By Adria Schmedthorst
There’s one important step in your skincare routine, that far too many of us are skipping on a regular basis. It’s a step that not only helps balance the pH level of your skin, it can even work to magically whisk away the dead cells on the surface of your skin, reveal a bright, even complexion, and leave you radiant.
That’s why we’re delving into toners from what they are and how to use them to exactly why toning is non-negotiable if you want clear, gorgeous skin.
Many of us remember those toners of the past – the ones we swiped desperately over faces as teenagers, hoping our acne would finally disappear. Yet, those astringent-laden, skin-irritating liquids are nothing like the toners of today.
In fact, the current generation of toners is more about hydration, than drying out oily skin, and they are meant to act as a primer for the rest of your skincare routine, including serums and moisturizers. Whether you spritz or swipe them on, they work to prep your pores, so that the actives in your other products can get where they need to go and do the work to transform your skin.
And unlike the harsh toners you may remember, the focus today is on alcohol-free treatment for your skin.
Toner should be used both day and night, immediately after double cleansing your skin. Perfectly cleansing your skin sweeps away the makeup, dead skin cells, and other buildup that clog your pores, allowing the skin-beautifying ingredients in your toner to penetrate more deeply.
The key part of that whole message is that you should always use your toner as quickly as possible after cleansing, preferably while your skin is still damp. That’s because when your skin is wet, the molecules in your toner can more easily penetrate, so you get better results.
You can either mist your toner lightly across your face or apply it to a cotton round (or even your fingertips) and swipe lightly over your face, working up and outward.
After applying your toner, simply follow with your treatment-focused products.
Now, let’s get into the good stuff…
Just why toner is so important and is truly the skincare step you should never skip.
Using a toner leaves your pores tighter, smaller, and more refined. By shrinking your pores, toner also helps to close any gaps that could allow environmental contaminants to penetrate and damage your skin.
Toner Fave: Paula’s Choice Skin-Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
Why: Formulated with plant extracts and niacinamide to banish excess oil, this daily toner is a powerhouse when it comes to minimizing enlarged pores and providing light hydration.
While your skin is naturally acidic, most of the cleansers we use fall into the alkaline range, which can tip your skin’s pH out of balance. Toner helps to restore its normal, healthy levels to revitalize your skin.
Toner Fave: ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner
Why: Named 10 K-beauty products of the year by Soko Glam, this high-performing formula has a pH level of 5.5 to perfectly balance your skin. The toner also features peony extract and a high concentration of licorice water to naturally brighten your complexion.
The majority of today’s toners are formulated with moisturizing botanicals that help to lock in moisture and deeply hydrate. This leaves your skin plump and glowing.
Why: Alcohol-free and infused with hyaluronic acid and rose fruit extract, this toner soothes and nourishes your skin, boosting hydration by a whopping 46% in as little as six hours after application. And with actual rose petals in the bottle, let’s face it – it’s also gorgeous to look at!
And, toners that feature natural AHAs and BHAs work to sweep away dead surface cells that dull your skin, so that your complexion looks brighter, more even, and simply glowing.
Toner Fave: SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner
Why: Who says you’ve got to get tough to exfoliate your skin? Not SkinCeuticals!
In fact, this exfoliating toner is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, whisking away dead skin cells, with none of the harsh side effects of other exfoliators (think redness and irritation).
Bottom line- don’t nix it.
So for all of you beauty buffs out there, the results are in. Toner is one step in your skincare routine you should never miss!