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Facial Toners Aren’t Just For Teens—there’s One For Every Skin Type

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By Author: emrindustry
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Consider toner the new hairspray. We know what you’re thinking—one is for hair, one is for skin, and they have nothing in common. Except for the fact that they are both products that were once put on the beauty backburner. Back in the day, hairspray got a bad rep for leaving locks crispy and crunchy. They got the job done, but hair literally didn’t move after a few spritzes. Now, fresh formulas mean hairspray works for a range of hair textures and can do so much more than keep hair in place; they can also add volume and fight frizz.

Similarly, toner has gotten a modern makeover. It used to be designed for oily-skinned teens who needed to zap breakouts and shine. But like hairspray, there is a toner for every skin type to target your needs. And toners have come a long, long way. “Facial toners have made a comeback thanks to the widespread popularity of Korean 10-step skincare regimens,” says Christine Choi Kim, MD, dermatologist for The Body Shop.

Even if you aren’t interested in committing to the full nine yards (or rather, 10 steps) of a Korean beauty skincare routine, facial toner can be a seriously ...
... clutch part of your personal routine. But here’s the thing: If you’ve got a darker skin tone, you need to be a li’l bit more careful when choosing the right toner for you.

“People with darker skin tones tend to be more prone to uneven pigmentation,” explains Marina Peredo, MD, a dermatologist based in New York. “If that’s a skin concern for you, then it’s important to avoid any toners with alcohol since it can exacerbate an uneven complexion.” Basically, alcohol is *super* drying for the skin, and it can make you look flaky or ashy if you’re not careful.

That said, toner still has some major benefits for your complexion no matter your skin type or tone. Curious? Great. Keep reading for exactly how to use facial toner, according to experts. Your pores will thank you!

What exactly is face toner?

Facial toner is basically the in-between skincare step. It’s meant to be used after washing your face but before using your serum or moisturizer.

“Historically toners were used as a way to balance the pH of the skin after using an alkaline soap product for cleansing,” says Rebecca Kazin, MD, a dermatologist in Washington, DC. Now, as our cleansers tend to be more pH balanced and gentle, toners have evolved to a skincare category all their own.

Dr. Kazin adds: “The thought process has changed from just a typically astringent product. There are now more types of toners that provide different benefits” As for their alcohol content? Today’s toners are typically pretty water-based.

What can toner do for your skin?

Face toners prep the skin for moisturizers and serum while getting rid of excess excess oil and stubborn dirt or makeup leftover on your face after you wash it, says Dr. Kim. But they’re not a replacement for washing your face. Just think of facial toners as the extra credit rather than the shortcut of your skin-care routine.

But the reformulated toners of today go beyond that basic role. “They are used to target a varying array of skin concerns—from acne to dryness to aging,” Dr. Kim says.

Like their predecessors, some toners are formulated for oily skin. “A toner with a combination of glycolic and salicylic acids can keep oily skin matte throughout the day,” says Estee Williams, MD, a dermatologist in NYC.

But now there are toners for drier skin types that contain hydrating ingredients. “Some newer formulations are even toner-serum hybrids with more substantial gel or lotion textures,” Dr. Kim explains.

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