Everything You Need to Know About Toner

Everything You Need to Know About TonerPhoto by Sora Shimazaki

The classic skincare mantra “cleanse, tone, moisturise” was conceptualised in 1968 and since then, has become one of the most well-known ways to care for your complexion. The cleanse and moisturise parts are fairly self-explanatory, but do you really know what it means to “tone”?  Here, we’re putting the spotlight on an often underestimated yet essential step in any skincare routine. Whether you’re a skincare novice or a seasoned enthusiast, understanding the ins and outs of toner is crucial for achieving that coveted youthful glow. In honour of our latest deal, offering 20% off of toners, here are some facts about toner and a list of five of our favourites:

The 7 Main Uses and Benefits of Toner:

Balancing pH Levels

Toner helps restore your skin’s natural pH balance, which can be disrupted by cleansing products. This balance is vital for skin health and overall complexion.


Many toners contain hydrating ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, providing an extra layer of moisture to your skin. This can be especially beneficial for those with dry or dehydrated skin.

Cleansing and Refreshing

Toners effectively remove any residual dirt, makeup, and impurities that your cleanser may have missed, leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Pore Minimization

Some toners contain astringent properties that can temporarily tighten and shrink the appearance of pores, giving your skin a smoother look.

Prepares for Further Products

Applying toner prior to serums and moisturisers helps enhance their absorption, ensuring your skin can fully benefit from the active ingredients in those products.

Calms and Soothes

Toners with ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera can calm and soothe irritated or sensitive skin, reducing redness and inflammation.

Acne Control

Certain toners contain ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil that can help control acne by unclogging pores and reducing oil production.

What are the Best Toner Ingredients for my Skin Type?

The best toner ingredients can vary depending on your skin type and specific concerns. Here’s a breakdown of recommended toner ingredients for different skin types:

For Normal Skin

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Provides hydration without making the skin oily.
  • Rosewater: Offers a soothing and mildly astringent effect.
  • Witch Hazel: Provides gentle toning and can help balance oil production.

For Dry Skin

  • Glycerin: A powerful humectant that locks in moisture.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Provides intense hydration.
  • Chamomile: Soothes and calms dry, sensitive skin.

For Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

  • Salicylic Acid: Exfoliates, unclogs pores, and reduces acne.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Has antibacterial properties and helps control excess oil.
  • Niacinamide: Regulates oil production and reduces inflammation.

For Sensitive Skin

  • Aloe Vera: Provides soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Cucumber Extract: Calms and hydrates sensitive skin.
  • Glycerin: Helps maintain moisture balance without irritation.

For Combination Skin

  • Glycolic Acid: Exfoliates and evens out skin texture.
  • Rosewater: Offers gentle toning for both oily and dry areas.
  • Green Tea Extract: Provides antioxidants and soothes.

For Ageing Skin

  • Vitamin C: Brightens and promotes collagen production.
  • Peptides: Support skin’s elasticity and firmness.
  • Retinol (in a lower concentration): Helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Which Toners do We Recommend?

Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner

Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner is a skincare gem. Infused with the invigorating essence of ginseng, it’s a hydrating and revitalising elixir for your skin. This alcohol-free toner balances your skin’s pH levels, leaving it refreshed and vibrant. The gentle formula nourishes and primes your skin for optimal absorption of serums and moisturisers, making it a must-have for all skin types.

Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner

This hydrating mist infuses your skin with moisture-binding humectants, such as aloe vera and lavender, to instantly quench and refresh. It soothes and conditions, preparing your skin for the absorption of subsequent treatments. Ideal for all skin types, this toner restores balance and vitality to your complexion, leaving it feeling hydrated, supple, and revitalised. Elevate your skincare regimen with Dermalogica’s Multi-Active Toner for a radiant, dewy finish.

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Toner

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Toner is a powerful solution for combatting signs of aging and blemishes. Formulated with a blend of exfoliating and astringent ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid, this toner effectively unclogs pores, reduces acne, and improves skin texture. Simultaneously, it addresses fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a more youthful complexion. Ideal for mature, acne-prone skin, it provides a refreshing and rejuvenating experience in your skincare routine.

Medik8 Daily Refresh Balancing Toner

This gentle yet effective toner is packed with natural ingredients like prebiotics and botanical extracts to soothe and hydrate your skin while restoring its pH balance. It helps tighten pores, remove impurities, and prep your skin for serums and moisturisers. Suitable for all skin types, it promotes a refreshed, healthy complexion, making it a daily essential for anyone with dry or acne prone skin.

Murad Hydrating Toner

Murad Hydrating Toner is a hydrating powerhouse for thirsty skin. Enriched with soothing witch hazel, chamomile, and hydrating agents, it replenishes moisture and balances your skin’s pH. This alcohol-free formula soothes and preps your skin for optimal absorption of serums and moisturisers. Perfect for dry or sensitive skin, it leaves your complexion refreshed, soft, and supple. Take your skincare ritual to new heights with Murad’s Hydrating Toner for a dewy, radiant finish.

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