What is a Toner?

In the beauty world, there are certain steps in skin care routines that are almost mandatory, toning is one of them. I would even go as far as saying a routine is incomplete sans toning. But, that varies based on skin type and needs. So, what is a toner? A toner is a product that is designed to completely remove everything your cleanser missed, restore your skin’s pH,  hydrate, and tighten and clear pores. Different toners serve different purposes. There are hydrating toners, pore clearing toners, exfoliating toners, brightening toners, and calming toners. The toner you should use solely depends on your skin type and concerns.

What Toner Should I Use?

Oily/Combination Skin: Use a toner that will unclog your pores. Toners that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid (BHA), witch hazel, or willow bark extract (BHA) will all help keep your pores clear and gradually reduce the excess oil your skin produces.

Toners for Oily/Combination Skin

Dry/Normal SkinWith dry skin, every step of your routine should include a hydrating product. Your toner should be very gentle (at least) and preferably hydrating. Look for ingredients such as rose water, hyaluronic acid, butylene glycol (humectant), and glycerin (humectant). If you have normal skin, your main focus should be to maintain and prevent. Toners for dry skin will maintain your skin’s lipid barrier to help it remain normal.

Toners for Dry/Normal Skin

Sensitive SkinIf you have sensitive skin, you want to stay away from fragrances and irritating chemicals such as alcohol. Your goal with a toner should be to simply maintain your skin’s lipid barrier and reduce irritation. Look for products with soothing properties such as aloe vera or green tea.

Toners for Sensitive Skin

Dull Skin: If your skin is dull, toners with alpha hydroxy acids should be your best friend. By using alpha hydroxy acids, you slough off the layer of dead skin cells that are hindering your skin’s glow, and bring out the fresh and bright skin cells underneath. Some great ingredients for brightening the skin are vitamin c, lactic acid, and glycolic acid.

Toners for Dull Skin

Written by Lily Njoroge