Toners are fantastic. They help balance the skin, fight blemishes and redness, give hydration and exfoliate the skin. They also come in two variations: hydrating and exfoliating toners. Caroline Hirons has a wonderful cheat sheet on toners, which deals with the myths, the facts and gives a general overview. Best used after cleansing and before applying serums/lotions/potions/moisturisers/oils.
Two Hydrating Toners
Hydrating toners do essentially what the name says. It either helps in adding moisture back into the skin or helps retain it. Keeping your skin hydrated is very important. I personally have found that proper hydration helps with most of my skin problems and the rest are helped on their way with a good acid and a nap. Use it either as a face mist or massage it into your skin with your hands.
Lotion Tonique Iris by Clarins
This is the first proper toner I ever got, and I actually bought it without much research or thought. What I did was walk into my local store of choice (Müller for everyone from Germany) and made a beeline straight to the slightly more expensive skincare. I’d previously tried the Gesichtswasser Clear Heilerde by Alverde, which is much talked about. But the alcohol it contains wreaked havoc on my skin. Yay. And since my main concern at that time was my oily T-zone. I chose a for-oily-skin toner. It being Clarins and containing a load of product also helped. And I have been happy with it ever since. Buy it here.
Tea Tree Toner by Lush
As the name says, this toner works with tea tree oil and helps clear the skin. Again, it works. It looks good, smells good and if you react badly to pure tea tree oil like me, then you might want to give this a try. I’ve not had a bad reaction to it. Buy it here.
The Acid Toner
The exfoliating toners usually contain some sort of acid (no they won’t make your skin peel off – so long as you use it correctly) which removes dead skin and helps, well, exfoliate the skin. I recommend these only twice a week, especially when new to toners/acids. When you use it on a cotton pad, the exfoliating effect is amplified and you’ll see results quicker.
Glow Tonic by Pixi
This toner, made famous by Caroline Hirons, is the best option to get started on acid toning. The only one out of the three that might be called an “acid” (it contains 5% Glycolic Acid) this toner is a magic potion. Since I have started using this (around 3 weeks ago), I have had not one major blemish, scarring has started to fade and my skin has been exceptionally good overall. Buy it here.