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To tone or not to tone? Should I use a toner for my skin?

3 min read


Are you a bit confused about toners? Should you tone or not? What do toners actually do??

Fret not, we’re here to help!

Back in the day (when the only cleanser was a bar of soap) toners were very different products to what they are today. This is probably the main reason so many of us are so confused about toners.

Originally toners were needed to restore your skin’s pH after using soap. Soap is highly alkaline (which your skin doesn’t like) so toners were acidic to combat soap’s alkalinity to stop your skin from drying out.

Alcohol was the go-to ingredient because it’s acidic and left your face feeling cool, clean and fresh. Well at least for the first 30 seconds before feeling dry and tight … hmmmm seems a little pointless

So the old cleanse and tone was pretty harsh on your skin and gave some pretty ordinary results. Luckily today cleansers are much gentler which allows toners to play other important roles.

Yes they still help to rebalance your skin’s pH after cleansing. But if you’re using a gentler cleanser like the Cloud 9 Cleansing Balm or 3 Cheers Cleansing Oil, your skins pH hasn’t been affected very much so rebalancing pH isn’t something you need to worry about.

This allows the toners to ditch the alcohol and focus on more important things like hydration and nourishment.

A common thing we hear people say is that they feel like toners don’t do anything. That’s partly because we’ve been conditioned to think that you need to feel something to know if it’s working.

For example bubbles in body wash aren’t a measure of cleaning power. More bubbles doesn’t equal more clean. It’s just our own perception.

What your skin really needs after cleansing are antioxidants, vitamins, fatty acids and ceramides to restore and repair the surface of your skin. The right toner is like a green smoothie for your skin. It provides a shot of what it needs for a fresher, stronger and smoother complexion.

In a nutshell toners of today…

  • Rebalance pH
  • Remove any lasts traces of oil, grime and cleanser
  • Hydrate your skin
  • Nourish with vitamins, minerals, ceramides and antioxidants
  • Prepare your skin to make moisturising more effective, and
  • Provide a little uplift at any time of the day.

Pro tip #1: A good hydrating toner or tonic is your best friend on a long flight so you arrive looking fresh and holiday ready!

Avoid toners with alcohol

Even though there is a new breed of alcohol-free toners there are still some old dinosaur formulations going around. These are usually highly astringent with the use of alcohol.

We wholeheartedly recommend avoiding these types of toners no matter what your skin type. They irritate your skin which makes dry skin drier and acne prone skin breakout.

What makes a good toner?

Your toner or tonic should be chock-a-block full of skin repairing ingredients. Anti-oxidant rich botanicals, vitamins, minerals and ceramides are all on the A-List.

Both the Tickled Pink Perfecting Tonic (for oily/combination skin) and Raindrops on Roses Hydrating Tonic (for normal/dry/sensitive skin) tick the boxes. We call them tonics but they are a toner as well.

Best natural toner for sensitive skin - raindrops on roses hydrating tonicWe use wonderful botanical extracts and minerals like aloe vera, pomegranate, MSM, fermented papaya, witch hazel, willow bark and Kakadu plum to make sure that they deliver a that healthy shot your skin is seeking.

As a bonus, the Tickled Pink Perfecting Tonic is packed with blemish-busting powers to help you recover from breakouts faster and stop new pimples from forming.

A little word on witch hazel – it does get a bad rap by some people because it can be an alcohol based extract.  When used in large amounts it has very strong astringency which could be irritating to your skin. The witch hazel we use is glycerine based not alcohol.  It has different properties which are better for your skin as it doesn’t have the alcohol irritation issue.

Pro tip #2: You can use a toner a few ways. The most popular is spritzing it over your face after cleansing (or any time you feel like it). Another way is to spray some onto a cotton pad and gently wipe over your face. This will help minimise the appearance of pores and allow the botanicals to remove dead skin cells. Win-Win.

The post To tone or not to tone? Should I use a toner for my skin? appeared first on Happy Skincare.



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