Why you should use toners on your skin

9 Reasons to Add Toners In Skin Routine.

Many people usually skip toners despite being a vital step in any skincare routine. And even those that use them usually avoid them during the colder season, afraid they will dry out the skin.

Toners in the past had a bad reputation for drying out skin due to high alcohol percentage. However, toners these days are different and are very beneficial for all skin types. They can be used all year round as long as you choose the right one for your skin type. From cleaning and hydrating to balancing skin pH, this is a product anyone looking for radiant skin must have. 

Below, we’ll look at how adding toners to your skin regimen can benefit your skin and how to choose the right toner.

Benefits of toners, what to look for in toners and ingredients to avoid in toners

Related post:  Your Skin Will Thank You for Using These Best Face Toners.

Everything you Should Know About Toners.

What is a Toner?

What is a Toner? A toner is a water-like liquid skincare product designed to clean, refresh, smooth, control oil, and moisturize the face. It’s usually used after cleansing and before applying serum, moisturizer, or makeup. Don’t be surprised when people call toners astringents, clarifiers, or fresheners. Toners are divided into four types based on their alcohol content.

  • Skin fresheners (<10% alcohol)
  • Skin tonics (up to 20% alcohol)
  • Acid toners (AHAs and BHAs)
  • Traditional astringents (20-60% alcohol)

If you have not used toners before, you might wonder if they are worth it. To answer this question, let’s look at their benefits.

Benefits of Using Toner

1. Balances pH Levels: Cleaning and exfoliating can disrupt the skin’s PH, making it alkaline. This can cause the skin to become dry, oily or irritated. Applying a toner will balance the skin’s pH level, which is vital for maintaining healthy skin.

2. Cleanses and Removes Residue: Toners can remove any leftover makeup, dirt, and impurities that your cleanser may have missed, ensuring a clean canvas for other skincare products.

3. Shrinks Pores Some toners containing astringent properties will tighten and shrink the appearance of pores, giving your skin a smoother look. They will unclog pores, removing dead skin cells, dirt, makeup, and excess oil, leaving your skin smooth, soft, and clear, with less visible pores.

4. Hydrates the Skin Hydrating toners containing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and rosewater will help to lock in moisture and prevent dehydration. This leaves your skin feeling refreshed and plump and protected against environmental aggressors.

5. Prepares the Skin for Serums and Moisturizers When you prep your skin with a toner, you improve the absorption of serums and moisturizers. Toners create a hydrated and receptive surface for these products to work effectively.

9 Reasons to Add Toners In Skin Routine.

6. Soothes and Calms the Skin Toners with ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and cucumber will soothe and calm irritated or sensitive skin.

7. Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells Toners with gentle exfoliating agents like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) will remove dead skin cells, promoting a smoother complexion.

8. Reduces Acne and Breakouts While toners alone will not cure acne, toners with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients can help reduce acne, control breakouts, and prevent future blemishes. If you have acne, you can try snail mucin products or seek help from a dermatologist.

9. Improves Skin Texture Regular use of toner will contribute to a smoother, more even skin texture. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, toner formulated with AHAs will prevent ingrown hairs.

How to Choose the Right Toner for Your Skin Type.

We can all agree that toners are great. But before adding a toner to your skincare routine, you must ensure it’s right for your skin type and the issues you’re targeting. So, which toner is best for your skin?

For Dry or Normal Skin: Nourishing Toner
If you have dry skin, opt for a nourishing and balancing toner that is specifically formulated with hydrating ingredients. Look for components like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin E and niacinamide. This toner will help your skin retain moisture. Nourishing toners will work for most skin types. You can use this toner twice a day—morning and night. Use it after cleansing and follow with a
serum and moisturizer.

9 Reasons to Add Toners In Skin Routine.

For Oily or Acne-Prone Skin: Exfoliating Toner
If your skin is oily or prone to acne, consider an exfoliating toner. These toners often contain glycolic acid (BHA) and salicylic acid (AHA), which gently dissolve dead skin cells and control acne and excess oil. However, be cautious and use this type of toner only once a day, preferably at night. Overusing it can make your skin sensitive. Also, avoid mixing this toner with a separate exfoliant, whether physical or chemical. If you decide to use a different chemical exfoliant, limit it to once or twice a week.

For Sensitive Skin: Hydrating Toner
If you have sensitive skin, avoid alcohol-based or highly exfoliating toners, as they may be too harsh. Opt for a hydrating toner with ingredients like glycerin or aloe vera.
This type of toner will soothe and hydrate your skin without irritating.

Ingredients to Avoid When Choosing a Toner

Alcohol-Based Toners Alcohol-based toners, once popularly known as ‘astringents,’ were favored for their ability to kill bacteria and remove excess oil. While alcohols in skincare aren’t all bad, these products can dry out and irritate sensitive skin. It’s best to stay away from these toners, particularly if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Fragrance We all want products that smell nice. But do you know “fragrance” in skincare products might not be as good for your skin as they are good for your nose? This term is used to refer to undisclosed chemicals and scents used to scent the toner. While they might not be bad for everyone, avoid them if you have acne-prone skin or sensitive skin.

9 Reasons to Add Toners In Skin Routine.


Phthalates are used as preservatives and to increase the penetration of skincare products. However, they have been linked to various health issues, so it’s best to avoid them.

Final Thoughts

Toners are a great addition to any skincare routine. As mentioned above, they have tons of benefits for your skin. However, to reap maximum benefits, choose a toner formulated for your skin type. You should also avoid toners with high alcohol concentration, phthalates and fragrance.

The article was written by Alice Mwangi Freelance writer and blogger. Catch up on all her posts here.

Valerie Kinoti

Valerie Kinoti has loved all things hair since she was 8 and always dreamt of having long hair. Decades later she is living the long hair dream and sharing all tips, tricks she has learned over the years.