In my experience working as an esthetician most people, even those with a full skincare regimen, don't use a toner. Often times it's because people aren't sure if they're really necessary or the experience they've had using a toner has over-dried their skin. But really, toning is simply misunderstood and actually quite an important step!
Firstly, do you know what the difference is between a toner and an astringent? Most astringents are formulated with solvent alcohols that are designed to deeply cleanse the pores and kill bacteria, so if you have acneic/oily skin types, an astringent might be exactly what you need. *For all other skin types, using an astringent is unnecessary and will be too drying.
Toners can also contain alcohol, but there are many wonderful alcohol-free formulas. For all other skin types (besides acneic/oily), I'd highly recommend using an alcohol-free toner so you don't strip the skin of your natural oils.
What are toners meant to do.. really ??
Toners are meant to further cleanse your skin after your cleanser -you'll be surprised how much dirt and grime is still on your face even after you cleanse! Toners correct and balance the pH of your skin. Toners also prevent acne and build-up of surface dead skin cells.
It's important to choose a toner that's right for *your* skin type! For the most part, you'll want to choose a toner that is alcohol-free. Alcohol in most products is typically just an unnecessary irritant. The other ingredients in your toner should be picked based on your skin type. For acneic/oily skin, choose an alcohol-free toner with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), like lactic or glycolic acids. For all other skin types, look for ingredients like antioxidants (rose, chamomile, geranium, etc.), vitamins, coenzyme Q10, and hyaluronic acids in your toners. These ingredients will help to hydrate, heal, and prep the skin for your serum application!
SKINCARE REGIMEN STEPS:
1) Cleanser (am/pm)
2) Toner (am/pm)
3) Serum (am/pm)
4) Moisturizer (am/pm)
5) SPF (am)