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What does toner do for the skin?

Toners are an essential part of a classic three step skincare routine, but have you been wondering what does toner do? Learn key toner benefits on skin here.

calendula toner sensitive skin

Even as a key skincare step, many people are still confused by toners. Part of the reason for this is due to the dual-purpose ability of the powerful skincare product. Multi-beneficial and majorly supportive to all skin types, what toner is used for can actually vary depending on your skin goals.

Whether you’re seeking to find out how to use toner to benefit your skin, or don’t fully yet understand what it is, this simplified guide will de-mystify the skincare hero for you.

Skin toner benefits for oily, dry or sensitive skin types are deep-working and with regular use long-term. The range of toners at Kiehl’s are formulated with efficacious and supportive ingredients, to address each skin concern. Discover how to apply toner and which formula is best suited to you ahead.

What is toner?

Known for its water-like texture, toners are designed to quickly penetrate the skin and prep for the following skincare routine. Used directly after your cleanser via hands or soft pads, toners can include:

  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antioxidants
  • Acids
  • Botanical extracts

A mainstay of Korean beauty, early versions of toners contained alcohol, which caused skin to dry out. The modern generation is typically alcohol free and helpful in establishing healthy skin – so what is toner used for? Whatever the formula, the end result should provide nourished and brightened looking skin, plus a plumped, hydrated texture.

Skin toner benefits

Depending on ingredients used the benefits of using toner on the face are extensive, but there are a few skin improvements that can be universally experienced. The major toner benefits on skin include:

1.     Prepares skin for other products:

One way to think of your skin is like a dry sponge. When we apply moisturisers or serums, the aim is for the efficacious ingredients to be absorbed into each layer of skin. It’s hard for these thicker formulas to absorb into dry skin – just as a dry sponge would struggle to absorb moisture without being wet first. To promote a heathy skin barrier and address skin concerns, toners lightly exfoliate and prepare skin’s texture so that following products can penetrate deeply.

2.     Clears impurities:

Cleansers do a lot to remove irritants like dirt, bacteria and sweat. Thanks to its thin structure, wiping skin with a toner afterwards helps to thoroughly cleanse. This is because the quick-penetrating formula is able to clear any left-behind makeup and reduce the size of pores once it has done so.

3.     Brightens and hydrates:

The appearance and feel of skin owes a lot to how well hydrated it is. When skin’s pH is unbalanced, the moisture barrier suffers, leading to a dried and roughened texture. Toners help to restore the skin’s pH balance, by helping it to sit in between alkaline and acidic.

ultra facial toner hydration

Kiehl’s range of toners

With regular use, toners can help to strengthen, comfort and brighten skin. An adaptable product that can be tailored to your specific concerns or goals, our most popular formulas and how to apply toner for each skin concern is ahead.

To protect skin

If ageing, signs of stress or repeated exposure to irritants like UV rays concern you, a protective formula might do the most to benefit your skin. Ferulic Brew Rejuvenating Facial Essence is an antioxidant and acid-rich toner, for visibly boosted skin. Made with ferulic acid, lactic acid and squalane, this potent toner protects against oxidisation whilst diminishing fine lines and uneven skin tone.

How to use toner: after cleansing, pour a few drops onto hands and gently press into skin. Use in both your morning and evening routine.

For hydration

Before ‘sealing’ in moisture with your heavier-textured oil or cream-based products, toners can implement hydration at a deep level. If your skin type errs on dry, use a nourishing toner. The skin toner benefits of Ultra Facial Toner comfort and plump whilst still clearing away any remaining impurities. Made with squalane, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil and vitamin E, this oil-rich formula provides a high level of moisturisation.

How to use toner: directly after cleansing, soak a cotton pad and wipe across face. Use at both morning and night.

Helps reduce oil in skin

Those with acne-prone or oily skin types experience shininess across their entire face or on specific areas. A toner for oily skin benefits the level of moisture in skin and reinstates balance. Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner gently removes residue, dirt and excess oil to help balance and refresh skin.

How to use toner: moisten a sterile cotton pad and apply the toner (only to areas that feel oily).

To comfort sensitive skin

Tightness in skin, redness and blemishes can all be signs of sensitised skin. To provide comfort and reduce the visible symptoms of sensitive skin, a gentle toner can help to further cleanse away irritating impurities. Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner is ideal for reducing discomfort through the inclusion of calendula petals – which improve texture and help to address sensitivity.

How to use toner: Use daily and as needed. Once skin has been gently cleansed, moisten a sterile pad and dab onto face.

As a corrective brightener

Dullness in skin can be caused by a range of events – including a weakened skin barrier, a build-up of dead skin cells or over-exposed skin. To reinstate visible brightness and boost clarity across your skin tone, opt for an illuminating toner. Clearly Corrective Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water is infused with liquorice root, activate C and white birch extract to nourish and refresh skin.

How to use toner: shake bottle until illuminating minerals swirl, before patting into face with hands.

Discover how to order your skincare routine correctly next.



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