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Toner is a type of cosmetics designed to clean the skin and give it a smooth, firm texture. They are usually applied after face wash and cleanser, as the last step of a skin care routine. The great thing about toners is that they shrink the pores after they have been opened during the washing and cleansing process; this means that the face is protected from impurities and dirt after the routine is complete.

Typically, toner is used in one of three different ways:
1.With a small cotton wool pad.
2.With a spray on vapouriser.
3.With a facial mask.

Each method has the same result, it’s really just a question of choosing which one works best for you, taking budget, time constraints, and skin requirements into consideration.

Types of toner

As mentioned above, not all toners are the same, and they aren’t applied in the same way. If you’re not sure which type to purchase, have a look at the different types and see what you think:

Skin bracers

These are a particularly mild form of toner. They are great for people with some areas of dry skin on their face, as they generally contain little to no alcohol. Ingredients such as glycerine are included to keep moisture in the skin, as well as cleansing it. People with sensitive skin can use this kind of product, as it’s not too harsh and doesn’t have an overpowering fragrance.

Skin and Face Tonics

There are some skin tonics that contain up to twenty percent alcohol, as well as some other moisturising products. Normally, it’s best to avoid products with alcohol in them, but sometimes they can work to the users advantage. Used in moderation, skin tonics are suitable for most types of skin – but definitely not dry or cracked skin.


With between twenty and sixty percent alcohol content, astringents are by far the strongest type of toner on the market. They also contain antiseptics, water, and some moisturisers. Astringents tend to be used by people with oily skin, although they can sometimes cause more problems than they solve in this respect. As the pores are dried out by the alcohol, they work harder to produce more moisture and can over compensate for the toners activities. However, they are highly effective when used on small areas of affected skin.

Applying facial toner

Application of toner is not a complicated process; it’s just a part of an established skin care routine, so the most important thing to remember is where it fits in.

1.Use after washing, but before moisturiser – When you’ve cleaned your face, apply cleanser using circular motions. Make sure you cover all your face and neck, before rinsing thoroughly with warm water. Now you’re ready for toner.

2.Reach for the cotton pads – Pour some toner onto a cotton pad, enough so that it starts to soak through to the other side, then pat it over the areas you just cleansed – face and neck primarily. Don’t rub it or press down too hard, the toner is only meant to be applied in thin layers on the surface.

3.Moisturise – Toning is integral as the intermediate stage of your facial cleansing, and because it’s not a cleanser or a moisturiser, it can leave the skin feeling slightly dry or tight, this is normal and not at all painful. It’s a simple reminder that you have to put some of the moisture back into your skin after toning.

Toner Tips

After you’ve completed your skin care routine a few times, you’ll find that you slip into the repetition quite easily. It’s especially easy to incorporate your cleansing into your day if you do it in the morning ahead of your day and in the evening before you go to bed. Here are some tips to make your routine run even more smoothly:

1.Avoid the eye area. Toner is similar to other products used on the face in this respect, because the skin around the eyes is delicate, it’s important to treat it with a little more care. Don’t exfoliate it or rub it vigorously, and keep your toner at a distance.

2.Although this was mentioned earlier, it’s worth re-iterating; choose your toner carefully. Harsh fragrances and high alcohol content can irritate the skin, so check the label closely before you buy.

3.Always apply after cleansing and before moisturising. If you use toner before you’ve cleansed, it will be useless, and after moisturising, it leaves the skin dry – defeating the point of applying moisturiser.