What Are Facial Toners and What Are They Good For?

What Are Facial Toners and What Are They Good For?

Believe it or not, you can achieve your desired clear skin without having to hide your face behind layers of make-up. The secret? It’s that liquid solution you swiped on your face day and night back when you were 14 years old, hoping that it would magically erase those pesky pimples and acne scars you had. Yes, toners are back, thanks to the popularity of the Korean skincare regimen that has become a trend over the years. And fortunately, the toners that we see in beauty stores today are way, way better than those alcohol-filled solutions we used back in the days.

But what exactly are toners, and what do they do to your skin?

Toners are liquid solutions designed to remove any make-up residues, dirt, and oil left on the skin after cleansing to leave it feeling clean and refreshed. Back in the days, toners were primarily used for reducing oiliness and getting rid of bumps and blemishes. However, they didn’t work well in curbing oiliness, and they gained a reputation for leaving the skin dry and tight after use. These days, toners are more refined. There are different formulations used for each type, so some do not contain alcohol and are therefore not as drying.

Types of Toners

A healthy pH level is needed to protect the skin from pollutants and pimple-causing bacteria. Some ingredients used in some types of toners can cause an imbalance in the pH level of the skin, which can cause the skin to be more sensitive and prone to dryness. That is why it is vital for you to know the different types of toners and what each contains to make sure that you are using the right toner suited for your skin type and skin issue.

The three main types of toners are bracers, toners, and astringents. Each type is specially formulated to provide varying benefits depending on the main active ingredients they contain.


Bracers, also called fresheners, are alcohol-free toners. These mild toners hydrates and soothes the skin, so we recommend them for those with normal, dry, or sensitive skin types. Most bracers contain rose water and glycerin, which are designed to calm and hydrate the skin.


Tonics have a slightly higher concentration of active ingredients, and they may also contain a lower alcohol percentage. The most common ingredients used in tonics are orange and chamomile extracts, and we recommend them for those with normal and oily skin types.


Astringents are the type of toners that were popular in the ‘90s. They are the strongest among the three types of toners because they contain a high alcohol percentage. Antiseptic ingredients, which are designed to treat acne, are often found in these toners.

Astringents can cause damage and irritation to the skin by stripping away its natural, protective oils. So, unless you have an oily skin type that is prone to acne, we recommend that you avoid using astringents and opt for the bracers and tonics, which are gentler and contain milder ingredients. If you have dry or sensitive skin, stay away from astringents as they can be very harsh to the skin.

Benefits of Using A Facial Toner

Those with oily or acne-prone skin will benefit most from using a toner, but toner is also the right choice for those who want extra cleansing after a day of wearing make-up or sunscreen. Here are other benefits of incorporating a toner in your skincare routine:

Shrinks Pores

Applying a sufficient amount of toner to a cotton ball or cotton pad and wiping it gently on your face will remove excess oil on your skin and minimizes the appearance of pores. When you have large pores, more dirt and toxins enter your skin, and it can lead to irritation and infections. So, if you have tighter pores, you allow lesser to toxins to settle on your skin. Not only does this minimize acne, but you also get cleaner and fresher appearance due to decreased excess oil.

Balances the skin’s pH Level

The right facial toner can help balance your skin’s pH (potential hydrogen) level. pH levels indicate the acidity level of your skin. This is measured on a scale of 0-14, with 7 as the most neutral level. When your skin has a balanced pH, it means that it is less prone to oiliness and infection, giving you a more vibrant and smoother appearance.

Detoxifies the Skin

Pollutants can come in many forms, including smoke and smog, and they can affect the health and appearance of your skin. Facial toners help in removing these toxins from your skin to keep it healthier and brighter. Healthy skin also means you’re less prone to getting acne, and you’ll have fewer wrinkles as you age.

Reduces Acne

Anyone can suffer from acne. Acne can be painful and can leave ugly scars on your face. It can also make your face appear oilier and duller. By removing excess oils, residues, and dead skin cells with a toner, you are reducing the blemishes and acne that you may already have while preventing future breakouts.

Hydrates and Nourishes

Facial toners aid in hydrating your skin. When your skin is adequately hydrated, it becomes smoother, more elastic, and more moisturized, giving you a more youthful appearance. Proper hydration minimizes the signs of aging and makes make-up application easier and lost-lasting. A lot of toners also contain vitamins and nutrients that keep your skin looking healthy and radiant.

When to Use a Toner

Face toners are applied in between skincare steps. You should use them after you wash and exfoliate your face, and before you apply a serum or moisturizer. We recommend using a toner in the morning and at night. Applying toner in the morning removes excess oil that has accumulated on the face overnight. At night, the toner helps in removing any impurities and make-up residues that were not washed off during cleansing.

When using a toner with a high concentration of exfoliants, we recommend that you apply it once a day as overusing it can cause irritation and dryness to all skin types, especially those with dry and sensitive skin.

Things to Remember When Using a Toner

Toners can provide many benefits to your skin when you use it correctly. Here are some the things you have to keep in mind to ensure that you get the most out of your toner:

  • Do not use your toner as a substitute for your cleanser.
  • If you have sensitive skin, choose a hypoallergenic toner that contains ingredients that are known to soothe and calm the skin.
  • Avoid toners with high contents of alcohol and exfoliating ingredients as they may lead to dryness and irritation.
  • If you have oily skin, get a toner that can control or reduce sebum production.
  • Choose a toner that contains vitamin A, also known as retinol. Retinol is known to control sebum production and curb oiliness effectively. Alternatively, you can also choose toners that contain tea tree oil as they are also useful in controlling oil production.
  • Do not use toners that contain comedogenic ingredients like mineral oils as they can clog your pores and cause blackheads.
  • If you have dry skin, a hydrating toner that contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid (HA) is recommended for you. HA attracts moisture, thus leaving your skin feeling hydrated and plumped.
  • If you are prone to acne, use toners that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients and clarifying properties, such as Aloe vera and niacinamide. Never use toners that contain exfoliants because they can only dry and irritate your skin. Dry skin can cause your oil glands to compensate and overproduce, which will lead to more excess oil.

Things to Remember When Using a Toner

Anyone can use a toner. The most important thing is to consider is the ingredients that will cater to your skin type and issues. If you’re looking for a toner that does not contain any harmful components, we recommend that you try our Sea Balance Botanical Toner. It’s a refreshing and hydrating seaweed-based toner that can soothe and balance sebum production. The seaweed ingredient has antimicrobial properties that effectively works to minimize skin blemishes.

To learn more about this toner or if you are looking for more organic skincare products, please visit our website at https://www.seaactiveskincare.com/ and find the best seaweed-based products suited to your skin types and needs.