iStock_000073751751_LargeAuthor: Jennifer Jacobsen, R.N.

Years ago before serums, retinols, lightening agents and the myriad other anti-aging products now offered, routines were simple – cleanse, tone and moisturize. We generally followed this by rote. Now, with the vast expanse of and very individually customized skin care routines, we are often asked, “do I really need a toner?” or “what does toner even do?”  To help answer that question let’s describe what a toner is intended to do.  A good toner should consist of ingredients that help remove lingering impurities and prepare skin for the application of additional products. “The right toner will refresh and hydrate your skin, balance its pH levels, fight aging and contribute to an overall clearer complexion, all without stripping it,” says Indie Lee, founder of the Eponymous skin-care line (New Beauty, Issue Spring-Summer 2016). Opponents of toner warn of using toners that contain alcohol or stripping agents that can dry the skin and suggest that toners may be of best benefit during summer months. Obviously, whether or not to add or continue to use a toner in you regimen is a personal choice. Just be sure it is water based and contains anti-oxidant rich ingredients and amino acids.  One of our favorites is Dew by Circ-Cell®.  Dew helps balance your skin’s pH (so your products distribute evenly), but it also leaves you with a nice, dewy complexion.  What’s your favorite toner?