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You may ask yourself, “Do I really need a toner when it comes to my skin care routine?” Well, the answer isn’t as clear cut as you may have hoped. Some experts will say toners are necessities, while others will tell you they don’t serve any real purpose. Part of the problem is that toners, and what they’re used for, has changed over the years. Back in the day, toner was used primarily to balance your skin’s pH after washing with an overly basic facial cleanser. Nowadays, that isn’t necessary—since facial cleansers typically have a slightly acidic pH, just like your skin—so toners offer different skin care benefits. Another reason you may have been told to shy away from toner could be all the rumors surrounding it. It’s often said that toners are always too harsh and are destined to dry out your skin—even though that’s far from the truth. The toners of today are a far cry from the astringents you may have used as a teen. It may come as a surprise, but most toners cleanse, balance, refresh, or soften skin—all good things. So, even if adding one to your skin care routine isn’t entirely imperative, why not? Read on for three reasons you may want start using toner. Plus, find out all about our best toner, just in case you’re convinced this skin care product is what your beauty regimen is missing.
To find out if using toner is right for you, consider a few of the major benefits it can provide.
It’s not uncommon that cleansing once won’t be effective enough to clear your skin of makeup, dirt, and oil entirely—hence the double cleansing skin care trend. Using a toner after cleansing will ensure that any built-up residue is removed. Confirming that your skin is completely clean is important so that you won’t be layering your facial serums and creams on top of lingering impurities.
If you have oily skin, you may have already heard that toners can help control oil production. And it’s true! However, you have to be careful that the toner you choose will not over-dry your skin. Over drying can confuse your skin into thinking it needs to compensate for the temporary dryness by producing even more oil. Look for alcohol-free toners formulated with salicylic acid to help unclog pores of excess oil buildup.
You may not have suspected this one, but some toners can actually help to hydrate skin. Formulas with glycerin, hyaluronic acid, rosewater, chamomile and other plant-based extracts can help bring added moisture to the skin—leaving behind a soft, hydrated complexion.
If any of the above appealed to you, you may want to check out the L’Oréal Paris HydraFresh Toner. Formulated with pro-vitamin B5 and beta hydroxy acid, the gentle, non-drying (and alcohol-free) formula refreshes and softens in a splash, leaving skin looking bright and supple.
Much to our joy, using toner isn’t complicated. Here’s what you’ll want to do:
Cleansing should always come before toning, since your toner likely isn’t meant to remove a full face of makeup or break down a day’s worth of impurities. Wash up with your facial cleanser of choice and lukewarm water, then pat dry.
Saturate a cotton pad with toner and gently dab the pad across your face, neck, and chest. Don’t rinse off, just allow the formula to dry for a few seconds—seriously, it only takes a moment or two—then move right along.
After toning, you’re free to complete the rest of your skin care routine. It’s the perfect time to smooth on a hydrating facial serum or moisturizer, as toner preps your skin for other products.
Wondering if any other skin care products are necessities? We’ve already answered this question in regards to moisturizers and facial mists. Check out What Are Facial Mists and Setting Sprays—and Why Should You Use Them? and Why Should You Use Moisturizer Every Day?