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How To Use Face Toner: A Complete Guide To Radiant & Healthy Skin

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We’ve created a complete guide on how to use face toner effectively for glowing & healthy skin. Learn the benefits of toners, how to choose the right one, and essential tips for your skincare routine.
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The easiest way to slide from a meh skin day to a good skin day? Treat your skin to a good toner. Sure, at first, this liquid which looks just like water might sound like an unnecessary splurge. However, if you unsubscribe to this preconceived notion and give the mystifying toner a chance, you will realise it’s a liquidy treat you didn’t know your skin needed.

Composed of water, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, acids, and humectants, this secret skincare weapon balances your skin’s PH value and brings it to 5.5 – the optimal level for a healthy complexion. So, let’s dive right into what exactly a toner is, its benefits for the skin, how to use face toner effectively, and the best toners to buy.

What is a toner?

Think of the toner as a primer for your skincare regime. It basically preps your pores by sweeping away the grime thus, ensuring better absorption of the skincare products that follow. This fast-absorbing liquid has a slightly acidic pH which helps balance the pH value of your skin and make it more receptive to skincare products.

What is toner used for?

Here’s a lowdown on skin toner benefits:

  • A good toner helps minimise the appearance of pores by shrinking them, as per a study. When pores are smaller, the way they should be, your skin has a smoother look. This means you can nail the bare-face look like a pro!
  • Toner acts as a protective barrier between your skin and environmental aggressors. This ensures that your complexion remains clean and unaffected by external factors.
  • Who doesn’t love a hydration boost? Toners give your skin a burst of hydration thereby, calming troubled skin and reducing dryness.
  • A toner makes up for the incompetency of your regular cleanser. It goes the extra mile to rigorously clear your skin of impurities, makeup residues and excess oil.
  • Certain toners include humectants which moonlight as moisturisers. The humectants attract moisture from the air and deliver it to the skin for a plumper and smoother complexion.
  • It makes slathering on your expensive moisturiser worth it by helping it soak in the skin more easily. After all, it ensures a thorough cleanse and leaves the skin damp to make this happen.

How To Choose A Toner

1. Skin Type

Considering your skin type is key when picking any cosmetic product and it also applies to toners. Here are things to consider for different skin types:

  • Oily Skin: Opt for toners with salicylic acid that deeply cleanse the skin and remove excess oil to prevent blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Dry Skin: Consider using hydration-boosting toners with ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
  • Combination: Balance is key for combination skin and you must pick products that are oil-free to prevent greasiness while providing hydration for the dry areas of your skin.
  • Sensitive: Stay clear of fragrances and alcohol-based toners if you have sensitive skin as they tend to cause inflammation and irritation.

2. Skin Concerns:

You should also pick toners that target your skin concerns. This ensures that the toner you pick is complementary to your other skincare products and helps you get the most out of your regimen.

  • Non-comedogenic toners are ideal for acne-prone skin as they do not blog the pores, preventing breakouts.
  • Antioxidants such as vitamin C and tea tree oil are excellent if you wish to brighten and energise dull skin.
  • Natural ingredients like aloe vera, green tea, and rose will help soothe inflamed skin, reduce redness, and are beneficial for reactive sensitive skin.

When To Use A Toner

You can use a skin toner in your daily AM and PM skincare regimen. In the morning, apply toners before applying your moisturiser, sunscreen, and makeup products like foundation and concealers. At night, use it before applying any overnight serums, creams, or treatments for the skin. Ensure that you’re always applying toners after cleansing the face to allow for maximum absorption by the skin. You should also pat your face dry after washing so the toner has the best chance to penetrate the skin. You can use a toner on your skin twice every day to help minimise pores and reduce excess oil production.

How to use a toner?

Wondering how to apply toner the right way? Follow these steps to ensure you are using face toners to get the best results.

Step 1 : Wash your face with a mild cleanser and pat it dry with a towel.

Step 2 : Saturate a cotton pad with 2 drops of your toner and sweep it over your face and neck.

Step 3 : While your skin is still damp, follow it up with a generous layer of moisturiser and the rest of your skincare routine.

Best Toners For Face

We’ve weeded through different formulas in the market to list the most effective ones organised by skin type.

1. Perenne Clarifying Oil Control Toner

Perenne Clarifying Oil Control Toner
Perenne Clarifying Oil Control Toner
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We get it: It's tough to find a clarifying toner that's gentle enough to not trigger breakouts on oily skin, but this genius formula makes the cut. An alcohol-free formula, Perenne Oil Control Clarifying Toner removes impurities and oil from the skin while preventing further breakouts. Willow Bark Extracts contained in this best toner for oily skin act as a natural exfoliant and help buff away dead skin cells to reveal clearer pores.

