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The Essential Guide to Choosing a Natural Toner

Everything you need to know about choosing (and using) the right toner for your skin type

Written by: 100% PURE®
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Skin care isn’t always straightforward. Have you ever stared at a bottle of pricey toner – that looks like little more than water – and thought: “what exactly is this supposed to do for my skin?” These skin care enigmas have been mystifying consumers for years, which is mainly due to misinformation.!

Allow us to set the record straight: way back in the day, face toner was considered an unromantic, almost medicinal treatment for neutralizing oily or blemish-prone skin. These formulas were full of dehydrators like alcohol, so understandably they weren’t very popular, and were only used in cases of extreme breakouts.

Fast-forward to year 2019, and the game has entirely changed: hydrating natural toners have become absolutely essential to not only Korean skin care routines, but to day-to-day skin care lineups everywhere. A natural toner will contain much more than plain old water, and can completely level-up your skin care efforts by creating plump, glowing skin after a deep cleanse.

Get back to basics as we explore all the good a natural toner can do, and find a perfectly suited formula for your skin type!


Why – and When – Your Skin Needs a Natural Toner

We touched on toner basics in our comprehensive skin care guide, but to go deeper into a toner’s function, we’ll need to begin our story at the first step of our skin care routine: cleansing.

It’s crucial that you wash your face on a daily basis to remove makeup, oil, sunscreen, and dirt. If you’re using a nourishing facial cleanser formula, you can also replenish dry, thirsty skin with vital nutrients. A natural toner comes next to clear leftover debris (including loosened dirt, oils, and dead skin cells) from cleansing and exfoliating. It deeply hydrates and balances skin pH levels, resulting in a soothed, refreshed complexion.


Toner Woman

While there’s always room for flexibility in your beauty routine, we’re firm believers in the benefits of set, purposeful steps. Toner is a treatment that should be used in the right order, before and after the proper skin care products. We always apply ours after cleansing and before serum – and we’ll tell you why!

As we mentioned, a facial toner will remove excess debris that cleansing may have missed, and also preps the skin for the following power players in your skin care routine. A hydrating toner feels like that first sip of cold water after an intense cardio session – and after cleansing, your skin will welcome the replenishment. For the purpose of rehydration and deep-sweep cleansing, you don’t want to miss out on this essential prep step that will elevate your entire skin care game.


How to Use a Facial Toner

Toner is commonly applied to a cotton ball or cotton pad, before being swept over freshly cleansed skin in gentle, upwards motions. Occasionally, skin toners come with a spray nozzle, but we prefer the cotton pad application as it ensures each area is well drenched with hydrating nutrients. Sweep the liquid over your face, neck, and décolleté to rehydrate and prime the skin for your serum and moisturizer. Repeat until your cotton pad is no longer picking up oil, dirt, or debris.

Some of us may focus our toner efforts on specific areas, such as a dry patch or breakout. However, we feel that a quality natural toner is like hot sauce – it should be put on everything! The perk about using a natural toner is that all-over application isn’t a no-no. You can pump it into your hands and pat it around your eye area, without worrying about stinging, eye-burning irritation.


Toner
Why Choose a Natural Toner?

Many conventional toners have chemical irritants in them, similar to the harsh face toners that were used in the 80s and 90s. They act as chemical exfoliants, but aren’t balanced with boosted hydrators or nourishing minerals. In fact, too-harsh toners are likely to cause excessive skin dryness, breakouts from lipid-starved oil overproduction, and rashes.

To avoid a skin care fiasco, look for a natural toner that’s formulated with multitasking botanicals and trace minerals. These formulas can boost hydration and help contribute to improved texture and healthier skin. Key ingredients to look for are hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and essential oils for the ultimate skin-pampering TLC.


Which Natural Toner Should You Use?

Now that you’ve been primed and prepped with essential knowledge surrounding the benefits of facial toner, it’s time to choose one that’s right for you. Our carefully formulated range of natural toners will help tackle a variety of skin types and skin conditions for a targeted – yet gentle – treatment plan for your delicate skin.


Sake Chart
Dull or Lackluster Skin:
Fermented Rice Water Toner

Fermented rice water – also known as Sake – is a true nutrient powerhouse rich in enzymes, amino acids, malic acid, minerals, and vitamins. The fermentation process is what unlocks the powerful benefits of this unassuming ingredient, much like apple cider vinegar (which can also brighten and tone the skin).

White mulberry, shiitake mushroom, and licorice add an additional brightening boost to this natural toner, by diminishing the appearance of dark spots and regulating melanin production. Since we believe in hydrating with more than just water, we’ve also packed this formula with hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, and vegetable glycerin for intense skin hydration and plumping. If you’re interested in enhancing your routine with the skin benefits of Sake, follow with a Fermented Rice Water Serum for added potency.


Sea Toner Chart

For those with naturally dry, irritated skin – or skin that changes seasonally – this toner will be your year-round go-to. Our deeply skin-quenching blend stars algae and sea kelp, harvested from unpolluted waters to retain the purest trace minerals and sea nutrients for your skin.

What makes this our most hydrating toner is a concentrated mix of plant-based, water-rich ingredients. Refreshing chia seed water packs skin with firming proteins, while hyaluronic acid provides absorbent properties for deeply penetrating, long lasting hydration. We love the skin plumping properties of seaweed so much that we’ve formulated a Restorative Sea Culture Replenishing Serum to layer onto skin after your toning treatment.


Astringent Chart
Oily or Acne-prone Skin:
Tea Tree & Willow Clarifying Astringent

Rosemary, parsley, witch hazel, and tea tree oil give this toner potent skin-balancing power for a soothed, softened complexion. This antibacterial, anti-inflammatory blend helps to purify pores, balance oily skin, kill acne-causing bacteria, and soothe inflamed, sensitive skin. Salicin (a close relative to salicylic acid) is found in willow bark, and is key in this natural toner for calming redness and inflammation associated with acne breakouts. This formula helps to balance excess oil production for skin that’s bouncy and glowy, without getting greasy or dried out.


For more skin care guides, tidbits, and natural industry news, keep up with our blog!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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