What Is Facial Toner & Why Should You Use One?

What Is Facial Toner & Why Should You Use One?

As a skincare brand we are very often asked about toners, about their role in skin care, the best way to use them as well as how to select the right toner.

So here is a quick blog that we put together for you to share the most asked queries as well as their responses.

Toners have a bad reputation mainly because of the way they used to be formulated in the not so distant past. They used to be high in alcohol and with a strong astringent effect. As a result they used to excessively dry out the skin and make things very uncomfortable for the user.

"Modern skincare formulations have come a long way. Toners now use new ingredients with a better understanding of how skin works. As a result there are now some great toners available that can dramatically improve your skincare regime and give your skin a boost."


Toners are step 2 of your skin care regime.

They look like water and in some cases act like water, but they are most definitely not just water!

"Toners are multipurpose liquids that complete step 1 (cleansing) in your skincare regime and get your skin ready for the subsequent steps. It is a key skincare step that you should never miss out on. It is also fairly inexpensive compared to serums and moisturisers!"


Toners perform a variety of roles. Their key actions are summarised in the points below.

Toners clean:

Yes, toners can actually be counted as part of your cleansing process. When you swipe your face with a cotton pad soaked in toner you remove any last traces of grime or dirt or makeup that your cleanser may have missed. It also removes any cleanser residue that you may have inadvertently missed while rinsing your face. You don’t need to stop at your face while using a toner. Use it on your neck, cleavage, shoulders and upper back if you are prone to breakouts in these areas as well.

Toners balance:

Your toner will rebalance the pH levels of your skin which often gets upset by your cleanser. The natural pH of our skin is between 4.5 to 5.5 i.e. slightly acidic. If the pH level of your skin is too alkaline or too acidic the mantle of the skin is disturbed making it more prone to infections and inflammation. Toners balance this pH level making your skin’s barrier more intact. No clue what's pH? Read "The Ultimate Guide To pH And Your Skin". 

Toners prep:

Toners prep your skin for the next layer of skin care product. They hydrate your skin. Think of your skin like a sponge - thirsty and just waiting to absorb moisture and nourishment. Just like a wet sponge absorbs more moisture than does a dry one, your skin gets better at absorbing serums and moisturisers. This way you can use a lot less of your serum and moisturiser and still get the most out of it for your skin! You will find that this preps your skin much more effectively for makeup application.


As always with skincare look at the ingredient list to decide on the right toner for your skin type.


Toners for oily skin will control oil (not strip it away completely) and will also include anti-oxidants that repair the skin. Vitamin C Toner with witch hazel or a small amount of salicylic acid will buff away dead skin cells leaving skin smooth and healthy.


Toners for dry skin will be intensely hydrating and will drench the skin with moisture. Floral waters or toners with ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid are great for dry skin. Pure steam distilled Rose Water is an all-natural and effective toner for normal to dry skin.


There are three ways to apply a toner effectively:

  • Take a cotton pad and soak it in toner. Wipe gently over your face covering forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, neck and chest area. The down side to this is that the cotton pad absorbs a large amount of toner and you end up using a lot more from the bottle than what actually gets applied onto the skin.
  • If your toner comes in a bottle with a spray nozzle, just spritz it evenly across your face and neck. Hold the bottle a few inches away from your face and close your eyes if needed. Pat dry if needed or just let your skin absorb the amount it needs
  • Another way to apply toner would be to take a small amount in the palm of your hand and then to just splash it across the face and neck area.

Do not wash your face after this step.

What has been your experience with using toners? Do you think that after reading this blog you are better informed? If you have any more questions that you would like us to respond to just mention them in comments below.

Wishing you happy and healthy skin days ahead!

Image Credits:
Photographer: Alexey Sokolov
Model: Kate
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1 comment

Hi, is it necessary to apply moisturiser, once you use a toner?


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