Toner Talk

Hi Readers,

Toners are number 2 on the general list of any basic skin care routine. I’m sure you’ve all learnt this through the elevator banner ads Clinique blasts in your face at Cavendish. But what is toning all about if you’ve already removed dirt from your face in step 1?

This step has always been a bit controversial in the skin care routine. To tone or not to tone? Toners look and feel like water and so many people skip toning thinking they don’t need it or that they’ll save money. I personally don’t tone but is this necessarily the best move for my skin?

Simple toners are formulated to completely remove all traces of your cleanser from your skin as well as removing dead skin cells. By doing this the ingredients that remove the dead skin help to improve uneven or blotchy skin. Some toners even effectively help with the hydration of your skin too. They once were formulated as a way to restore your skin’s pH balance after using a bar of soap because those types of cleansers raised the skin’s natural pH to a level that isn’t good.



I’m not using a toner at the moment because I’m still trying to figure out my routine and mainly because I haven’t used one that doesn’t dry me out like a mofo but also because I HAVE DRY SKIN. If I had oily skin that produced a lot of sebum and/or clogged my pores you can be sure I’d be using a toner right now. So because an oily face is a foreign thing to me and because I don’t break out if I don’t wash my face over the weekend I don’t use a toner. Sometimes, rarely, my t-z0ne gets a little fish and chips (that’s oily fyi) but I don’t directly break out from that happening. My zits are hormonal and my skin is usually at it’s worst when I’m taking the placebo and my body is receiving it’s lowest dose of estrogen. So little white pills = a pimple or two.

The only toner I’ve every really used regularly was the big green bottle from Clinique. That shit is crazy and I regret going near it at such a young age :(. Have you ever smelt it? Like a bottle of Russian Bear vodka. I mean it can even be used to remove make-up and that is a sign of a toner gone too far as an esthetician once pointed out to me.

So toning for me would be an unnecessary step right now. I also believe that some bacteria is good for the skin and that by totally eliminating everything on your face (good and bad), it makes your skin susceptible for other bacteria to come and march around on my face without the defense there to stop it. But I feel like I’m justifying a step that isn’t necessary for me, and like I said if I had oily skin a toner would probably be in my routine consistently.

Final advice: Find a toner suited for your skin type and don’t go near one that isn’t. There are alcohol-based formulas, glycerin-based or water-based. Find which one works for you and if none of them don’t, skip the step and use the money on a good moisturiser or serum instead.






  1. Thanks for this post. Don’t think I will be buying a toner. Don’t want to do more harm than good :)

  2. […] Toning Beth wrote about her feelings on toners here. She mentions the toners we’re all familiar with…super-drying liquids that smell of […]

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