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How To Use Toner: The Beginner’s Guide For All Skin Types


You’re convinced you should buy it, but do you know how to use toner?

If you haven’t been living in a pineapple under the sea, you’ve seen the Korean revolution on skincare and its 10 steps. Gone are the days of incredibly astringent and drying toners and in is the generation of hydrating, humectant ones. Today, there’s a toner out there for every skin concern – not just oily skin and acne. 

In the beginning, toners had water, perfume and high concentrations of alcohol which made it a recipe for irritation and dryness. Using toner fell out of favour. But you can’t keep a beauty staple down for too long. It was back to the drawing board for toner. With a little nudge, toner became the little engine that could. 

Now, with different kinds supporting the needs of different skin types – toner packs a punch The toner is a jack of several trades. It can be the last stage cleanser, a mild exfoliator, a skin brightener and even a hydrating agent. 

Toner also acts to restore the pH levels of your skin. If your skin is too acidic you break out, when it is too alkaline you have dry patches. Toner serves to provide equilibrium to your skin. It’s not as flashy as cleansers and serums but it more than carries its weight. 

However, that isn’t to say that you should be using these powerful products with disregard. There’s a method in the Korean skincare madness, so stay with us and we’re going to explore where, when and how you should best use toner!


When’s The Best Time To Use Toner?

Depending on the toner, it can be packed with a variety of skin-nourishing vitamins, nutrients and humectants. Ingredients can include glycerin, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. In order for your skin to best absorb this power solution, toners should always be applied once you finish your double cleanse and after you exfoliate.

The first cleanse removes any makeup that’s covering your skin while the second cleanse removes any dirt, dust or free radicals that may be covering your face. Finishing off with exfoliation will remove any dead skin cells from clogging your pores.  

Once your skin is cleared of makeup, dirt and grime from your double cleanse; the toner’s skin-beneficial ingredients can be more efficiently absorbed by your skin. 

Pro tip: apply your toner while your skin is still damp – this will allow your toner to penetrate more deeply into your skin. 

To see and feel the beneficial effects of your toner more rapidly, incorporate toner use in both your day and night skin-care routines. 


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How To Use Toner In 3 Easy Steps

1. The first step is knowing your skin type. After all, you’re priming the beautiful canvas that is your face – get to know what’s best for you before you begin anything else. 

2. Next, figure out how often you should use toner. The rule of thumb is to use a toner after every double cleanse, day and night but if your schedule is too packed, do it once a day or once every other day depending on your skin type and needs. 

3. Now it’s time to apply your toner. When it comes to application, there a number of ways to approach it. The easiest way to ensure even coverage of your toner is to lightly soak a cotton pad and work in an outwards spiral around your face. 

4. If you’re looking for a more personal touch, you can sprinkle some on your fingers and/or hands and tapping and spreading an even layer directly on to your skin. Always wait for the toner to dry and give it some time to work its magic before you start moisturizing.

Pro tip: don’t forget the neck!


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Final Thoughts On How To Use Toner

As flexible as toner is now, it still has specific rules of engagement. You only use a toner after cleansing, even if you use a mask or a scrub. And always before you choose to moisturize. 

Ultimately, when you’re trying to figure out how to use facial toner, you must be clear on you and your skin’s personal concerns. 

  • If you’re feeling frugal, use your fingertips and lose less product.
  • If you’re feeling experimental, get compressed face masks and DIY some toner mask magic.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, put it in a spray bottle and mist it on your face. 
  • If you’re feeling dirty, use a saturated cotton pad and see the last of the grime get wiped away. 
  • If you’re feeling extra, some women apply anywhere between upwards of 7 layers of toner one after the other! 
  • If you aren’t sold on the majesty of toner by now, it seems unlikely that you ever will. At least you can make an educated choice whether to tone or not to tone. 

Let us know your thoughts @kiseu

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