Should You Be Using A Toner? |
We grew up with the mantra to cleanse, tone and moisturise, yet toners have been forgotten along the way with serums, acids and beauty innovation. But truth be told, we shouldn’t be overlooking them. To help you understand them better, skincare expert and celebrity facialist Kate Kerr is on hand to share everything you need to know…
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They Enhance The Benefits Of Other Products

Traditionally, the older generation of toners tended to be extremely drying and quite unnecessary for most people. But recently, they’ve undergone quite a few transformations, making them a great tool for preparing the skin’s receptivity to active ingredients within the rest of your regime. They’re also commonly now used as a second treatment to specifically target your skincare concerns. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, you could look for a toner that controls oil, while anyone with sensitivity should seek out formulas with lactic acid. 

There Are Certain Ingredients To Look Out For

I recommend looking for formulas with a lactic, salicylic or glycolic base combined with anti-inflammatory ingredients. This will help exfoliate the skin and stimulate cell turnover by ensuring dead cells (which often block pores) are sloughed away, keeping your complexion clear of any build-up. Toners really help to protect against any inflammation from exfoliation – and glycolic is especially good if you’re after a formula that targets ageing. If you suffer with particularly sensitive or dry skin, opt for alcohol-free hydrating toners and ingredients that can soothe, calm and nourish the complexion.

Not Everyone Needs To Use One

While I do see their benefits, toners aren’t 100% necessary for everybody. This is because they’re often associated with balancing the pH mantle of the skin. However, if you’re using the correct skincare, this acid barrier – which is responsible for optimising your skin’s hydration and protecting from free radicals, bacteria and pollutants – should already be intact, making toning unnecessary. Having said that, they have become a great tool for helping your skin absorb other products and are good at targeting an individual’s needs. To put it simply, if you’re time-poor or have quite well-behaved skin, you’re not going to ruin your regime without one. 

They Should Always Be Used Post-Cleanse 

Confusion often arises over when and where you use a toner in your regime. They should come after you’ve cleansed and exfoliated but before you apply your first serum. This is so that any actives from your serums and moisturiser are then better absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin.

You’ll Get The Best Benefits When You Use Them Daily

Regularity and maintenance is key when building a skincare regime, so if you start incorporating a toner, stick to it. They can be used morning and evening, especially as most formulas are much gentler now, too. They’ll gradually work to remove dead skin cell build-up and open the doors and channels for all your products to penetrate more easily. That being said, if you’re using a very drying toner (for oily or acne-prone skin), it’s best to opt for every other day and increase your usage as your skin gets use to it. 

Shop our pick of the best toners worth adding to your regime…

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