I am the first to admit that if I’m time poor, lazy or my toiletry bag is getting too full then toning is the first step to go. I’m not sure when but during my teens someone, somewhere, at some beauty counter, dermatologist’s office told me I should so I started and never really stopped.


Why tone? A toner’s function is to complete the cleansing of your skin—removing the dust, pollution, and impurities that can still be lingering after washing with a cleanser, as cleansers usually contain ingredients such as oil, which can leave a film on your face.

What’s in a toner? Most toners are water-based liquids composed of specific active ingredients including plant extracts and essential oils, tailored to address a variety of skin types. Mainly there are hydrating toners, calming and soothing toners, and astringent toners.

What’s in a good toner? I’d look for rosewater—for its hydrating, clarifying, and energizing properties—or chamomile, which is good for calming and soothing the skin. Alcohol is usually found in astringent toners for oily skin. Their function is to dry out the skin and be especially anti-bacterial—but you don’t want to use those excessively because it will over-dry the skin. Alcohol isn’t bad for your skin, but it just depends on the percentage and skin type.

I’m currently using these three and one essence.

  1. Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner

    Aimed at excess oil, reducing redness and tightening pores I use this morning and/or night. I love the feeling after before applying serums and moisturizer it just feels more like a fresh canvas.


    2. SKII Facial Treatment Essence

    Okay so not technically a toner, it can be used as one and when traveling I tend to pack this as it doubles as so many other products and you can use it throughout the day and night. I like this essence because it fights against so much and is super hydrating – I find it relieves most signs of jet lag and restores you skin much quicker than other products. I don’t use this product if my skin is breaking out or oily though.


    3. Alpha – H Liquid Gold

    I generally try and use this every second night as it help fights he appearance of tired skin, sun damage, pigmentation and wrinkles. It tingles a bit at first due to the acid but feels nice after. For a more intense treatment do not apply moisturizer after just leave be overnight (still apply eye cream).


    4. Witch Hazel

    It’s the kind of cleanser that can double as a mask, if you’re feeling really grimy. Basically natures pure alcohol I like to use this before the gym to remove the days skincare and make sure when I sweat its on a “clean surface”. Its extremely inexpensive so can be used all the time and for other things as well. Add in some charcoal and you have a mask, some lemon for extra cleanse or you can even use it in your hair if your in a bind as favored by Holly Mills hair stylist for extra texture before hairspray.


    Tip – use two cotton pads and start inwards from your face and move out in sweeping motions applying evenly. Whatever you do to the face you do to the neck, for any skincare step.