After cleaning your face, you always start your skincare routine with a toner. A toner can either be a cream or a liquid that removes any dirt, oil, or whatever is left on your skin that your facial wash wasn’t able to remove. Not only does it clean your skin, but it also reduces the appearance of your enlarged pores.
Table of Contents
- What does a toner do?
- The Proper Use of a Toner
- Why is a toner the first step in Korean skincare?
- What happens if you don’t use a toner?
- Best Korean Toner for Dry Skin
- MISSHA Time Revolution Clear Toner
- ETUDE HOUSE Wonder Pore Freshener
- Cosrx AHA/ BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
- Banila Co Dear Hydration Toner
- Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin Toner
- AHC Toner for Face Aqualauronic Hydrating Skin Toner
- It’S SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Toner
- Ginseng Face Toner by Seo Dam Han
- Mamonde Rose Water Tonic Organic Damask Facial Rosewater
- Nature Republic Toner Emulsion with Olive Leaf Extracts
- ISNTREE Green Tea Hydrating Face Toner
- Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner
- SKINFOOD Peach Sake Toner
- SON & PARK Beauty Water
- Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
- COSRX Hydrium Watery Toner
- ETUDE HOUSE Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner
- Our Pick
What does a toner do?
Aside from cleaning and shrinking your pores, a toner has a ton of other benefits for your skin.
Replenishes the skin’s PH
The main function of a toner is actually restoring your skin’s pH balance after a wash. When your skin loses its pH balance it has the tendency to become more oily. You see, once you wash your face, the soap completely changes the pH of your skin, and when this happens, your skin works double-time to put it back to normal. This results in excess sebum production.
Refreshes the skin
Your skin loses most of its nourishment once you wash your face. To refresh the skin while also removing much of the dirt, a toner refreshes the skin leaving it nice and tight.
Adds a layer of protection
A toner contains ingredients that add a thin but gentle layer of protection to your skin. Since a toner helps in tightening your pores after a wash, it also tightens your skin cells making it less prone for dirt to get in.
Serves as a base for better skin absorption for the skin
After you use your cleanser, a toner should be applied first before any other products like serums or moisturizers. This is because they prepare your skin and make them more effective in absorbing other products
Acts as the first layer of moisturizer for the skin
Cleansers can dry out your skin after you use them, a toner can contain humectants that can bind moisture to your skin and keep it hydrated.
Prevents the growth of ingrown hairs
Toners can clear away and residue like shave creams and excess hair left after grooming. By preventing them from clogging your pores, you can prevent the growth of ingrown hairs caused by these residues.
Adds nourishment to the skin
After you use your cleanser, some of the nutrients lost can be replenished with toners. It supplies your skin with the right amount of vitamins to keep your skin healthy and smooth.
The Proper Use of a Toner
The most common way to apply a toner is by using a cotton pad or cotton ball. To apply, dampen the cotton with a few drops of the toner. Be gentle and sweep across your face and avoid the lips and the sensitive eye area. You should also cover your neck as dirt can also build up in there. Just remember not to put too much of the product and have it soaked.
You can also use your hands to apply the product, add a little amount into your hands, and gently press against the skin. The heat from your hands can help the toner be absorbed much faster. When using this method please do lean to your fingers as to not lose the product in your hands.
If the product ever comes in a spray bottle, then another way you can apply it is through misting. This method is more focused on moisturizing your skin compared to applying directly with your hands. But misting a toner without a cotton pad will just dilute any residue instead of removing it. So it is best to use as a second refresh the skin after using a cotton pad.
Why is a toner the first step in Korean skincare?
Koreans are experts in skincare, and that can be seen with their clear and young-looking complexion. In their routine, it is customary for them to apply toner after their ‘double cleanse’ and before all other moisturizing products, but why is that?
A toner job is to remove any residue that was not cleaned by the cleanser, but it also helps other products work more effectively, it is the ultimate preparation product.
Toners, aside from clearing your skin, also repair your skin barrier so that it can better absorb other skincare products that will follow.
What happens if you don’t use a toner?
Skipping your toner may or may not affect the quality of the skin, depending on your skin type and skincare routine. While toner is not considered to be necessary, a toner has a ton of benefits and can be important in many skincare routines, and in the K-beauty world, it is a must.
Used as a prep product, skipping toners can hinder all the other products that would follow. Since skincare products are more effective in working with already damp skin, toners supply that moisture and repair of the skin barrier. If you also have a relatively small skincare routine, using a toner can cover for a lot of your needs, especially if the toner has hydrating and nourishing properties.
An issue on why many estheticians say that toners are not necessary and are even harmful is because of alcohol. Though alcohol is great at killing bacteria, it also strips the skin of its moisture. This makes it a double-edged sword. But it is also important to know that not all toners use alcohol nor stem from alcohol.
Korean toners, or at least popularized K-beauty products, contains no alcohol. In the Korean skincare routine, the benefits that toners give are what make it such an integral part of their regimen.
