Question: Do I need to use toner?


No, you don’t. You can use it if you want, but it’s not necessary.

Toners (or astringents) are liquids used to remove oil, makeup, dirt, and cleanser residue left after washing your skin. You usually put some toner on a cotton pad and wipe all over your face to apply. However, if you are using a toner to remove any leftover makeup or grime, then you probably need to find a better cleanser or use a makeup remover beforehand.

Toners are also called softeners (especially in Asia) because they “soften” and prepare your skin to help it better absorb moisturizer. In my opinion, this is mostly a marketing tactic.

Some toners also help rebalance your skin’s pH. However, using products with proper pH levels after cleansing can also do the same thing. For example, some people like to use thermal water sprays to do just that.

In my experience, toners are unnecessary unless they are some kind of treatment product, i.e. an AHA or BHA toner. (For these types of treatment toners, I don’t put them on cotton pads. It’s a waste of the product because a lot of it gets absorbed by the cotton. To apply, I just put some on my palms and pat all over my face, avoiding the eye area.)

Nonetheless, if you think your skin is doing great with a toner, then by all means keep using one (preferably an alcohol-free one). Toners are just an extra dent in my wallet though!

Last updated: September 23, 2012

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