What Does Toner Do?

Ah toners, the unsung heroes of our skincare routines. Often relegated to the back of our shelves because we might not be sure what they do exactly, we’re here to tell you why you shouldn’t be skipping this very important step. Usually packed full with supercharged ingredients, toners are your secret weapon when it comes to targeting specific concerns and transforming your skin. Keep reading to find out more.

What is toner and what does it do?

Since our skincare routines have morphed into 12-step regimens with every serum, mask, and moisturiser that you could possibly think of, it seems the humble toner has been pushed to the back of our minds, which is where you could be going wrong. If you haven’t been seeing the skin results you’ve been hoping for, a toner could be the missing trick. Gone are the basic, alcohol-infused formulas of your teenage skincare nightmares, toners now pack a serious punch when it comes to brightening, hydrating, and refreshing your skin. Designed to be used after cleansing, toners deliver a quick hit of hydration and depending on which formula you choose, so many more benefits too.

Exfoliating toners

If your dull, tired skin is in need of a reset, then exfoliating toners are the ones for you. Usually packed with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), exfoliating toners work to break down dead skin cells, remove impurities, and smooth the skin, which in turn paves the way for your serums and moisturisers to work even harder.

The Skincare By BEAUTY BAY Acid Trip Toner is a must-have for all skin types, as it’s packed full of AHAs and PHAs that make quick work of brightening and smoothing the skin. For more sensitive skin types, try out the Freck Cactus Water Lactic Acid Toner as it is formulated with lactic acid (which has a larger molecule size than glycolic acid), making it gentler on sensitive or dry complexions. The OG of the exfoliating toners has to be The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner – you’ll struggle to find a skincare stash without it. And finally, the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Toner is ideal for oily, breakout-prone skin thanks to its salicylic acid content.

Hydrating toners

If your parched skin needs its thirst quenching, then hydrating toners are the one for you for sealing in that extra layer of moisture. Whether they infuse hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or squalane deep into your skin, hydrating toners are the gift that keep on giving.

When it comes to skincare, Mario Badescu have got everything covered and their collection of toners is seriously impressive. The Witch Hazel & Rosewater Toner is a fave thanks to aloe vera, rosewater, and rose oil soothing the complexion. For a pure hit of hydration, the hyaluronic acid and colloidal oatmeal content make the Revolution Skincare Hyaluronic Tonic a must-have. As the name might suggest, the Elemis Rehydrating Toner is the tonic your dry skin needs. Last, but by no means least, the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid is a skincare hero for a reason – the ceramides in this formula work to deeply nourish and restore the surface of the skin.

Refreshing toners

Like a literal wake up for your skin, refreshing toners help to boost and energise your complexion when it’s in need of a pick-me-up. Perfect for use in the morning to help make that early rise a little easier or when you want squeaky clean skin at the end of a long, hard day.

PSA Skin’s Heroine Glow Toner has really taken things to the next level. Filled to the brim with mandelic acid, lactic acid, niacinamide, licorice root, and botanical extracts, this toner will leave your skin brightened, refreshed, and replenished. Grüum’s Gosta Facial Tonic gives skin a boost every time you spritz it, whether it be in the morning, before bed, or during the day. This eco-friendly version from UpCircle not only makes your skin feel great, but you’re being kind to the planet too. And for days when you’re just after an un-complicated formula that works, reach for the Holika Holika AC Mild Toner.