Do I Need a Toner?


In This Article:

Wondering what a toner is supposed to do and if you really need to use one? Lots of people do so you're not alone. But once you know what a great toner can do for your skin you'll be pleasantly surprised at the benefits they can provide.
We'll explain how toners, when they are specially formulated with truly skin beneficial ingredients, can enrich skin's surface after cleansing with immediate revitalizing results.

Recommended Toners

Why Toners Aren’t What They Used to Be (and That’s a Good Thing!)

Historically toners contained really poor ingredients, had overall bad formulations, and claims that were less than realistic (that’s an understatement) so it isn’t all that unexpected why they fell out of use.

But that was then and this is now and the best toners are 180 degrees from what they used to be. Today the top-rated toners can transform the way your skin looks and feels.

The purpose of toners today is so different than it was before, as we explain in just a bit. But before we get to the exciting part about toners we want you to understand what kind of toners you still need to avoid. We’d love for all companies to be onboard with state-of-the-art formularies but unfortunately that isn’t the reality in the world of skincare. We’re here to help.

What Your Toner Shouldn’t Contain

Toners loaded with alcohol, menthol, and astringents, like witch hazel should be left on the shelf. These ingredients aggravate skin and deplete the indispensable substances that keep it healthy. Skin can only revitalize itself when you apply toners (or any product) that are non-irritating.

Toners geared for oily or combination skin are particular problematic for skin and almost always contain these types of ingredients. While toners for oily and combination skin types are particularly egregious those aimed at people with normal to dry skin aren’t much better. They might contain less of the problem ingredients, but they often still include witch hazel.

Formulas with fragrant extracts such as rose water, citrus fruits, or essential oils. These types of toners often are labeled fresheners or clarifiers, and are little more than eau de cologne for your face. Such overly fragrant toners are a common cause of reactions that have a negative impact on skin.

Toners that are just plain lackluster aren’t bad for skin but they aren’t helpful either. As you’ll learn, the best toners are loaded to the brim with beneficial ingredients. Unfortunately many toners lack a robust nourishing formula which leaves your skin hungry for so much more.

Toners with Benefits

Now that the bad ingredients and poor formulas are out of your way, we can focus on how a toner with beneficial ingredients can significantly help skin. After cleansing, even with the gentlest cleanser, skin needs to be replenished with what cleansers rinse or wipe away. This is where a toner can play an important role.

A toner can quickly and efficiently provide skin with generous amounts of antioxidants, soothing agents, and hydrating ingredients. A state-of-the-art toner can enhance skin’s surface, giving skin what it needs to look fresher, smoother, and hydrated. It can also serve to remove any last traces of makeup your cleanser might not have gotten to.

Once you start using a well-formulated toner, the results are undeniable. As many of our staffers can attest, it no longer becomes an optional step—it’s a must-have!

Which Paula's Choice Toner is Right for Me?

Although every Paula's Choice toner contains a complete range of ingredients that provide multiple benefits for skin, each has distinctions that make them preferred for certain skin types and concerns:
For Normal to Dry Skin:

For Normal to Oily or Combination Skin:

For All Skin Types

  • EARTH SOURCED Purely Refreshing Toner has a unique, silky, liqu-gel texture suitable for revitalizing all skin types—especially for anyone in search of an antioxidant-rich, natural-based formula.

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Toners.

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

View Media Highlights

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!

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