Myth-busting and Everything You Need to Know About Toner

Facial Toner: Friend or Foe?


In a world steadily becoming more aware and obsessed with skincare, toner is classified as an essential step in your routine. We all know the basic three steps- cleanse, tone, and moisturize. The reality is that a good skincare routine is much more complex than that. The real question is: is toner even necessary? According to The Derm Review, “in truth, toner isn’t a vital addition to everyone’s skin care kit, but it can be beneficial for those who want to tighten pores, add a [additional] level of cleansing to the skin, or add elements to the skin that may help improve texture.” As someone who could benefit from all of those factors, I opt to use a toner. That being said, there is a particular stigma around it, some claiming that people with dry skin shouldn’t use it. I beg to differ, as there are many different kinds of toners, each suitable for different skin types. Before we dive into different products, what even is toner?


Toner is the in-between step in your routine that comes after cleansing but before serums and moisturizers. It’s necessary before cleansing in order to get the dirt, oil, and makeup out of your pores that your cleanser didn’t. It has a water-like consistency, and you probably associate it with an alcohol astringent. This is where the rumor that people with dry skin can’t use toner stems from. In reality, toner is a humectant, which means it helps to bind moisture to the skin. According to, it can also help restore our skin’s pH balance, which “can get out of whack after cleansing due to the alkaline nature of soap. When this happens, your skin needs to work overtime to return to its normal levels (and that may result in oil), but using a toner can help restore this balance quickly.” It’s also useful for prepping your skin for the rest of your routine, for it helps serums and moisturizers to penetrate the skin more deeply. It can be applied twice a day, in the morning and before bed. It’s recommended to use a cotton ball or pad for application, but if you want to go green you can also just use your fingertips and pat it on like a serum.


It is important to note that everyone’s skin type is different, and products are never a “one size fits all.” It’s necessary to identify your unique skin type, and do some research or talk to a dermatologist about which toner will be most suitable for you. If your skin is oily and acne-prone, I would recommend using a toner that contains products like aloe to soothe inflammation, and salicylic acid to treat breakouts and gently exfoliate. If your skin is sensitive, find a toner containing no fragrance or alcohol and is gentle on the skin. Dry skin types can opt for a toner that will restore skin and hydrate throughout the day. Ingredients like antioxidants to protect the skin from damaging free radicals are a must for dry skin. Also look for hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and make sure it’s alcohol-free. 


Skincare is an ever-growing industry, becoming more popular by the minute. We have more research and scientific knowledge than ever before, and we’re using it to our advantage! Gone are the days where maintaining the darkest tan is the popular thing to do. Now, preserving youthfulness, having a clear complexion, and evening tone and texture has taken the cake. With the right research and recommendations, toner can be used to improve your skin’s overall health, reduce the appearance of pores, balance your skin’s pH, and act as a primer for the rest of your products. It’s all about doing research to find the right products to suit your skin, or consulting with a dermatologist. Is a toner absolutely necessary for everyone? No, but if you’re looking to have the best skin of your life, then it can be a wonderful addition to your routine.