How to use toners to get clear skin? Best toners for oily, combination & dry skin

Skin care these days involve multi step routines and have gone very comprehensive, in an attempt to discover the products that skin naturally crave for and need, today we are going to dive into toners. Toners are products which are available in a whole lot of price ranges, which can be very confusing and adding to that finding out which toner is best for your skin type is another challenge, in this article, let’s explore what is this skin care product, why you actually need it and which ones would suit you the best and how to use them correctly.

What is a toner ?

Let’s start with the question what exactly is a toner? In skin care, toner basically means a skin tonic, lotion or some kind of liquid that penetrates deep into the skin, offers instant hydration, help cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores along with moisturising, protecting and refreshing the skin.The first skin tonic was tonic water came out around 1900s and about the same time as Eau de Cologne, This product was meant to help with the fatigue in the muscles and soothe the nerves, but skin toners those days were mostly a mixture of perfumed water, alcohol and borax. Borax is a chemical that is used these days in a lot of laundry detergents and other cleaning products.

Luckily, these days skin toners are much advanced, doesn’t contain borax and are designed to help with our skin concerns. Toners help cleanse our skin, remove impurities and also help unclog the open pores and also help shrink appearance of pores and also restore the pH balance of your skin.

Toners are also the products that prep our skin to help absorb the skin care products like serums and moisturisers deep into the skin, we can think of our skin as a sponge and we know that when we put a thick layer of cream on a sponge, it just sits there and the sponge doesn’t absorb any cream, while a wet sponge easily soaks in all the cream, similarly dry skin doesn’t absorb the products readily, like the serums and moisturisers that we apply on our face, and toners help soak in all the goodness of the products by preparing the skin for the same.

Toners for different types of skins :

Toners earlier used to be astringents, which used to contain the alcohols that strip natural oils from your skin and used to be harsh and used to give a tingling sensation when you apply them on your face, regardless of your skin type, you should stay away from these astringents and oil stripping alcohol toners that could potentially damage your skin and do more harm than any good.

Toners for different types of skins
Toners for different types of skins

Oily & Acne prone skin :

For oily skin, the main aim here is to remove all the dirt and the excess oil from your face and also products that help contain any breakouts on your skin. Some of the toners that you can look for are toners that do not contain ingredients that are non-comedogenic, heavy or greasy . You may use toners with ingredients like tea tree oil or green tea and make sure these toners don’t have alcohol or it is very low in the ingredients list, that means that it is in very low concentration.

Sensitive skin:

If you have a sensitive skin, you should look for toners that are generally calming, which for sure doesn’t contain any alcohol and products are hypoallergenic.

Dry skin:

If your skin is already dry, the last thing that you want to do is to strip away natural oils from your skin, so again watch out for any alcohol in your toner and look for toners with fatty acids that are both hydrating and moisturising.

Different between toners, cleansing water, micellar waters and essence :

Quite often people get confused a lot between toners, cleansing waters or beauty waters, micellar waters and essence.

Toners :

Explicitly marketed as toners, generally contain ingredients that help clean away dirt and pH balance your skin.

Cleansing waters or Beauty waters :

Cleansing waters or beauty waters  fall are a type of toners that are basically purified water products, infused with lot of great ingredients, such as essential oils, plant extracts, minerals and collagen.

Micellar waters:

These are not toners, but rather exactly opposite of what a toner should be. Micellar water is generally water infused with micellar, the ingredients list usually is made of purified water, moisturisers like glycerin, and mild surfactants, Micellar water is a product generally used to cleanse, remove makeup and these can potentially strip away natural oils from your skin.

Make sure you are not mistaking micellar water to a toner and replacing a toner with this in your daily CTM routine.


Essence available in the market are available in two different types of textures, one is with a thick cream like texture and the other is a water texture, generally, the ones with a watery texture are the ones which are toners.

How to apply toner for oily skin, dry skin and combination skin :

We all know that toner is the second step in the necessary cleansing, toning and moisturising routine that you should follow and there are three different ways you can use to apply a toner to your face and these are using a cotton pad, directly applying with hands and then using it as a mask.

Using a cotton pad:

Just apply some product on the cotton pad and rub the cotton pads from centre to outwards position of your face, this is generally best for oily skin, where you are using the cotton pad to help remove dirt and extra oil from your face.

The only disadvantage of using a cotton pad is that you will be wasting a lot of product on the cotton pads, that get absorbed into them.

Directly applying with your hands:

Here you apply toner on your fingers and gently tap on your face, where in you try use your toner to calm your face after a cleansing, this is generally best for the people who have sensitive skin or dry skin.

Using a mask :

You can apply the toner on cotton or a sheet mask and put it on your face, leaving it for a few minutes, this gives skin time for the product to get absorbed well, this generally best if you have a dry skin and are using toners with hydrating and moisturising properties and giving the product that extra contact time to help absorb it well.





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