As the 10-step Korean skincare routine gains popularity, it seems there are more steps to keep track of than ever before. Most of us know that toners come after cleansing, but do you know what toners actually do for your skin? We have seen KPop idol groups like BTS and TWICE touting the importance of toners in their routines, but many people often just pick a random toner and go through the motions without actually understanding its potential.
- Removes remaining traces of makeup/dirt
- Restore skin’s pH by removing minerals and impurities in tap water
- Provides an additional layer of hydration
- Improves absorption for subsequent products
It depends on the products you are currently using and your skin condition at the time. You may have to change your toner depending on the season and the condition of your skin throughout the year.
If you feel like the skincare products you use are ineffective, it may be because you are not using toner in your skincare.
Toners improves the efficacy of products applied after. Think of it as a primer, but for skincare.
Many people often choose to skip toners because there is a preconceived notion that they’re drying and harsh on skin. While that is true of the astringent toners of the past, luckily, toners have changed since their initial formulations.
However, there are still some improperly formulated toners out there in the market.
Avoid toners that have bad alcohols (e.g. SD alcohol, denatured alcohol) in them or alcohol that features as a main ingredient. These alcohols dry out your skin and do nothing to ‘shrink pores’. The drying effect on skin makes your skin feel tighter temporarily but long-term use will exacerbate fine lines as well as cause irritation.
Fatty alcohols, on the other hand, are great ingredients for dry skin and are non-irritating. e.g. cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol.
Twice daily, morning and night immediately after cleansing.
Experts recommend soaking a cotton pad and wiping over face to apply, instead of patting it in. Doing so removes dead skin cells and also allows you to check if your cleansing removed all traces of makeup, cleanser residue, and impurities. While it may feel like a waste of product, this way will ensure you are not rubbing it around leftover traces of makeup and dirt.
Depending on your skin type and needs, you may also wish to choose toners that have additional benefits, such as anti-ageing, extra-hydrating, calming… the list goes on. Maximise the effectiveness of your skincare by choosing toners with lots of beneficial ingredients that will do double-duty work for your skin!
Depending on the type of toner, they can also:
- Exfoliate skin safely
- Provide additional antioxidants
- Minimise wrinkles and other signs of ageing
- Soothe skin
- Improve skin surface
- Minimise appearance of pores
As skincare guru Paula Begoun states:
Avoid toners that are just plain lackluster. Although most of these are not bad for skin, they’re not helpful, either.
You may see these ingredients in many toners and other skincare products– and for good reason!
AHAs are chemical exfoliants, removing dead skin and encouraging cell turnover which allows for better absorption of subsequent products. They have additional anti-ageing properties as they encourage collagen production, as well as improve the appearance of wrinkles and the overall skin surface.
We recommend: Renaza Acne Series AHA toner
This toner contains glycolic acid and lactic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells, as well as reduce the appearance of acne, blackheads and whiteheads, and fine lines. Calendula flower extract and Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice also help to minimise signs of ageing, diminish superficial sun damage, and brighten complexion.
Ceramides are lipids (fats) that are found in the uppermost layers of skin and make up over 50% of our skin composition. They help to protect our skin from pollution and reduce moisture loss, as well as aid in collagen production.
Ageing and UV damage gradually reduce the effectiveness of your natural ceramides.
Thus, it becomes more important to choose products containing ceramides as we get older, which can help firm and plump skin as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
We recommend: Renaza Glow Series Ceramide Toner
This moisture-rich, pH balanced and alcohol-free toner contains Ceramide 3, oat seed extract and phytosphinegosine to instantly moisturise skin and improve the skin’s appearance. Other essential plant extracts from liquorice, witch hazel, chamomile and eucalyptus also work to soothe skin.