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Guide to Skincare: Toners

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As promised in our last entry on exfoliation, this post is a continuation of our ongoing series where we answer all of your questions on how to navigate your way around the different steps in your skincare regime.

Today, we’ll be zooming in on Toners – the often misunderstood middle sister of the ‘Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise’ family. While Cleansers and Moisturisers both receive much public admiration and are welcomed into skincare regimes across the world with open arms, Toners typically suffer from a less than favourable reputation.

Traditionally shunned for having too dry a personality and for being a little too partial to alcohol, Toners have come a long way since. In a bid to set the record straight, here’s why Toners deserve to be given a second chance.

What do toners do?


Number One – Toners help rebalance your skin’s natural pH level

Cleansing temporarily upsets the naturally acidic mantle of your skin. When your skin’s optimal pH balance (4.5 -5.5) is thrown off, it becomes a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. Therefore, a good toner is needed to gently restore the balance.  


Number Two – Exfoliating toners gently remove dead skin cells, encouraging skin cell turnover

If you look back on our entry on exfoliation, we talked a little about exfoliating toners as a way of clearing your skin of all that dead skin debris. Exfoliating toners contain exfoliating acids such as BHAs and AHAs that break down the ‘glue’ between dead skin cells, thus encouraging improved skin cell turnover. A softer approach to exfoliating, exfoliating toners do not rely on mechanical action to slough dead skin cells off the skin surface.


Number Three – Toners help to hydrate your skin

From the sweltering heat of the tropics to the harsh cold of the temperate climates, skin dehydration is a universal concern. Be it air conditioning or central heating, our surrounding environments wick away moisture from our skin, leaving it parched and dehydrated.

To counteract this, a good toner is needed to act as a humectant; attracting moisture from the air and trapping it in the upper layers of your skin.

That being said, it’s time to rid your shelf of any alcohol-laden toners you might have lurking around. Alcohol-based toners tend to dry out the epidermis and merely give the illusion of shrinking your pores (think astringent). In reality, they strip your skin of moisture, doing the exact opposite of what a good toner is meant to do.


Number Four – Toners help prepare your skin for product absorption

It’s no point layering on all of your miracle creams and serums if your skin can’t absorb them well. A good toner will help to rebalance the skin’s pH while also gently removing excess dead skin cells.

A balanced skin pH clear of dead skin leaves a better surface for serums and lotions to be absorbed, allowing you to achieve maximum results with your skincare regime.


Now that we’ve restored the good name of Toners, here’s a short guide on application and information on how to find a toner that best suits your skin’s needs.


How do you use toner?

After cleansing your face, pour a few drops of toner onto a cotton pad. Gently press the cotton pad all over your face to let your skin absorb all of that goodness.

A tip from us – apply your essence, serums, or moisturisers on skin that’s still damp from toning. This will enhance skin absorption of the products you layer onto your face.


How do I find The One?

Just like finding the perfect match, finding the right toner depends entirely on you. Find one that matches your skin type and skin goals.

For oily/blemish-prone skin types, try something that contains ingredients that soothe and balance your skin, such as aloe vera extract and rose water. Our Molecular Saviour Toner Mist™ contains Charged Rose Hydrosol, a supercharged form of pure rose water that heals, soothes, and provides antibacterial benefits for your skin. It also contains Aloe Vera extract which helps to hydrate skin and soothe and reduce skin inflammations – perfect for blemish-prone skin types.


For oily skin types, choose toners that contain soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera


For combination skin types, a toner that helps to liven up dull, dry skin and balance your skin’s pH level, is the one for you. The Lactobacillus Ferment in our Molecular Saviour Toner Mist™ helps to create a healthy, balanced skin flora, while Cucumber Seed oil helps to rejuvenate tired, sallow skin.


For combination skin types, try toners that contain balancing ingredients, like Cucumber Seed oil


For dry skin types, the trick is finding a gentle toner that intensely hydrates. Hydrating toners typically contain humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. A godsend for thirsty skin, our Molecular Saviour Toner Mist™ contains Silk Amino Acids, a richly hydrating antioxidant that deeply penetrates the skin’s surface to boost skin moisture levels as well as deliver essential nutrients for optimum skin growth.


For dry skin types, use toners that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin


Not only do toners help to restore your skin to its optimum pH after cleansing, they also serve to prep your skin for the next steps of your skincare regime. In a sense, toners serve as a bridge between the first step of your skincare routine and the proceeding steps of your skincare regimen, more of an aide than an enemy.

It’s time to rethink toners, don’t you think?

Here’s to happy skin!




  1. Toners help rebalance your skin’s natural pH level

  2. Exfoliating toners gently remove dead skin cells, encouraging skin cell turnover

  3. Hydrating toners help hydrate your skin

  4. Toners help prepare your skin for product absorption

  5. For oily skin types, choose toners that contain ingredients like aloe vera and rose water which help to hydrate skin and soothe and reduce skin inflammations

  6. For combination skin types, choose toners that hydrate and rebalance your skin’s pH

  7. For dry skin types, choose a toner with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin which help to intensely hydrate skin