Most of us are already aware that the keys to youthful, glowing skin include sunscreen, hydration, and good quality sleep. But the world of skincare offers even more secrets to fend off premature aging, and one of those secrets is toner. Today, we'll delve into the world of toners—crucial for radiant, youthful skin—to explore what toners actually do, why they're essential, and how to properly use them.
We reached out to dermatologist Kit Sattler, MD, FAAD, for her expert opinions and insights into the best anti-aging toners to use at home.
Dr. Sattler explains that toners are primarily used to cleanse the skin, effectively taking away impurities that linger post-wash. "While traditional toners might be alcohol-based and strip the skin, various toners can soothe, tighten, or balance the skin based on the formula." The key is to choose a toner that complements your skin type, as "the effectiveness of the toner relies on its active ingredients."
The Age-Defying Benefits
Toners offer more than simple cleaning. They balance the skin's natural acidity, altered by the alkaline nature of soap, which helps to restore equilibrium quickly. Sattler elucidates that toners can "close pores, tighten cells, reduce penetration of contaminants, decrease pore appearance, and bind moisture to the skin." All these actions contribute to the toner's anti-aging effect, giving your skin a firmer, smoother, and healthier look.
What to Watch Out For
While toners can be fantastic, some considerations must be taken into account. Sattler warns against over-drying and irritation, which may lead to sensitivities and rashes. Modern formulations are much gentler than traditional astringents, but if you have sensitive skin, opt for water-based toners with calming ingredients.
Regardless of your skin type, Dr. Sattler strongly advises against alcohol-based toners. For sensitive skin, avoid products containing retinol, glycolic acid, or benzoyl peroxide, as they may cause dryness or breakouts. Queller recommends looking for toners with ingredients like rosewater, chamomile extracts, panthenol, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid that hydrate and soothe the skin.
Shop Our Favorite Anti-Aging Toners
fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner
Designed for skin that craves deep hydration and a youthful glow, Fresh's Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner combines the soothing properties of rose extracts with the moisture-locking power of hyaluronic acid. This nurturing toner provides intense hydration without the inclusion of alcohol, parabens, or synthetic fragrances, making it an ideal choice for all skin types, especially those needing extra care and revitalization.
Dr. Barbara Sturm BALANCING TONER
Dr. Barbara Sturm's Balancing Toner is crafted to refine and harmonize all skin types. With its nourishing botanicals and absence of alcohol, this toner efficiently tightens pores and primes the skin, making it an ideal choice for a balanced and radiant complexion.
Vitamin B Refining Light Gel Toner
This toner is formulated with Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), a key ingredient in correcting uneven skin tone, rejuvenating dullness, and minimizing signs of previous damage. Paired with Zinc PCA, it offers control over excess oil, while Jojoba ensures vital hydration, creating a well-balanced and revitalized complexion.
7-Ingredient Micellar Water
This micellar water is crafted with just seven essential ingredients: Purified Water for a natural solvent; Glycerin from rapeseed and sunflower for hydration; Poloxamer 184 to remove makeup; Pentylene Glycol from cane sugar for stability and moisture; Citric Acid to regulate pH; Sodium Hydroxide to align pH with the skin; and Cetrimonium Bromide for preservation. Together, these elements form a clean and effective formula that nourishes and protects the skin.
Eminence Organic Skin Care
Soothing Chamomile Tonique
Eminence Organic Skin Care's Soothing Chamomile Tonique is a calming and toning solution, ideal for both stand-alone use or as a revitalizing complement after a facial peel. Created with an organic blend of botanical extracts, it protects skin cells while offering a smooth, even complexion. This tonique is gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and vegan, and it works to hydrate and restore the skin's appearance, leaving it calm and rejuvenated.