8 Benefits of Using a Toner in Your Skincare Routine
As we mentioned in our rundown of why serums are the most important part of your routine, they’re also the one product that even skincare lovers are reluctant to splurge on.
Why? Well, their price point often leads shoppers to reach instead for a (more affordably-priced) cleanser to kick off their venture into natural skin care and quest to see quick results.
Although finding a good cleanser (and cleaning your skin in general) is important, starting your natural skincare journey there is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Especially since ShopEco’s aesthetician, Melissa Menard, stresses that despite a cleanser’s basic function in building the foundation of a healthy complexion, it’s not as targeting or specialized in action as a serum, which can help you fight your skin care battles.
“As an aesthetician, I believe that all the steps in a skin care routine are important and serve a role. If you don't cleanse, you leave bacteria, pollution, and free radicals on your skin that will contribute to inflammation, clogging and congestion, and premature aging,” Melissa said. “Serums are definitely important, and since they do so much heavy lifting, this is the product worth splurging on.”
Using Melissa’s theory, you can begin to view cleanser as a "wash away” - not the star product of your daily regime. Keeping this in mind, (and the amount of cash you’ll end up saving on cleanser), why not invest the difference in a toner that can boost the benefits of your serum and pick up any of the impurities that your face wash leaves behind?
Continue reading to discover why a toner is more than worth the investment.
First, what is a toner and how do I use it?
For many years, alcohol-filled toners were used to help curb oiliness and simultaneously fight breakouts on blemish-prone skin. Unsurprisingly, they got a bad rap for being too astringent and drying, so they dipped back under the trend radar for a while.
Over the past couple of years, toners have become an essential step in not only prepping, but hydrating, nourishing, and rebalancing the skin. Often referred to as “lotion” by the Japanese, (whose beauty ritual praises toner), toners have a water-like consistency that soaks into the skin without leaving behind any residue.
Despite the fact that the toners of yesteryear eliminated acne-causing bacteria with their alcohol content and in turn, stripped the skin of moisture, it’s important to remember that not all toners have the same effect, like those popularized by the “glass skin” look that a K-beauty routine produces.
Hydration is the foundation of the Korean beauty trend that consists of 10 steps, which can be mixed and matched depending on your skin concerns: double cleansing, exfoliating, toning, finger-tapping an “essence” into the skin, applying treatments, masking, circling on eye cream, moisturizing, and then coating the entire face with sun protection.
Applied directly after cleansing, New School toners have a number of benefits that improve the skin’s moisture level, protect its lipid barrier (which Melissa is a huge fan of), and help your priciest skin care products (like serums) go further, among others.
Want to know more? Keep scrolling to learn about the fruitful properties of toner and what it can do amplify your complexion’s radiance.
8 benefits of using toner in your skincare routine
It's full of almost everything your skin needs
Natural and organic toners, like the ones we carry at ShopEco, use moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and/or exfoliating ingredients that help with hydration levels, redness, swelling, breakouts, conditions like eczema, signs of aging, and cell turnover.
It picks up what gets left behind
After washing your face, swiping on a toner with a cotton pad can help remove impurities that your cleanser didn’t catch and balance out your skin’s pH (more on that below). 100% Pure’s Rose Micellar Cleansing Water is great for this.
It rebalances your complexion
The skin’s natural pH is around 5.5, but environmental stressors, blue light, and the constant application of makeup products (especially those that contain potentially irritating ingredients) can throw it off balance. By applying a hydrating toner, you can restore your skin's pH level so that it’s better able to absorb moisture and other beneficial ingredients from serums and creams applied after.
It allows nutrients from other products to absorb deeper
Even better, toner increases the spreadability and efficacy of expensive products like serums so that you end up getting the most out of a bottle. For example, a toner that contains hyaluronic acid like Fitglow’s Sea Toning Mist can help heavier substances like oils penetrate deeper into the skin.
It improves the results of other products
Moreover, toners are formulated to boost the nutrients and benefits of your other skincare products. Once the skin is hydrated and at a balanced pH post-cleanse, mist on a pure rose water to intensify a hyaluronic serum’s hydration benefits.
It's the key to better-looking makeup
Toner can also heighten the look of makeup by helping it sit better on the skin for longer. “Your toner, serum, and daily moisturizer should help you retain moisture,” Toronto-based makeup artist Amanda Blair Roberson told me, as I sat at my desk in the office of FASHION Magazine back in 2019. “When your face is well moisturized, you will notice the biggest difference in how your makeup sits on your skin.” In other words, prepping your complexion with a glow-enhancing and protecting toner is key.
It's a remedy for sensitive and irritated skin
Toners filled with calming and soothing ingredients like zinc, rose, and aloe, can fight unexpected flare-ups caused by inflammatory conditions like eczema or acne. For sensitive skin, Graydon’s Face Food Mineral Mist is a lifesaver and easy to keep on hand.
It's a restorative tonic
Lastly, a toner shower offers an ultra-refreshing pick-me-up, especially if it rains down with the scent of Moroccan Orange Blossom. For menopausal skin, Veriphy’s anti-aging Hit or Mist Facial Toner brightens, comforts, and cools.
To tone, or not to tone?
In the end, it’s all in the way you look at it - toner is definitely an optional part of your skincare routine, but it sure is helpful.
Not sure where to start looking for a product that best suits your skin type? Shoot us a message and we’ll help you figure out which toner is right for you, or, browse our entire selection of toners here.
Want to speak to a team member face to face? Book a personal shopping appointment or virtual skincare consultation with Melissa and have your new skin care routine outfitted for you by a pro.
Anastasia Barbuzzi is a freelance journalist, the Digital Editor of Style Canada, and a writer for Yahoo Canada. She's a bookworm and a lifelong shutterbug, and you'll find her reporting on beauty, fashion, life, and style on the web and in print. A brand with a clean, green attitude and an almond milk cappuccino are a couple of her favourite things.