What Is a Toner, And Why Should You Use One?

What Is a Toner, And Why Should You Use One? - Three Ships

Hey friends! Laura here. Time to drop some knowledge about the basics behind a toner! What is a toner? How do toners works? Why and when should I use a toner? If you are curious about the answers or any (or all!) of these questions then read on!

What is a toner?

Toners can have a multitude of uses - which is why it can often be confusing about what exactly they do. In general, there are three primary types of toners: moisturizing, refreshers and astringent. Toners can also be a combination of multiple types as well! 

1) Moisturizing:

These toners are generally formulated with oils to help provide moisture to the skin. They are generally the least common form of toner as many consumers prefer to use serums or moisturizers for added moisture.

2) Refreshers:

The magic of this type of toner is that they provide energizing ingredients to your skin right after cleansing. This helps to give your skin a boost after being cleansed, common ingredients are floral essential oils and botanical extracts. They generally also have aromatherapy benefits.

3) Astringent:

Astringent toners are generally more on the acidic side and are formulated to tighten pores. A dead give-away of these toners is the presence of alcohol in the ingredient list.

As for Three Ships' line of toners, we fall somewhere between a refresher and an astringent. Our formulas have floral waters, essential oils and extracts to help nourish and calm the skin while the witch hazel will help to reduce the appearance of pores and balance tone. Our toners are also 100% alcohol-free and contain aloe vera juice to help lock-in moisture, making them more appropriate for dry/sensitive skin than a classic astringent toner.

Calm Lavender Hydrosol Toner and Awake Rose Hydrosol Toner

How do toners work? Why and how should I use a toner?

After cleansing (we recommend using an oil-based cleanser followed by a mild water-based cleanser - or just plain water on a face cloth), a toner should either be swiped of sprayed onto the face. With many water based cleansers, their pH can tends to be slightly basic (pH of 8+) which will disrupt the natural acid mantle that you have on your skin. Since the skin has a natural pH of 5.5-6, cleansing with a harsh or chemical-laden cleanser will strip the skin of it's natural oils, causing it to over produce oil. This can lead to increased acne and breakouts (not cool)! Using a toner with a pH closer to that of the skin, will help your skin to re-establish it's natural pH and ensure your acid mantle is maintained.

Our toners are formulated to have a pH of 5.5 (boo ya!) and also have the added plus of glycerin and aloe vera juice to lock in your skin's moisture. It doesn't hurt either that the toning mists help to cool down your skin and smell like a field of blooming flowers!

In general, it is best to decrease the amount that you cleanse as much as possible. It is recommend to cleanse at the end of the day before bed to remove dirt, grime and makeup from that day, followed by a toner and a night serum. In the morning, a quick cleanse with water or a mild cleanser (if needed), light toner (if needed) and a serum and/or moisturizer with SPF will do the trick. Don't over do it! It is better to keep your skincare regime simple yet effective with an emphasis on clean ingredients. 

And there you have it, the basics of a skincare staple; the toner! I hope that you leave feeling wiser. Now, get out there and show the world what you're made of!

xx Laura

Awake Rose Hydrosol Toner

Balances Tone


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Calm Lavender Hydrosol Toner

Reduces Redness


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