The necessity of toners is often questioned, but the truth is, these liquid formulas, meant for use right after cleansing, are indeed essential.
Oftentimes, people assume that cleansed skin + moisturizer is all that you need. But if you know even just a bit about K-Beauty, then you know that the Peach & Lily approach is a bit different (to say the least)! While many toners, especially Western ones, are traditionally astringent, Korean toners take a different approach to the category. Even toners for acne-prone & oily skin make sure to hydrate the skin too, never stripping it of the essential natural oils our skin creates.
Furthermore, toners can help to tighten the pores (minimizing their appearance) and control oil production. They remove dead skin cells (and any remaining debris and residue post-cleanse). Many also help brighten! And yes, they can also help tighten the pores and control oil production.
Of course, like with all skin care products, toners do not come one size fits all. Here at Peach & Lily we’ve curated a variety, and in this guide we’ll go over the best for dry & dehydrated skin. Of course, should you need any more help selecting which is best for your skin, you can always #AskLily—just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For people with dry skin, Be The Skin’s Orange Toner, as we affectionately call it around our office, is a year-round must-have. This is a true cult-favorite here at Peach & Lily HQ. Alicia’s gone through countless bottles of this hydrating formulation over the past few years. Bee goodness—(honey and royal jelly) are both included, both of which are anti-bacterial ingredients. Honey hydrates, and royal jelly is anti inflammatory, heals, firms, nourishes thanks to several vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Cucumber extract helps with dehydration, and is soothing, and cooling, but also tones the pores. Finally, witch hazel and thyme are anti-bacterial and anti-septic, helping to prevent breakouts. This toner is slightly more viscous than others as a result of the royal jelly in the formula, and smells amazing—fruity, but not cloying, and refreshing.
Cremorlab, Essence Tonic (+ essence too!)
This 2-in-1 formula hydrates with glycerin and soy, and of course, Cremorlab’s proprietary T.E.N. ultra-mineral-rich thermal water. Caffeine stimulates and brightens dull, tired skin. Ingredients like aloe, licorice, and witch hazel combine tame irritation, soothe, and calm the skin. Green tea adds an antioxidant kick. One member of our team swears by this formulation to refine her skin’s texture, saying “it makes tiny bumps on my face go away, i don’t know how, but it refines skin texture... I use it when my skin feels little congested, dull and unhappy and i wanna make it smoother.” This is a watery formula with a fresh, slightly sweet scent.
Shangpree, S-Energy All Day Preparation Toner (+ antiaging)
This alcohol-free toner hails from our favorite Korean spa, whose line of luxe skincare products have made pampering at home (K-Beauty style) much, much easier. It is Shangpree that made our famous gold rubber mask famous too (the product truly lets you take the facial home)...but back to their incredible toner! We especially love the powerfully antiaging (and hydrating!) S-Energy collection. The toner preps the skin and fights wrinkles with antioxidant Scutellaria Baicalensis Callus Culture, while oxygen stimulates collagen. Hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps, spearmint purifies and stimulates, and panthenol heals and conditions the skin. This watery toner has a fresh, herbal scent.
This hydrating toner is heavy on hyaluronic acid which helps the skin retain moisture (and lots of it) and plumps the skin, too! Ceramide is in here too—another hydrating ingredient, which also works to strengthen the skin’s barrier and relieve irritation. Papaya extract very gently removes dead skin, brightens, and balances sebum. And finally, rose oil is antibacterial and antioxidant for a dose of protective properties. It’s less viscous than Be The Skin’s but slightly more viscous than Cremorlab’s (both above), and has a floral, fruity smell that dissipates quickly.
Look out for more blog posts in this series too—fear not if you don't have dry or dehydrated skin—all skin types (and concerns) will be covered!