What Does a Face Toner Do for Your Skin

The benefits of using cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliants, and even the majority of serums and spot treatments for skin are well known, but the benefits of face toners (and even the reasons to use them) are often unclear. In fact, many people just skip this step in their skincare routine, and those who do choose to use a toner don’t often know why this product is part of their routine. In this blog, we’re going to talk about what a face toner does for your skin, and our dermatologists will provide their top recommendations for the ideal face toners for any skin type and skincare goal.

What Is a Face Toner?

Face toners are those bottles of clear or color-tinted liquids you’ve likely seen in your local beauty supply store or pharmacy skincare section. Despite the wide array of toner formulas and varieties, very few people actually know what these products are used for. Toners remove impurities from the skin as well as opening and clearing pores to ensure any treatments and moisturizers applied after cleansing are easily absorbed. It’s important to find a toner and not an astringent. While these products often look similar, the main ingredient in astringents is alcohol. That means these products can irritate and dry skin when used regularly.

What Do Face Toners Do for Your Skin?

The purpose of a face toner is to remove excess oils and trace elements from the skin without drying out or causing irritation. This clarifying effect helps to keep pores clear, allowing other skincare products to be more readily absorbed. They also reduce the appearance of pores and smooth areas with rough or uneven textures as well as improve overall skin tone. Toners also restore the skin’s pH balance, ensuring the skin is healthy. Finally, toners offer anti-aging benefits by helping to smooth skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Should I Be Using a Face Toner?

Everyone should be using a toner in the morning and evening immediately after cleansing. This second step in the skincare routine boosts the effects of your daily cleansing and prepares the skin for the rest of your skincare routine. In most cases, you should apply toner using a cotton pad to gently pat onto the skin after cleansing. There are also facial toners available in a mist that can be sprayed directly onto the skin after washing.

What Face Toners Are Recommended?

Many people have bad experiences with toners. They find that these products either leave their skin too oily or too dry, so they simply stop using them. The key is finding the right toner for your skin. Below, we’ve outlined our top recommended facial toners and described the skin types they’re best suited for. If you ever want a personalized recommendation, don’t forget to chat with your dermatologist!

1 – EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner

When it comes to toners, many people hesitate to incorporate them into their daily skincare routine because they can cause drying and skin irritation. For this reason, people with sensitive skin, chronic skin conditions like psoriasis, and those who have dry skin, often chose to forego toner as part of their skincare routines. Enter EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner. This toner helps to repair the skin’s barrier, so it not only removes impurities from the skin and pores, but it also helps to prevent damage and stop the skin from absorbing additional allergens and irritants. Additionally, this product contains calming ingredients that reduce the risk of irritation and inflammation, making it an ideal toner option for people of all skin types.

2 – Epionce Balancing Toner

One of the benefits of adding a toner to your skincare routine is correcting the skin’s pH balance. Formulated with humectants (water-attracting moisturizer) and botanical extracts, the Epionce Balancing Toner is alcohol-free and pH balanced, making it another great toner option that can be used by people of any skin type, including sensitive skin. Epionce Balancing Toner is a beneficial addition to any skincare routine. It removes impurities from pores, boosts hydration, and prepares skin to fully absorb products throughout the rest of the skincare routine, which maximizes the effects of these products.

3 - Epionce Purifying Toner

The Epionce Purifying Toner is formulated to remove trace elements that may be left behind after cleansing like dirt, oil, and makeup. It also helps people to achieve the ideal pH level, and it can help to jump-start healing for those who have blemishes or acne breakouts. Epionce Purifying Toner is effective for all skin types.

4 – Revision Skincare Soothing Facial Rinse

The Revision Skincare Soothing Facial Rinse is another alcohol-free toner. This means it’s gentler and less drying to the skin. The unique blend of plant and algae extracts found in the Revision Skincare Soothing Facial Rinse helps to improve the skin’s pH balance without over-drying or irritating the skin. That means Revision Skincare Soothing Facial Rinse is an ideal option for people with acne-prone, oily, or combination skin. The gentle, soothing formula is also great for those who have sensitive skin, are recovering after a sunburn or dermatologic procedure, and those with naturally dryer skin.

Below, we’ve outlined some additional product options that can be used in conjunction with the above products to address specific skincare needs:

Best Antiaging Product – SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

For those with dry skin or sensitive skin, hyaluronic acid (HA) is essential, but as we age, our skin produces less HA naturally. Luckily, the SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator can help increase the body’s natural production of HA with daily use. This hydrating product helps skin stay moisturized while soothing and clarifying skin tone and texture.

Best Clarifying Product – Skinbetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serum

When it comes to improving the overall appearance of skin tone for those who struggle with hyperpigmentation, dermatologists have relied on ingredients like hydroquinone and retinol. Unfortunately, these products can be very irritating for sensitive skin, and they can lead to unintentional changes to the color or texture of healthy skin when not used as directed. That’s where the Skinbetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serum comes in. This product can be used twice a day as part of your skincare routine to reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and keep skin looking and feeling its best.

Best pH Balance Product – SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF

If you’re looking to streamline your skincare routine, the multi-use SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF may be just what you’re looking for. This facial product is formulated to remove residue and balance skin, but it also contains vitamin C and ferulic acid to protect against daily skin damage and provide an anti-aging boost to the skin by neutralizing free radicals. Think of this product as a combination of face toner and anti-aging serum. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF is specially formulated for combination skin, but the gentle ingredients are safe enough for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Want a Personalized Recommendation from a Dermatologist?

These recommended facial toners are safe and effective for most skin types, but every person’s skincare needs are a little different. If you want a toner recommendation to help you achieve your unique skincare goals, the best option is to sit down with a dermatologist to create a personalized skincare plan. The dermatologists at U.S. Dermatology Partners curated the list of products on the Derm Skincare site, and they would be happy to help you find the right skincare options for your daily routine. Getting started working with a dermatologist at U.S. Dermatology Partners is quick and easy. Simply complete our online scheduling request form at any time, and one of our team members will be in touch to finalize the details of your visit.