How to Use Toners Like a Dermatologist

If you were to ask me what are the most important skincare steps that you need to have in your routine, then I’m going to answer that it’s cleansing and moisturizing. Then, where does toners come into play?

Honestly, at first, I was a bit confused about the whole process to use toners, so I see it as a non-essential step. But, based on my readings and some of the personal skincare classes that I’ve attended, I was able to think for myself and finally I was able to shine a light on how important toning is.

What are Toners?

Toners are liquids that are absorbed quickly by the skin. Gone are the days it’s used only for removing the shine or oil on your face, contemporary toners target every concern you can think of. Some toners don’t even have alcohol at all.

Toning (the use of toners) is the first leave-on step that offers quick skin remedies such as hydration, taking out skin impurities or rubbles away, and helping the subsequent products be absorbed better to reveal plumper and healthier skin. Similar to primers for make-up, a toner is “the primer” for the rest of your skincare routine.

What are the benefits of using toners?

You see the normal pH (power of Hydrogen) of the skin is at around 4.5- 5.6, which is slightly acidic, in comparison to the neutral 7 and basic for values higher than that. Whenever there are changes in the pH of your skin, it may not function optimally to protect your skin from the environment.

The skin’s barrier is slightly acidic because it functions to keep moisture in while keeping bacteria and other unwanted impurities out. If the pH balance of the skin becomes too acidic, you are more prone to inflammatory conditions like acne and eczema.

If the pH balance leans on the alkaline (base) side, then your skin appears more dry, flaky, flushed, and sometimes blotchy. It’s also very important to use gentle toners if you have sensitive skin. My absolute fave and the first kskincare toner that I’ve tried is the Dear Klairs Supple Preparation Toner which is perfect for that all-day hydration for a lasting dewy finish!

The pH value of your skin may change depending on the products you are using. Now, toners are one of the keystones in your skincare routine, because toning helps the pH of your skin get back to its normal range, for the skin to better perform its functions.

How do I include it in my routine?

Since toners are very light and fast-absorbing, you’d want it to go directly on your face for the beneficial ingredients to be absorbed. If you use it after heavier products, chances are it’s just going to stay on top of your skin and not go in it. Huge difference. Make you are layering your skincare properly!

So it’s suggested that you apply it immediately after cleaning when the skin is still a bit damp to get its full benefits. If you are suffering from dull and dry skin but your skin is acne prone aim for toners with purifying or clarifying ingredients without overdoing it.

The Rovectin Cica Care helps to purify and clear the skin while giving your skin the boost of antioxidants and nourishment with CICA extract!

What are the types of toners?

Gone are the days that manufacturers created astringents or toners with high alcohol content (around 20- 60 %). During the stone age of the skincare industry, it was all about removing the excess shine and oil on the face. However, products with alcohol content can be irritating and damaging for your skin in the long run as it strips off protective lipids as well as break down skin proteins.

Tonics are suitable for those with normal, combination, and oily skin as it contains a small quantity of alcohol up to 20%. Aside from the alcohol it usually contains, water and some humectant ingredients.

Acid toners are the strongest among the types because it contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) which break down the bonds in the skin to exfoliate it. Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids are the most commonly used to exfoliate the skin surface. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA for exfoliating the deeper layers of the skin.

Fresheners are the mildest form of toners as they contain water and humectants with a bit of alcohol at 0 to 10%. Humectants help maintain the moisture on the surface layers of the skin, preventing moisture from evaporating. The I’m From Rice Toner helps to plump and brighten the skin.

How do I use a toner?

The first method I use is the “tapping or gliding method” as I’d like to call it by putting the toner in the palm of my hands, rubbing it together, and then tapping or swiping it gently upward all over my face to aid in absorption.

Another option, especially if you are using exfoliating toners that contain gentle acids or exfoliating ingredients, is by using cotton pads or cotton balls. This helps wipe away impurities that are left by the cleanser. Sometimes I’d do gentle upward strokes too or small circular massage for a more effective sweep.

The Toner Mate from Wishtrend already comes in a cotton pad saving you the time and energy so you can do what you love more!

Other popular methods include putting your toners in your atomizer or foam dispenser so the application becomes much easier and hygienic too. Note, you can also put this equipment in the fridge for a chilled toning session!

Lastly, some toners come in the form of cotton pads and a tonic gauze face mask, that works like a sheet mask but instead of a serum, you are using a toner.

Are toners for you?

In the end, it only takes a minute or two for you to apply a toner and wait for it to dry up. You may see it as non-essential, but this just means you are missing out on a whole lot of skincare goodness, as compared to when you are actually using one. Now, don’t think about that two minute to save time and reach for that toner.

I will be creating a compilation of my favorite toners in my next blog post.

Until you read from me again!