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Skincare Matchmaker: Toner

Finding a skincare routine that fits your skin, with all its idiosyncrasies and characteristics, can be quite a challenge. Instead of settling for a generic routine that will box you into Type A or B, treat skincare more like a mix-and-match adventure. Catch up on skin types, cleansers, and more here. Next up on our quest to design the best regimen for any skin type: Toners.

Why Toners?

You’re forgiven if you’ve ever questioned the utility of toners — we know we have. It seems like an extra step and one that we’re often prone to skip. But we’ve recently developed an appreciation for toners and learned that they are a welcome and necessary addition to our routine — as long as we’re using the correct one. The right one will balance out your skin’s pH, add an extra cleansing, and even add hydration.

Skin Types & Concerns

Sensitive/ Rosacea:

As you know, rosacea and sensitive skin often go hand in hand. Because alcohol-based toners and cotton balls can further irritate skin, look for a spray toner that includes therapeutic ingredients. We love Sircuit Cosmeceuticals Molecular Mist, which uses a heavy water complex to keep skin hydrated and also can be used to set makeup.

Oily/Acne Prone:

Oily, acne-prone skin will definitely benefit from the regular use of a toner. Your regular cleansing routine may not be enough to thoroughly remove built up dirt and oil, but adding in a clarifying toner will keep pores clear. Pangea Organics Toner for Oily to Blemish Prone Skin uses herbal extracts like thyme, which has soothing antibacterial properties.


Resistant skin means that unlike sensitive skin, you need extra help to effectively penetrate those layers. Look for a toner with glycolic acid, like Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner, which will effectively exfoliate and cleanse skin. The glycolic acid and grapefruit extract will also help reduce hyperpigmentation over time.

Dry/Sun Damage:

It seems counterintuitive but toners can add a layer of hydration, even as they zap dirt and oil. The trick is to make sure you’re choosing an alcohol-free formula with added moisturizing elements. We love Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner, which has a pH-blanaced formula to wipe away residual oils without stripping skin of moisture. Glycerin, imperata cylindrica root extract and antarcticine boost hydration.

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