How to Choose A Toner

Choosing a right toner to include in your skincare routine is as important as choosing a cleanser. Your cleanser cleanses away your make up and impurities. What about toner? Why toner is important but seems to be skipped by majority of people? In this article, we will break down the different types of toner. So, the next time if you want to purchase a toner, you will have an idea what to look for and how to choose a toner based on your skin type and skin conditions.

What are toners? 

Toners are water-based formulation which included in your second step routine after cleansers. Our skin pH is around 5 but our skin's acid mantle tend to be disrupted after we wash our face. Thus, toners are designed to restore your skin to this healthy pH level. Toners also help to remove last traces of makeup, oil and impurities. It doesn't mean you can replace your cleansers with toners. Toners help to amplify cleansing. It preps your skin for your serum and moisturizer that you apply later on for better absorption. Toners instantly refresh your skin and give your skin a quick burst of hydration. In addition, different toners are infused with different kind of ingredients to target specific skin problems.

Types of toners

Hydrating toners

Hydrating toners are the gentlest version of toners and they are suitable for all skin types. Hydrating toners contain humectants like glycerin, butylene glycol, propylene glycol and hyaluronic acid. Humectants are moisturising agents that pull water from environment to your skin. Humectants are beneficial to all skin types since all skin types need hydration.

Exfoliating toners 

Exfoliating toners are designed to remove dead skin cells from our stratum corneum to reduce skin flakiness, dullness and even out skin tone. Besides, exfoliating toners help to go deep inside pores to unclogged sebum and impurities to reduce acne, blackheads and whiteheads. In addition, exfoliating toners also have some anti-aging properties. Exfoliating toners usually contain fruits acids, glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid. Exfoliating toners are more suitable for normal, combination, oily and dry skin.

Treatment toners

Treatment toners are more targeted to solve specific skin problems, such as sensitive or inflammation-prone skin, hyperpigmentation or aging skin. They do more than just hydrate the skin because they contain some potent active ingredients to improve certain skin conditions.

If you are sensitive skin and want something to calm down your skin redness, look for something contain soothing ingredients such as bisabolol, allantoin, panthenol or witch hazel.

How to apply toner

You can apply it by pouring into cotton until it saturated with toner. Start with center of your face and sweep the cotton outwards, avoiding eye area. This method is more suitable when applying exfoliating toners as this will help to remove dead skin cells more effectively. It is recommended to sweep the toner around neck and décolletage as well. 

You can also directly pour the toner on your hands and gently tap on your face. This method is more suitable when applying hydrating and anti-aging toners. For toners which are in mist type, you may just spray all over your face. You may store your mist toner in fridge and spray whenever you need it. The chilled liquid helps reduce puffiness and calm down redness or skin irritations.

When to use a toner

Use a toner in the morning and evening after cleansing. Toners should not be a replacement for your cleansers. After using your toner, apply your serum and moisturizer when your skin is still in slightly damp condition.

If you are using a toner with higher concentration of exfoliants such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), try to apply once a day during your night routine and make sure you apply sunscreen in day time. In addition, you should not use a toner with high concentration of alcohol because too much alcohol will dry out your skin.