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A Guide on How to Use Toner in 2022- Skin Toner Uses, Types & Benefits

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Wondering if toners are even necessary? How to use toner? What can a toner do for your skin type? We’ve answered all these and more for you, read on to find out all you need to know about toners.

Toner is a liquid designed to enhance your skincare routine. Toners are used after a cleanser as the first step to the skincare routine. It’s packed with potent ingredients meant to replenish the skin and prep it for all the other skincare products in your routine.

Toners usually have a pH of 5 which neutralizes the skin’s pH as your skin may become slightly alkaline after washing. It’s also often full of many wonderful ingredients which could help treat a variety of skin problems. Toners often have soothing ingredients which help get rid of redness and inflammation. They also help prep the pores of the skin for other skincare products by removing impurities and helping absorb moisture more efficiently.

Using a toner has multiple skin benefits like- 

  • Toners can help restore the skin’s pH.
  • They can help remove impurities from the skin.
  • They may help control excess sebum production.
  • They prep the skin for other skincare products and help improve absorption.
  • They provide a hit of hydration to the skin.
  • They can help smoothen the skin and minimise the appearance of pores.
  • They can also help soothe the skin and reduce redness.

There are three main types of toners in the market-

  • Tonics- Tonics are one of the common forms of toners, characterised by a medium strength and the presence of some amounts of alcohol in them. Tonics are often formulated with ingredients like AHAs, BHAs and Vitamin C.
  • Bracers- These are the gentlest form of toners consisting of water and humectants which make them hydrating and gentle.
  • Astringents- They are considered to be the strongest type of toners which are best suitable for those with oily skin types. These often contain alcohol amongst other active ingredients in them. They work by removing excess sebum and unclogging the pores.
  • Toners for oily skin type- Toners with ingredients like AHAs, BHAs and Niacinamide that help control sebum production and moisturise the skin are best suited to those with oil skin.
  • Toners for dry skin type- Those with dry skin type should opt for toners with hydrating ingredients like Niacinamide, amino acids and humectants like hyaluronic acid. They moisturise the skin while preparing it for other serums and moisturisers.
  • Toners for sensitive skin type- Sensitive skin types should be careful to stay away from toners with alcohol. Sensitive skin types can benefit from toners with calming and anti-inflammatory ingredients like Green tea extracts, Aloe Vera and Calendula extracts.
  • Toners for dull skin- Toners with brightening ingredients like Licorice root extract, Niacinamide and Papaya extracts are the best choice for those looking to treat dull skin.

Toners can essentially be used by anyone and everyone looking to improve their skincare routine. All you have to do is ensure that you choose a toner based on your skin type and skin concerns and you can enjoy the many benefits of using this wonderful skincare product in your routine. Those with sensitive skin may need to be extra careful to choose an alcohol-free toner with suitable ingredients.

There’s multiple ways of using a toner in your skincare routine. You can go for the conventional method and soak a cotton pad with toner and gently wipe it across the face. But this method has some concerns surrounding it. Using a cotton pad soaks up a lot of the product leading to wastage. Also, many argue that wiping a cotton pad everyday could cause unnecessary friction and lead to skin damage and cause accelerated aging over time. Don’t like how that sounds? You can just ditch the cotton pads and pour some toner on to your hands and directly pat it into your skin to avoid wastage. If not, you can also look for toners that come in a spray bottle packaging to avoid any hassle. Just spritz some toner on your face and you can move on with your day hassle-free.

As a rule, since toners prep your skin and help in the absorption of other products, toners are meant to be applied as the first step of your skincare routine after cleansing your face. They can be used in both morning and evening skincare routine and the best part? Most toners can be used every day. While this vastly depends on the ingredient list, once you find the right toner for you, you can make it a part of your daily routine.

  • Do use toners in your routine- While the idea of using a toner might seem like an extra step to your routine, it’s actually got more benefits than you think. It’ll only take a little bit more effort but yield much better results so consider adding a toner to your skincare routine.
  • Don’t use toners as a replacement to your cleanser- Let’s get this clear, toners are meant to be used after cleansing your face, it’s not meant to be used as a replacement to your face wash or cleanser. Using it incorrectly could lead to clogged pores and do more damage than good.
  • Do use a toner that’s suitable for your skin type- Not all toners are for all skin types. Using a toner with ingredients that are suitable for your skin type is essential so make sure to look at ingredients and pick a toner wisely.
  • Don’t use toners with comedogenic ingredients- Toners with comedogenic ingredients can result in clogged pores, so look for alternatives with non-comedogenic ingredients.
  • Do use toners with AHAs and BHAs- Toners with AHAs and BHAs are a great way to add these acids into your routine, especially if you’re a beginner to chemical exfoliation. It’s a quick and easy way to get your dose of exfoliation, just make sure to pick a product that’s suitable to your skin type.
  • Don’t use toners with alcohol if you have sensitive skin- Alcohol has a tendency to dry the skin out, hence using toners with alcohol may lead to dryness and irritation for those with sensitive skin type. If you have sensitive skin, look for toners with gentle and hydrating ingredients.

While toners can usually be safely used by most skin types regularly, depending on the ingredients, some toners may not be for everyone. Some side effects associated with toners include-

  • Dryness
  • Itchiness
  • Rashes
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity
  • Inflammation

Toners with AHAs and BHAs should be used moderately, and it’s best to start using them once or twice a week and build your skin’s tolerance to it if you’re new to using acids in your skincare. Such toners also cause sun sensitivity so it’s important to diligently use sunscreen to avoid sun damage.

Let’s put it this way, all astringents are toners but all toners are not astringents. As we’ve covered already, toners can mainly be of three types- Tonics, Bracers and Astringents. The biggest difference between normal toners and astringents is that astringents contain alcohol in them. This makes astringents suitable for very specific skin types. They may be suitable for those with oily skin as the alcohol in them can dry out the skin and manage sebum in the skin. Astringents are not suitable for those with dry or sensitive skin types as it may result in irritation.

More than which toner you use, what matters is how to use a toner. It’s important you follow instructions and choose a toner that’s formulated for your skin type to get the maximum benefits and results from using a toner.

  • How to use toner for dry skin?

Those with dry skin type should opt for toners with hydrating ingredients like Niacinamide, amino acids and humectants like hyaluronic acid. Dry skin types should avoid using astringents and toners with AHAs or BHAs too often.

  • Is it necessary to use a skin toner?

Toners can benefit the skin in multiple ways and using toners can help enhance the effect and absorption of other skincare products in your routine. While it isn’t a necessary step to be added to your routine, why miss out on the many benefits of toners?

  • How to use skin toners?

Toners can be used every day, both in your morning and night skincare routine. Use a cotton pad or pour some toner directly into your hands and pat it onto your skin right after cleansing.

  • How long does it take for toners to work?

You may notice your skin feeling smoother and clearer within just a few weeks of including toner in your skincare routine.

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