There are endless products and routines from which to choose when it comes to facial care. It can be hard to know where to start with so many options.
One step that is often overlooked is using a face toner. Some might say it is the most underrated tool in your skin care toolbox.
If you're like most people, you probably think of toners as an optional or even unnecessary step in your skincare regimen. But did you know that using a toner can provide many benefits for your complexion?
What is a facial toner?
Toners are typically lightweight liquids that are applied after cleansing and before applying a serum or moisturizer.
In the past, toners were mostly astringents, designed to remove excess oil and tighten pores. While this may sound like a good thing, astringents can strip away the natural oils that keep your skin barrier healthy, leading to dryness, irritation, and even breakouts.
Today's toners focus more on skin concerns ranging from clogged pores to anti-aging. There are many modern toners are available to suit different skin types and desired skin benefits.
What are the benefits of using a toner?
A facial toner is often an underrated step in a skincare regimen. Many people see it as an extra step, but the truth is adding a toner can offer many benefits for healthy-looking skin.
Here are 8 of our favorite reasons to use a toner as part of your skin care regimen.
1. Removes impurities
Cleansing your face is an essential part of any daily skincare routine, but sometimes it's not enough to wash away stubborn dirt and makeup. When that happens, there are still impurities left on your face. That's where a facial toner comes in.
A clarifying toner can help remove traces of any lingering dirt or makeup that your cleanser might have missed, giving you a truly clean canvas for the rest of your skin care routine.
2. Makes the rest of your routine more effective
This is one of the best benefits of using a toner. Face toners can make the rest of your skin care routine more effective. How is this possible?
Your skin can't absorb that much when it's super dry. Think of your skin as a sponge. A dry sponge can absorb very little, whereas a damp sponge can absorb more moisture. A toner gives your skin a light layer of hydration first.
Another analogy is that toner is like a primer for the rest of your skincare routine.
When you use facial toners before applying a serum or moisturizer, it helps to prep the skin by adding hydration and ensures that the products can sink in and work their magic.
In this way, a toner amplifies the effectiveness of the other (sometimes more expensive) skincare products in your routine.
3. Rebalances skin
A face toner can also help to restore the skin's natural pH balance after cleansing. Facial cleansing can sometimes strip away the natural moisture and oils that keep your complexion healthy, making your face feel dry, tight, and irritated.
A face toner can help replenish these lost oils and restore hydration, keeping your skin's pH balanced. Skin is naturally acidic (mildly so), and if it becomes too alkaline or too acidic, you can experience problems like dryness, redness, and inflammation.
Using a face toner can help keep your skin barrier balanced so that it can stay healthy. Plus, keeping your skin pH balanced makes it more resistant to bacteria and less likely to become dried out or irritated.
4. Leaves skin refreshed
One of the benefits of using a toner is that it can cool and refresh the skin, which is beneficial in warmer weather or after exercise when you're likely to feel hot and uncomfortable.
A cooling toner is especially welcome in the summer months when heat and humidity can leave skin feeling hot and sticky.
5. Helps retain moisture
Toners help lock in moisture, keeping your skin hydrated and healthy-looking.
Face toners can even help restore dehydrated skin, which is important in the winter months when the air is dry, and your skin is more prone to dehydration.
If you're feeling dry or have more mature skin, a hydrating toner may be a good option for you. Look for hydrating ingredients like glycerin, sunflower seed oil, or green banana bio-actives.
6. Minimizes the appearance of pores and evens tone
Face toners can help to minimize the look of pores, giving your complexion a smoother, more even appearance.
A clarifying toner is beneficial for removing dead skin cells that can clog pores, leaving you with smoother skin and an improved skin texture. Made with lactic acid (AHA) from fruits and vegetables, Kadalys's toner also provides light exfoliation to help even out your complexion and keep your skin glowing.
Therefore, if you struggle with uneven skin tone or pore size, a clarifying toner could help you achieve your best skin.
7. Control oil and sebum
Face toners also help to remove excess oil and sebum, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Because toners help balance the skin's pH, they also help prevent the overproduction of oil and sebum.
As a result, using a face toner can help keep your complexion looking clear and healthy. That's why face toners are an essential step for those with oily, acne-prone, or combination skin.
(Want to learn more about keeping your skin clear? Read our blog post on "How To Get Clear Skin.")
8. Helps soothe and calm
Face toners can help soothe and calm your sensitive areas. They are often used after shaving or exfoliating, and they can also be helpful for people with sensitive or reactive skin.
When choosing a soothing toner, you should steer clear of harsh ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin. Look for soothing ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid.
When should you use a toner?
Skin toners are best when used immediately after cleansing while the skin is still damp, allowing them to penetrate better and work their magic.
If you have acne-prone or oily skin, you may want to use a toner twice a day. If you have sensitive or dry skin, you may only need to use it once a day or every other day.
You can apply toner with a cotton ball or cotton pad or by gently blotting or patting it onto your face with your hands. Be careful to avoid the area around your eyes.
What kind of face toner do I need? Choosing a toner for specific skin types
When choosing a skin toner, look for one that contains ingredients that are beneficial for your skin tone and skin type.
Oily Skin or Acne-Prone Skin
For those with oily or acne-prone skin, controlling sebum production is essential for preventing breakouts. In addition, facial toners can help control shine and reduce the appearance of pores. By keeping oil and sebum production under control, a facial toner can help you maintain healthy-looking, clear skin. Choose a toner with exfoliating and balancing benefits.
Reactive or sensitive skin
A facial toner that contains ingredients like nourishing oils, chamomile, or green tea can be incredibly soothing.
If you have sensitive skin, choose a skin toner that is alcohol-free and fragrance-free or made with nature, not artificial fragrances. If your skin is very reactive, your best bet is to talk to your dermatologist to find the right toner for you.
Common toner ingredients
There are many natural and potent ingredients used in effective toners.
The key is to look for a toner that has been clinically tested and proven to deliver the results you need.
Some of the most common toner active ingredients are:
- Vitamin C
- Fruit Acids (AHAs)
- Vitamin E
- Green Tea
- Aloe vera
- Witch Hazel
The bottom line
So there you have it, the importance of toner and some of the uses of toner on your face. Often overlooked in favor of more vaunted skin care products like serums and moisturizers, facial toners can be a valuable addition to any beauty routine.
From removing impurities to making the rest of your skincare regimen more effective, a facial toner is a helpful product for anyone who wants glowing, healthy skin.
So if you're looking for a way to improve your skincare routine, consider adding facial toner to your regimen.
No matter what type of facial toner you decide to choose, it is essential to use one compatible with your skin type and that addresses your unique skin concerns. And remember, always follow up with a moisturizer to help lock in hydration. Happy glowing!