Keina Yuan 
K-Beauty Editor

Choosing a toner can sometimes be just as confusing as choosing the right moisturiser. So, we’ve simplified it a little for you! All you need to ask yourself is;
 1. What is my skin type?
      a. Dry Skin
      b. Oily Skin
      c. Combination/Normal
 2. Do I have any skin concerns?
       a. Sensitivity/Acne and more
Finally, we will also cover the different ways to apply toners. 

Dry skin types

For those with drier skin, you want to 100% stay away from toners with astringents, especially if they are higher up in the ingredients list. Drier skin types don’t recover as quickly as other skin types after using a soap or cleanser. So instead you want to look for toners which will help balance, rehydrate and repair your skin. These are ingredients like humectants, fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants and even emollients will be great!

Ingredients for Dry Skin

Attract water to the skin and bind with water to retain it ON and IN the skin. 
Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerine, Honey

Lubricants for the epidermis and play a large role in moisture retention of the stratum corneum. 
Shea Butter, Cocoa butter, Ceramides* and squalane

Neutralise free radicals, promotes collagen production and stimulates skin cell turnover. 
Some sources of antioxidants are: Green tea, vitamin C, Propolis, Kelp

*Ceramides also have occlusive properties: meaning they help to form a film on the surface of the skin and help to improve the acid mantle overtime

Mango Seed Moisturizing Toner

Moderately Dry / Normal (needs l)

Key Ingredients
Mango Seed Extract, Mango Extract, Ceramide

This milky toner helps to replenish moisture to the skin while helping to strengthen and improve the skin barrier.

Mango Seed Moisturizing Toner

Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner

Very Dry - Moderately Dry Sensitive

Key Ingredients
10% Honey Extract, Panthenol, 72.6% Propolis Extract

This rich, fast-absorbing toner helps to desensitize and recover dry, sensitive skin.

Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner

Hydrium Water Toner

Moderately Dry / Mildly Sensitive

Key Ingredients
5 Types of Hyaluronic Acid, Allantoin, Panthenol

Delivers hydration to the deeper layers of the skin for instant plumping.

Hydrium Water Toner

Oily skin types

Again, we would highly recommend staying away from toners and other skincare products with high concentrations of astringents as well, particularly alcohol. Although astringents do remove the excess oils on the surface of the skin, this is only temporary and is most likely causing more damage to your skin than good. In fact, the oils that are causing excessive breakouts are actually much deeper in the skin and pores. Instead, we recommend AHAs and BHAs which are chemical exfoliants. These babies are able to sink into our pores and break down oils, sebum and even dead skin cells. In turn, this reduces inflammation, clogged pores and even minimises the appearance of pores. 
Some other great ingredients are:

  • Salicylic acid (BHA)
  • Glycolic acid (AHA)
  • Green tea
  • Tea tree
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

Moderately Oily Sensitive/Acne Prone

Key Ingredients
10% Willow Bark and 10% Apple Fruit Water, Sodium Lactate (AHA), Glycolic Acid (AHA), Betaine Salicylate (BHA)

Gently exfoliates dead skin cells and oils. Antioxidants help repair the skin, and the toner also helps to sooth and reduce redness.

COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

Chia Seed Hydro Toner

Moderately - Very Oily Normal

Key Ingredients
Chia Seed Extract, Vitamin B12

Fast absorbing, deep hydration. This product is recommended for those with excessive oil production due to dehydrated skin.

Chia Seed Hydro Toner

Dr Belmeur Clarifying Toner

Oily Sensitive/Acne Prone

Key Ingredients
Low-irritant plant based, ingredients, Herbal Extracts

Soothes and heals the skin. Balances the skin to reduce breakouts and improve the skin barrier.

Dr Belmeur Clarifying Toner

Combination and Normal Skin Types

For combination and normal skin types, it is recommended that you use toners that help to balance the oil and water ratio of the skin and toners with basic soothing or hydrating qualities. For combination skin, this means gently reducing the overproduction of oils in certain areas of the skin while boosting the moisture in other parts of the skin. Whereas for normal skin types, it is about maintaining your oil and water balance.

YEHWADAM Revitalizing Toner

Normal Mature 

Key Ingredients
Ginseng Root Extract, Safflower Seed Extract, Various berry extracts

Promotes collagen production and helps to reduce excessive oil production.

YEHWADAM Revitalizing Toner

Combination Sensitive 

Key Ingredients
10% Centella Asiatica Extract, Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid

Delivers deep hydration while soothing and calming the skin. Also promotes healing of the skin barrier.

PURITO Centella Green Level Calming Toner

BENTON Aloe BHA Skin Toner

Combination - Oily Acne prone 

Key Ingredients
Ginseng Root Extract, Safflower Seed Extract, Various berry extracts

Promotes collagen production and helps to reduce excessive oil production.

BENTON Aloe BHA Skin Toner

*Note that normal skin types can use any toner so long as it suits their skin’s needs!

Skin Concerns

Acne prone or Sensitivity Prone Skin

Fun Fact: Sensitivity and acne aren’ actually skin types! They are skin conditions and can occur to any skin type!

Look for plant derived ingredients and extracts. These are more suitable for sensitive skin types as the structure of the ingredient itself (the cells to be precise) are very similar to the structure of our own skin cells. This makes it a whole lot easier for the skin to accept and to absorb when we apply them.

Some common ingredients we recommend are: 

  • Centella : Madecassic acid, madecassoside, asiatic acid, asiaticoside (4 main components of centella) 
  • Aloe vera
  • Camellia sinensis extract (green tea leaf extract)
  • Camomile
  • Allantoin

Also look for lightweight toners which are: 

  • Alcohol free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fragrance free
  • Parabens free

How to Apply Toners

Thankfully, using a toner is much more straightforward than understanding how it works. Basically, there are 5 common ways to apply toner and it is highly recommended you do this twice a day (so morning and night). 

1. Cotton pad
Soak a cotton pad with your toner of choice and sweep it gently over your entire face (and neck if you want). Yes, yes, the trend today is to clean and clarify by double cleansing beforehand. But by using a cotton pad, it helps to rid your skin of any remaining traces of makeup, dirt, dead skin cells just to name a few. 

2. Hands 
The greener option; put a few drops the size of 20 cent coin into your palms and gently pat onto your face      ~TIP! Make sure your hands are clean!!!!~

3. mist/spray     
Spritz this all over your face (don’t forget to close your eyes and mouth) enough to leave it slightly damp and pat it gently into the skin

4.  Sheet mask     
Soak a few cotton pads with toner and place it on areas of the face where you feel needs more attention and care. This method is quite nice for those with more sensitive skin types as the rubbing of cotton pads and slapping from your hands won’t cause any unnecessary irritation. 

5. 7 skin method     
Basically there are many other names for this method of application. You might have heard of 10 skins or 4 skins but its correspondent to the number of layers of toner you apply. By layering the toner, it gives a kick of deep hydration and helps to boost your skin's radiance over time.

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