Beauty Discovered – Toners

Toners are meant to remove oily residue, and some say that this is a skippable step for many, because the availability of cleansers today show that many cleansers have replaced this step altogether.  For those with oilier skin, a toner may be necessary, though, because it can reduce the build up of the oil throughout the day.

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Alright, time to step on my esthetician soapbox.

Toner is a very important part of a skincare regimen. It’s hard to get used to doing, but once you start, it’s something that you’ll never go without again.

Toner is used after cleansing and before moisturizing. It helps balance out your skin’s pH. The pH of your skin is naturally around 4.5-5.5. Bacteria’s (the stuff that creates breakouts) pH is between 8 and 10. Most cleansers are not pH balanced (normally 7-9) and will raise the pH of your skin when cleansing. Therefore, toning actually helps prevent breakouts.

Some toners actually help product absorption, making things like serums and moisturizers work better. Toner also helps set makeup with a light spritz after your application. It can also give a dewy look to foundation.

I’m sorry for the long post, but after seeing so many people people saying “toner is optional” blahblahblah. The esthetician in me decided to come out.

Hi Sarah! Thank you for chiming in! I’ve actually heard this from two dermatologists and a general physician that toners are not mandatory, because many cleansers now include the benefits that a toner would have.

Like for me, using a toner more than once a week actually dries out my skin terribly.

It depends on your cleanser. Most of the time, drugstore brands will raise the pH level of the skin, making a toner necessary.

I am an Aveda FREAK (went to an Aveda school for esthetics), so I use all of their skincare products. I hated them at first, but now I’d die without them. If you’re having a problem with dry skin, their creme cleanser and skin firming/toning agent (that’s just what they call their dry skin toner) would be good for your skin.

Dermatologists/physicians generally assume that you’re using a very good cleanser, so that’s why they say that it’s not mandatory.. But when it comes to reality, if you’re using Neutrogena (which is TERRIBLE for your skin) or other drugstore brands, you should be using a toner. After doing research on skincare products in school, I’ll be damned if I ever put anything from a drugstore on my face again.

If you’re curious as to what the pH of your cleanser/other products are, they have this pencil (,406.htm) that you can use to see the pH of your cleanser.

One of toner’s (a good brand at least) main ingredients is hyaluronic acid, which actually helps the skin retain moisture. A molecule of hyaluronic acid can hold up to 800 times its weight in water.. So imagine what happens when you use a toner, then put moisturizer on.

Hey Sarah! Thanks!

I only have dry skin if I use a toner regularly, which is why I use it very sparingly (I’ve never seen good results even when I’ve used it daily for 2 weeks). I only use high-end cleansers (and Cetaphil), so I feel I’m pretty covered 🙂

Thanks for all your advice!

Hi Sarah! i think Neutrogena is a great brand! for drug store brands i’d think Neutrogena & Simple are amongst the better ones? afterall most of their products r soap-free & alcohol-free.. o well.. to each his own! ^__^

i’m using the Kose Clear lotion.. which is a toner.. n i’d say its the best one i’ve ever tried.. it softens my face and makes it baby smooth.. i think toner is a must for combi/oily skin! skipping it isn’t a gd idea =) afterall the 3 step basic skincare is wash+toner+moisturize ya? 🙂

Thanks for the rec, Aurora!

It depends on your skin type, because as someone who is normal to dry, toners only worsen dryness for me!

hello christine! there’r some toners dat r ‘hydrating’.. hav u tried the Neutrogena Fine Fairness toner? its a milky solution and it moisturises dry skin (together wit keep it fair). my mom is a big fan of it! or maybe u can try toners without alcohol in it? as alcohol strips away the moisture =)

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