While cleansing the face is always a given, incorporating a toner into your skincare routine can be seen as a helpful second step that will help nourish and rejuvenate your skin. Toner is frequently mislabeled as too drying for the skin, but a lot of that is due to confusion over what toner actually does for the skin. Read on to learn more about what formulas go go into a toner, the different types of toners that are offered on the market and the different ways in which each of them can improve your skin!

Traditional toners consist of moisturizers, oils and extracts that help soothe and tighten the skin and pores and remove excess sebum. There are two types of toners: Astringents and Fresheners.

Astringents are generally alcohol-based, while water-based Fresheners like Acymer Fresh Purifying Toner are composed of natural ingredients like sodium hyaluronate. Because alcohol is known for drying out the skin, toners, especially Astringents, tend to get a bad reputation. If you have acne problems, sensitive or dry skin, do not use Astringent toners, as they can irritate the skin and cause inflammation. You may have heard about toner working to balance the skin after using a facial cleanser that can throw off your pH balance, but in actuality, with gentle ingredients found in modern cleansers, your skin should balance itself out naturally.

Before applying toner, make sure to cleanse the face with a facial cleanser suitable for your skin type (check out my article on cleansing for more information on the different types of facial cleansers!). Pat the face dry with a soft facial towel, and if you are using a liquid or alcohol-based Astringent, use either cotton balls or cotton pads to apply the toner to the face.

Run the toner across your T-zone, forehead and nose area. These are the oiliest areas of the face and will benefit most from the astringent. Avoid areas that get dry more easily, such as the cheeks and jaw area, and sensitive areas such as the eyes and mouth. Let your skin dry completely before applying any moisturizer or makeup. If you're using a creamy toner, you can apply it with your fingers, focusing again on the trouble spots and gently massaging the substance all throughout your face.

Although toner can be an excellent addition to your beauty routine, it isn’t absolutely necessary. Toner is especially helpful for people with extremely oily skin or who wear a lot of makeup, as it helps cleanse and free the pores of excess oil and hydrates and rejuvenates the skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin and/or don’t wear a lot of makeup, toner might not be the right fit for your beauty regimen. The important thing is that you find the right kind of toner for your skin type, which can be done by carefully reading the ingredients and making sure the toner doesn’t contain any irritants. Safe purchasing, and good luck!


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