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What Exactly Does a Toner Do for Your Skin?

by Deborah Duffey, Chief Product Development Officer and President   June 30, 2023

What Exactly Does a Toner Do for Your Skin? While you probably understand what a cleanser or moisturizer does for your skin, it might be a different story when it comes to toner. The watery substance feels nice on your skin, but what, exactly, is its purpose? And to make things even more confusing, not all toners provide the same benefits or are used with the same goal.

Typically, toners are the second step in a skincare routine, falling just after cleansing and before any steps like serums or moisturizers. It’s not completely necessary to add a toner if you’re happy with your skin as it is, but depending on your skin type, it can be a welcome addition to your routine. Here’s how a toner can benefit your skincare routine.

Toners can remove excess dirt and oil

When toners are used after cleansing, they can sweep away excess dirt and oil that your cleanser missed. This can mean less oily skin (and makeup that stays on longer), along with smaller-looking pores and reduced breakouts. Apply toner with a clean cotton pad and take a look at the pad when you’re finished – you’ll see everything the cleanser left behind.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, a product like our Purifying Complexion Mist, which uses tea tree, bergamot, and lavender oil, can be a good choice to prevent excess oil production throughout the day.

Toners can add moisture and nourishment

If your skin leans on the drier side, the right toner can add moisture back to the skin that cleansing may have stripped away. This can set up your skin for day-long hydration, which not only keeps skin healthy, but helps it look refreshed, too. And no matter which type of toner you choose, it often has skin-benefiting nutrients to give your skin a boost of vitamins or antioxidants.

Our Hydrating Complexion Mist still helps clear skin of excess residue, but it does so gently with rose water and birch leaf. By choosing a toner similar to this one, you can reap the benefits of toner without drying skin. Plus, it has anti-aging benefits that improve skin damage over time.

Toners prep skin for the next step

No matter what your skin type is, by choosing a toner designed to work with your specific skin, you’ll find a canvas that is better prepared for the next step. Because most toners will remove any dirt or excess oil that lingers after cleansing, it helps keep your face clean and free of breakouts. This also creates a base for whatever you apply next by balancing out your skin – dry skin is hydrated, while oily skin is calmed. Once you add moisturizer, SPF, and makeup, you’ll find it lasts longer and looks better throughout the day once dry spots are hydrated and oily spots are cleared.

Whether you apply toner in the morning, evening, or both, you’ll start to notice the ways a toner can prep and balance your skin. And if nothing else, a toner can become a refreshing step and boost for your skin, especially when it’s delivered in a soft mist and spritzed on throughout the day.