Fuelled by the ever-popular K-beauty boom, 10-step routines have been all the rage for quite some time now. While this trend promises to reward you with glass-like, filter-perfect skin, it’s beyond complicated to say the least. Knowing which products to use and, more specifically, how to layer them is complicated, to say the least.
And while cleansing and moisturising are often considered essential steps in any routine, a few products tend to live in a grey area. Toner for example is often skipped or layered incorrectly. Are you supposed to apply it right after cleansing? What if you need to exfoliate? Do you apply it after essence or serum or before? And why? Here’s a super quick break down for all you burning toner-related questions…
What is a Toner?
A toner is a necessary step in your morning and night skincare routine. They help remove any leftover traces of dirt that your cleanser couldn’t get; they restore your skin’s natural pH levels; they are fast-penetrating liquids, designed to tighten your pores, prevent moisture loss, and prep your skin for your other skincare products.
Cleanser First, Toner Second
A toner should always be applied twice a day (morning and night) and come second in your routine, right after cleansing. This is because your skin’ pH levels can become unbalanced from cleansing, thus your toner will help to rebalance it. Your cleanser can also strip your natural oils, so your toner will help to restore moisture immediately after. Here are the basic steps to follow:
Exfoliant Second, Toner Third
HOWEVER, since you should aim to exfoliate once or twice a week (especially if you are acne-prone), on the nights that you exfoliate, your toner should come third in your routine. Note, you should only be exfoliating a night to prevent skin sensitivity. Here are the steps to follow when you exfoliate:
How to Use a Toner?
Thankfully, using a toner is pretty straightforward. Simply apply some toner to your fingertips (no need for cotton pads!), and gently press it into your skin. It’s best to do this when your skin is still a little damp from cleansing, so it absorbs better. Once you’re done toning, it’s important to always follow up with a nourishing face serum and moisturiser.
Understanding the needs of your skin is essential for finding the right toner that works for you. Start by taking our quick skin quiz to find out which ingredients are right for you!