What Does Toner Do? Discover the Amazing Benefits of Toners in Your Beauty Routine

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Toner is one of the products on the comprehensive 10-step K-beauty skincare routine. But what’s all the hype about this product? What exactly does toner do in your routine?  

Facial toners double cleanse your skin and remove stubborn residues of oil, dirt, makeup, and harsh chemicals from your soaps and cleanser.

More so, a toner helps to balance your skin pH and prep it to receive the essential actives your skin needs for health and vibrancy.

Toners look like cleansers but are usually more concentrated and less harsh on the skin. This makes it largely tolerated by all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin types.

This article details the many wonderful reasons why you need toner in your skincare routine.

What Does Toner Do for Your Face?

Sejal Shah, a cosmetic dermatologist explains that toners are meant to nourish and replenish your skin after cleansing and act as a primer for the rest of your skincare products.

More on their cleansing benefit, toners contain ingredients that help to remove acne-causing bacteria.

By further cleansing your skin, toners create a better canvas for the application and absorption of skincare products. Toners are also very hydrating; they contain humectants that attract and retain moisture in the outer layer of your skin.

This moisture boost helps to protect your skin by improving your natural barrier and preventing moisture loss. Also, the molecules in toners aid pore refining and consequent regulation of sebum production. As a result, toners are good for acne management.

While it carries out its hydrating, balancing, and cleansing functions, it prepares your skin to receive doses of goodness. Overall, applying toner to your face improves the texture and appearance of your skin.

What Does Toner Do for Oily Skin?

Like earlier mentioned, toners can help to refine your pores. Oily skin is characterized by a production of twice as much oil as produced by normal skin types. And this is accompanied by large pores and clogs.

Toners that contain acids like salicylic acid or glycolic acid are exfoliating toners. Yes, they come with their characteristic drying effect, however, a glycolic acid toner penetrates deep into your skin to unclog your pores of debris.

In addition, it helps to increase cell turnover and brighten your complexion. Oily skin is naturally prone to acne breakouts, therefore, using a suitable toner can help control acne. When the molecules penetrate your skin, they dissolve oil clogs and reduce oiliness.

Using a toner can help balance your skin’s pH. As a result, it stops the overcompensation that comes with the excess production of oil.

What Does Toner Do for Dry Skin?

Toners are naturally hydrating. Dry skin comes with underproduction of oil, itching, and a dull complexion. Using a toner can help keep itchy and scaly skin at bay.

Facial toners that contain hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and a lightweight oil will keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.

Face toner keeps your skin moisturized and alleviates dry, rough patches. Dry skin needs a lot of moisture. Applying toner to your skin will open your pores to receive the moisturizing benefits of your moisturizer.

Moreover, this skincare product increases the absorption of other products and makes the ingredients more effective. While it cleanses and hydrates your skin, it revitalizes your complexion with an uncompromised glow.

What Does Toner Do for Sensitive Skin?

Toners are one class of soothing skincare products. Some toners contain aloe, chamomile, rosewater, and humectants in their formula.

These ingredients combination works to refresh your skin and help soothe inflamed skin. It calms skin redness which is sometimes associated with acne.

Additionally, toner is safe for people dealing with skin issues like eczema. It calms the affected area and uses its moisturizing benefits to soothe itching.

As a moisturizing skincare product, toner can even prevent skin flares and breakouts. They put their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to work and counter initial symptoms like redness, dryness, and inflammation.

What Does Toner Do for Acne?

What toner does for acne is rather a way of preventing breakouts and improving the appearance of acne scars. Toners double-cleanse your skin and help to remove excess oil.

Also, bringing your skin to a pH balance, makes your pores inhabitable for acne-causing bacteria. More so, as it soothes your skin, facial toner prevents the breakout of inflamed acne and helps to manage existing acne.

An exfoliating toner like one that contains glycolic acid will unclog your pores of debris and prevent the breakout of blackheads.

Applying toner to your face prevents acne breakouts; it keeps scars at bay. Toners that contain exfoliating acids can help to fade scars and improve the complexion of your skin.

However, they are only effective for mild acne. Toners cannot help severe cases like adult acne and deep acne scars.

Is Toner Necessary for Your Skin?

Not everyone finds toners as necessary skincare products. If you want a comprehensive skincare routine, you’ll most likely have a toner as one of your products.

People with normal skin types or people who practice minimal skincare may not be inclined toward toners. However, if you have excessively oily or dry skin, you certainly need a toner to maintain skin balance.

Moreover, some cleansers and bath soaps contain harsh chemicals that could be the cause of debris build-up; toner helps to remove such buildup and smoothen your skin.

