For many of us, our first introduction to skincare included a three-step system including a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer. But while the facial toner you used as a teen might not serve your grown-up skincare goals, toner still has an important role to play in your routine.
Like you, this product category has grown a lot since you were in your teens. The benefits of toner for the face have become as vast as those of serums, doing everything from retexturizing skin and reducing the appearance of pores to boosting hydration and glow. And unlike the harsh toners of decades past which left your skin stripped and tight-feeling, ours provide powerful benefits while remaining gentle on the skin.
Keep reading for a complete guide to toner including what it does, how to use it, and which toner is best for your skin.
Face toner is a water-based product that balances your skin’s pH and preps it for the rest of the products in your regimen.
Your skin is naturally on the acidic side. This helps it ward off bacteria and retain moisture. Cleansing can disrupt this delicate balance, making it more difficult for the skin to do its job as intended. This is why you need toner.
If you’ve ever flooded a cotton round with toner and swiped it across your face, you may have noticed that it came away dirty. But let’s be clear: this is not because the toner cleaned your face. Facial toners are leave-on products meant to treat your skin, not clean it. So if your cotton round comes away dirty, we recommend double cleansing before toning to ensure your skin is truly clean.
There are three ways you can apply toner:
As a general rule of thumb, you should always apply your treatments from the thinnest formula to the thickest. That means you should use toner after cleansing and before your serum and/or moisturizer. In fact, it’s best to apply your serum or moisturizer while your skin is still a little damp from toning so that those products can pull that moisture into your skin and absorb better. This is especially true if you use a serum or moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid, which bonds to water and helps hydrate and plump the skin.
All skin types can use toner in both their AM and PM routine. Oily and combination skin types can use a clarifying toner both morning and night, while sensitive and dry skin types may choose a hydrating toner for both. You can even mix it up, using a hydrating toner for day, and a refining toner to exfoliate and clarify overnight.
Hydrating toners can also be spritzed on throughout the day whenever your skin needs a moisturizing pick-me-up.
Both of our toner formulas are suitable for all skin types, but each works differently to benefit the skin. Use your favorite morning and night, or mix and match to reap the benefits of both.
Our alcohol-free toner uses white willowbark extract - a natural, oil-soluble beta hydroxy acid - to gently but powerfully exfoliate and decongest pores. Meanwhile, caviar lime extract works its alpha hydroxy magic to gently exfoliate dead cells from the surface of your skin. All this happens without any drying or over-stripping thanks to our sugarcane-derived squalane, which balances the skin and leaves it smooth and hydrated.
In consumer surveys, 100% of participants reported that their pores appeared smaller and their skin was calmer and more hydrated within just two weeks of use.
“This has now become a staple in my routine. The squalane included in Biossance's products was really a great idea!” says Biossance customer, Shantal B. “This toner cleans my pores without leaving my oily skin irritated or dry plus the smell is amazing! I use this twice a day before applying serums or moisturizers/retinol and it works perfectly with those products.”
Hydrate and plump fine lines with this refreshing toning mist. Formulated with two types of hyaluronic acid, this alcohol-free toning mist provides weightless hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Use it after cleansing, as a makeup setting spray, or to boost hydration and refresh your skin throughout the day.
One hundred percent of consumer survey participants reported that our toning mist boosted the benefits of their regular skincare routine.
“I typically use this after cleansing and before my next steps or even mid day when I need to feel refreshed,” says Biossance customer Eliza A. “It's so light and has just enough hydration to carry me through. You can even keep it in the fridge for after sun care.”