Hair & Beauty Magazine

Tone Up Your Skin Care Routine

By Jackiebernardi @JackieBernardi

Toner bottles for skin care

What is the purpose of using a toner as part of my skin care process? D. Linares

Simply put, the purpose of using a toner is that it hydrates your skin, and makes all of your other products work that much better. Using a quality toner is the difference between having good skin and GREAT skin.  However, the cosmetics industry has created a fair amount of confusion around what a toner is.  Let me tell you what a toner is NOT.  It is not full of skin-aggravating alcohols.  It should not sting when you apply it, and it should not “dry-up” your face.  Those affects are a result of using an astringent.  Although there may be a time and place for you to use an astringent, your daily routine is not it.

So then, what should a toner do, and why should it be part of your routine?

The qualities of an effective toner are:

        • they facilitate product penetration
        • they are hydrating
        • they are pH balanced for the skin

Product penetration

Almost all toners have a liquid base which allows the hydration to penetrate the skin into the cellular level. Using a liquid toner is your best opportunity to introduce beneficial active ingredients to the layer of skin they need to be at to work.  The molecular size of the toner is much smaller than any other product type you put on your skin.


Not only do toners assist with product penetration, they can actually serve as the “moisture” component of a moisturizer.  Technically, moisturizers do not moisturize to your skin. Their ingredients can condition/soothe your skin, but their molecular composition is too large to penetrate to the layers of skin that actually affect hydration. An exception to this could be nano-technology, but the jury is still out on that.

Why am I talking about moisturizer when the question is on Toner? When you apply a toner to your skin, you are creating the only opportunity to hydrate your skin with product. By applying a quality toner, and following with a serum or moisturizer, you are effectively sealing in the moisture of the toner with the products on top of it–this is what actually moisturizes your skin.

pH Balance

The next point is for you soap users. The long explanation would give you an education on pH balance and the evils that can occur with your skin if it is out of balance for too long. The short explanation is that traditional soaps are very
“alkaline” on the pH scale. Your skin naturally wants to be a bit acidic so that it can function properly.  A quality toner will facilitate an expedient return to proper pH balance when you use products that are alkaline.

A note on “quality”

Naturally, not all toners are created equally. You want to find one that has quality ingredients (requires homework), and that contains no harmful alcohols.  If you can, find one that can be spritzed on, as opposed to using a cotton ball. Responsible manufacturing practices will not allow a product rich in alcohol to be spritzed on the face near the eyes. Having to use cotton should not be a deal breaker, just be sure to really look at the ingredients.

Tell me…

Is toner part of your daily skin care routine?


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