Applying a few creams to your face isn’t going to make you any more handsome, but there are certain additions to your daily facial care regimen that can improve the way you look and feel . One of these additions is the tonic, an underrated product that has a lot to offer.
Contrary to popular belief, the toner is not reserved only for women, men can and should use it too!
If you are unfamiliar, the toner is a water-based liquid, packed with active ingredients designed to complete cleansing, balance the skin’s pH, treat excess oil, smooth the surface of the skin, or minimize pores.
It is also particularly useful for those who shave regularly, as it can condition the skin before the razor does its job; and help unclog pores and prevent ingrown hair.
For the best looking skin possible , incorporate toner as part of your skincare routine. It only takes a minute to apply, and yet its benefits are long-lasting.
So which tonic to choose? You are likely to be overwhelmed by how many tonics are on the market. But do not take just any product and expect to obtain good results, to achieve the best results, you need one suitable for your skin type and needs .
To make it easy for you, we have reviewed the most popular facial toners for men, and we have chosen the best one for its ingredients, which is the most important thing in a cosmetic.
The best men’s toner is suitable for all skin types, includes some of the best hydrating, antioxidant and exfoliating actives, and avoids problematic ingredients .
The analyzes include a detailed explanation of each ingredient, although in order not to repeat myself, if the ingredient is already explained in another analysis, I will not repeat it, but I will put the corresponding link so that you can read it.
And it’s not just the product reviews, we want to talk more about the toner itself: why it’s so important to use it, what’s its role in helping to maintain healthier skin, and what a good toner should have.
So don’t stop reading to the end. We started!
Nezeni Cosmetics All in 1 Micellar Water – The best toner for men
Buy on Amazon or cheaper on the brand’s website
It is the best product to cleanse and tone the skin , even if it is not a tonic itself. But this, more than a disadvantage, I think it is a success, because men are a bit lazy when it comes to facial cleansing, so if with a single pass we kill two birds with one stone, much better.
Being an all-in-one product, we save time and money. We soak a cotton ball with the product, and we pass it over the complexion to clean the dirt, refresh, tone and balance the skin. This step completes the cleaning, which can be followed by a serum or cream.
The magic of Nezeni water is made by its ingredients, 100% natural , quality and functional, they all have a purpose. The skin is more toned, the pH is balanced, and the feeling it leaves is hydration and freshness.
This is the INCI:
As you can see, it is a very complete formula that works to leave the skin in optimal condition to receive the active ingredients of the following cosmetics. We are not going to analyze each ingredient individually because it is already made here, in the article with the best micellar waters on the market .
We are only going to highlight the hydrating, antioxidant, soothing and purifying benefits of aloe vera, apple, ginger, oat extract and salicylic acid. A really effective combination that serves its purpose without irritating or damaging the skin, even if it is very sensitive.
The fact that alcohol is not included in the formula means that the toner can be used without the fear that it will trigger irritation or rashes that are sometimes associated with alcohol exposure. And since they have very few preservatives , we also avoid the combined effect, which prevents us from skin problems in the future.
Whether you have oily or sensitive skin, this micellar water is an ideal complement to your facial cleansing regimen. Use it morning and night to get the best results.
Herbal Mint Toner by Baxter of California
Baxter of California is a men’s cosmetic products company, with an extensive list of products tailored to the skincare needs of every man.
Its herbal toner is designed to provide a deeper and more intensive cleanse using key non-drying ingredients such as cucumber extract and witch hazel.
Men will love this product for its deep cleansing ability and masculine-neutral scent . It does not dry out or make your skin feel tight, unlike other alcohol products on the market.
With the addition of natural ingredients, this specially formulated solution is ideal for men of any skin type .
To get the most out of this facial toner, you will need to ensure that your face is completely dry after having thoroughly cleansed.
This is very important because water can prevent the pores from fully absorbing the products. After applying it by gently rubbing a cotton ball on the face, wait a minimum of 5 minutes before adding any other product.
But let’s go to what really matters, which is the INCI
- Hamamelis Virginiana Water / Witch Hazel Water : Analyzed in the Nezeni Cosmetics Intensive Antiage Eye Contour .
