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Toner: What It Does To My Skin & Why To Use It

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Either you’re new to it or used to the habit but don’t really know why you’re doing it, start here.

Toner is the in-between skincare routine step, best to be used after washing your face and before applying your moisturizer or serum. A toner’s job is to refresh your skin and prepare it for the next products you apply. Dr. Hadley King, a New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist, considers toner a secret weapon to healthy skin, as stated for 

What toner does to my skin?

A toner has so many benefits! If you’re using toner regularly, you might do way much more. It can have a huge positive impact on shrinking large pores, improving skin tone.


Toners can restore your skin’s pH level, which may get disturbed when washing your face. If a toner has acids in it, it will help the skin get back its delicate pH (somewhere between 5-6), ensuring a healthy skin barrier. Another role of the toner is to add a layer of protection, reducing impurities’ chances of getting into the skin. And it can also remove chlorine present in tap water. 

Depending on their ingredients, some toners are humectants, moisturizing the skin, astringents, control oil, or even aid in protecting mature skin with hyaluronic acid addition. If your toner contains AHAs, such as glycolic acid, it can help prevent ingrown hairs, stopping pimples’ apparition, while allowing smooth uneven skin tone and fine lines.

Toner for your skin type

Like the rest of your skincare products, the toner should also address your skin type. Most toners have ingredients that make them suitable for a specific skin type. For instance, some toners might contain niacinamide, which goes just right for mature skin. 

Toners enhanced with alpha-hydroxy acids or witch hazel will do best for oily, acne-prone skin, or if your skin is dry, look for toners that contain moisturizing ingredients, such as aloe vera (very popular in toners).

It is worth mentioning that you should be careful when choosing your toner if you’ve got a darker skin tone. People with dark skin tones are more prone to develop pigmentation. If this is your case, pick an alcohol-free toner. This because alcohol can worsen an uneven complexion.

Toners to check out

Here are a few options that we like the most.


Glycolic Acid Toner

Peter Thomas Roth Exfoliating Toner

PeterThomasRoth has an exfoliating toner with 8% glycolic acid, witch hazel, lactic acid, and citric acid. Ideal for smoothing the skin’s appearance, brighten and remove excess sebum and impurities.

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Toner

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Toner

Murad’s toner is great at restoring skin balance, replenish moisture, and prevent pigmentation. It contains good-for-skin ingredients, like witch hazel, echinacea, zinc, and arginine. It goes great for combination skin types.

Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner

Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner

Great for dry and sensitive skin types, Mario Badescu’s toner is infused with aloe vera leaf juice to soothe irritation and provide hydration. The alcohol-free formula makes it even better for dry or sensitive skin.

I'm From Rice Toner

I’m From Rice Toner

Besides the 78% rice extract, effective in whitening and softening the skin, this toner contains niacinamide and ulmus davidiana root extract, great at moisturizing. It helps to form a protective barrier to prevent water loss, eliminate dead skin cells, and provide moisturization and luster to rebalance tired and dry skin.

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