What is a Toner?


Photo credit: MichellePhan.com

Toner is one of the great debates in skincare. Many people think its useless and many people think its very important. I am here to give you my opinion and explain what exactly is toner. I will truthfully tell you if I think this is an honest staple in your skincare routine. 

What it is: Toner is the next step after you cleanse/wash your face and before you moisturize. It is in liquid form and you apply it with either a cotton pad or cotton ball all around your face, neck and back of the ears! (You will be surprised to know how much dirt is trapped behind your ears). 

Types of toners: As pictured above, there are many different varieties of toners for your skin type. Some toners have alcohol in them (very bad for your skin) known as an astringent, and some have witch hazel and other calming and natural ingredients that are safer for your skin. If you are using a toner at the moment ask yourself, Does my skin feel tight after I tone? If it does, then your toner is actually doing the opposite of what it is supposed to be doing. Your current toner is drying you out! It isn’t supplementing your skincare routine. 

Oily/Acne prone skin: If you have oily skin, then you benefit the most from adding toner to your skincare routine. You may think a toner with alcohol will benefit your skin because it seems to be ALWAYS oily or shiny, but you’re wrong. Using a toner with alcohol when you might think you have the oiliest skin on the planet, is actually too drying for oily skin. 

Combination skin: If your T-zone is oily and cheeks are dry, then you have combination skin- not oily skin. You will benefit by using a toner that is mild and oil-absorbing only in your T-zone. Avoid dry areas when using toner because it is not needed. Toner will prep and hydrate your skin getting it ready for the next step, moisturizing. 

Dry skin: Look for hydrating toners instead of harsh alcohol based toners. Toners with rose-water help soothe your skin and give you that extra hydration for your chronic dry skin. 

My take on toners: I think they are an important part in your skincare routine. Not only do they take off the remaining dirt on your skin but they balance, soothe, and prep your skin for moisturizer. Toners are especially handy after a workout to get all the dirt off your skin quickly! I will stop recommending and using toner once there is a proven cleanser that takes off all traces of your make-up and dirt on your face. Until then, yes I do think they are needed and useful. 

Recommended Toners:

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

Neutrogena Alcohol Free Toner

Caudalie Grape Water


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