Do you really need a toner?

The answer is yes and no. When I was younger (and oilier) a toner was the ultimate beauty accessory. I felt that it tightened my pores and cleaned whatever gunk remained in my pores after cleansing. If it came with chemical exfoliants then it also helped reduce breakouts and boost radiance. But as I get older I find myself more attached to mists than toners - just the application of a watery liquid with cotton wool feels harsh and abrasive on my skin. So really, there’s no right answer. I think the benefit of toners is more sensorial, like you feel you’re doing more for your skin. And if you’re oily and acne-prone then they really feel like a boon. So, I’ve listed all the toners and mists that I’ve particularly enjoyed over the years:

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I bought this when I read that all the models at London Fashion Week were using this backstage to keep their faces looking taut and fresh. And I wasn’t disappointed. This is ideal for those with very oily skins, who live in hot, muggy weather because it feels sharp and minty on the skin. The brand says that it is the same recipe used by Queen Isabella of Hungary, which makes it even more attractive. It definitely made my skin feel more perky and poreless, but I’m militant about my skincare so I don't know if this alone was responsible for it.   

Kiehl’s Calendula Toner
Now this is one product that made a visible difference in my skin. It’s without any alcohol and feels like you’re putting water on your skin. However, when used regularly it helped calm patches of rosacea, giving me calm, even toned skin. 

DDF Glycolic Toning Complex
Another winner in my book. Its perfect for AHA newbies, with a mild 7% glycolic acids. However the effect is anything but mild. It really did help exfoliate my skin and made my pores look smaller. And yes, its gentle enough for daily use. However, don’t forget your sunscreen when you use this toner.  

Purearth Wild Rose Himalayan Mist
Ahhhh…bliss. The best rosewater I’ve ever used. I find that this hydrates my skin and helps any moisturiser or face oil absorb much better. Excellent if you have red reactive skin.

Sisley Floral Spray Mist
Absolutely lovely to calm, soothe and tone your skin. Whenever my skin felt especially sensitive this toner helped soothe and moisturise. I just wish they made it in a smaller size so I could carry it on flights. 

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