Lady with brunette hair using face toner

What Does Toner Do?

The purpose of toner is often misunderstood, and many of us aren't sure if it's something we should use. Here at NIVEA, we've got all the information you need to answer all your toner-related questions, helping you to understand how a toner can benefit your individual skin needs.


face toner

So what is toner? and what does toner do?

  • Scientifically speaking a face toner is a fast acting, quick hydration boost to the skin that also helps to remove dead skins cells in the process. It effectively prepares the skin before you apply moisturiser, or makeup, and helps to balance out the natural pH levels of your skin, taking away impurities and helping your skin absorb the skin products you later apply.
  • Toners effectively clean and close pores and act as a barrier to prevent dirt from entering these freshly cleaned pores - this makes toners especially beneficial to those with acne. It's important to use a toner that does not contain alcohol as this can disrupt how your skin produces it's natural oils, which can cause skin to become unbalanced and can lead to irritated and dry skin.

face toner

How to use toner?

  • Face toners should be used immediately after you have cleansed your face, but before you apply any oils, moisturiser, or sun cream. This is because it helps to further cleanse the face by removing dead skin cells, and it's beneficial properties, such as balancing out the pH levels of the skin, work towards keeping your skin happy and healthy.
  • It's best to use the toner as soon after cleansing as possible because the molecules penetrate the skin better when it is wet, and this also allows the toner to lock in more moisture to leave your skin looking hydrated and healthy.
  • Toners can be applied directly with your hands, or with the use of a cotton pad to gently wipe it onto the face, and should cover the entire face, being careful to avoid contact with eyes.

what does toner do?

Which toner is best for you?

The type of toner you should use depends largely on your skin type - some toners work to soothe skin, some tighten skin, and some focus on helping to balance out the oils on your face. Even if it is one of the best toner's on the market, if it's not suitable for your skin type it will have little effect.

Normal skin & combination skin:
Choose toners containing the IQ co-enzyme which works as a powerful antioxidant for the skin, and helps hydrate the skin to give it a soft, replenished look. Try the NIVEA Daily Essentials Refreshing Toner.

Sensitive skin:
Look for a toner with skin-calming botanicals to provide relief to irritated skin - Aloe Vera is an excellent example of this due to it's soothing qualities. Ingredients such as algae are also beneficial for sensitive skin as they contain amino acids, which help to remove toxins from the skin. The soothing properties of Aloe Vera stretch beyond face care - Aloe Vera can be found in the NIVEA Indulgent Moisture Star Fruit Shower Cream and this can be used to soothe other parts of the body that may be irritated and need some TLC.

Dry skin:
The best toner's to use if you have dry skin contain fermented yeast extract and amino acids, which deeply hydrate the skin and help to lock in moisture helping your skin to look replenished and healthy. Fermented yeast is especially useful for those with dry skin as it helps to break down the active ingredients to aid the absorption of the nutrients and minerals into the skin. This process makes the ingredients overall much more rich in antioxidants and amino acids.

Acne-prone skin:
Toners are great at removing excess oils from the face if you have acne-prone skin, salicylic acid is an ingredient you should look for as it gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, unclogs pores and also contains antibacterial properties.

Oily skin:
Toners for oily skin contain clay which helps to purify the skin and control shine, a common issue for those with oily skin. The NIVEA 1 Minute Urban Detox Mask Purify would be the perfect accompaniment to a clay based toner for oily skin.

Mature skin:
If you have mature skin it's important to use toners with soothing non-abrasive ingredients, such as Aloe Vera. Vitamin C is also a beneficial ingredient due to its antioxidant properties which help to protect the skin and combat aging. 

lady applying face toner with a damp cloth

NIVEA MicellAIR Rose Water 2 in 1 Cleanser & Toner

Give the NIVEA MicellAIR Rose Water 2 in 1 Cleanser & Toner a try, it removes makeup without harsh rubbing and contains a mild, soothing formula with Organic Rose Water. Skin will be toned and purified without drying out.




Toners can be beneficial to people of all different skin types, they were originally created to remove the residue left by cleansers when the only options for face cleansing were soap or cream. Cleansing options today are much better, so if the only reason you wish to use a toner is to cleanse your face it may not be necessary.

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