Skin Care Products Toner

Facial toners are liquid skin care products that remove remaining dirt and bacteria, as well as store the facial skin’s natural pH, after the face has been washed. Depending on the type of toner you use, your facial toner can also exfoliate the skin, giving it a softer, smoother texture. Using toner after washing and before moisturizing the face is a key part of any skin care routine.

Keep in mind, however, that the extent of a toner’s capabilities is limited. For example, while some brands claim to shrink pore size, this isn’t something that toners are actually able to do.

Types of Toners

Like moisturizers, toners for the skin are made to suit one of the four different types of skin. Here is an outline of the types of toners from which you can choose:

  • Astringents: As the strongest type of toner you can get, astringents are ideal for those with oily, acne-prone skin. Astringents, like witch hazel, are so potent because they usually contain anywhere from 20 to 60 percent alcohol by volume.
  • Skin fresheners: As the mildest type of toner, skin fresheners (also referred to as skin bracers) are best for those with dry, sensitive or normal skin. Skin fresheners, like rose water, cleanse the skin while allowing it to retain its natural oils.
  • Skin tonics: As a middle-ground between astringents and skin fresheners, skin tonics are effective for those with a combination skin type. Skin tonics, like orange flower water, usually contain only a minimum amount of alcohol, which is generally about 20 percent per volume.

How to Choose a Toner

Choosing the right toner is just as important as using the toner itself is. Because the market is flooded with a variety of skin care product manufacturers and various types of toners that are specifically made for distinct skin types, finding an effective toner that won’t over-dry your skin can be difficult.

Here are some tips that can help you find the right toner to include in your regimen to maintain healthy skin:

  1. Determine what type of skin you have on your face (either dry, oily, sensitive, normal or combination). Toners are generally geared towards treating specific skin types.
  2. Decide what you want your toner to do for you, aside from just thoroughly cleaning your skin and neutralizing its pH levels. Toners can also mildly exfoliate or moisturize the skin, depending on the type of toner you get.
  3. Choose a quality brand that manufactures products you have used before and with which you were satisfied.
  4. Always start with a milder toner and slowly progress to stronger varieties until you find a toner that is most effective for you. Keep in mind that using overly harsh toners will dry out your skin, potentially leading to acne breakouts and other skin problems.
  5. Select toners that include witch hazel and/or glycolic or salicylic acid. These ingredients exfoliate and thoroughly cleanse the pores.
  6. Don’t choose toners that contain SD Alcohol 40, an ingredient that actually causes the skin to produce more oil. Using these types of toners will lead to oily, acne-prone skin.
  7. Opt for dye-free, perfume-free toners that won’t irritate your skin.
  8. Keep trying new toners if you aren’t 100 percent satisfied with the results of a particular toner after a few weeks.


SkinTerra (n.d.). Solutions to Acne and Pimples. Retrieved November 4, 2007, from the SkinTerra Web site: