This is one of those questions that is easier to answer by saying what it’s not. And toners are not what they used to be – namely skin-stripping, high-alcohol, complexion-stinging bottles of pain designed to combat oily skin.
That was then. The new gen are more than just turbo astringents and many have zero irritating alcohol. If only you could say the same about some of your mates.
Toner is applied after washing and before moisturising. Another step you whinge? Think of it as primer and it’ll start to make sense.
But what does it actually do? Glad you asked. Containing acids, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, they remove dead skin from the top of the complexion while hydrating what lies beneath.
Don’t tell anyone we told you but they can even substitute for a traditional moisturiser if none is at hand. If you do opt for both, it’ll help your skin better absorb the actives in your moisturiser.
Apply by spreading it over your face with a cotton ball and leaving it where it goddamn is. Rinsing defeats the purpose and you’ve already cleansed.