- Methyl Gluceth-20 : Analyzed in Analysis Repair Treatment Antiaging Cream Cumlaude RX Summum .
- Polysorbate 20 : Tested on Clinique Smart eye contour .
- Sorbitol : Analyzed in Mercadona’s Sisbela eye contour .
- Phenoxyethanol : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Butylene Glycol : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Caprylyl Glycol : Analyzed in Nezeni Cosmetics anti-wrinkle cream .
- Glycerin : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Parfum / Fragrance .
- Ethylhexylglycerin : Analyzed in Nezeni Cosmetics anti-wrinkle cream .
- Hexylene Glycol : Tested in Clinique For Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Sodium Pca : Tested in the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 eye contour .
- Allantoin : Analyzed in Mercadona’s Sisbela eye contour .
- Tocopheryl Acetate : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men as Tocopherol Acetate.
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice : Analyzed in Fiori di Cipria’s anti-wrinkle cream for men .
- Disodium Edta : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Sodium Lactate : Analyzed in the Mercadona Sisbela eye contour .
- Arginine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer Serum .
- Aspartic Acid : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer serum .
- Bht : Analyzed in Shiseido Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract : Tested in Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter Anti-Wrinkle Cream .
- Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract / Matricaria Flower Extract : Analyzed in NewPeptin’s Wrinkle Repair Cream for Men anti-wrinkle cream .
- Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract / Cucumber Fruit Extract : Tested in Clinique For Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Citric Acid : Analyzed in Fiori di Cipria’s anti-wrinkle cream for men .
- Glycine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer serum .
- Sodium Benzoate : Analyzed in the Nuxellence de Nuxe eye contour .
- Alanine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer Serum .
- Serine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer serum
- Valine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer serum .
- Potassium Sorbate : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Threonine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer Serum .
- Isoleucine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer serum .
- Proline : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer serum .
- Limonene : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Phenylalanine : Tested in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer Serum .
- Histidine : Analyzed in Filorga’s Ultralifting Lift Designer Serum .
- Ci 42090 / Blue 1 : Analyzed in Aquasource Gel De Biotherm moisturizer .
- Ci 19140 / Yellow 5 : Tested in Clinique For Men Anti-Age Eye Cream .
Some of the main active ingredients used to make this toner include witch hazel, aloe vera, and chamomile.
These organic elements combine to create a powerful remedy for pH imbalances, excessive redness, dead skin flakes, as well as other impurities that prevent skin from glowing and looking fresh.
Cucumber is also an interesting addition, often underused; it is there to give the toner a refreshing sensation.
This product also contains a substantial amount of antioxidants and amino acids, two essential elements for maintaining healthy skin and preventing the signs of aging.
In addition to fighting aging and improving overall skin texture, this toner also serves as an effective, side-effect-free acne treatment for both teens and adults.
Its natural compounds aggressively attack the source of acne, relieving pores of accumulated oil and traps dead skin cells.
This will significantly reduce the amount of oil on your skin, and help prevent it from building up again.
The lack of harmful preservatives or additives makes it a good choice if you are prone to allergies, or if you are simply concerned about how your skin will react to certain chemicals.
For all these reasons, I think Baxter of California toner is the best you can buy right now.
Clarifying Toner by Dr. Hauschka
It is a natural facial toner specifically designed for people with problem, oily or blemished skin.
It uses high-quality ingredients, and therefore does not contain harmful preservatives such as parabens, surfactants, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances. It also does not have mineral oil, silicones or PEGs, and it is not tested on animals.
The toner contains alcohol, as well as witch hazel and calendula extract, which will balance the pH of your skin, refine its texture, hydrate it and even help remove those small spots (after shaving).
The clarifying toner also tightens the pores of the skin and helps regulate the amount of oil that is released.
It is advisable to apply it once a day, ideally at night, as part of your skincare routine (after cleansing your face and before applying a moisturizer).
Due to its natural formula and quality ingredients, this facial toner is suitable for both men and women, and for all skin types (perfect for those who have oily skin).
- Alcohol : Tested in Shiseido Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men as Alcohol Denat.
- Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract : Vulneraria extract, which provides an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and acts as an antioxidant to protect the skin’s lipid barrier. By being able to adapt to very different external circumstances, it helps the skin to protect itself from external aggressive factors (pollution, dry environments, etc.). The skin will then remain balanced and healthy.
- Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract : Analyzed in the Nuxellence de Nuxe eye contour .
- Tropaeolum Majus Flower / Leaf / Stem Extract : Nasturtium extract limits the appearance of free radicals and matrix damage caused by blue light. Provides a true burst of oxygen; reinforces the barrier function, softens skin relief and improves skin quality.
- Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Bark Extract : Analyzed in Lancaster’s Skin Therapy eye contour .
- Echinacea Pallida Extract : Echinacea extract contains many beneficial components to protect the skin from oxidative stress and to improve skin hydration. Echinacea can fight acne by reducing the inflammation induced by acne bacteria.
- Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark / Leaf Extract : Analyzed in the Nezeni Cosmetics Intensive Antiage eye contour .
- Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract : Extract from daisy flowers, with antibacterial properties, works wonders in healing wounds and treating bruises. It contains a natural substance called L-arbutin that can lighten, prevent or improve existing skin pigmentation problems. L-arbutin lightens the skin by interfering with the pathways that lead to the formation of melanin or pigment, responsible for skin coloration. Therefore, it is a safe and natural alternative to hydroquinone. Other beneficial substances in daisy flower extract are antioxidants, malic and tartaric acids (natural skin firming acids).
- Fragrance (Parfum) .
- Citronellol : Tested in Shiseido Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Geraniol : Analyzed in Decléor’s Harmonie Clam contour .
- Linalool : Tested in Clarins Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream for Men .
- Lactic Acid : Analyzed in the Lancaster Skin Therapy eye contour .
An essential element included in the mix is Vulneraria extract, a natural ingredient that improves skin texture, radiance and evenness, and helps retain and hydrate water in a healthy way.
This is joined by 6 more botanical extracts, and an AHA, and together they form an anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and protective antioxidant mixture that manages to balance excess oil, soothe redness, and minimize the appearance of spots, blackheads and enlarged pores.
The high concentration of alcohol is the only conflicting ingredient in this toner, which makes it too strong for sensitive and dry skin. Therefore, it is a great tonic for oily, blemished or combination skin.
Clinique For Men Exfoliating Lotion for Oily Skin
Clinique For Men formula is clearly for oily skin, as alcohol, salicylic acid, and witch hazel extract play key roles as astringent and exfoliating ingredients.
Even for these more resistant skins, the tonic can be somewhat aggressive, as it lowers the pH of the skin below 4.5 points.
The moisturizing ingredients are present mainly in the form of hyaluronic acid, although it is not the most suitable proportion to be able to act correctly.
In short, it is a tonic that can be quite aggressive and irritating, so the most sensitive and dry skin should refrain from using it.
You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: Clinique For Men Exfoliating Lotion for Oily Skin, Analysis and Alternative .
Lab Series Oil Control Solution
Men’s skin is oily by nature, but in addition to being astringent, it also needs moisturizing and nourishing ingredients that take care of it and respect its integrity.
Unfortunately, Las Series toner only has two actives: salicylic acid (exfoliating) and witch hazel (astringent), and they are not at the top of the list, so alcohol and irritating ingredients completely dominate the product.
Its use can be counterproductive, since it will irritate and mistreat oily skin, completely stripping it of its necessary natural oils. Therefore, it is not a product that I would recommend, for any skin type.
You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: Lab Series Oil Control Solution, Analysis and Alternative .
Poppy Austin rose water
This toner contains 100% pure, distilled, organic and unrefined Moroccan rose water. It is rich in natural antioxidants, and suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin).
Provides instant hydration, while rejuvenating tired skin, helping to create a more vibrant, fuller, and youthful complexion. Rose water will restore the skin’s pH balance, absorb excess oil (without causing dryness), soothe inflammation around the eyes, and clear clogged pores.
Although if you want a more complete result, the rose water may be a bit short of assets.
You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: Poppy Austin’s Rosewater, Analysis and Alternative .
Kiehl´s Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic for Men
Kiehl’s tonic is a controversial option, since on the one hand it has good ingredients, such as salicylic acid, squalene and caffeine, while on the other hand it includes several irritating ingredients, such as alcohol, menthol and fragrances and perfumes .
