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Facial toners have been around for a long time. Some people swear by them, claiming that toners combat acne and ‘close’ their pores. While others don’t really feel the need for one.
In this article, we’ll debunk a few misconceptions about toners and take a look at some great options suited for different skin types.
What are toners, exactly?
Toners are water-based products containing actives. They help hydrate the skin, remove dead skin cells, and restore the skin’s natural pH.
A hydrated skin would also absorb active ingredients better. So using a toner is a good way to prep the skin before using serums and other actives.
Those who stay away from toners have probably used one in their teenage years. In the early 2000s, most toners are marketed for acne-prone skin and were made to remove excess oil.
These products often contain witch hazel and alcohol in high concentrations that act as astringents. When applied, the skin tends to react by becoming irritated and overly dry.
In contrast, newer toners have great ingredients that do not strip the skin off of its natural goodness.
A big myth is that toners help shrink pores, especially after cleansing the skin with warm water. Pores, unfortunately, do not open and close like doors. They remain relatively similar in size and may appear bigger in those with oily skin. Depending on the ingredient, some toners might control excess oil production that reduces the appearance of enlarged pores.
What is The Right Way to Use a Toner?
Generally, you should use your toner after cleansing and before moisturizing the skin. To find out more about facial cleansers, click the link here.
The best way to use a toner depends on different brands. Most of the time it is to soak a clean cotton ball with the toner and gently dab your skin with it. Other brands would recommend applying the toner to your skin using clean hands.
A big no is to use a toner-soaked cotton ball or pad and drag it across your skin. The skin on your face and neck is relatively thin and sensitive. The last thing you want is to damage the skin and cause sagginess. Instead, trust your toner and let the ingredients work their magic.
Is Using a Toner Necessary in a Complete Skincare Routine?
This depends on your skin. If you’re perfectly happy with your skin, then skip it. Otherwise, using a toner is a great way to introduce active ingredients that help address specific skin issues.
For example, a toner can remove excess sebum in those with oily skin. Some toners also have vitamins to rejuvenate dull skin.
Which Toner Should I Use?
It’s best to choose a toner based on your skin type and needs. Here are 8 toners with great reviews and specified for different skin types.
1. Some By Mi Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Toner
Best Toner for Hyperpigmentation
This toner contains 1% vitamin C which helps fade hyperpigmentation and scar. The anti-oxidant effect of vitamin C also protects the skin from free radicals.
The second active ingredient is galactomyces. Galactomyces is made from the fermentation of sake and has anti-oxidant and brightening properties.
This product is packaged in an amber bottle to protect vitamin C from losing its effectiveness. It is fragrance, coloring, paraben, sulfate, mineral oil, and silicone-free which makes it a great option for sensitive skin.
2. Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion
Best Toner for Oily Skin
This toner from Kiehl’s has been a user’s favorite since it entered the market in 1964. It is ideal for those with oily and irritated skin.
The main ingredients of this astringent toner are camphor and menthol which balances and soothes the skin. On the other hand, sodium PCA is a humectant to help moisturize the skin.
Use this toner as a spot treatment on oily areas or all over the face. It calms irritated skin and can be used as an aftershave lotion too. Best to apply right after cleansing on damp skin, followed by your daily moisturizer.
3. Mamonde Rose Water Toner
Rosewater is a traditional beauty remedy that moisturizes and brightens the skin. It also has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
The Mamonde Rose Water Toner contains 90.97% rosewater extracted from fresh Bulgarian rose petals. This product eliminates excess oil while having a refreshing and calming effect on the skin.
This product is free from coloring, mineral oil, and silicone. The skin is left moisturized, soft, dewy, and bright after applying it.
4. Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner
This toner has been raved about by skincare enthusiasts with dry skin. Many claim that the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner helps moisturize the skin with the lovely smell of roses.
The main active ingredient in this toner is hyaluronic acid. This humectant holds on to water and is best used on damp skin. The rose water extract provides a natural fragrance while soothing redness and irritation.
If you’re dealing with dry and flaky skin, you might find this toner helpful in making the skin soft and supple.
5. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution
Best Toner for Acne-Prone Skin
The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution contains salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Salicylic acid removes dead skin cells from the skin which prevents break-outs.
Glycolic acid is another exfoliant that cleanses the pores to reduce acne formation. This promotes skin renewal and fades dark scars. It also serves as an anti-aging ingredient that boosts collagen production to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
All in all, this product is perfect for acne-prone skin. Use it one to three times a day after cleansing the skin.
6. Pixi Glow Tonic
Best Toner for Combination Skin
Those with combination skin usually have an oily T-zone but normal or dry on other parts of the face. This makes it difficult to choose a product that strikes the correct balance between these two areas.
If you’re one with combination skin, the Pixi Glow Tonic may be worth a shot. This product contains glycolic acid, aloe vera, and ginseng.
As mentioned before, glycolic acid is an exfoliant with anti-aging benefits. It also promotes skin brightening.
Aloe vera, on the other hand, consists of mainly water. It boosts hydration and soothes redness with its cooling effect, whereas ginseng helps wake up dull skin.
The Pixi Glow Tonic also contains astringent ingredients that help oiliness, but the drying effect is countered by adding hydrating agents like aloe vera. This makes the Pixi Glow Tonic ideal for combination skin.
7. Avene Gentle Toning Lotion
Best Toner for Sensitive Skin
It’s common for people with sensitive skin to develop redness and inflammation when in contact with certain ingredients. For this skin type, the Avene Gentle Toning Lotion might be the ideal toner as it caters to dry and sensitive skin.
This product is formulated with silicates to protect the skin from the pollution that might trigger a sensitive reaction. This ingredient also improves and strengthens the skin barrier.
The Avene Gentle Toning Lotion does not contain alcohol that causes dryness to the skin. On top of that, it is hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic.
8. Simple Soothing Facial Toner
Best Toner in Watson
The Simple Soothing Facial Toner removes alkaline residue from your face wash while being gentle to the skin. It contains Pro-vitamin B5 that deeply hydrates the skin and may help reduce excessive oil production.
Other ingredients include chamomile, which is a natural anti-oxidant that reduces the damaging effects of free radicals. Other than that, allantoin is an exfoliator that removes dead skin cells to encourage skin renewal. And finally, witch hazel is an astringent that soothes the skin and reduces inflammation.
This is a budget-friendly alternative for sensitive skin as it does not contain harsh chemicals, colorings, or fragrances. Definitely a go-to toner if you’re shopping at Watsons or other drugstores in Malaysia.
Before purchasing a toner, check the ingredient list to avoid ingredients that you’re allergic to. If you have sensitive skin, it would be best to do a skin patch test by applying the product to your arm and wait 24 hours.
It should be safe to try on your face if the product does not cause any redness or itchiness to your arm. Lastly, make sure to use a moisturizer after the toner to keep your skin hydrated all day long.