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What's Up Magazine

Set The Tone (With the Right Toner)

Dec 13, 2018 12:00AM ● By Brian Saucedo

By Caley Breese

Dry skin is inevitable around this time of year. From harsh winter conditions, to the heater on full-blast, to the shower water being exceedingly hot, our skin is prone to losing hydration in the colder months. Our first instinct is to just lather on the moisturizer directly after facial cleansing to help our flaky, tired skin. However, there might be a step in your skincare routine that you’re missing that can improve your skin greatly—and not just for the wintertime.

What is Toner?

Toner plays an important role in skincare, yet many people are unaware that it’s an essential component to our daily skincare regimen. While toners can vary in ingredients depending on your skincare concerns, it typically has the consistency of water, and is designed to rebalance
the pH levels of our skin, which can be thrown off from cleansing. 

Toner is used after you remove makeup and wash your face as a final step to the cleansing process. Toner is primarily applied by dousing a cotton pad with product and gently swiping it over your face and neck; however, some brands allow you to spritz toner directly onto your face. Toner can be used in both your morning and nighttime routines. 

Benefits of Adding Toner

Now, we’re not saying that toner is the “holy grail” of skincare, though it does prove to be very effective when you incorporate it into your routine. For starters, when used in the morning, toner not only preps your skin for your serum or moisturizer, but for your makeup as well. Additionally, when you’re ready to go to bed, it clears up that stubborn last bit of makeup that your makeup remover or cleanser may have missed. Toners also remove excess oil and impurities, shrink pores, and help clear off dead skin, which leads to less breakouts (yes please!). If you need a midday boost, a toner will refresh and rejuvenate your skin. 

Like most aspects of skincare, you need to find the right products that suit your skin type; and toner is no exception. In the past, toners and astringents were generally formulated for those prone to oil and acne, and often dried out the skin with harsh ingredients. However, times have changed, and now there’s something for all skin types. Be sure to talk with your dermatologist to ensure you’re using the best products and ingredients that are appropriate for you.

Combination skin? 

Toners with witch hazel will benefit your oilier areas and tighten your pores, while plant-based ingredients will target drier skin.

Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner by Thayers 


Oily/Acne-Prone skin? 

Again, a toner with witch hazel or willow bark (a.k.a. salicylic acid) will gently exfoliate the dead skin away and clear out those pores, while calming ingredients, such as lavender or
rose, will hydrate and nourish the skin.

Vinopure Purifying Toner
by Caudalie


Sensitive skin? 

Look for a toner that includes soothing, gentle, and plant-based ingredients,
such as aloe vera and rose.

Aloe Calming Toner by The Body Shop

Mature skin? 

Find a toner that contains glycolic acid, which helps boost collagen production, rejuvenate skin, and even out skin tone (these ingredients are also great if you’re looking to brighten up your complexion).

Glycolic Acid Toner
by Mario Badescu


Dry skin? 

Much like sensitive skin types, use a toner that contains plant-based ingredients (yes, like rose!). Toners with humectants, such as hyaluronic acid or aloe, will help the skin retain its moisture. 

Rose Deep Hydration
Facial Toner by Fresh