Vitamin C, E and bamboo extract are in too small a concentration to make a difference in the overall result; something that also happens with various botanical extracts.
Instead of calming and revitalizing tired skin, what you are going to get is irritated skin, which is not the same as refreshing; which can lead to other more serious problems.
You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic for Men, Analysis and Alternative .
Hydrating Lotion by Shiseido Men
Shiseido Men’s Moisturizing Lotion not only doesn’t hydrate, it can also irritate your skin. This is due to the amount of alcohol present (there are two types of alcohol), perfume, and other potentially irritating ingredients.
In addition, it does not get rid of parabens, and Phenoxyethanol, a known toxic and irritant. Many of the ingredients don’t work for their purpose – sunscreen alone doesn’t protect from UV rays, and scrub doesn’t have the ability to exfoliate, so the list falls short.
The active ingredients (only 3) are in a very low proportion, so I doubt that they can protect the skin from external aggressions, or minimally increase collagen synthesis. It is not an option for me.
You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: Shiseido Men’s Hydrating Lotion, Analysis and Alternative .
La Roche Posay Soothing Lotion
A formula that falls short of assets, since it is not possible to hydrate or soften only with glycerin; or exfoliate with only citric acid; or soothe with a perfume and without any soothing or anti-irritant agent.
It does not have any toxic or harmful ingredients for health, but it does not have active ingredients that really benefit the skin. So it’s like not applying anything.
And since I am going to spend the money on a toner, I prefer that it be as good as possible to my skin. So I am not satisfied with this option.
You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: La Roche Posay Soothing Lotion, Analysis and Alternative .
Oil-Control Toner by Jack Black
This tonic for oily skin does not include alcohol, so it respects the most sensitive skin. Still, you can balance oil level, cleanse, and reduce the appearance of pores thanks to AHAs and witch hazel.
It has a wide variety of botanical active ingredients, mostly antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and moisturizing agents, and hyaluronic acid, although a good part is not in the concentrations that I would like.
Moreover, the formula contains some irritating and troublesome ingredients, various preservatives, and retinol, which can have some unwanted side effects.
You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Oil-Control Toner by Jack Black, Analysis and Alternative .
Clarins Extra-Comfort Toner
If you wanted to make a mild toner for sensitive and dry skin, you have not succeeded, because although it does not contain alcohol, the presence of problematic ingredients is overwhelming.
There are quite a few irritants, toxic ingredients, parabens and fragrances, which I don’t think do any kind of skin any good, let alone the most delicate ones.
The assets are very low, and are limited to a couple of moisturizers, anti-inflammatory, soothing, and a skin protector. Although most are in a high proportion, they are not enough incentive to choose it among other formulas.
You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Clarins Extra-Comfort Tonic, Analysis and Alternative .
What is and what is the function of a tonic?
Most cosmetics have a clear function: moisturizers hydrate cells; cleaners clean dirt; scrubs remove dead skin cells; and sunscreen protects the skin from the sun’s rays.
However, the toner is less obvious, and is often forgotten in the daily cleaning routine, both female and male.
It is not given the importance it deserves, and most of the time it is completely ignored. But it is absolutely necessary to use one, because the benefits you can get with them are enormous , and the effort to apply it is minimal.
It comes in the form of a liquid or fluid lotion , in most cases colorless, and easily applied with a cotton pad or directly by hand.
Although its original function is to balance the pH of the skin, current formulations are packed with beneficial ingredients that treat a greater number of skin problems. Therefore, the function of tonics is very varied:
- They reduce pores and excess oil . Toners balance skin oil levels and shine, without drying out the skin. Thanks to its exfoliating ingredients, they minimize the appearance of pores and gently exfoliate the skin to remove dead cells, clean pores and reduce their size. In other words, if you are prone to forehead shine or acne, a toner can help.
- They restore the pH balance of the skin . Our skin is naturally acidic, with a pH between 5 and 6 (on a scale of 0 to 14). But that balance can be upset after cleaning due to the alkaline nature of the cleaner. When this happens, the skin needs to do extra work to get back to normal levels (and this can produce more oil), but using a toner can help restore this balance quickly.