In essence, use toners according to the demands and needs of your skin. Also, weather conditions and lifestyle determine whether a toner is necessary for your skin.

Although this skin care product is not responsible for the health of your skin, it aids the absorption of ingredients that can affect the health of your skin.

How Do You Pick the Right Toner for Your Skin?

The right toner for your skin should contain the ingredients your skin needs. Different toners come in different formulas to suit peculiar skin types and needs.

If you have oily, sensitive, or acne-prone skin types, you should stay away from toners that contain alcohol and fragrance. Such toners will only aggravate skin problems and cause breakouts.

Oil-free toners that contain exfoliating acids are best suited for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin types. Such toners help to unclog your pores, refine your pores, fade scars, and improve your complexion.  

Moreover, hydrating toners work well for every skin type but they are exceptionally great for dry skin. They contain humectants that attract moisture to your skin. They keep your skin hydrated and glowing.

There are toners formulated with soothing ingredients that are tailored just for sensitive skin types. They calm skin redness and inflammation, cutting down the chances of skin breakouts. Also, they help to soothe itchy skin and eczema.

In picking the right toner for your skin, you should know your skin type and what ingredients should and shouldn’t be used on your skin. This makes your products more effective and produces the expected results.

How Can You Use Toner for Your Skin?

How you use a toner depends on the type of toner you are using. Some toners come in bottles that require that you use a cotton ball as an applicator while some come as face mists that you spray all over your face.

Face mists are refreshing toners that serve well for midday touchups. They are very portable and can be carried about. You can use a misted toner to reduce excessive shine on your makeup, relax your nerves and brighten your skin after stressful hours.

However, a wiping toner is preferable because it effectively cleans up dirt, oil, makeup, and any other impurity. The misted toner, on the other hand, rather dissolves the dirt and oil and absorbs it back into your skin.

Toners are also great for depuffing your undereye. All you need to do is dampen a cotton pad with toner and lay it over your eyes. This is first therapeutic and then it hydrates the skin around your eyes and brightens it up.

In addition, you can use an exfoliating toner as a gentle exfoliator to relieve your skin of the excessive drying effect of 100% exfoliators.

What Does Toner Do to Hair?

Hair toners, just like skin toners, help to balance your hair color. However, they are only suitable for pre-colored hair.

Applying toner to colored hair helps to revive previously colored hair by banishing unwanted brassy undertones and extending the lifespan of your hair color.

Furthermore, hair toners add volume to your hair and protect it from the permanent damage of permanent hair dyes.

These hair care products do not add color to your hair. They rather fine-tune your colored hair to make it uniform and last longer.

The pigment molecules in hair toners do not penetrate your hair shaft and alter the structure of your cuticles. Therefore, they are safe to use.

Can Toner Damage Your Hair?

Hair toners are generally safe to use if used correctly. Toning your hair will go wrong if you use the wrong color or apply it the wrong way.

On the other hand, if you use an appropriate toner the correct way, you’ll be adding an extra level of protection to your hair color and extend longevity.


Should you use toners every day?

Yes, you should use toner every day after cleansing your skin. Use toner in the morning to wipe off excess oil your face secreted over the night. In the evenings, it helps to remove dust and stubborn makeup residues from the day.

However, if your skin doesn’t seem to tolerate it well, you may start using it once a day, or every other day.

Do toners help to fade dark spots?

Yes, it does. Toners that contain exfoliating acids and skin brightening ingredients like papaya extract can help fade dark spots and improve your skin complexion.

When should you use facial toners?

Use facial toner twice a day; as part of your morning and evening routine, just after cleansing and before moisturizing your skin. Also, you can use a misted toner for midday touchups to brighten your face and set your makeup when it gets too oily.

Can you overuse hair toner?

Yes, you can overtone your hair. If you leave toner in your hair for longer than necessary, your hair will come out over-toned.

One of the consequences of over-toned hair is that the toner doesn’t last long because it begins to stain everything your hair touches. Also, it can make your hair lose weight and become brittle.


Toners are skincare products that help to further cleanse your skin and restore your skin to its original pH. This enhances the absorption and effectiveness of the active ingredients in other products in your routine.

For every skin type, there is a formula that is best suited to address its peculiar concerns and improve its appearance. Toners as products transcend skin purposes. Hair toners help to tone colored hair and extend the lifespan of your colored hair.

Whether you want to use skin toner or hair toner, it is most important that you get a formula that works perfectly for your skin and hair and apply it correctly.

Thanks for reading.

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