Toning is one of the most often overlooked steps in our skincare routine, however I find it to be the one step most likely to have a visible impact on my skin. The most likely reason your toner is not having an impact is a poor choice of product. When choosing a toner I always consider my top two skin issues and choose products designed to improve them. Toners aim to correct the skins pH balance while hydrating and treating the skin. Astringent toners with a high level content of alcohol should always be avoided as they will always irritate the skin, disturbing the skins barrier, in the long run making any issues you are having even worse.

Today I want to chat about the two toners that are currently having a positive impact on my skin. I have combination/dehydrated skin with occasional breakouts and the issues I am combatting are hyperpigmentation, dullness and uneven texture.

The Moisture Boosting Essence Toner

PYUNKANG YUL ESSENCE TONER

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner offers an intensely hydrating formula enriched with nutrients, boosting moisture leaving skin soft and hydrated. The formula includes no water, with its base made up of 91.3% milk vecht root extract, rich in vitamins and minerals. It includes hydroxyethyl cellulose, arginine and astragalus root extract with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and nutrient boosting properties which hydrate the skin while strengthening and refining the complexion. Its consistency is gel-like, sinking in to the skin fairly quickly, leaving behind a slightly tacky feeling.

This toner has made a significant difference to the plumpness and brightness of my skin over the past year. It has reduced any dryness around my cheeks and nose, making my skin look healthy and bright. It has also helped improve my skins balance which has reduced sebum production. I use it five nights out of seven, straight after cleansing, patted gently onto the skin. Pyunkang Yul is a beautiful brand that I started using on the back of a recommendation from Lisa Eldridge and am now very interested in exploring further.

The Resurfacing Toner

MARIO BADESCU GLYCOLIC ACID TONER

This is a mild resurfacing toner suitable for all skin types that brightens and balances skin post-cleanse. Glycolic Acid, Grapefruit and Aloe act to refine pores and reduce the appearance of fine lines, evening out skin tone and texture to reveal a more radiant complexion.

When I first started using this product about five years ago I was suffering from quite dramatic breakouts and with regular use, it truly helped reduce overall congestion in my skin, as well as fading any hyperpigmentation. As my skin has calmed down, I now use this twice a week as a part of my nighttime routine, or whenever my skin is breaking out. It helps reduce uneven skin texture and very gently exfoliates the skin. I find using it daily now too harsh on my skin as it can cause irritation due to overexfoliation. Salicylic acid and Glycolic acid are used in a similar manner, however I do find that my skin agrees with the latter a lot more. If you are suffering from breakouts, it will be a matter or trial and error to determine which active ingredient your skin prefers.

BONUS: The Two Making Their Way Into My Routine

COSRX FULL FIT PROPOLIS SYNERGY TONER
I have been trying this product out for the past couple of weeks with my morning routine. I am a big believer in the health impacts of organic honey and propolis and with 72.6% Black bee Propolis extract and 10% Honey extract this has added some glow and moisture to my skin.

DEAR KLAIRS DAILY SKIN SOFTENING WATER
I have been testing this out as a possible upgrade from the Mario Badescu, and so far its quite nice. It contains sugarcane extract, a natural exfoliant, and a small amount (0.15%) of citric acid that causes the lowest irritation among AHAs. It also contains 45% cucumber water to add hydration and soothe the skin. I am finding this quite gentle and lovely, however I am unsure how it will respond to breakouts, as I have not had any since starting to use this product.

6 thoughts on “My Current Favourite Toners and Some New Recommendations.

    1. Hi! Glad you asked! This is going to be a bit of an informational essay so get ready haha The MB toner is a Glycolic Acid toner which is an AHA. AHAs are water soluble, which means they only act on the very surface on the skin. The MB toner may improve the surface appearance of blackheads but will not do much to combat and remove them. It will mostly improve skin tone and texture. What will reduce black heads with consistent use are BHAs (beta-hydroxy acid), such as salicylic acid which are oil soluble and have the capacity to penetrate deep into your pores, unclogging them. A product I highly recommend for blackheads is the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. It helps reduce blackheads as well as preventing oxidized sebum from turning into blackheads. Use it at night 2 times per week if you have dry skin and 3 to 4 times if you have oily skin. Do not overuse acids, as overexfoliation can actually overly strip your skin making things worse in the long run. Hope this helps!!!

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      1. Thank you SO much for taking the time to write this! I’m sceptical of going at it with the big guns like this as I nightly use prescription retinoids that can react with salicylic acid 🤦‍♀️ will definitely look into your recommendation though thanks so much again!!

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      2. No problem! But yes those two do not mix well. 😦 I’m surprised the retinoid hasn’t tackled that issue for you though!

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      3. Yes! I couldn’t believe that the prescription leaflet didn’t mention the 2 could react badly – only found out after getting some horrible sore patches and asking a pharmacist!!! I use adapelene and it says not to apply near nose, eyes or mouth…

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      4. Damn! Sounds like you may need to just wait it out. Interfering with the retinoid may just do more damage than good

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