- They protect and detoxify the skin . Toners can help close pores and narrow cell spaces after cleansing, reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental pollutants into the skin. This decreases redness and cell turnover (which decreases with age). They can even protect and remove chlorine and minerals present in tap water.
- They hydrate . Some toners incorporate moisturizing and emollient ingredients, which means that they help retain moisture in the skin, and hydrate the cells, so you can get extra hydration.
- They refresh the skin . Because they remove excess oil from the skin, toners also leave a feeling of freshness and cleanliness, leaving the skin revitalized and refreshed. Many facial toners also provide vitamins and other essential nutrients to keep skin healthy and vital.
- They prevent ingrown hair . Toners that contain glycolic acid or other alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help prevent ingrown hair, so they also help with shaving time.
- They prepare the skin. Toners are also used to prepare the skin for the cosmetics that you are going to apply to penetrate and act better.
But the tonic should not be used as a substitute for the cleanser, since its function is not to clean, but to complement the cleaning. So don’t skip the cleaner!
Types of facial tonics
The ingredients are what separate tonics into three different types:
- The hydrating tonics are the mildest of the three. It contains little (if any) alcohol and other compounds designed to hydrate the skin and prevent water from evaporating from the top layer of the skin. They are suitable for people with dry, sensitive and normal skin because they reduce the possibility of irritation.
- The soft tonics skin alcohol containing a higher percentage (usually no more than 20%). Therefore, this product is a little stronger, and it is suitable for people with normal and combination skin.
- The astringents are the strongest of the three, because they contain the highest amount of alcohol (up to 60%). They are designed specifically for people with oily skin, as they can remove their excess, and dry the skin in the process. The alcoholic content of astringents gives it antibacterial properties, which can help people with acne breakouts.
What can a toner do for your skin?
A facial toner can bring many benefits to men’s skin, although everything will depend on your skin type and the specific needs and concerns you have.
Men generally produce more fat than women, due to higher levels of testosterone, which is why they tend to have more problems with excess oil, shine, and clogged pores. A good toner can help you precisely control these problems.
Although there are also more sensitive or dry male skins, which need more care and hydration. If this is your case, there is also a suitable tonic for you.
And that is why you should only choose products designed for your skin type, especially if you have sensitive skin.
If your skin is dry and sensitive
Men with delicate, dry or sensitive skin hesitate to incorporate a toner in their daily cleansing, as they tend to dry out the skin.
However, there are products specially formulated for this type of skin, which are softer and usually contain some moisturizing or softening ingredient .
These work well with sensitive skin because they have little or no alcohol or any other irritating ingredients, which means you won’t feel any irritation or tightness.
They are ideal for dry skin, which needs extra moisture, as these hydrating toners help retain and hold more moisture.
If your skin is normal or combination
For normal skin, toner can be beneficial in improving skin tone and texture. This is not an absolutely crucial step, but if you want to take your skincare routine a little further, and get your skin looking its best, consider adding a toner.
In the case of combination skin, the toner can be useful to balance the oily areas of the face and help prevent acne breakouts in these areas; while hydrating the driest areas.
If you are wondering which is the best facial toner for combination and normal skin, I recommend that you look for a balanced product, with moisturizing ingredients, and with a small percentage of alcohol .
This combination will make the toner not too strong or aggressive, that it does not dry out your skin, but at the same time improves the texture and controls excess oil.
If your skin is oily or acne-prone
For oily and blemished skin, toner can be a boon. This extra step in your skincare can control oil levels, dry out blemishes, and improve your overall skin tone and texture.
The best toner for this skin type is called an astringent. Astringents have higher percentages of alcohol and antiseptic ingredients than other types of tonics. Because of this, they work well to diminish blemishes and prevent future ones .
Given its hardness, you should only use this type of product if you have very oily skin or with acne problems. And you should stop immediately if you start to feel any signs of irritation or stinging.
Do men need a facial toner?
The tonic is especially important for men. Why? According to the International Dermal Institute, the differences between men’s and women’s skin include: thickness, collagen density, loss of collagen as we age, texture, and hydration.
