Toners: What Are They And Should You Be Using One?
There’s more to being handsome than just slathering a few lotions and potions on your face, (that, my friend, would be black magic). But there are a few additions to your everyday grooming regime which, if used correctly, can incrementally improve the way you look and feel.
Despite all the time spent in the gym, when it comes to toning up in the bathroom, most men haven’t got a clue. To set the record straight on this confusingly named product: a toner will not tighten your pores (which are largely genetic but can appear bigger when filled with gunk). Nor can a toner be used to cleanse your skin. (Using it alone is like sweeping up but forgetting to mop.)
Instead, it’s the middle man between your cleanser and your moisturiser, designed to purge pores of any lingering grime, improve the skin’s surface and target specific problems, such as excess oil.
“Most importantly, toners help balance the skin’s natural pH level, prepping it for a serum and moisturiser,” explains Amanne Sharif from Japanese cosmetic giant DHC. “Regardless of your skin type or concern, your skin will appreciate the use of an effective toner.”
Yes, it may be an extra step in your routine, but it only takes a second to sweep a toner-soaked cotton pad over your face and the results, outlined below, will be well worth it.
(Related: The Best Moisturisers For Every Skin Type)
What Can A Toner Do For Combination Skin?
The spinning plate of faces, combination skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, making finding the right product difficult.
A dedicated toner that sidesteps harsh chemicals (which can dry you skin out even further and make oily areas even greasier) in favour of rebalancing the skin’s natural pH will ensure yours stays under control.
Best Toners For Combination Skin
Dr Hauschka Facial Toner
Ideal for normal, dry and sensitive skin, Dr Hauschka’s Facial Toner contains anthyllis extract, which, alongside witch hazel, balances moisture and oil content.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner Kiehl’s mild toner is a non-alcohol formula that works to gently wick away remaining impurities and balance the skin’s pH, while pumping essential oils and vitamins back in.
What Can A Toner Do For Oily Skin?
For the sebaceous glands that keep on giving, a toner that gets to work on mattifying and regulating oily skin can prove to be a highly effective grease-buster.
An astringent formula, designed to gently exfoliate the skin and remove grime, also helps fight breakouts and blackheads caused by blocked pores.
Best Toners For Oily Skin
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Toner Designed to tackle breakouts, Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Toner uses a cocktail of antioxidants and niacinamide (vitamin B3) to help bring oil flow under control.
Perricone MD Firming Facial Toner Despite being packed with glycolic acid to encourage natural cell turnover, Perricone MD’s Firming toner is non-drying so doesn’t boost the production of sebum.
What Can A Toner Do For Dry And Sensitive Skin
Whether it’s naturally occurring or caused by the daily commute, skin sapped of moisture will relish the hydrating power of a decent toner.
As with combination skin, swap harsh chemicals for products that pump the face with vitamins to improve its overall texture and protect the skin barrier.
Best Toners For Dry And Sensitive Skin
Aesop B & Tea Balancing Toner Alcohol-free and gentle on skin, Aesop’s B & Tea Balancing Toner works to soothe and hydrate the skin with a blend of pro-vitamin B5 and green tea extract.
La Roche Posay Sensitive Skin Soothing Lotion Designed for optimal tolerance, La Roche Posay’s Sensitive Skin Soothing Lotion is free of harsh irritants to leave the skin feeling clean and soft.
What Can A Toner Do After Shaving?
When it comes to shaving, toners fall into two camps: those that work best before and those for after. Both are worthy additions to your grooming arsenal, given that the skin is arguably at its most sensitive after having a razor dragged across it.
Astringent lotions that exfoliate the skin can be used to prep the skin for a smooth, comfortable shave, while formulas that prioritise hydration can help soothe irritation.
Best Toners For Shaving
Baxter Of California Shave Tonic Packaged in a convenient spray applicator, this astringent lotion gently exfoliates, clears clogged pores and preps and freshens the beard ready for shaving.
Lab Series Shave Razor Burn Relief Ultra Your skin has a natural defence system that this soothing and hydrating formula effectively helps along. It calms irritation and reduces redness after your razor has done its best work.