Toners, Toners, Toners
Toners: the famous step right after cleansing in the 10-step Korean skincare method.
The 10 steps are: Oil cleanser, water-based cleanser, exfoliator, toner, essence, serum/treatment, sheet mask, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
So, what is a Toner?
A toner acts like water, looks like water, but ISN’T water. Depending on which toner you use, it can contain: acids, antioxidants, glycerin, etc. It preps your face for the next products you apply.
What does a Toner DO?
Think of it this way: a toner is the last step in your face cleanse because it removes whatever impurities that are still hanging around after you wash your face. A toner will prep your pores for your skincare routine. A good toner will reset your skin to a pH level of 4-5. (Your skin should always be around 5.5, which means it’s a bit acidic, helping it protect itself from bacteria.) Toners can also help bind moisture to your skin, which is great because it helps retain moisture from the products in your next steps.
How to use a Toner:
Dampen a cotton pad and sweep it gently over your face. If you see light brown streaks, that means it’s working! The light brown streaks are whatever impurities, debris, dirt, etc. your cleanser didn’t remove. If you don’t see any, that’s good! It means your face is super clean. Alternatively, you can also sprinkle the toner into the palms of your hands and pat it into your skin gently (this is the method I prefer). Toners are applied every day and night right after cleansing your face. Toners can be used for all skin types, regardless of how oily or dry your skin is.
Why should you use a Toner?
Because it helps your skin retain much more moisture, keeping it from drying out. It also helps your skin absorb products better by keeping the pores clean. A toner is giving your skin a clean slate to work with, maximizing the effectiveness of your skincare routine. Some toners will have specific acids, giving you a gentle exfoliation and bringing out bright, clear skin.
Now that you know what a toner is, which toner should you be using?
I have many recommendations below for all different kinds of skin types!
Son & Park Beauty Water ($30)
This is my holy grail toner. I am on my second bottle and I don’t plan on switching any time soon. Fit for all skin types, it contains willow bark and papaya extract, which gently exfoliates, giving my skin a bright, soft glow every time!
Banila Co. Dear Hydration Toner ($16)
This is for my dry skin folks. I brought a sample of it with me to NYC this winter and I was so amazed by how it kept my skin so hydrated! I have oily skin, but in the winter it can get very dry. This saved my skin from the harsh winter!
The Face Shop White Seed Brightening Toner ($16)
This works for all skin types. It contains white lupin seed extract that’ll naturally brighten your skin, getting rid of hyperpigmentation or acne scars.
Benton BHA Aloe Toner ($19)
I recommend this toner for my acne-prone and sensitive skin friends! The aloe extract will calm down redness and irritated skin, while the salicylic acid (BHA) will gently exfoliate dead skin. It also contains snail mucin to give moisture to your face!
Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner ($18)
This toner is fits all skin types, even the most sensitive ones. It contains licorice water, which gently brightens and green tea extract that can help with hyperpigmentation and acne scars. It has a pH level of 5.5, balancing out your skin.
Cosrx Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner ($16)
This toner is perfect for sensitive skin. It doesn’t contain any alcohol or fragrance that will irritate you. It contains 10% Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, an extract that will even out skin texture.
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner ($7)
A cult favorite! This is definitely the drug store option if you don’t want to splurge.
Caudalie Moisturizing Toner ($28)
This beautiful French brand has a lightweight toner for normal to dry skin. It contains Vinolevure, which helps your skin to retain moisture, deeply hydrating it.
Whamisa Green Tea Serum Toner ($22)
Can be used for all skin types! It contains green tea, calming down redness and irritation, hyaluronic acid, giving the skin moisture, and kale and broccoli extract to brighten!
I am not sponsored by any of the brands nor am I affiliated with any of the brands listed above. Thank you for reading & take care! – xoxo, Annie.