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Question: How do you use toners?

Answer: If you’re somewhat new to the world of skincare, you might find yourself staring at a display in Sephora, wondering what, exactly, all of these very expensive substances are supposed to do, and furthermore, why you should even care. Most of us are pretty familiar with cleansers and moisturizers, but the skincare industry is rife with products with vague names and even vaguer descriptions of what they’re actually supposed to do. “Revitalizing,” “rejuvenating,” “energizing”… sometimes I think maybe I’d just be better off with a cup of coffee?

Despite this, though, toners actually do serve an important role in a skincare routine. Toners are meant to balance the skin’s pH, which can be imbalanced by the cleansers and even the water used to clean the skin. Skin with an unbalanced pH isn’t as healthy and radiant, so there really is a benefit to keeping your skin’s pH balanced. Another use for toners is to help clear the skin of extra dirt left in pores that cleanser might have missed. It can also help moisturize, soothe, and refresh the skin. Now, why couldn’t they just say that on the bottle instead of making me feel like a printer in need of maintenance?

So now that you know what they do, which one should you choose? There are quite a few toners on the market, but I have a few favorites…

For Sensitive Skin


Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner is my go-to, especially in the hot summer months. It’s a very gentle toner which leaves my skin feeling cool, refreshed, and smelling like roses (which is pretty much the best thing ever). I like to use it after cleansing at night (it’s great at picking up leftover mascara residue), as well as after I wake up in the morning for a nice pick-me-up.

For Oily and Combination Skin



Whenever I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I like to look at Kiehl’s products. Their website is pretty much my happy place. All of their products come in simple, stylish packaging and are wonderfully effective. Their oil-free toner is ideal for people with combination to oily skin, since it’s actually designed to reduce the amount of oil on the skin, while also moisturizing and balancing.

For Larger Pores 


It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Bliss Spa’s skincare line, and this toner is no exception. It smells great and it really does make large pores look smaller (without leaving your skin feeling tight). This toner is a wonderful addition to any daily skincare routine- it’s definitely got a place on top of my vanity! Thrifty tip: TJ Maxx carries Bliss Spa products from time to time, at a discounted price- it’s a steal!

Do you use toners in your skincare routine? Which one is your favorite?