How to Use Face Toner- Is it Necessary?

After having multiple facials, I noticed one thing common that was recommended to me by all of the estheticians. They all recommended that I add a toner to my skincare routine. A specific brand was never mentioned. If you’re interested in understanding why, Keep reading.

I’ve spent a good portion of the year trying out multiple toners to see what I liked and what I didn’t. If you’ve been following me for a while, then you would know I switch up products to fit the needs of my skin during different climates and changes with my skin.

What is toner?

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I know your first question may be what exactly is a toner? Toners are described as the last step within the cleansing step of your skincare routine. We all know the first step within any skincare routine is cleansing. If you’re someone like me, meaning you like to mask multiple times a week, then masking would be your next step. Following that would be the use of a toner. I use toner on my face both during the morning and evening with my skincare routine.

SKINCARE ROUTINE OPTION A: Cleansing / Double Cleansing -» Masking -» Toner -»the remainder of your routine

SKINCARE ROUTINE OPTION B: Cleansing/Double Cleansing -» Toner -» Remainder of skincare routine -» the remainder of your routine

In my opinion toners can function in multiple ways. (ONE) Toners can help to cleanse the skin as they remove any last bits of traces of residue such as make-up, cleanser and etc. (TWO) Toners can help to restore the pH balance to your skin. Many cleansers along with masks tend to lean more to the alkaline side of the spectrum. The natural pH level of your skin falls between 4.5 and 5.5 Toners help to bring your skin back to the acidic level that it likes (see chart below). (THREE) Toners prepare your skin for the following steps within your skincare routine.

Photo Credit:   Restoar

Photo Credit: Restoar

When your skin is in an alkaline state, the following will occur: As seen in the chart above, when your skin is int the alkaline state sensitivity and inflammation can occur. While doing some research, I noticed that the cleansers in my collection that I prefer over others fall within the range of 5-6.
When your skin is too acidic, the following will occur:
 As seen in the chart above, when your skin is too acidic it tends to be prone to be acne-prone and oily. My t-zone tends to be more on the oily side, especially during the summer months. Therefore, toner is beneficial to my skin to balance it.


Are toners necessary? How and when should they be used?

As I previously mentioned, toner is used as the last step in your cleansing routine. I went many years without using toner. But as soon as I did I noticed a difference with my skin. My overall skin texture improved. I always had pretty clear skin, but I accredit toner to the change of the texture in my skin to be smoother.

I have Normal-Combination skin. Some areas of my face is normal and others can be really oily, especially during the summer months. For me toner helps to balance my skin to the correct pH. With that being said, Toner is necessary for me.

I’ve read many conflicting articles and posts stating that toners are only for people with oily skin textures or for those who tend to wear make-up daily. In my opinion, I think if you have a skincare routine and you feel like something is still lacking with your skin, then you may want to give toner a try. There’s multiple different types of toners suited to fit multiple types of skin textures and issues.

The next big debate within the toner realm is how it’s applied. Cotton round or no cotton round?

I generally use my toner with a cotton round. Not just any cotton, but the Shiseido facial cotton. If you’re interested to know why it’s so dear to my heart, check out my November 2018 Favorites Blog Post. My reason for using a cotton round to apply my toner is that I feel that it actually works more efficiently. Being that I use toner as the last step in my cleansing routine, If I were to only pat it into my skin I would still be leaving residue on my skin.

There’s been many of times that I used toner after cleansing my face and noticed combination of the cotton rounds and toner had helped to removed excess dirt and oil from my face.

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Shiseido Facial Cotton

165 sheets for $10.00


My Toner Selection

I’ve used multiple different types of toner. At the current time I’m rotating between a couple of different toners that I feel are best suited for my skin during these cold winter months. With so many different toners on the market, I would imagine that there’s a toner to fit the needs for most skincare texture needs and concerns. I’ve seen people use multiple toners within one skincare routine. Essentially you need to do what works best for your skin. I can’t say there’s a right or wrong answer as what toner to use and how to use it.

Everyday Toners

Son and Park Beauty Water $30

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I absolutely love the Son and Park Beauty Water. This toner is formulated with a pH of 5 to cleanser, exfoliate and hydrate. I’ve raved about this toner for quite some time. If you’re interested in seeing my previous detailed blog post about it, check here. I generally use this toner during the morning and evening of my cleansing routine. To apply this toner I use cotton rounds.

Ingredients: Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Pentylene Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Xylitol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Water, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit/Seed Oil, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Rose Flower Oil, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil, Thuja Occidentalis Leaf Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract , Mentha Piperita(Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Mentha Rotundifolia Leaf Extract, Mentha Spicata Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Origanum Majorana Leaf Extract, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, 1,2-Hexanediol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Sodium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Octanediol, Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Protease, Alcohol Denat., Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.

