How Toner Will Completely Transform Your Skin

If you're skeptical about toner, your mind is about to be blown. According to Korean beauty insiders, toners are an essential part of any skincare routine. "Think of your skin like a sponge," Charlotte Cho, licensed esthetician and founder of online Korean beauty store Soko Glam, told Healthline. "It's more difficult to rehydrate it when it's dried up than when it's already a bit damp. Essence, treatments, and moisturizers will be more fully absorbed when prepped with toner than when the skin is dry." Here's how toner will completely transform your skin.

"Toners are critical after the double cleanse because they remove any impurities your cleansers didn't catch," explained Cho. In other words, toner helps ensure your face is squeaky clean (and less prone to breakouts). But if that's not enough to convince you to start incorporating it into your daily beauty routine, they actually work to balance your skin's pH levels, too.

Toner balances pH levels

"The optimal pH level for skin hovers around a 5.5 — if the pH is too far off-balance, this can create an environment where it's easier for harmful bacteria to thrive," Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, co-founders of Glow Recipe, revealed to Byrdie. "A toner helps to recalibrate this pH so that skin is calmed and balanced after cleansing." The key is applying toner as soon as you've finished your cleansing routine (in an ideal world, double cleansing). "We use toners religiously in our daily routines as the first liquid step of hydration — and no later than a minute after cleansing so that the toner locks in moisture," they noted. 

There are a few things to look out for as you shop for toner. Lee and Chang recommend looking for toners packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid. If you're over 30, look for tones with niacinamide and peptides.