What is Toner?

It’s the skincare product you never hear about, but that everyone has in their medicine cabinet: toner. Toner is a water-based liquid that penetrates the skin to hydrate it and strip away the top layer of dead skin cells. In the past, most toners were alcohol-based and designed to treat acne and excess oils on the face. However, new formulas are now alcohol-free and product use has expanded to treat more than just acne. Today, products are also formulated to address wrinkles, dryness, redness, dark spots, and inflammation.

Here, we answer your most common questions about why, when, and how to use toner in your skincare routine.


What Is the Difference Between Toner and Astringent?

You may hear the terms toner and astringent used interchangeably, but while these products are similar there are a few noted differences. Astringent is an alcohol-based product that is used to cleanse oily, acne-prone skin. If you have oily skin, astringent removes excess oils and bacteria that lead to breakouts – however, if you have dry or sensitive skin the alcohol will dry out and inflame skin even further. On the other hand, toner is a water-based product that is used for several skin needs, including hydration, exfoliation, and anti-aging. Toner can be used for all skin types, while astringent works best for oily skin.


What Are the Benefits of Toner?

These days, it depends on your skincare needs. In the past, toner was used strictly to clear up oily skin and acne breakouts, but new formulas have expanded its use for other skin issues too. Toner can be used to hydrate, exfoliate, and cleanse skin. Some products even contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to soothe redness and promote anti-aging skin blemishes.

Let’s look at some of the main uses for toner:


  • First and foremost, toner removes final traces of dirt, grime, bacteria, and makeup from your skin. This exfoliation unclogs your pores and prepares them to receive moisturizers, serums, and other skincare products. When your pores are clear, they absorb nourishing products more deeply into the skin.
  • Because toners cleanse and unclog pores, they are especially helpful to people who have acne-prone skin or who wear heavy makeup. Toner flushes out the excess oil, bacteria, sweat, and dirt that causes acne breakouts. And it helps to remove lingering traces of makeup that your cleanser may have missed.
  • Your skin is naturally acidic, but toner helps to restore the pH balance of your skin after cleansing.


When Should Toner Be Applied?

For optimal effect, apply toner directly after cleansing your face, but before use of moisturizers, serums, and makeup. It will flush out any remaining dirt and grime to ensure your pores are open and ready to receive other products. If your skin can tolerate it, use toner twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. As mentioned above, there are several types of toner, so choose a product that fits your skin care needs.

Like with any skincare product, perform a skin patch test before full use. Some toners include essential oils or plant extracts that can irritate sensitive skin. And some formulas contain alcohol, which can dry out skin.

While proper product use at home is essential for healthy skin, give yourself a little extra TLC with a spa treatment at Ageless Allure Medispa. Choose from a selection of cleansing and nourishing facials, peels, and wraps to brighten and refresh tired skin. For more information or to schedule a session, contact our office today.