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Have you ever been curious about incorporating a toner into your skincare routine, or are you just curious about what a toner is? Toners were popular in the ’90s but had a bad rap due to their astringent properties that dried out the skin. Now, flash forward to your modern-day toners. These new toners are formulated with more natural and hydrating ingredients to provide that extra level of cleansing and balancing you want from a toner without drying out the skin.

How do toners work?

A toner is a water-based liquid that absorbs quickly and primes your skin for other skincare products. These days, you can find a toner to address any of your skincare needs! Some toners focus on hydration, others focus on exfoliation, while others focus on removing bacteria and oil from your skin. Toners are typically applied using a cotton pad and remove dirt and makeup from the surface that was left behind after cleansing.

What to look for in a toner for acne-prone skin?

Toners are a great addition to a skincare routine if you have acne-prone skin.  A toner can remove bacteria and oil from your skin, unclog pores, balance your skin’s pH, and provide hydration. If you commonly breakout, look for a toner that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid breaks up clogged pores and prevents new clogs from forming. If you have acne-prone skin, formulations with AHAs like lactic acid or glycolic acid are ideal to gently exfoliate your skin. Also, look for formulations that kill acne-causing bacteria and contain ingredients like Aloe vera or chamomile to hydrate, heal, and calm inflammation.

How do you use a toner?

A toner should be used right after cleansing your skin and patting it dry. To apply a toner, sprinkle some toner liquid onto your hands and gently pat it around your face. You can also use a cotton pad to gently apply the liquid moving outward from the center of your face. Use a toner in the morning and evening for best results. After you apply your toner, apply any serums, treatments, moisturizers, and SPF’s that are part of your normal skincare routine.

Here are some of our favorite toners

The Dermala SCANTILY Pad AM/PM Acne Treatment - $29.99

We might be biased with this one, but the SCANTILY Pad AM/PM Acne Treatment contains pre-medicated pads formulated with salicylic acid, the SE Microbiome Complex, and Aloe vera to unclog pores, kill acne-causing bacteria, and hydrate and soothe your skin. 

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner - $18

This toner contains glycolic acid to gently exfoliate the surface of your skin. It also contains grapefruit and Aloe to refine pores and even out skin tone. This is a great toner if you are trying to minimize discoloration or mild scarring from past breakouts.

Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing All Over Toner - $29

This toner contains salicylic acid to unclog pores along with lavender, Camellia Sinensis and Argan to calm the skin. The great thing about this toner is that it comes in a spray form and can easily be applied to hard-to-reach areas on the body, so you're not just limited to your face. 


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