Toner is a controversial and highly misunderstood subject, much like attention deficit disorder or celebrity baby naming conventions. The bulk of the confusion comes from the broad use of the term “toner” to apply to anything you dab on with a cotton ball after cleansing. Soon, skincare companies started using “toner” interchangeably with “astringent”, which is the harsher, alcohol-based version of toner meant to reduce oil and tighten pores on those with very oily or acne-prone skin. Consequently, toner started to receive a bad rap for “drying your skin out”.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that there are so many varieties of toner, chances are one will work well for your skin type – it’s more about which product you’re using than what it’s categorized under. With that in mind, you should choose a toner based on 2 things: 1) your skin type; and 2) what your goals are.