5 Reasons Why You Need to Use an Alcohol-Free Toner


Updated: 6/21/18. People generally won’t use a toner as part of their daily skin care routine because they are unclear of the purpose. They see it as an added step that’s simply unnecessary. However, as a skin care expert and esthetician, I’m here to tell you that toners are very important and here are five reasons why you really should be using one in your routine.

1. When left damp on the skin, they give your skin a drink of moisture before applying serum or moisturizer.

As long as you’re leaving them damp on the skin before immediately applying your next product, toners give an instant boost of hydration to thirsty cells. But make sure to only use an alcohol-free toner. Toners that contain alcohol are extremely drying to the skin and should never be used.

“People are unclear of the purpose of a toner and see it as an unnecessary step. Toners are VERY important!”

2. They remove drying chlorine and minerals found in tap water.

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

For clearing oily, breakout-prone skin try Balancing Skin Tonic

For calming dehydrated, sensitive skin try Elderberry Soothing Toner

For brightening up tired-looking skin try Energy Boosting Toner

For repairing the skin’s moisture barrier try Moisture Infusion Toner

3. They balance the PH in the skin.

If you use a bar of soap or foaming face wash that is too strong and drying out the skin due to a high pH, a toner will help counteract the dryness that occurs.

But hopefully, you’re not washing with a cleanser that leaves your skin feeling tight and dry. Only use gentle, low-foaming, sulfate-free cleansers.  Read: 9 Cleanser Do’s And Don’ts

Moisturizing Toner For Dry Skin

4. They can enhance the results of your skin care program.

Depending on the ingredients used in the formulation, a toner can contain active ingredients to help calm, control oil, stimulate blood circulation, destroy acne-causing bacteria, provide anti-oxidant benefits and more. Also, it is thought that moist skin is actually TEN TIMES more permeable than dry skin. So this means that leaving your skin damp with toner and applying your serum or moisturizer immediately after will allow the active ingredients in those products to penetrate deeper. This, in turn, gives you even better results for your skincare routine.

5. A toner will support your skin’s natural protective barrier.

By supplying the skin with essential hydration and nutrients, you repair the skin’s protective barrier to create the ultimate healthy balance for the skin. This then makes the skin less sensitive and more resistant to environmental damage.

Skin cells are like fish and need water to live so be sure to use a toner immediately after cleansing. To wipe it over the skin and leave it damp, it does not take much time at all (15-20 seconds!) so don’t think of it as another unnecessary, time-consuming step. Your skin needs as much hydration as possible for it to be in its healthiest state so it can look and feel its best.

See my recommended collection of alcohol-free toners.

Want to learn more about skincare products? Learn how this mask can work wonders for hormonal breakouts.

Renée Rouleau

Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”