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What is toner?

I've heard cleanser + toner come up a few times in commercials and such.

So, what does a toner do?

Thanks in advance.

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Toners remove all traces of dirt, make-up or cleanser that remain after cleansing. Seems kinda pointless to me. Like just another way for those companies to make money. They don't like tone your face like you would tone your butt and thighs.. they can dry your skin outnd probably arent all that great, especially if they contain alcohol. But it really depends on your point of view. Personally, I don't use one. I just never really saw the benefit. I use those facial wipes to get makeup off, and then cleanse, so I'm probably pretty safe without one. Then again, there are some that contain things like AHAs, chamomile, (some have Apple cider vinegar?) and are alcohol free, and apparently help balance the pH of skin. On the CSR you don't have to use one though.. Hope that helps!

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I use toner on my back twice a day to help keep the oil under control and it works quite well for that. But it really dries my face out badly so I don't use it at all for that. It contains salicylic acid and alcohol, so it can be pretty harsh.

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I think it's important to understand the difference between types of "toners". Some are more like astringents, containing very harsh ingredients, like alcohol that actually strip the skin, not only of residual dirt and soap, but also of its essential oils. Products like Sea Breeze and Clinique's are in this category.

Then there are toners that actually have some benefit – like aiding in exfoliation of dead skin cells, hydrating with humectants, and calming the skin with antioxidants. Paula's Choice has a couple toners in this category. I've used one for several years now, with excellent results.

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