Toners get a pretty bad rep, they've been known to sting, irritate and dry out skin. Chances are that you've just been using the wrong formula. Unlike typical American toners, Korean toners help balance and hydrate. Here, we break down why you really need to consider adding a toner to your regimen.
Basics: what is a toner?
A toner is a water, alcohol, or gel-based liquid that is, first and foremost, used to balance your skin’s pH levels (normally around 5.5) after you cleanse with your normal face wash. Why do you need this extra step? After you use your regular cleanser, your face becomes more alkaline, which makes it more prone to damage and inflammation. Using a toner balances your skin again.
1. It preps your face to better absorb the ingredients that are in your serums or facial creams.
2. It’s a good way to ensure that you get all of the dirt and oil out of your skin, maybe catching some debris that you missed while washing your face with your cleanser.
3. Depending on your type of toner, it can be a great delivery system for other awesome ingredients that could really help your skin. For example, if you chose a rosewater toner, it can work towards hydrating your skin and reducing redness.
Who needs a toner?
Everyone can and should use a toner that is right for their skin type. It’s a common misconception that toners are only for oily skin or for people with acne. This notion likely came about because western toners tend to be alcohol-based and very drying (think astringents). However, a toner’s main purpose is to re-balance your skin after cleansing.
When you wash your face, your cleanser strips your skin of its natural oils and makes your face alkaline. Once you use a toner and your pH level is balanced, your skin accepts serums, essences, and creams much more effectively.
How do you use toner?
After you wash your face with cleanser, apply a few drops of toner to a cotton pad or your bare fingertips and gently apply all over your face. Let it soak in, and then follow with your essence, serum, or face cream.
What are some possible benefits of using toner?
1. Balances your pH levels
2. Provides extra hydration that prevents wrinkles and dullness
3. Exfoliates your skin
4. Shrinks pores and tightens skin
5. Calms and soothes skin
Which toner is right for me?
Choosing the right toner is half the battle. Your perfect toner will depend on your skin type and skin goals. Here’s a top-level description of what you should be looking for to make your decision a bit easier.
Oily: You’d definitely want something a little bit more heavy-duty without irritating your skin. Try the aromatica Tea Tree Toner ($23) that hydrates while balancing sebum production and is made with 93% aloe vera extract. The be the skin Pore Toner ($25) is also very gentle and calming for acne-prone skin.
Combo: Combination skin can benefit from a toner like May Coop’s Raw Sauce ($42), which is an all-in-one toner essence that delivers maple sap into your skin to liven up dull skin, or any of the new aromatic Lavender Relaxing Toner ($34) that is gentle and perfect for balancing your skin’s pH level.
Dry: People with dry skin are typically most resistant to using toners. The key is to find a very gentle toner that exfoliates and hydrates your skin. Try out the extra-gentle Aromatica Sea Daffodil Aqua Toner or the Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Toner.
And, as always, if you have additional questions, feel free to “Ask Lily” at email@example.com. Have a great skin day!