the oil glands produce more oil than is actually necessary to compensate for the dryness. It also creates a layer of dry, dead skin. The dead skin falls into the follicle mixes with the excess oil and boom, you get a blackhead or a blemish or whatever decides to rear its ugly head that day. People with oily skin should stick to a nice basic cleanser. One that doesn't leave their face feeling tight after they use it. If oil is a concern use a wash one or two times a week that has salicylic acid in it. If breakouts are an issue use a wash with benzoyle peroxide in it. Again just one or two times a week. Using it too often can over dry the skin.

Now if you have dry skin to start with you can understand how bad the wrong cleanser can be. The biggest problem with dry skin is when you dry out the outer layer it makes a barrier of dead skin. Dead skin cannot hold moisture. So you can put 10lbs of moisturizer on but it will not get through to the cells you need them to get through to. People with dry skin should use a gentle, milky cleanser that doesn't leave the skin feeling tight or dry. Using an exfoliating cleanser once or twice a week helps to remove dead skin build up. Also using a cleanser with an alpha hydroxy acid regularly helps to keep the skin exfoliated. Exfoliated skin can better except any product applied afterward.

I carry many different kinds of cleanser. One or two for every skin type.

What I Do At The Image Studio Salon

You may be curious about exactly what my services entail at The Image Studio Salon! I would love to share them with you and encourage you to visit our website for all that we offer from Facials to Waxing to Nails and Hair. Come spend the day with us---We will make you feel like a brand new woman!

Angela's Services


New Products

I'm so excited! I just got in the Mark Lees Signature Series skin care products. I have been working with their Sensitive Science line and parts of the Moisture Support System for a long time. They are fantastic products and my clients really love them.

I was looking for products that could help to control oil production in the skin. One of my clients went down to Florida and had a treatment with Dr. Lees himself. He recommended products to her and she has been using them for a while now and her skin really transformed. So I had to have them!

"This is our most popular range of products comprised of time-tested formulations that address the elemental needs of skin that needs moisture, but tends to develop clogged pores and break out easily. The Mark Lees Signature Line adds needed hydration without heavy fats or oils that can clog pores. Used as a system, the Signature Line will help eliminate existing clogged pores, help prevent new clogged pores, while providing hydration and protection to achieve clearer and more beautiful-looking skin."

That sounds awesome to me! I can't wait to see the results!


Facials are for everyone

I wish everyone would get a facial.

I cannot tell you the number of people I've worked on that said "I don't know why I waited so long to have this done." Facials used to be looked at as a luxury. Times are changing and people  are realizing that is it not a luxury but a necessity. Facials should be looked at just like getting your hair or your nails done. Your face is what you show the world every day of your life.

 In my opinion, if there's one thing on your body you should be taking special care of that should be it. Having facials done on a regular basis can do wonderful things for your skin. They help to improve circulation, exfoliate dead skin, remove acne and unwanted debris and help you to prevent future damage. People used to say that they really don't make a difference in the skin but if you know someone who gets facials on a regular basis I bet you can tell. If you think you can't afford to get them done your wrong.

There are so many options available that make it quite affordable. There are 1/2 hour treatments and packages available that bring the cost of the facials down. Even if you have to splurge it is TOTALLY worth it. If you've never had one please do yourself a favor and give it a try. Do some research before having one done. Ask your friends or family where they've gone or go online and read some reviews. Pick a place where you think you'd be comfortable and go for it.


I thought I'd start my first blog by introducing myself. My name is Angela Fortin.

I am a married mother of one teenage boy and the co-owner of The Image Studio salon in Latham, NY.

I have been a licensed esthetician since 1995 and absolutely love what I do! My passion is to share my knowledge and to teach people how to properly take care of their skin. I am constantly going to classes, reading trade magazines, going to trade shows and keeping up with what's new and exciting in the world of cosmetic surgery. My hope is to help people navigate through the hype and to make them better consumers. If there's any questions you have I'd love to try to answer them for you.