Where do Skin Toners Fit Into Your Daily Skin Care Regimen?

Skin toners help to remove build up of dead skin cells, oils and make-up, as well as harmful toxins in the superficial layer of the skin. They also help to neutralize and lower the pH of the skin so that active topical agents can function correctly and penetrate into the skin. The toner step in daily skin care is quick and often forgotten, but very important to even the chemical properties of skin and allow it to accept active skin products.

Like many skin scare agents, toners have a direct link to botanical extracts from acidic fruits and herbal remedies. Toners are typically thought of as astringents (look for alcohol free toners) which commonly contain the botanical extract Witch Hazel, though toners do come in multiple formulations which can be individualized for each patients skin type:

  • Sensitive: mild formulation skin toners that gently even the skin pH and neutralize toxins
  • Normal: restores the skin pH and freshens the skin surface through hydroxy acids and botanical extracts.
  • Oily: decongests the skin with hydroxy acids, exfoliates the skin, and can restore the skin’s pH. These toners can help with bacteria, fungal irritation, and inflammation.

Remember that skin toners can even combination skin through neutralizing and evening the skins pH.

Recommended Skin Toners

Obagi® Nu-Derm Toner for Sensitive to Normal Skin

SkinCeuticals Equalizing Toner for Normal and Combination Skin

SkinCeuticals LHA Solution for Oily Skin

Skin toners should be applied twice daily after cleansing and exfoliating the skin. For sensitive skin, toners could be considered at night to help detoxify the skin after the daily wear and tear of make-up, sun and sweat. Oily skin can be toned with products containing neutralizing agents like alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids. Toners should not dry or irritate the skin, and if they do you should find another formulation that suits your skin.

Talk to your skin care specialist about this, give feedback, and don’t start experimenting!

Do not ask your toner to do too much: Toners are not cleansers, so make sure you have a cleanser that fits your skin type as well. This is a very simple step and can be applied with a cotton pad. Do not apply too much pressure and let the toner do the work. You are just trying to allow the agents to dissolve build up and detoxify the top layer of the skin.

Make sure your next step in your skin care fits into your daily regimen. Steps following toning:

  1. Apply active products containing anti-oxidants or growth factors
  2. Follow your active step with your day time moisturizer and sunscreen
  3. Night time retinol and eye treatment.

Skin care takes weeks to start noticing skin changes and for skin care to start working you have to use the products routinely. Dr. Trussler in his Austin Texas plastic surgery office will help develop a skin care regimen that works for your skin and your lifestyle.


  • Skin toners are a vital step in achieving healthy skin, don’t miss out on it!

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