Hands up if you use a toner on a daily basis? Ahh, there’s barely a hand in sight – just as I thought. (The fact I can’t actually see you is irrelevant; I’m just trying to get my ‘toners are neglected’ point across.) Toners have copped a lot of flack over the years, beauties, so I’m not surprised they’re a little unpopular with the ladies.

Not too long ago, many of these toning potions contained alcohol, which causes the skin to dry out. Fast. Today, toners are fighting back and claiming their rightful role as a critical step in every female’s beauty routine by ditching their alcoholic qualities in favour of moisture-boosting, acne-fighting, pore-tightening ingredients. It’s brilliant.

So, to further educate you on toners and the goodness they can do, here is a breakdown of Mr T…

What do toners actually do?
Think of toners as a big drink of water for your skin. When you wipe or spritz them onto your skin after cleansing, you’re immediately boosting the moisture content of your complexion, while removing any traces of leftover product or dirt too. This in turn reduces dehydration and refreshes the skin.

Why should I bother with the extra step?
Well, there are lost of reasons. As we age, our pores tend to get bigger, and toners are wonderful at refining pores, which promotes youthful skin. They also make your serums and moisturisers work harder, because the toner preps the skin by moistening it, allowing these products to penetrate deeper into your skin cells. Oh, and they also help to eliminate dead skin cells, so you’ll find yourself sporting smooth, even-toned skin with regular use. Amazing, huh?

When do I use a toner?
Traditionally, toner is applied to the skin with a cotton pad after cleansing and before serums and moisturisers, but you can also mist on the spritz-able varieties during the day if you’re in the need of a dose of extra hydration. (Note: hold it 30cm away from your pretty face so it doesn’t ruin your make-up.) Work one into your routine and you’ll soon enjoy all the aforementioned benefits, as well as minimised shiny t-zones and fewer breakouts.

Not sure which toner suits your skin type best? We’ve gathered a few of our favourites, each of which target different skin concerns…


Dr. LeWinn’s Synergise Toner: Packed with the wonderful antioxidant that is acai berry, this alcohol-free gem is perfect for those concerned with ageing and/or large pores.

Vani-T Multi-Vitamin Facial Mist: Packing a huge vitamin punch, this mist enriched with aloe vera, cucumber extract and vitamin B5 is the perfect mid-afternoon skin hydrator.

SK-II Whitening Source Clear Lotion: Worried about uneven skin tone and fine lines? This wonder will remove dead skin cells and promote a clear, youthful complexion.

Avène Thermal Spring Water: A few mists of this hydrating product each day and you’ll soothe all your redness woes, stat, no matter if they’re the result of pimples, itching, eczema or sunburn.

Franc Essential Balancing Mist: Got super-dry or mature skin that needs an epic moisture boost? The rose oil in this baby will combat any dryness from the get-go, and because it does a brilliant job of helping your skin to absorb your moisturisers, it’ll promote hydrated, balanced skin long after you applied it.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Mist: Skin that’s susceptible to sensitivity or recovering from peels will adore this seriously soothing toner. Containing oat kernel, ginger and aloe, it’ll help reduce and soothe any skin inflammation and redness.

So, now you’re feeling completely clued up when it comes to toners, will you add this step to your regime? Or are you already using one?