Best Korean Toner for Dry Skin
MISSHA Time Revolution Clear Toner
The MISSHA Clear Toner is a great product for gentle and refreshing use. It contains a combination of AHA, which softens dead skin cells, and BHA, which removes the dead skin cells and sebum, for an efficient and effective cleaning process. In addition, it also contains Fermented Yeast Extract that nourishes your skin for a clear and healthy complexion
ETUDE HOUSE Wonder Pore Freshener
Unlock the wonders of your skin using the ETUDE HOUSE Pore Freshener. By using a special peppermint extract, it effectively cleanses the inside and outside of your pores. In addition, this product is formulated at a low pH level, making it hypoallergenic and suited for dry and sensitive skin.
Cosrx AHA/ BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
By using a mild AHA/ BHA formulation, this toner gives gentle care towards your dry and sensitive skin. It also contains white willow extract and apple water, ingredients that are rich in nutrients, and penetrate deeply into the skin with the help of the AHA/ BHA formulation.
Banila Co Dear Hydration Toner
Soothe your tired and irritated skin using this Hydration Toner. This product is made with lotus fermentation water, Indian lotus Flower water, and Bambusa Bamboo juice. These ingredients work to calm and refresh your tired skin while removing any impurities and maintain your pH level.
Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin Toner
Give yourself the relaxing feeling of having an even skin tone and a healthy glow using this toner. By utilizing the many health benefits of green tea, this product is highly effective in giving you an even skin tone and balancing your pH level. In addition, it has a light and soft texture that is sure to leave your skin moisturized.
AHC Toner for Face Aqualauronic Hydrating Skin Toner
Keep your skin feeling fresh and moisturized with the help of the AHC Toner. This product is formulated with a triple blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and French Seawater. This formula will definitely quench dry and thirsty skin and improve skin texture for a healthy complexion.
It’S SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Toner
Give your skin the proper hydration and moisture that it needs using this Moisture Toner. This toner is formulated with a natural and systematic moisture system along with Hyaluronic Acid that gives a pore- tightening action to keep your skin healthy. In addition, it also contains Portulaca Oleracea and Malphighia Glaba fruit Extract that soothes and nourishes the skin.
Ginseng Face Toner by Seo Dam Han
This Ginseng Face Toner is sure to give you no worries of skin irritation with its hypoallergenic solution of Korean Ginseng, Pine Mushroom, and Pomegranate. In addition, these ingredients contain antioxidants and anti-aging properties to develop a healthy and young-looking skin.
Mamonde Rose Water Tonic Organic Damask Facial Rosewater
Indulge in the refreshing feel of roses using this facial toner. Made with 91% percent rose water in order to give more soothing hydration than regular water. In addition to the moisturizing effects of the rosewater, the product is also effective in clearing dead skin cells for clearer skin texture.
Nature Republic Toner Emulsion with Olive Leaf Extracts
Complete your daily skincare routine using the Nature Republic Toner. This product has Greek Olive as the main ingredient, which provides your skin with plenty of moisture that can last for up to 24 hours. It also contains Tocopheryl Acetate and Betaine to maintain skin moisture and oil balance.
ISNTREE Green Tea Hydrating Face Toner
Made with 80% Green Tea extract along with other natural ingredients will surely your skin revitalize your skin and soothe any skin stress or irritation. This product is also hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and is formulated without Paraben and other ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction, making it compatible with a wide range of skin types.
Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner
Relax in the moisturizing feel of this essence toner to bring back your skin youthful energy. This product is made With Milk Vetch Root Extract, which has smaller particles than purified water, which makes for better absorption and more nourishment. This minimally formulated toner also only uses 7 ingredients, which makes it color-free, odor-free, and suitable for all skin types.
SKINFOOD Peach Sake Toner
Made with Japanese traditional wine, sake, this toner is perfect for taking care of enlarged pores and excess sebum to keep your skin smooth and soft all day. In addition, it also has peach extracts rich in Vitamins A & C for healthy and revitalized skin.
SON & PARK Beauty Water
Effectively cleanse and moisturize your skin using the SON & PARK Beauty Water. This product is great at removing impurities keeping a supple and hydrated skin. Made with a refreshing scent, this product is also great at controlling sebum production for a better makeup condition.
Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
Have a better complexion with no dry skin flakes by using this Some BY Mi product. This product is highly effective in cleaning your pores and removing any dead skin cells. Also made with a hydrating formula, this toner will give your skin a more round and smooth skin texture for a more bouncy feel.
COSRX Hydrium Watery Toner
With Vitamin B-5 and Allantoin as main ingredients, this toner will surely give your skin deep moisture to keep it hydrated for a long time. The vitamin has powerful regenerating effects and is safe on acne-prone skin while the Allantoin is great at calming your skin. This product is hypoallergenic and is suited for all skin types.
ETUDE HOUSE Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner
Give yourself protection from outside stress by keeping your skin barrier healthy using this toner. .With a low pH formula, this is great to use if you have dry and sensitive skin and are looking to make your skin healthier and get rid of any dryness.
For a gentle product that is gentle to your skin, we highly recommend you pick the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner. This product is really effective at cleaning and hydrating your face without any unnecessary ingredients that may cause damage to your skin. The ETUDE HOUSE Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner is also a highly recommended pick because it really has a gentle formula that takes care of your skin.