5 Ways An Alcohol-Free Toner Will Elevate Your Beauty Routine

Renee Rouleau non Alcoholic toner being used

When people don’t use toner as part of their daily skincare routine, it’s usually because they’re unclear of its purpose. They see it as an unnecessary step in an otherwise well-rounded routine. They wonder, Is using a toner really worth it? And, How much can a toner really do for my skin?

As an esthetician and product formulator with over 30 years of experience, I’m here to tell you that toners are extremely important and can benefit your skin in multiple ways—five ways to be exact. In this post, I’ll discuss the game-changing benefits of toner that will convince you to introduce one into your skincare routine if you haven’t already.

5 Major Benefits of Toner

1. Toners Can Give Your Skin a Drink, Offering Instant Hydration

I always say that skin cells are like fish in that they need water to survive. An easy way to hydrate your skin is through the use of toner. Here’s how I suggest using one: cleanse your skin, apply toner, leave it damp on your skin, then immediately follow up with your next product. Doing this will offer an instant boost of hydration to thirsty skin cells.

Leaving toner damp on your skin before applying your next product is the key. I call this the Golden Minute Rule. It’s the easiest way to get plump, hydrated skin and avoid unnecessary moisture loss.

Just make sure you’re using an alcohol-free toner because, generally speaking, toners that contain alcohol are extremely drying to the skin. (Every single Renée Rouleau toner is alcohol-free and there is one for every skin type. If you don’t know your skin type, you can take the Skin Type Quiz to find out. At the end of it, you’ll get personalized product recommendations.)

Read drinking water won’t hydrate your skin, but these three things will.

2. Toners Can Remove Chlorine and Minerals Found in Tap Water

Chlorine, salts, and minerals are put into tap water to make it safe for drinking and bathing, but they can be very harsh on the skin’s surface layers. You know all that cloudy white stuff that you have to clean off your shower doors? That’s what’s being left behind on your skin after cleansing. Using a toner is like a rinse cycle for your skin after using a cleanser.

Read more about tap water and how it can affect your skin.

3. Toners Can Balance Your Skin’s pH

If you use bar soap or a foaming face wash that’s too strong, it could be drying out your skin due to a high pH. One of the many benefits of toner is that it can help counteract the dryness that occurs. However, I never recommend washing your face with a cleanser that leaves your skin feeling tight and dry. You should only use a gentle, low-foaming, and sulfate-free cleanser.

Read the importance of your skin’s pH level.

4. Toners Often Contains Active Ingredients to Enhance Your Skincare Routine

Toners often contain active ingredients to help calm the skin, control oil production, deliver antioxidant benefits, help combat breakouts, and more. Also, it is thought that moist skin is actually 10 times more permeable than dry skin. This means that by leaving your skin damp after you apply toner, and applying your next product immediately after, you’re allowing active ingredients to penetrate deeper into your skin. This can, in turn, enhance the results of your skincare routine.

Read if you want to improve your skin, use these 20 active ingredients.

5. Toners Can Support Your Moisture Barrier

By supplying your skin with essential hydration and nutrients, you’re supporting its moisture barrier. This is the outermost layer of the skin that provides protection to help retain water and defend against external irritants like bacteria and environmental debris. Think of it as your skin’s personal bodyguard. It keeps the good in and the bad out. It’s made up of lipids (oils) that bind your skin cells together, and when it’s intact, it’s responsible for keeping your skin soft, calm, and healthy-looking.

Read more about the moisture barrier and what to do if it’s damaged.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating toner into your skincare routine is an easy way to give your skin a boost. I recommend that everyone use one, regardless of their skin concerns and goals. As I said before, every single Renée Rouleau toner is alcohol-free and there’s one for every skin type! I know from experience how beneficial they can be, which is why I use toner every single day.

Next, find out whether or not you should avoid alcohol in all skincare products.

Disclaimer: Content found on www.ReneeRouleau.com and Blog.ReneeRouleau.com, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.


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  1. Thank you for this wonderful information. I have been searching for this information.

    Posted By: Neora skincare  | 

  2. I think the best and one of the least expensive toner is witch hazel applied to clean skin with a cotton round.

    Posted By: Linda  | 

  3. Thanks for the tips!! Toner has always been a confusing product for me, but now I’m definitely going to add it to my skin-care routine.

    Posted By: Karen Farber  | 

  4. I have always used a toner – except for about two months, when I tried a skin care line which did not include a toner. I have also made the mistake of using a toner with alcohol, which tore up my skin. Instead of healing the acne, I think it actually exacerbated the problem. Since I’ve stopped using that particular toner, I am noticing a marked improvement.

    Posted By: Marcy  | 


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