Created by Three Six Fivefrom the Noun Project

To tone or not to tone? Why I love toners

March 14, 2020
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Photo Jan 22, 3 43 12 PM.jpg

Do I need a toner? What does a toner do? These are common questions I frequently get asked about toners. If you’re not sure if you need a toner, or what a toner does—keep reading to learn more!

What is a toner?

A toner is a water-based solution meant to:

  • remove traces of dirt, oil and makeup along with any impurities lingering after cleansing

  • nourish and replenish the skin after cleansing

  • help rebalance pH level of the skin

Why do I use a toner?

After washing your face, does your skin feel tight? You know that taut feeling around your cheeks that makes you want to slather moisturizer for relief? I like using a toner for this reason. Toner helps restore the pH level of my skin, to help bring my skin to a balanced state.

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When do I use a toner?

I use toner immediately after cleansing my face. I apply toner on a cotton round and sweep across my face gently.

There are different types of toners to address your skin concern. After several years trying out toners, I really like hydrating and nourishing toners. I like using a toner to help prep my skin for the rest of my routine. Below are my favorite toners that have been repurchased several times. If you end up trying any of these, I would love to hear your thoughts as well. Leave me a comment!

HYDRATING & Nourishing Toners

Son and Park Beauty Water $30 11.49 oz – My holy grail skincare product!
via Soko Glam
If you’ve been with me for awhile, you already know what I’m going to say about Beauty Water. Son and Park Beauty Water is my holy grail. I first discovered this product on Soko Glam, an online marketplace for all things K-Beauty. It is my #1 destination for K-Beauty products and trusted source to keep up with the latest skincare trends in Korea. I love Beauty Water because it is multi-tasking product. Willow bark and papaya extract help exfoliate dead skin cells to reveal a brighter and smoother complexion. Lavender water, rose water and fruit extract provide hydration to the skin so it is prepped for the rest of your routine.

I use Beauty Water in many ways. I use it as a toner to rebalance my skin, a cleanser* and a makeup remover.

*I’ve used Beauty Water as a cleanser when I don’t have makeup on. I will sometimes skip cleanser and use Beauty Water as a cleansing water because there are days when I don’t need to wash my face. It all depends on how my skin is feeling/looking on that particular day. This is why it’s important to get to know your skin! Every day could be different.

Acwell Licorice pH Balance Cleansing Toner $18 5 oz

via Soko Glam
Like Beauty Water, Acwell has a pH level of 5.5 so it will rebalance the skin. I think Acwell does an amazing job at removing any impurities like leftover makeup and dirt post-cleanse. I was impressed by the amount of gunk that was picked up by the cotton round after toning. My skin always feels super clean and balanced with this toner. Thanks to licorice water, this toner helps brighten the skin as well. Green tea extract also soothes irritation and helps reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Doesn’t that all sound amazing for a toner? I wish this toner would come in a larger size because I go through the 5oz pretty quickly.

Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer $33

via Sephora
I was very excited when this launched in the US. I am used to toners that are runny and watery, so when I heard of a “cream skin” toner, Laneige had my full attention. Depending on your skin type, Cream Skin Toner can work as a moisturizer too. I have combination skin and this was not hydrating enough to keep my skin moisturized during the winter. Maybe it will work in the summer?

Cream toners have been quite popular last year in Korea. I think it was a great time to introduce a cream toner as we were preparing ourselves for the winter. I was very curious about cream toners because of its milky texture, unlike my beloved Beauty Water. I was also curious how moisturized my skin would be from using a cream toner. This toner has a milky texture that is runny and absorbs quickly into the skin. I really enjoyed my first experience with this toner. After using this toner consecutively for seven days, my skin felt very well moisturized and nourished. I noticed this toner gives my skin a plumping effect so it appears dewy and healthy. In the winter, I would layer this onto my skin for extra nourishment and hydration. Overall, this cream, milky toner stands out because there aren’t a lot like these in the Western market. I like that we have this option because it opens the toner category. I will definitely repurchase this and highly recommend trying it out at a Sephora near you.

belif Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner $28
via Sephora

belif’s #1 moisturizer, Aqua Bomb, turned into a toner. I immediately got my hands on this toner because Aqua Bomb moisturizer is one of my favorites. It’s a lightweight, super-hydrating toner that absorbs quickly into skin and provides long-lasting hydration.
Aqua Bomb Toner is made of honeysuckle to sooth and calm skin, baobab helps lock in moisture wjhile sodium hyaluronate keeps skin hydrated. There is a slight fragrance and it smells so refreshing.
I like applying toner to a cotton round and sweeping across my face gently. This is a great toner option for everyday. I wish this would come in a deluxe size!

Do you use a toner? Leave a comment and let me know in the comments below.




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