So how can a toner improve your shave? Well let us count the ways. First, one of toner's primary functions is to alleviate redness and irritation, which makes for a powerful one-two punch when combined with a postshave moisturizer. For best results, look for formulas with some combination of aloe, witch hazel, allantoin, or willow bark, all of which have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that will mitigate the damage caused by your razor.
A second, less obvious benefit is the prevention of ingrown hairslong the nemesis of men with coarse and/or curly stubble. When applied after shaving, a toner will clear away any lingering postshave residue: gunk, shave cream, and excess hair that can clog up pores and follicles, and cause ingrown hairs to form. Simply wipe your face down with a toner-soaked cotton pad before you apply your aftershave.
These are both benefits you can expect from any toner, but there are plenty of formulas out there that go above and beyond. Multi-purpose toners, like Ursa Major's 4-in-1 Face Tonic pack a host of additional benefits: Bamboo and birch sap keep skin firm to fight the signs of aging, and help regulate your skin's own oil production to cut down on excess shine.
Copywriter, cold brew advocate, purveyor of handcrafted birthday haikus since 2009.