The Benefits Of Using Facial Toner
Face Care,  Skincare Basics,  Toners

The Benefits of Using Facial Toner

Everyone loves a good debate now and again and when it comes to toner, that’s exactly what I found. Many people don’t realise the benefits of using facial toner and I was quite surprised to learn just how many people don’t use one. I personally love my toner, in fact, I couldn’t be without it. So I decided to look into the reasons why people are skipping the toner and share with you the reasons why you may want to consider one.

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about toners and because of this, many people think that toners are either just an optional extra that doesn’t really add that much value to your routine or that they should be avoided entirely because they cause nothing more than skin irritation. That’s a real shame because the benefits of using one can be pretty significant and make an almost instant difference to our skin’s appearance.

Why The Divide

There is actually a huge divide on this subject even among the professionals. Some say that toners are of no benefit unless you suffer from oily skin, others say that toners are too drying hence the connection to oily skin types. There is even a debate about whether there is a need to rebalance the pH in the skin anymore (that’s what toners are mainly recommended for) because today’s cleansers are so gentle that they cause very little change to the ph level of the skin anyway.

I decided to dig down a little deeper to see if I could find out more information about the debating factors mentioned above and to see what others like myself love about their toner.

Are They Still Needed For pH Balancing

Toner Balances pH Levels

So it looks like there may be some truth to this but it all depends on the cleanser you are using. It appears that a lot of today’s cleansers have a pH level of slightly higher than 5.5 which is perfect for our skin, however, there are still cleansers out there that are not pH balanced.

This is in fact, such an in-depth topic that I will have do some serious research into different cleansers and their pH levels and dedicate a whole post to it so watch this space. The point is that if you are using a cleanser that is affecting the pH balance of your skin then a toner may still be beneficial to you to correct the level.

What About The Drying Effect

There are many different types of toners out there and although there may be some harsher than others, most of today’s toners are much gentler than they once were. Back in the day, they contained very high amounts of alcohol which lead to them causing not only a drying effect but also causing many people skin irritation.

Most of today’s toners are much gentler on the skin but with that said, it is still best to avoid toners that contain simple alcohols as these are the ones that can have the drying and skin irritating effect so instead look for alcohol-free toners specially formulated for your skin type. A gentle and well-formulated toner can actually be quite refreshing and hydrating to the skin with its oil-free moisture, not to mention that most are packed full of beneficial ingredients as well. So what else are toners good for?

They Remove Residual Makeup/Cleanser

Toner Removes Last Traces Of Makeup

I would definitely describe myself as a heavy makeup wearer and even with the most effective cleansers, sometimes traces of stubborn makeup can still remain. Toners are an excellent way to remove any residual makeup, sunscreen and dead skin that your cleanser may have left behind. Toners can even remove any residual cleanser that may be left behind on the skin, which itself can cause a drying effect if not completely removed.

They’re An Excellent Base For Other Products

Toners are a great pre-step after cleansing because they create the perfect base for all your other products as they leave the skin moist. Skin care products have a tendency to absorb much better into moist skin which makes them more effective at delivering their all-important ingredients so applying a toner beforehand is a great way to help them sink into the skin better.

They’re Filled With Beneficial Ingredients

Today’s toners are actually packed full of vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-aging ingredients and unlike cleansers which are removed from the skin almost immediately, toners are left on meaning that their beneficial ingredients are actually absorbed into the skin, leaving it feeling fresher and smoother. I definitely notice how much smoother my skin is directly after applying toner and how much the fine lines around my eyes, mouth, and forehead look instantly reduced.

And even though your serums and moisturisers contain a lot of the same beneficial ingredients that are also included in toners, your skin can never get too much of these all important ingredients so there’s nothing wrong with getting as many of them as you can from all of your skin care products.

They Moisturise And Refresh Skin

Toner Should Be Refreshing

For those of you that are complete toner virgins. There is something very pleasing and relaxing about the cool and refreshing sensation you get when you apply a gentle alcohol-free toner. If you haven’t yet experienced it then it is well worth a try. They also have a gentle moisturising effect and although they will not replace your actual moisturiser, they are a great added addition.

You shouldn’t feel dryness, tightness, heat or burning and your skin shouldn’t be red or flush afterward. A good gentle toner should have the opposite effect but if you experience these kinds of sensations then your toner probably contains a harsh alcohol, a strong astringent or both so you may want to consider replacing it with a gentler version.

The Debate Will Probably Never End

There will probably always be a debate when it comes to toners but if you’ve never tried one, do give it a go for yourself and see what you think. I am definitely all for toners and truly believe that a good gentle toner can be of great benefit and be a super addition to anyone’s skincare routine.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Are you for or against toners? Have you had good or bad experiences with them? Please feel free to share your stories and opinions in the comments below.




  • Stella

    Hi Jessie,

    I totally agree with you. My beautician informed me that the toner is one of the most important things in one’s everyday make up. I put on toner after every time I wash my face and it really does wipe away all the stubborn dirt on your face (you can see from the change in color of the cotton pad) and it makes your face feel refreshed. I also find that it really helps my moisturizer soak into my face. But I guess choosing a good toner is very important and I definitely do not go for those with alcohol as I have very dry and sensitive skin.

    Great article. I didn’t realise some people were against using a toner but like I said it depends on the type you buy and if it is right for your skin. Its a bit of trial and error.

    • Jessie

      Hi Stella

      Absolutely. I think it stems from the older toners that used to be full of alcohol. They caused a lot of irritation which put many people off using them but nowadays toners are much gentler and many are alcohol-free.

      They’ve come a long way in recent years and I personally wouldn’t be without one. And yes, there definitely is some trial and error needed when you’re using any new product.

  • Vicky

    Thank you for this article it cleared up a few things. I do use a toner on occasion, probably should more often… Do you have a toner that you recommend? Would love to hear your thoughts on good toners out there…

    Thank you,

    • Jessie

      Hi Vicky

      I’m glad it helped. There are many good ones out there, Paula’s Choice for one, have a very good range. I’m currently in the process of testing out a few different ones and I will be putting up the results shortly.

  • Von

    Never thought that toners has this much to give you. All I know that it was just for making you look prettier. Now I have to buy my girlfriend one.

  • Hillary

    I just started using a toner again after not having used one since I was a teen (ugh–alchohol burn!!!) Mine is very soothing, actually, but then again I have oily skin so perhaps that’s related. Can’t wait to hear your recommendations!

    • Jessie

      Hi Hillary

      Yes, the older ones were pretty harsh. In fact, there are still quite a few harsh ones out there. Soothing and refreshing is definitely the sensation we want to be getting from a toner. My review on some of the best ones is coming soon.

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