Why and How Skincare Series: Toner

While cleansing the face is not negotiable, I believe using a facial toner is a personal choice and your skin type may help you decide.

♥ 2nd step in my skin care routine: Toner ♥

WHY:  Here are a few reasons to incorporate a toner into your daily skincare routine.

  • Additional Rinse
    Toner is like the “additional rinse” cycle on a washing machine. Using a toner can capture any dirt, oils and dead cells that your cleanser missed and properly prep the skin for moisturizer.
  • pH Balance
    The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14 (7 is neutral. 1-6.9 is acidic. 7.1-14 is alkaline).  Our skin is most comfortable and able to fight off bacteria at a pH level between 4.0 and 6.0. Cleansers typically have a pH level between 6.5 and 8.0 which helps it cut through oil and dirt, but can strip the skin of moisture and leave your with a skin high in alkaline. Toner can assist the skin in getting back to a comfortable pH level.
  • Dry skin?
    After cleansing, your skin is left with a high pH level and will have to work at restoring the pH balance. Applying moisturizer directly after cleansing may limit the skin’s ability to absorb the moisturizer because it’s preoccupied in restoring the pH balance. By using toner and restoring the pH balance before applying moisture… your skin will be ready to concentrate on absorbing the moisturizer!
  • Blackheads or Oily skin?
    Do you have oily skin or blackheads around the nose? If so, I would absolutely recommend the use of toners. Oil on the skin can oxidize and turn black when the pH balance of your skin is off. Pores are generally larger around the nose, so the oxidized black oils get trapped in the pores and you’re left with blackheads. Toners will help thoroughly clean your pores and help with minimizing blackheads!

HOW: Here’s the best way to apply toner.

1) Cleanse face and lightly pat dry.

2) Apply toner onto slightly damp face. The method of application really depends on why you’re using the toner!

  • Cleansing purpose: Use with a cotton pad so that you can wipe away the impurities.
  • Restoring pH balance or moisture: Use your (clean) hands to press/pat the toner into your skin. Of course, a cotton pad can still be used, but it’s not necessary for this purpose.
  • Minimize blackheads: Use with a cotton pad. You want to be able to wipe away the impurities as well as the oil that’s trapped in your pores.
  • More than 1 reason for using toner… use a cotton pad. 🙂

3) Next comes serums, moisturizers, etc. Stay tuned for additional posts covering these steps.

ADDITIONAL TIPS: Here are some additional tips on toners!

  • Morning Cleanser!
    If you have dry skin and don’t want to use a cleanser in the morning… consider using water to wash your face and using a toner to “cleanse” and prep the skin for your moisturizer!
  • Alcohol Free
    Alcohol is very drying for the skin and may harm the collagen in your skin (yikes!). Whether you have oily or dry skin, you should always use alcohol free toners. Stripping oil from the skin may stimulate your skin to produce more oil!
    Nu Skin pH Balancing Toner
    (Liquid) $13.30
    Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner
    (Liquid) $6.99
    Bliss Daily Detoxifying Toner
      (Liquidy gel) $26
    Murad Hydrating Toner
    (Spray) $24
  • Additional Treatment
    Doesn’t hurt to use toners that contain additional helpful ingredients like antioxidants, alpha hydroxy (lactic, glycolic), beta hydroxy (salicylic) acids, and vitamins for anti-aging purposes. Toners containing salicylic acid are great for blemish prone skin while clearing pores of acne causing bacteria.

After toner comes the fun part! Identifying and treating your skin concerns! Stay tuned to learn this important step!~ Until next time… stay pretty inside and out.

Facebook – Stay informed!
Twitter– Tweet me. I want to hear from you.
Bloglovin– Easiest way to follow Pretty Gossip and all your favorite blogs.

Related Posts:
How and Why of Skincare Series: Cleanser
Break Out Of Breakouts
PA+++ vs. SPF
ABC’s of UVA, UVB and SPF



  1. Lana
    October 28, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    Do you know the pH of Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner? I emailed Neutrogena but they didn’t give me an exact response. They said it is in the range of 4.5-6.

    • October 28, 2015 / 7:07 pm

      Sorry, I don’t know the pH of that toner… Maybe try tweeting them?! Thanks for visiting and the comment!

  2. Elizabeth
    January 8, 2015 / 7:30 pm

    When you apply toner to your skin how much would you use? And would you just let it air dry?

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:44 pm

      If you apply with your hands, not too much where you feel like your face is wet. Just enough to have the toner moisten your face. If with a cotton pad, you should be lightly sweeping the face with a saturated cotton pad. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and the comment!

  3. Christine
    June 13, 2013 / 9:37 pm

    i use the caudalie beauty elixir as my toner, but since it’s a mist i guess it doesn’t really help to get rid of impurities. Should i be using a different toner in addition to the beauty elixir

  4. cintia liem
    May 22, 2013 / 2:02 pm

    I wonder if you can recommend a good serum for me. I have super dry skin. thanks a lot.

    • June 3, 2013 / 9:19 am

      Lmk what price point you’d like. There’s so many options!

  5. gina
    February 20, 2012 / 10:17 am

    so i think i need to use a cotton pad for toner…but i’ve been using ac care. should i use a different toner with cotton pad and then use ac care after? i don’t think ac care is meant to be used with a cotton pad….

    • February 20, 2012 / 12:11 pm

      Yes, ac care is not meant to be used on a cotton pad. The aerosol spray is great for misting, hydrating, calming and soothing the skin throughout the day. I would recommend using a regular toner w a cotton pad, then using ac care after or throughout the day as needed! 🙂 but… If u get lazy and don’t want to use a separate toner, spraying ac care is better than nothing! 😉