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Here’s why you shouldn’t skip toner

Precious Sodimu
Writer and expert5 years ago
View Precious Sodimu's profile

More than often, the unsung hero in many of our skin care rituals isn’t found at the start or end of our routines — but rather sandwiched in the middle. Enter: toners. Despite their importance, we’ve all — at some point in our skin care journey — asked ourselves, “what do toners really do?”  

Well, consider class in session as we take a deep dive into why you shouldn’t be skipping this step... 

Known for its many aliases (think: tonic or essence), toners can remove the last traces of make up or excess oil, clean the surface of skin, restore and support your barrier, and prepare your skin to better absorb moisturiser. And with these glow-reviving benefits, it’s no wonder a tried and tested toner deserves a fixed place in your routine.  

Speaking of tried-and-true staples, we’ve collated our best beauty buys to save you the guesswork, whatever your skin care concerns. You’re welcome... 


When blackheads and blemishes attempt to be main characters, a trusted exfoliating toner swoops in the flip the script in your skin care routine. Formulated to uncover facial-worthy radiance — without an appointment — cut corners on achieving the glow you’ve only ever dreamed of, until now... 

“I’ll be honest, the toning territory isn’t new for me. I’ll admit to having tried a stripping formula or two in my time, so I've treaded carefully around this step. However, when I was introduced to the wonders of the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, I could feel my scepticism (and dead skin cells) dwindling away. Made to minimise the appearance of pores, blemishes and breakouts, this toner-like liquid exfoliant works to refine texture over time. If you’ve noticed your complexion veering towards the duller side, this gentle formula helps revive your radiance. Its hydrating cocktail of antioxidants and salicylic acid have made this a permanent fixture in my routine and I’d be lost without it.”Precious, Midweight Copywriter 


A cornerstone for many-a routine, the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Exfoliating Treatment with Glycolic Acid is designed to work overnight while you snooze. Making your smoother skin dreams a reality, this formula targets and lessens the visibility of *deep breath* fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, blackheads, blemishes and redness! 

“This toner is my ride or die – I will repurchase it time and time again. I use it on alternate nights, and it sloughs away dead skin cells to unveil glowing, radiant skin by morning. Trust me on this!”Jade, Senior Copywriter  



Depending on the day, your skin might crave different ingredients and that’s where a hydrating hero like the good light Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion steps in to dew the right thing for your complexion. Boasting a pH-balanced blend of barrier-supporting ceramides, natural AHAs and snow mushroom, this soothing elixir is designed to minimise signs of redness while serving as a magnet for moisture. The dream team? Hats off to oil-balancing niacinamide and industry-adored humectant, hyaluronic acid, of course.   

“This is my go-to toner when my skin needs some nourishment and TLC. It is incredibly soothing and provides next-level hydration. With oil-balancing and healing properties, this is a toner I keep reaching for! You need to try this product — your skin will thank you.” Connor, Social & Community Assistant 



Need sunshine in a bottle? Usher in brighter skin days and forecast a clearer-looking complexion with the Glow Recipe Cloudberry Bright Essence Toner. Named after its fruit-powered hero, this multitasking marvel harnesses the power of vitamins C and E to hydrate, protect and strengthen your skin’s barrier. Making an unmissable feature in your bathroom cabinet thanks its memorable packaging and even more legendary formula, this radiance-recharging must-have ensures dull skin days are behind you.  

“I am such a convert to the Glow Recipe Cloudberry Toner. It helps to brighten and even skin tone and reduce dark spots, all while still hydrating my complexion. Plus, it feels so refreshing on my skin – it's the perfect AM pick-me-up"Josie, Content Manager 



*embed laneige toner here* 

Had a bit too much fun with the actives? We’re no stranger to that and the LANEIGE Cream Skin Cerapeptide Toner & Moisturiser is here to keep our skin barrier in tact. Ticking off two skin care steps in one formula, this hybrid hero delivers lasting hydration to quench skin’s thirst. Whether you’re taking a break from retinol and staying loyal to your skin cycling routine or on downtime from a chemical peel, treat your barrier to some much-needed TLC with this toner-meets-moisturiser, designed to support elasticity and firm the look of skin over time. The secret behind the five-star ratings? Its innovative blend of green tea extract, camellia japonica flower extract, phytosqualane and fatty acids, of course.   

“I can confidently say that no toner has come close to this one for me. Not only does it pick up any leftover make up that my cleanser has missed, but it’s super hydrating and gently nurtures my moisture barrier and skin back to top form.” Trifonia, Senior SEO Copywriter 


Over to you — which toner territory would you like to explore?  

Precious Sodimu
Writer and expert
View Precious Sodimu's profile
Precious is a Midweight Copywriter at Cult Beauty. Sticking her teeth into all things make up and skin care, Precious is always on the hunt for products that work perfectly together (while remaining loyal to her can’t-do-without staples). Like most beauty devotees, Precious doesn’t go a day without her trusted SPF 50+ and is a self-proclaimed fragrance-phile. Away from the vanity mirror, Precious can be found sat with a good book (probably by her favourite author, Toni Morrison) or nurturing her nostalgia with a quality animated film – namely Shrek.