Do You Need a Toner or Essence?

Skincare manufacturers will have you thinking you need more than you do. The skin requires very little. However, it’s fun to spice things up and make it fun. This is where toners and essences come into the picture, but do you need one?

What Is The Purpose of a Toner?

Back in the day, toners were a much-needed skincare product. The reason for this is because facial cleansers were formulated with much harsher detergents, that left your skin feeling tight and dry. They threw off the PH, and therefore toners were there to help bring the natural PH back and make you feel balanced.

Nowadays, facial cleaners are much gentler and don’t leave you feeling dry or irritated.

So, what’s the point of toner now, you ask? Well, there is none. You don’t NEED a toner. Anyone who tells you this is most likely trying to sell you or hasn’t educated themselves enough.

a treatment toner being placed on a shelf

Treatment Toner Are The New Rage

Okay, maybe not THAT new. Those back in the day toners have now morphed into treatment toners. They contain active ingredients like glycolic acid or salicylic acid; these are liquid exfoliants. They will include antioxidants, vitamins, and hydrating properties in them as well.

These target certain issues you are dealing with, whether it be acne, oil, dull skin, or dryness.

It would go a little something like this.
– Cleanse
– Liquid Exfoliant Toner
– Serum
– Moisturizer

If you’re oily, using a BHA liquid exfoliant can really help keep oil controlled and pores less clogged. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Exfoliant is terrific.

For dryer skin types, Glycolic Acid toners would be best. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is slightly strong but a great option. Another one coming in hot with a great ingredient list is the Krave Beauty Kale-LaLu-yAHA. This toner is a bit gentler than the Ordinary one.

Sensitive skin types can benefit from using a PHA toner. The Inkey List makes a PHA gentle exfoliating toner.

If you are oily or acne-prone, you can most likely get away with using the Paula’s Choice one every other day. Always take it slow and build it up.

If you are dryer, using glycolic in a liquid form like this might be too much for every day.

Refer to my other blog post How To Properly Exfoliate Your Skin to learn how to introduce it, as well as more product recommendations.

What is An Essence, And Do You Need One?

We adopted essences from Korean skincare. They are liquids and concentrate mainly on hydration. They often contain humectants and antioxidants. Humectants bind water to the skin, plumping, and hydrating the skin beautifully.

Great for dehydrated or dry skin. Because essences are so, lightweight oily skin types might befriend one during winter months for some extra breathable hydration.

Do you NEED one? No. However, they add that extra boost of hydration without feeling heavy. They’re a fabulous fit for all skin types when needing additional water retention in the skin.

You can apply them with a cotton round or gently pat on with your hands before applying your moisturizer.

Being they are humectant focused; I recommend putting them on damp skin. This way, they can easily bind to the water already present on the surface, increasing hydration.

When using humectant products, whether it be an essence or hyaluronic acid serum, you always want to follow up with a moisturizer. If not, all that water will evaporate if not sealed in with a moisturizer.

All product recommendations listed below are fragrance-free. Usually, all my recommendations are unless I disclose otherwise.

Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence is a red algae-based or Irish moss essence. Red algae is a fantastic humectant. It can bind more water than hyaluronic acid making it superior.

Corsrx Snail Essence  – Snail filtrate has a variety of antioxidants and can aid in wound healing. It also contains hyaluronic acid. (no snail is harmed in the process)


an essence dropper

With Love,


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