Le Dew WHITE WILLOW + ROSE Dewy Face Mist $18

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The Le Dew White Willow + Rose Dewy Face Mist is a multi purpose mist with a pH of 4.2-4.5. It can be used as a refresher, toner, to prep prior to make-up and to set make-up. I prefer to use this Dewy Face mist as a toner. I like that it’s hydrating, but not oily. It has a light rose scent that is really refreshing.

With most of my toners I usually prefer to apply it with a cotton round, but with this toner I usually just spray directly on my face and just pat it into the skin. I generally like using this toner after masking when I know my face is really clean and is unlikely to have any traces of dirt or make-up. I like that with this toner and ingredients it works well and has not cause any negative reactions with other products within my skincare routine (i.e. the use of acids).

Ingredients: Organic Rose Flower Water, Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Organic White Willow Bark Extract, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate×

Laneige Essential Power Skin Toner for Combination to Oily Skin $28

Suggested Usage: Use a cotton pad, sweep gently over face morning and evening after cleansing.

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I’m still on the fence regarding the Laneige Power Toner. I’ve used this toner various times during the summer months. Based on how my skin reacted to it and the ingredients, I can’t see myself using this toner during the winter months or an everyday basis. This would strictly be for when my skin is at it’s oiliest during the summer months as I feel that it’s a little too drying for me. With that being said I still would’t use this toner twice in one day as I feel it’s too drying for my skin texture.

I do plan on revising the use of this toner a try during the summer months again. When I tried the Laneige toner in the past I used it with a cotton round. In the future I would like to try just patting it into the skin to see if it makes a difference with how my skin feels after.

Ingredients: Water, Alcohol, Glycereth-26, Dipropylene Glycol, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Niacinamide, Magnesium Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium Edta, Fragrance

Pearlessence White Tea and Witch Hazel Face Mist (unable to link)

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I purchased the Pearlessence White Tea and Witch Hazel Face Mist a few over the summer for TJ Maxx for less than $10. What initially drew me to the brand was that I’ve heard great reviews regarding their Rose Water Hydrating Face Mist. The Rose Water Mist was often compared to the Herbivore Rose Water (both of which I’ve never tried). I’ve always associated Witch Hazel for being ideal for oily skin textures as it removes excess sebum, dirt and helps with the appearance of pores.

I enjoyed using this mist as a toner during the summer months. I usually would apply it by spraying it directly to my face. The spray is refreshing and leaves my skin feeling toned. My skin does not feel tight or super oily after applying it. I don’t love this one, but I don’t hate it. Which means I will not be repurchasing it after I finish it.

Honorable Mentions

Caudalie Beauty Elixir (Travel Size) $18

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I’ve been using the Caudalie Beauty Elixir for years. It one of those multi-purpose beauty items. I’ve seen people use it as toner, facial mist before -during- and after make-up. When I originally purchased it years ago it was for make-up setting purposes. Now I prefer to use it as a toner.

I like to use this as a spray toner. After it’s applied I pat it into my skin. The Beauty Elixir is very dear to my heart. The ingredients are natural and provides an almost calming effect to my face. This formula hydrates my skin but more so tones my face. After using it my face feels balanced. I love using this when my skin is not cooperating. The travel size is perfect to use during mid-flights when traveling for additional hydration. The Beauty Elixir is a product that introduced me to the Caudalie line and will forever be in my beauty collection.

Ingredients: Water, Alcohol*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Water*, Parfum (Fragrance)*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*, Potassium Alum, Glycerin*, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil*, Styrax Tonkinensis Resin Extract*, Commiphora Myrrha Resin Extract*, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf Oil*, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract*, Tocopherol*, Citral*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Farnesol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Eugenol*. *Plant origin.

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (Travel Size) $20

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Described as a spray on moisturizer. I’ve seen and heard of the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist as being used as toner, make-up setter and as a spray moisturizer. Personally, I like to use this mist as a make-up setting spray (only during the winter months). I would also consider traveling with this to as a mid-flight spray as well. I like the Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist, but being that its very hydrating it’s not something I can use on an everyday basis.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Squalane (Olive Origin), Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, Triethylhexanoin, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Inositol (Rice Extract), Algae Extract, Sericin (Silk Extract), Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Red algae) Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Thymus Serpillum (Thyme) Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polyglyceryl-2 diisostearate, Ppg-5-Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Trideceth-12, Sodiumlauroyl Lactylate, Sorbitan Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Fragrance, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.


Have you tried any of the products mentioned? Do you use a toner? If so, which one and do you see a difference with your skin? Please comment below!

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