Testosterone also plays a role, making a man’s skin 25 percent thicker than a woman’s.
Sebum production is higher in men than in women, which is attributed to androgen secretions, and explains why men have longer-lasting acne.
Because men have oilier skin and their amount of facial hair , the use of a toner is more than necessary for some men.
Even if your skin is not oily, acne or combination, you can still reap benefits. A product suitable for your skin type can be a great addition that will complement the rest of your care. Adding a toner can make the difference between good and very good skin.
Men with oily skin will benefit from the cleansing properties of this product, and men with normal skin will love the cool, refreshing feeling of a good toner.
So proceed with caution, or gradually work it into your routine (maybe just twice a week at first), to see how your skin responds.
How can a toner improve your shave?
I’m sure very few men have thought of using a toner instead of or alongside an aftershave, but the truth is that it can make a big difference.
The most common complaints about shaving are irritation, rash, redness, bumps, and breakouts.
And applying a toner can help you minimize these problems (since shaving is stressful on our skin, we can never completely remove a certain amount of irritation).
First of all, one of the main functions of the toner is to relieve redness and irritation , which translates to a great improvement when combined with a moisturizer after shaving.
For best results, look for formulas with some combination of aloe vera, witch hazel, allantoin or willow bark, actives with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that will mitigate the damage caused by the razor.
A second, less obvious benefit is the prevention of ingrown hairs – the nemesis of men with thick or curly beards.
When applied after shaving, the toner removes any shaving residue – dirt, oil, shaving cream, and excess hair that can clog pores and follicles, leading to ingrown hair.
What to look for before buying a toner?
The brand or the price is not the only thing you should take into account when buying a tonic. There are things that matter more.
If you start to look at the ingredient list, you will instantly notice that many tonics use alcohol in their formulation. Well, alcohol is an astringent.
Astringents are solutions that work to contract body tissue. A very common misconception is that alcohol works by reducing pores, but unfortunately, it is not what it does, because the pores are finite in size, and they do not open and close.
Instead, the astringent property of alcohol helps reduce inflammation and redness on the surface of the skin, a common problem that many men with oily skin often face.
And while they also reduce oiliness in the skin, they often dry it out completely, and are very aggressive for sensitive skin.
Alcohol in skin care products causes dryness and free radical damage, and affects the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse.
Irritation, whether you see it on the skin’s surface or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes vital substances your skin needs to stay young.
For these reasons, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, exposure to known skin irritants, especially when great formulas are available that don’t include these types of troublesome ingredients.
Another very common ingredient is witch hazel . This mild, natural astringent reduces inflammation and fat accumulation. Part of its astringent properties come from the leaves and bark of the plant, which contain up to 10% tannins. It is milder than alcohol, and without the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Witch hazel works by breaking down dead skin and oil that has accumulated on the skin’s surface. Cleanses pores and leaves skin fresh. Studies have shown its anti-inflammatory benefits and positive effects, even on sensitive skin.
The glycerin , a great ingredient that can attract water to the skin and can help soothe and cushion pH levels.
The glycolic acid is the “holy grail” of exfoliation, as it is very effective removing dead skin cells, and will also help with the treatment of scars, the battle against discoloration of the skin and signs of aging .
The aloe vera extracts and calendula are perfect to soothe irritated skin, moisturizing and softening it . Aloe vera aloe has been used since ancient times to hydrate, heal, and protect the skin. Modern research shows that it is a powerful moisturizer and antiseptic for the skin.
The vitamin C provides a wide range of benefits, including being increased collagen production, protection of the damage caused by the sun, improved hydration and, in general, younger skin.
The salicylic acid is another great exfoliant that helps to dissolve the top layer of dead skin cells, and facial oils that clog the pores, leaving a cleaner and refined surface.
A 2011 study found that cucumber offers a marked decrease in sebum content in the skin and anti-acne effects. They contain vitamin K (which contributes to skin elasticity), helps balance the skin’s pH level, and soothes irritated skin. Toners with this ingredient offer a refreshing and refreshing effect.
The preservatives are something you should avoid, especially parabens, which are the most damaging. In the INCI you will find parabens with the ending “paraben”, such as Benzylparabene or Ethylparabene.
