7 Things The Ordinary Told Us About Their Milky Toner

At this point, we trust everything The Ordinary puts in front of us. With their ingredient-led approach and track record of effective results, the brand has become a regular feature in our skincare routines. From hydrating cleansers to barrier support serums, we flock towards every newbie they launch. And their new Saccharomyces Ferment 30% Milky Toner is no exception.

Bringing a gentle alternative to the toner-sphere with an innovative non-acid formula, it still has the same skin-smoothing and brightening abilities as regular acids. We were on the edge of our seats (no exaggeration) to find out more about the new milky toner, so we spoke with The Ordinary’s Scientific Communications Manager, Joe Basham, to find out everything there is to know. From how it works to the skin types it’s suitable for, here’s the expert answers to your (and our) milky toner questions.

1. What does The Ordinary toner do?

The Ordinary toner benefits consist of “gently exfoliating for smoother, more hydrated and radiant skin” in the words of The Ordinary themselves. Joe, their skincare expert, told us “it provides immediate and all day hydration, while promoting a stronger barrier.” This is thanks to the 30% concentration of saccharomyces ferment, containing 3% fermented N-acetylglucosamine.

He added that “it helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and pores resulting in brighter, more radiant skin.” Plus, it promotes a stronger skin barrier after just 8 hours and one application, so you’ll see instant and long-term effects.

2. Is The Ordinary milky toner a non-acid exfoliator?

Yes, The Ordinary’s new toner is non-acid. A lot of toners feature an exfoliation component, like direct acids, that helps break down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. However, the Saccharomyces Ferment 30% Milky Toner contains fermented N-acetylglucosamine (NAG), which is a non-acid exfoliator that instead prevents the bonds from sticking the dead skin cells to each other to begin with. This way, the skin can be exfoliated more easily, meaning this milky toner “offers a gentle alternative to direct acids” in the words of Joe. Although NAG has skin exfoliating properties similar to AHAs and BHAs, it doesn’t cause the same potential irritation.

3. Is The Ordinary exfoliating toner suitable for all skin types?

“Exfoliation” can be an intimidating word for some. And even though The Ordinary Milky Toner is exfoliating, it can be added to anyone’s skincare routine as “It’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin due to its gentle approach to exfoliation.”

As well as leaving skin smoother and brighter, The Ordinary toner benefits go beyond exfoliation. Joe added “It also contains squalane, an oil-like molecule that supports the toner’s hydrating and barrier strengthening properties.” Squalane works by helping to lock in moisture as it’s already found naturally in the skin’s sebum. So, this addition makes the milky toner one of the best toners for dry or sensitive skin as it won’t strip or dry skin out.

4. Can you use The Ordinary toner with direct acids?

Although the new milky toner from The Ordinary is non-acid, it still exfoliates skin, so there’s no need to use a direct acid alongside it. The Ordinary expert, Joe, recommends “Saccharomyces Ferment 30% Milky Toner can be used with any products within The Ordinary, with the exception of direct acids like salicylic, glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids.” This is because too many exfoliating ingredients can irritate skin and affect the skin’s natural barrier function.

5. Is The Ordinary toner good for sensitive skin?

As a gentle exfoliating toner, The Ordinary’s milky toner is suitable for those with sensitive skin. If you’d like to build a skincare routine for sensitive skin including the toner, Joe recommends the below products:

Step 1: Glucoside Foaming Cleanser: a gentle foaming cleanser that maintains the skin’s moisture barrier

Step 2: Saccharomyces Ferment 30% Milky Toner: a gentle, non-acid exfoliating toner

Step 3: Soothing & Barrier Support Serum: a multi-active solution designed to soothe discomfort, reduce redness, and help repair your skin barrier

Step 4: Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: a non-greasy moisturiser that protects and hydrates the outer layer of your skin

6. Will this milky toner fit into your glass skin routine?

As it leaves your skin smoother and more radiant, The Ordinary exfoliating toner is the perfect toner for glass skin. For those wanting to achieve that ‘dewy’ skin finish, The Ordinary expert, Joe, recommends the following routine:

Step 1: Squalane Cleanser: a hydrating, moisturising, soap-free cleanser

Step 2: Saccharomyces Ferment 30% Milky Toner: a gentle, non-acid exfoliating toner

Step 3: Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: a water-based serum that hydrates, plumps, and smooths wrinkles and texture

Step 4: Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides: a rich and replenishing cream that immediately boosts skin hydration by 68%

7. When should you apply the The Ordinary milky toner?

Words of wisdom straight from The Ordinary themselves, Joe recommends “applying a toner in the ‘Prep’ Stage of your regimen. After cleansing, but before the application of other serums or treatments.” This is because toners help balance the skin’s pH and remove excess dirt, oil, makeup, and other impurities to prep your skin for the products to follow.