Skin Care Advice

What is Toner and What Does It Do?

Most likely, you have heard about skin toner by now. A lot of people talk about how important toner is in their skin care routine, and many step-by-step skin care how-to’s include toner as an essential of cleansing and moisturizing. But what exactly is toner and what does it do?

Before addressing what skin toner is, we should address what skin toner used to be. Years ago, toners were typically astringents that stripped skin of oils and dried it out. These toners achieved this with heavy concentrations of alcohol.

Today’s toners are vastly different. Rather than drying, modern toners hydrate skin, delivering a rich blend of active ingredients through a thin, light formulation. Common ingredients in skin toners include vitamins, botanical extracts, essential oils, and humectants, such as glycerin. These toners are often available in the form of a thin liquid that can be applied to the face via cotton rounds or cotton balls, or sometimes even in the form of a spray or mist.

Now that you know what skin toners are, here are some of the benefits that make them so essential to include in your daily skin care routine:


Most toners are water based, but they also include other moisturizing ingredients, such as Aloe vera, witch hazel, and humectants, and often various forms of glycerin. They also commonly contain essential oils that help to hydrate and moisturize the skin. All these ingredients deliver hydration to the skin and make skin more receptive to the moisture delivered by moisturizing creams and serums.

Skin Conditioning

Skin toners will also condition or “tone” your skin. By hydrating your skin and delivering vitamins and botanical extracts, toners will make your skin look and feel healthier. Many toners also use acids and alkaline ingredients, like Aloe vera juice, to rebalance the PH of your skin.


Not only will skin toners hydrate, condition, and tone your skin, but they will also leave you with a pleasant feeling on your skin after applying. Many toners will contain soothing and naturally anti-inflammatory ingredients, resulting in skin that feels soothed and refreshed.


Botanicals, vitamins, and essential oils are very nourishing to the skin. The vitamins often contained in toners can help to rebuild collagen and protect against environmental free radicals. Botanical extracts and essential oils also deliver essential nutrients to the skin, especially ingredients, such as tea tree oil, green tea extract, and witch hazel.

Enhances absorption of other skin care serums and creams

Skin toners are like makeup primers, but for your skin care routine. They prepare your skin for your other serums and creams, helping to boost your skin’s ability to absorb the active ingredients. These toners often achieve this increase in absorption  through the inclusion of ingredients such as MSM and vitamin C.

You may be thinking this sounds great, but where does it fit in with my skin care routine? Well, many skin care experts recommend that you apply toner within 1 minute of cleansing your face, as this is when your skin is the most receptive to and in need of toning and hydration. Toners can also help protect pores, which are especially vulnerable after facial cleansing.

We hope this clears up the purpose of toners for you, and we highly encourage you to include them into your daily routine.



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