It is also important to avoid irritating ingredients (usually alcohol, fragrances and sulfates), since the accumulation of all these small proportions of harmful ingredients, can cause the dreaded combination or cocktail effect .
This effect may not be noticed immediately, but it will certainly have long-term negative effects. To avoid it, you just have to avoid cosmetics that contain toxic ingredients, irritants, allergens, sensitizers, etc.
And now that you know which ingredients to choose and which ones not, it’s time to start looking at the ingredient list for products.
The INCI of the products
To find out if the above ingredients are included in the toner, you have to at least read the INCI (or ingredient list) of the product. It is the only way you have to know if the tonic is good or not!
Many of the claims found on cosmetic product packaging, such as “hypoallergenic” or “dermatologically tested,” do not tell us much, and most are not true.
The INCI list is therefore an unbiased way of choosing a product .
To understand an INCI, you need to know a few rules:
- Any ingredient that has a concentration greater than 1% must be listed in order of concentration (by weight). But if it is lower, they can be in any order. This is why preservatives, fragrances and colorants are listed last.
- Ingredients are named by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, which uses the chemical or Latin name (in the case of botanical ingredients). That is why the names are not known.
How do you know what each ingredient is? That is precisely what I do with each analysis, I look for information on each ingredient to know the function it fulfills and what are the benefits and prejudices that they cause.
This is something that you can do too, searching for each ingredient in Google, or in a cosmetics database, which are becoming more and more popular.
Little by little you will become familiar with the names, and you will know what their function is without having to look at it. When testing the INCI, especially make sure that there are no irritating ingredients in the product, as these irritating chemicals can accelerate the skin’s aging process.
It is a bit more difficult to determine if a product contains (enough) active ingredients, and where they should be, since if they are at the bottom of the list (which are the ones that usually have less than 1% proportion) their effect it is almost nil.
I hope this helps you choose your perfect product!
How and when should the toner be used?
How to fit the toner into your facial care routine? Very simple, the toner is used as part of a three-step system: cleanse, tone and hydrate.
Start by using a cleanser that is specific to your skin type and your specific needs. Once you feel that your skin is clean enough, rinse it well with warm water (avoid hot or cold water) and pat it dry with a towel.
Next, shake the toner well so that all the actives mix well. Soak a cotton pad in the toner and use it to distribute the product evenly over the skin, using gentle upward movements. You don’t need to rinse the toner, just let it soak into your skin.
Once the toner has been absorbed (a matter of a few seconds), apply a thin layer of moisturizer to complete the care. The moisturizer will soften and hydrate your skin, helping to maintain its elasticity while minimizing dryness, blemishes, and wrinkles.
If you are going to go out, do not forget to apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
This routine must be repeated morning and night, always applying the tonic after cleansing and exfoliating , and before applying the rest of the creams.
If your skin is sensitive, you can use the toner only once a day (in the morning, after cleansing) to prevent your skin from becoming too dry and red.
Once you know what works best for you, applying it will only take about 10 minutes of your time per day.
Since some tonics include alcohol in their formulation, it is important to be careful when using this product. Therefore, when you start to apply it, it is recommended not to do it more than once every two days.
This will ensure that there is no immediate impact on the skin’s moisture barrier, which could lead to adverse effects.
Please note: It is always important to test any new cosmetic product on a non-visible area of the body, to make sure it does not give you an allergic reaction.
Toner: Before or after shaving?
When it comes to shaving, toners are divided into two groups: those that work best before and those that work best after.
Both are valuable additions to any personal care bag, since the face is possibly at its most sensitive point, after having a razor blade flush with the skin.
Astringent lotions that exfoliate the skin can be used to prepare the skin for a smooth and comfortable shave ; while formulas that prioritize hydration can help soothe irritation afterward .
The key is to make sure you have the right product for your skin type and needs, and for this you have to look at the ingredients. Once you have it, simply add it to your daily routine, after cleansing and before your moisturizer.
Keep in mind that as your body changes, your skin’s needs will change with it. So what may work for you now may be detrimental to you in a few years.
Don’t leave your facial care to chance! The benefits of doing so are many, and the small investment in a toner is well worth it for healthier, younger-looking skin.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.