2. Plum Bulgarian Valley Rose Water Alcohol-Free Spray Toner

Plum Bulgarian Valley Rose Water Alcohol-Free Spray Toner
Plum Bulgarian Valley Rose Water Alcohol-Free Spray Toner
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Say hi to the toner that definitely deserves a spot in your skin-glowing regimen. Plum Bulgarian Valley Rose Water Alcohol-Free Spray Toner which is entirely plant-based, hydrates and revives skin to improve its luminosity. One of the best toners for dry skin, it diminishes blemishes, purifies skin and protects it from bacterial infections. A study says that rose water is also anti‐inflammatory and soothes sun-damaged skin. Bonus: A pure distillate of natural rose petals, it leaves a lingering scent of rose which needless to say, feels refreshing.

3. The Face Shop Calendula Essential Moisture Toner

The Face Shop Calendula Essential Moisture Toner
The Face Shop Calendula Essential Moisture Toner
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Dry patches and acne scars both stand no chance with the unique formula of The Face Shop Calendula Essential Moisture Toner. Infused with Calendula extracts and an herb complex of 6 soothing effective herbs, it leaves your complexion dewy and hydrated. The skin-calming blend of ingredients in this best toner for combination skin works especially great at combating climate changes and keeping skin happy.

4. Plum Green Tea Alcohol-Free Toner

Plum Green Tea Alcohol-Free Toner
Plum Green Tea Alcohol-Free Toner
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If you’ve oily skin you know how tricky it can get to find a product that doesn’t leave your skin too greasy or too dry. Meet the Plum Green Tea Alcohol-Free Toner. Formulated with hydrating agents, Glycolic Acid and Green Tea extracts, it helps reduce excess oil, fight acne and keep skin supple. Plus, this non-drying toner is free of any questionable ingredients (RE: parabens and mineral oils).

5. Kaya Acne Free Purifying Toner With Mandelic Acid

Kaya Acne Free Purifying Toner With Mandelic Acid
Kaya Acne Free Purifying Toner With Mandelic Acid
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It’s no secret that clogged pores can result in acne. That’s where the Kaya Acne Free Purifying Toner comes into play: It exfoliates and purifies pores from within whilst controlling excess oil to keep blocked pores at bay. This best toner for oily skin also wards off zits to leave skin noticeably clearer and brighter. Simply pat a few drops all over your face as part of your a.m. and p.m. skincare routine.

6. Mamaearth Vitamin C Face Toner

Mamaearth Vitamin C Face Toner
Mamaearth Vitamin C Face Toner
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The star ingredient in this toner – Vitamin C – does the hard work of combating dark spots, reducing hyperpigmentation and controlling melanin production. This alcohol-free toner restores the skin’s pH balance while tightening enlarged pores. Witch Hazel and Cucumber reduce inflammation and soothe acne-prone skin while Aloe Vera boosts moisture levels. Apply it to your face 3 times a week and you will notice much calmer and hydrated skin.

7. Biotique Bio Morning Nectar Visibly Flawless Toner with Himalayan Waters

Biotique Bio Morning Nectar Visibly Flawless Toner with Himalayan Waters
Biotique Bio Morning Nectar Visibly Flawless Toner with Himalayan Waters
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If there was a natural and eco-friendly alternative to alcohol-based toner that had the benefits of pure botanicals, this would be it. Formulated with the fresh waters found in the foothills of the Himalayas, Carrot Seed, Aloe Vera, Nutgalls, Rose Petals, Manjishtha, Hibiscus Flower, and Honey, it replenishes moisture and purifies your skin. Plus, it tightens pores without drying your skin out. Bonus points for its eco-friendly and recyclable packaging.

8. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Clear Lotion Hydrating Toner

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Clear Lotion Hydrating Toner
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Clear Lotion Hydrating Toner
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Meet the toner that will make a worthy addition to your hydration regimen. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Clear Lotion Hydrating Toner infused with Hyaluronic Acid, Olive Extract, and Glycerin helps prevent moisture loss and helps you achieve luminous and supple skin. It is also dermatologically tested and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog the pores.

FAQs On Best Skin Toner

  1. What does facial toner do?

    Simply washing your face with a cleanser doesn’t entirely clean your face. This is where the toner comes in for a thorough cleanse. It basically eliminates any last traces of makeup, dirt and impurities as well as excess oil that is clogged in your pores. When used regularly, it can shrink enlarged pores and restore the pH balance of your skin so that it remains healthy and glowing.

  2. What can be used instead of face toner?

    If you are looking for natural alternatives, you can use rose water, coconut water, rice water, aloe vera, green tea or apple cider vinegar as natural facial toners. The results, however, may not be as good as those delivered by specially formulated toners. This is because specially designed toners contain a blend of ingredients to improve your overall skin health.

  3. Should we use toner daily?

    If your skin is extremely sensitive, you can limit using toner to twice or thrice a week. In other cases, for best results, it is advisable to use toner every day after cleansing your face in the evening. There are many toners available in the market which are alcohol-free and suitable for daily use.

  4. Recommend the best toner for acne-prone skin

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