Cleanse, tone, moisturize—for decades, these have been the basic steps (and products) when it comes to skincare. Almost all of us cleanse and moisturize, but toners are a whole other story. Many of us skip this step because we’re not really sure what it is and what benefits it provides—or maybe it’s because you remember using a toner in the ’90s. These original versions were astringent because they were designed specifically for acne-prone skin and contained a high concentration of alcohol. Unfortunately, they were a little too good at banishing oil and gained a reputation as being very drying.
Good news: Today’s toners do just the opposite. They are no longer limited to just treating acne and oily skin types. This skincare segment should not be one of life’s great mysteries, so read on to learn everything you need to know about them and which L’Oréal Paris toner best addresses your specific skin concerns.
What is toner?
Toners may look like water, but we swear they’re not. Most are water-based liquids composed of specific active ingredients tailored to address a variety of skin types and concerns. Each type of toner contains a combination of moisturizing, exfoliating, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. It penetrates quickly because it’s a liquid and delivers a one-two punch of hydration and light exfoliation. In makeup terms, think of it as the primer for the rest of your skincare. It goes on (either with a cotton pad or patted on, like a serum) after cleansing and exfoliating—day or night, or both. It’s best to use on skin that’s a little damp so that it can be absorbed better.
What does toner do?
You can slather on your favourite moisturizer to increase your hydration or use mattifying lotions to stomp out excess oil, but unless you’re starting your skincare routine right, you’re not going to get the best performance from your products. Enter toners. Most have the ability to refine large pores and balance your skin’s pH levels, which essentially primes your complexion, allowing it to absorb serums and moisturizers more efficiently. Toners also deliver essential ingredients, replenish skin and provide additional cleansing benefits.
Which toner should I use?
“Toner” is kind of a catch-all term for water-based products that are designed to prep skin, and there are many options. How you choose a toner is similar to how you choose a moisturizer. Ask yourself if you want a product that targets dryness, age spots, oiliness or wrinkles.
If you have dry and sensitive skin…
Look to plant extracts, such as rose and jasmine, to help top up your hydration while cleansing your skin. L’Oréal Paris L’Oréal Paris Fine Flowers Toner has both. The rosewater in its formula helps to maintain the skin’s pH balance and curb excess oil. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness. Jasmine, on the other hand, improves the tone of your skin while reducing the look of age spots. Used in the morning and evening, this toner will also wash away any impurities (dust, pollution and residual makeup) that might be lingering after you’ve finished cleansing. The formula helps to soften, hydrate and soothe skin as well.
If you have dull skin…
If you’ve noticed that your skin is looking less glowy and more lacklustre, it might be time to add a new toner or switch up your old one. L’Oréal Paris L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Anti-Fatigue Toner helps revitalize skin and washes away debris from the day such as pollution and dirt. It contains vitamin C, which can help brighten your skin, especially if your dullness issue is pigmentation related (dark spots), and magnesium, which offers skin-plumping and fortifying benefits.
If you want to fight wrinkles…
If you want to combat those early signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, L’Oréal Paris L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Rejuvenating Toner doesn’t just remove excess oil and dirt that your cleanser might have missed; it also helps improve skin’s radiance, tone and hydration levels thanks to a blend of glycerine, Fiber-Elastyl and vitamin C. The latter two ingredients penetrate the layers of the epidermis and help to revitalize and brighten for younger-looking skin. The glycerine ensures that your skin isn’t stripped of its natural moisture. Instead, it helps soften and boost hydration levels.