All those bottles that disappeared from our bathroom cabinets for nearly a decade are now back with a bang! Now you have a huge choice of exfoliating lotions, hydrating tonics, anti-acing toners, rejuvenating spritzes... it's hard to know what's what and what they actually do. This is my little guide to toners and some of my favourite picks that I've have tried and tested.
Toners have a bit of a bad rap. A lot of us think of some kind of astringent paint stripper that is full of alcohol and leaves the skin dry, itchy and tight. The toners of today, thank goodness, are a completely different story. Toning is a step in your skincare routine that is meant to re-balance & normalise your skin after cleansing and allow for better absorption of any of your skincare products you put on top. Some toners address more specific concerns, like dehydration, aging or dullness but all in all balancing is what it's all about.
Best Acid Toner
I've tried a few different acid toners and my current favourite is the Pixi Glow Tonic. It's budget friendly and most importantly, it's gentle. I've used it for years and have weitten a more in-deapth review here. Lotion P50 by Biologique Recherche is a similar toner / lotion, it's a much stronger formulation but gives fabulous results. If you are not on a budget I would highly recommend trying it! It's a bit tricky to get hold of, I finished mine a while ago and unfortunately can't get my hands on it here in Ireland.
Best Soothing Toner
One of my favourite toners to use when my skin is a bit stressed and dry is the Thayers Rose Petal & Hazel Toner. It's completely alcohol free and contains aloe vera and vitamin E so feels moisturising and calming on the skin. It's unfortunately also one that you will have to buy online but it's worth it! You can get it about £10-15 on Amazon.
Best Spritz Toner
Serozinc from La Roche-Posay is hands down my favourite spritz toner. In a nutshell, Serozinc is a zinc sulfate solution that is suitable for most skin types. It soothes the skin, helps clear up minor irritations and gives your skin that bit of extra moisture. A great all-rounder that I use most days in my skincare routine. It's easily available, affordable & a fantastic product! If you only check out one of the toners mentioned here, make it this one!
The Caudalie Beauty Elixir, a cult product at this stage, is absolutely beautiful, especially during summer months or when away in a hot country. This little spritz toner is super refreshing, smooths the skin, tightens pores and doubles up as a makeup setting spray.
There are two other toners I reach for very often: the Calendula Herbal Extract Toner & Iris Extract Treatment Essence, both by Kiehls. The treatment essence is a bit different in consistency to other toners, it's ever so slightly ticker. It contains Iris Extract and LHA (Lipo Hydroxy Acid – a great exfoliator) and is designed to smooth and gently exfoliate your skin. The Calendula toner is great for oily or acne prone skin. It's gentle and rather than relying on harsh alcohol, it sooths skin with a blend of whole flower petals and natural herbal extracts. The gentle formula won’t strip your skin or leave it feeling dry.
Another toner I use from time to time is the Clarins Exfoliating Toner. It's slightly harsher as it contains alcohol but works really well on my combination-oily skin. It gets rid of any dead skin cells and really preps the skin for all the other steps of my routine. I find this one is particularly handy for times when I struggle with dry patches and congested skin.
This concludes my toner roundup. Hope it helps any of you looking to incorporate a good toner into your skincare routine! It doesn't add a whole lot of time to your regimen and will give you great benefits!
Have you been using any great toners lately?