Skincare Basics: Toners

Skincare Basics

The three basic steps in any skincare routine is "Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise". 
We covered Cleansing is a previous blog post here. So now you've cleansed your face, it's time to apply a toner. But what is a toner? And why do you need one?
Infographic: What is a toner?
What is a toner?
A toner is a must-have refreshing liquid moisturiser that replenishes your skin after cleansing. It removes any last traces of makeup, dirt and oil left behind after cleansing. It adds in essential nutrients that are beneficial for your skin. It helps to balance the pH levels of your skin and importantly it adds in moisture, instantly hydrating your skin. It will help your skin look and feel fresher, younger and smoother throughout the day.
A toner is usually applied with a cotton pad that you swipe across your face for an instant fresh feeling. Some toners come in a spray bottle so alternatively, you can spritz them onto your face.  
Who is a toner for?
Toners can, and should be used by everyone. We love a good toner at The Natural Beauty Box! They are an essential part of a skincare routine and also feel great to use - an instant skin refresher!
Toners are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, dry, oily or acne prone. If you suffer from very sensitive skin, even mild face cleasners can be slightly irritating so using a toner afterwards can soothe the skin and prevent irritation.
Toners are extremely beneficial for dry skin conditions as it's important to add in as much moisture as possible and toners do just that, keeping the skin hydrated. They can also help to remove any bits of  pesky, flaky dead skin to prevent pores becoming clogged, which can lead to the dreaded acne!
Speaking of acne, toning is also a great way to treat acne because toners contain soothing ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties which calm the skin (more on their ingredients later).
Are there other uses for toners?

Toners are great for removing makeup and some people simply use toners to remove all of their makeup. They are especially good at removing eye makeup - that stubborn mascara and eye liner - and are gentle enough to be applied around the eye area. 

Handbag Essential | Face Mist on the go | Lady spraying her face with a toner or face mist

Toners in a spray bottle are really handy to pop in your handbag and use on the go! They can be used throughout the day as a freshener or pick me up. If you work in a hot office environment, your skin can become tired and dry so a quick spritz/mist over your face can freshen up your skin, add moisture back in and instantly make you feel more awake - a sneaky spritz in the afternoon can get you through until home time!

If you go to the gym, spritz a toner over your face after a tough work out to add back in essential moisture while instantly cooling you down. 

Beneficial ingredients in a toner

Floral waters - such as Rose, Lavender, Chamomile or Neroli - are by-products of steam distillation of essential oils. They are also called hydrosols. They contain all the amazing properties from the plants to benefit the skin with beautiful aromas too.

Aloe Vera - one of natures amazing plants for it's skin loving benefits. It's fantastically soothing and cooling so ideal for treating acne, calming inflammation and redness. It's highly moisturising so great for dry skin too. Add in it's anti-ageing properties and it makes Aloe Vera a great addition to any toner. 

Vegetable Glycerine - a fantastic humectant - which means it traps moisture in the skin and keeps it hydrated. Glycerine in toners help to lock in that moisture keeping your skin hydrated longer. 

Hyaluronic Acid - a naturally occurring substance in the skin which can hold up to 1000 times it's weight in moisture so it's another fantastic humectant to have in a toner. It's essential for skin hydration, keeping it looking plump and keeping away those pesky fine lines and wrinkles! 

Ingredients to watch out for

Alcohol - a high amount of alcohol (especially if it appears as one if the first ingredients in the list) is not good for the skin. it can aggravate the skin, especially for acne prone or dry skin conditions. It will strip the skin of it's natural oils (sebum) which can either leave the skin dry and dull, or have the opposite effect in the skin over-producing sebum to compensate, leading to oily skin.  

Artificial Fragrance - often labelled as "parfum" should definitely be avoided in toners as you have no idea what synthetic (often very irritating) ingredients are contained in the fragrance as these are not declared on the labels. Natural toners will be scented with gentle floral waters so will not need added fragrances. 


Toners are an essential and enjoyable part of your skincare routine. While there are many different types of toners out there, they all have two things in common: they help to replenish and balance your skin. So whether your skin is sensitive, dry, combination or oily/acne prone, using a toner every day after cleansing will make it softer, smoother and help keep your skin looking clear, fresh and youthful. Just remember to choose toners with natural ingredients and avoid alcohol and artificial fragrances. One of our fave toners which featured in The Natural Beauty Box recently is Skin & Tonic's Be Soothed Rose Mist - a gentle, calming, moisturising & hydrating face mist, which was loved by subscribers!
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