What To Look out For In a Toner


The primary purpose of using a Toner is to ensure thorough cleansing by removing any remaining impurities after washing the face.

Unlike a moisturizer, a Toner is not essential in a skincare routine but used as part of a skincare routine. This is so because most of the ingredients that are found in a toner can also be seen in a moisturizer and moisturizers have upper hands than toners.

Purpose of a Toner

1. Cleansing and Balancing: Toner is designed to remove any remaining traces of dirt, oil, and makeup after cleansing the face. It helps to ensure that the skin is thoroughly clean.

2. Balancing pH:  Toner can also help balance the skin’s pH levels, which is important for maintaining healthy skin. The skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic, and some cleansers can disrupt this balance.

Types Of Toners

Toners can be categorized into 3 categories and they include;

1. Hydrating Toners:  These contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to hydrate and soothe the skin.

2. Astringent Toners:  Often recommended for oily or acne-prone skin, these toners may contain alcohol or witch hazel to help control oil and tighten pores.

3. Exfoliating Toners:  These contain ingredients like alpha or beta hydroxy acids to remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover.

4. Soothing Toners: This type of toner works to balance your skin’s natural pH level while it smooths your skin’s texture by minimizing pores.

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Benefits of a Toner

1. Hydration: Keeps the skin hydrated.

2. Prepares Skin: Prepares the skin to better absorb serums and moisturizers.

3. Minimizes Pores: Astringent toners can help minimize the appearance of pores.

How to Pick the Right Toner

You can pick a Toner Based on Ingredients or based on skin type


1. Hyaluronic Acid: Go for a hydrating toner if hydration is what you seek.
2. Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid: Provides exfoliation in exfoliating toners so any of these will help you exfoliate.
3. Chamomile or Aloe Vera: If Soothing and calming ingredients are your skin concerns then go for any of these.

Skin Type

1. Dry Skin: Look for hydrating toners.
2. Oily or Acne-Prone Skin: Astringent or exfoliating toners may be beneficial.

When to Apply a Toner?

It is important to note that some toners can be applied daily, 3 times per week. The application really depends on individual skin tolerance.

1. Hydrating Toners: Can be applied day and night.

2. Exfoliating Toners: Beginners should start 3 times a week and then build up tolerance.


  • Cotton Pad or Hands: Toners can be applied using a cotton pad or by gently patting it onto the face with clean hands. I prefer the latter.
  • Post-Cleansing: Apply toner immediately after cleansing to maximize its benefits.
  • Before Moisturizer: Applying toner before moisturizer helps the skin absorb subsequent products more effectively.


Kindly take note of the following before purchasing a toner.

  • Avoid Alcohol-Based Toners: Especially if you have dry or sensitive skin, as they can be overly drying.
  • Patch Test: Always perform a patch test when trying a new toner to ensure your skin doesn’t react negatively.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Toner

1. Can toners replace moisturizers?

No, toners and moisturizers serve different purposes. While toners prepare the skin and provide specific benefits, moisturizers are essential for locking in hydration and maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier. It’s recommended to use both in a skincare routine.

2. Can I make my toner at home?

Yes, you can create homemade toners using natural ingredients like rose water, aloe vera, or witch hazel but remember you are a dermatologist.

3: How long does it take to see results from using a toner?

Results can vary depending on individual skin types and concerns. Some people may notice improvements in skin texture and appearance shortly after incorporating a toner, while others may take a few weeks to see noticeable changes. Consistency is key.


Incorporating a toner into a skincare routine can contribute to maintaining healthy, balanced skin. However, it’s important to choose a toner that suits your skin type and concerns.

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