It’s safe to say that the benefits of cleansing and moisturising skin are pretty clear-cut. Toners, on the other hand, seem to have an air of mystique about them. Most look like water, but of course, they’re not! Sure, they feel cool and refreshing but what do they actually do? And does it matter what toner you use?
What do Toners Do?
Even though we're savvier about skincare these days, there’s still so much confusion about toners. In the past, these tended to be alcohol-based and astringent and could be irritating and strip the skin of moisture.
Fast forward to the present day and you’ll find that there are plenty of effective toners that replenish and hydrate the skin’s surface with nutrients and antioxidants after the cleansing process. A great toner will also provide additional cleansing, balance oily or combination skin and diminish enlarged pores. Likewise, for dry skin, toner should help to reduce irritation, flaking and sensitivity. After using an effective toning product, the complexion should feel calm, soothed, and nourished, perfectly primed to receive follow-on products.
Where Does Toner Fit into a Skincare Routine?
The old adage of cleanse, tone, moisturise has long-been the mantra of beauty gurus for good reason. Toners are designed to be used after cleansing (or double cleansing) before applying moisturiser.
Use your toner straight after cleansing so it's easily absorbed, locks in moisture and preps skin for follow-on serums, leave-on exfoliators, hydrators, and SPFs.
5 Toners You Must Try
Dr Dennis Gross All-in-One Cleanser with Toner
For the ultimate in convenience, choose this gentle, multitasking cleanser combined with toner that’s suitable for use on all skin types. New York based dermatologist, Dr Dennis Gross formulated this 2-in-1 facial wash and toner to dissolve dirt, oil, make-up, pollutants, and other impurities. Simultaneously, this formulation drenches skin with a multitude of powerful antioxidants, super plumping hydrators and ultra-calming botanicals to leave the complexion incredibly soft and revitalised.
IS Clinical White Lightening Serum
Absolutely the next level product when it comes to toners. This innovative, lightweight serum is an exceptionally powerful formula that works to safely reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone. Use it in between cleansing and moisturising either across the whole face or as a targeted treatment for problem areas.
The potent botanicals quickly get to work, providing significant controlled skin exfoliation without Hydroquinone, parabens, peeling or any other skin care undesirables. With regular use, you can expect brighter, smoother, softer skin and the appearance of smaller pores.
SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age Toner
Perfect for ageing skin that’s also prone to blemishes, this uses three exfoliating agents: LHA, Glycolic and Salicylic Acids, to effectively exfoliate and smooth the complexion.
The solution has been intelligently designed to have a low pH, which works well for skin that tends to suffer imperfections and blemishes. It works at a cellular level, removing excess oil, debris and dead skin cells, unclogging pores before they can cause a problem. Skin is left wonderfully purified, refreshed, and smooth.
Suzan Obagi MD Balancing Toner
An amazingly gentle, hypoallergenic balancing toner designed to eradicate excess oil, dirt and impurities whilst restoring the skin to its natural pH level.
Hero ingredient, Witch Hazel, is re-known for diminishing the appearance of pores and oil production so that the complexion is mattified and left shine-free. A dynamic mixture of antioxidants detoxifies and defends skin against environmental stressors that have the potential to cause future damage like fine lines and wrinkles. Aloe is also in there to prevent over-drying and calm irritation.
Suitable for all skin types, this toner is infused with the fresh, uplifting scent of white grapefruit, making it a wonderfully sensory experience as well as leaving skin clean and soothed, with visibly diminished pores.
Obagi Medical Toner
Another bestseller from the clinically proven, transformative Obagi Nu-Derm Fx® System, this non-drying, revolutionary toner combines natural extracts of witch hazel, flower extracts and aloe. It’s further strengthened with panthenol, hyaluronic acid and sage leaf.
The powerful formulation effectively removes excess oil and restores the skin’s natural pH which should be 5.5, that’s slightly more acidic than alkaline. Not only this, but Obagi Toner has also been cleverly designed to tighten the skin and can noticeably improve the appearance of dark spots, pores, and visible signs of ageing.
There’s no doubt that this is a cutting-edge toner that leaves the skin feeling purified, balanced, and looking more youthful as well as preparing it for deeper penetration of corrective and preventative follow-on products.