Do You Really Need To Use Toner?



Toner_v1aIllustrated by Ly Ngo.
When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.

Sure, we're all accustomed to cleansing, exfoliating, and slathering on moisturizer by now. And, even though we'd hate to add more steps to our daily routine, there's one product that might be the difference between tight, flaky skin and a smooth visage: toner. Often misunderstood as a drying, unnecessary product, toner is an essential step in any skin care regimen, providing multiple benefits for all skin types. So, what is it exactly? Toner is a water-based solution with humectants to keep the moisture in the upper layers of the skin to prevent skin dehydration.

If toner isn’t currently one of your skin care essentials, the following benefits just might change your mind.

Toners give your skin a drink of moisture.
When left damp on the skin before applying moisturizer, they give an instant boost of hydration. But, be sure that you're using a formula sans alcohols like SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol, which are incredibly drying.
Toner_2Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Toners counteract drying chlorines and minerals found in tap water
Chlorine, minerals, and chemicals make our tap water safe for drinking and bathing, but they can dehydrate your complexion: That cloudy white film left on your glass shower doors can also sit on your skin. But, a swipe or spritz of toner can remove these impurities or a clean, fresh surface.

Toner_3Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Toners balance your skin's pH
If you use bar soap or foaming face wash with a traditionally high pH (even though you shouldn't use a cleanser that leaves your skin tight!), toner can help counteract the dryness, resorting and balancing skin to its natural pH.
Toner_4Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Toners can enhance your skin care routine
Depending on a toner's formula, it can help calm (eucalyptus), control oil, moisturize (hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA), stimulate blood circulation (ginseng extract), destroy acne-causing bacteria (witch hazel), or provide anti-oxidant benefits (elderberry fruit extract). Additionally, moist skin is much more permeable than dry skin, so, if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your serum or moisturizer, be sure to reach for toner first!

Toner_5Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Toner supports your skin’s protective barrier
By supplying the skin with essential hydration and nutrients, you repair the skin’s protective barrier, making it less sensitive and more resistant to environmental damage. Simply, toners make for healthy, balanced skin.

A good skin care routine doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Just be sure you’re using the right products for you and that your regimen in the morning and evening includes a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.