Beauty Features

LET’S TALK GOOD SKINCARE PRACTICES – STEP 2: THE TONERS

1, 2, there’s a toner for you!

As part of our “Good Skincare Practices” range of features, we will now talk about the probably most forgotten step of a skincare routine, toning. Often thought to be just another step to finalise a cleanse and thus often skipped over, this is where you can start adding some goodness back into your skin after cleansing and help locking it in. From adding hydration to starting adding acids into your routine (and this is a huge variable, as it depends not only on skincare needs and concerns but age also), toning is much more than just a bit of mist or an additional cleansing step (really, if you’re doing a thorough cleansing routine, it shouldn’t be a cleansing step at all!), it’s an important step in a complete skincare routine. It will help balance the skin’s pH levels and boost your following treatments. Think of skin a bit as if it’s a sponge (it isn’t, please remember skin is actually very impermeable!), if the sponge is completely dry it will take a lot more water (or in this case serum and moisturiser) to rehydrate than if it’s already a bit damp (queue toner!), making a full rehydration easier and quicker (meaning the following products will be much more easily absorbed by skin without it having to work so hard to get to the same results). Obviously I’m not saying everyone categorically has to do a full 10 step skincare routine every single day, we all know it’s just not realistic to expect that, and for most, it’s just not practical. If you have to opt for the absolute bare minimum, I’d say cleanse and moisturise are your top priorities. In which case opt for multi-use, active formulas that will tackle your main concerns and have added SPF (but we will talk more on this later) and add a mist to your skincare shopping list, if only to keep in your handbag so you can refresh and top up your hydration throughout the day, especially if working in air-conditioned environments. Honestly, I’d recommend having a hydrating mist at hand at all times, even if you are using an acid toner in your routine. It’s your hydration top up, your skin’s drink, the mayo in your skincare sandwich. 

The Reusables

Chok Beauty Bamboo Cotton Reusable Makeup Remover Pads, RRP from £6.99 for set of 10

Made of soft bamboo “cotton”, these reusable pads are naturally antibacterial, making them ideal for all skin types. The organic bamboo fabric is softer than traditional cotton, making it ideal to use either while removing makeup, cleansing or applying toner, offering a much more eco-friendly option, as they can be washed again and again, thus minimising landfill waste. And since the fibres are without chemical treatment, they are naturally smoother and won’t irritate the skin, making it ideal for more easily intolerant skin types.The 10-Pack Reusable Bamboo Pads are the perfect sustainable alternative to cotton rounds that are thrown away after a single use.

Available at Chok Beauty

Agnes LDN Organic Cotton Rounds w/storage bag, RRP £10.00 for set of 5

Handmade from organic cotton flannel, they’re super soft and gentle to your skin and made to last. Almost infinitely reusable, they are also compostable at the end of life, simply snip off the outer stitching edge (this is not compostable yet, they’re working on that!) and place the remaining fabric round in the compost. Just machine wash and dry them with like colours. Some shrinkage and discolouration might occur over time, due to the nature of the fabric.

Available at Lone Design Club

Sensitive Skin

Sensitivity isn’t a skin type per se, it’s more of a skin condition that can be triggered by lifestyle or it can be genetic. Sensitive skin is “defined” by a depleted protective layer (which is what gives skin it’s barrier function that protects skin from external aggressions). So if your skin usually reacts badly to products or harsh weather conditions and gets inflamed, red, blotchy and/or itchy (this is called dermatitis), then you need to treat it as sensitive skin as it is likely it will continually react that same way. (There are many other skin conditions out there, such as dehydration, acne, rosacea, etc. These are usually – hopefully – temporary and caused by external factors like lifestyle, but some, such as eczema or psoriasis, can be triggered by illness or genetic factors, and harder to tackle and usually require some medical attention.) All skin types can suffer from sensitivity, although drier skins are usually more prone to it due to the skin’s protective barrier being depleted.

1.COSRX Pure Fit Cica Toner, RRP £26.00 for 150ml

Designed to Soothe, calm, strengthen and protect, with 7 Cica ingredients that help calm sensitive skin, this toner aids in soothing, moisturizing and strengthening the skin, leaving it healthier and more resilient. Fragrance free, the unique CICA -7 Complex soothes, calms and protects irritated, weakened skin while Pinus Pinaster Bark extract helps relieve and restore the skin’s defenses against external stressors. After cleansing, soak a cotton (or bamboo) pad with the toner and gently swipe across the face avoiding the eyes and the mouth. Personally I use this when my skin is having a meltdown and in need of some serious sensitivity TLC and I prefer to squeeze a few drops into the palm of my hand, gently swipe my hands together (it’s not an overly liquid texture) and gently press it into my skin on face and neck until its absorbed enough to apply my serum, as I feel it’s a much more gentle application for when my skin is over sensitised and even a bamboo round swiping across the skin can feel like too much!

Available at Look Fantastic

2.Beauty Pie Japanfusion Hydra Prep Lotion, RRP £25.00 (£8.70 for members) for 150ml 

Forever a fan of the Pie, I find this lotion a gorgeous way to help hydrate my skin when it’s feeling a bit meeh and sensitive. Imported from Japan, this high-tech, micro-molecular hydrating prep tonic is infused with antioxidant Jabara Citrus and Grape Extracts, and an innovative complexion de-stressing Pombo Yeast moisture fusion. It immediately softens, balances and hydrates, and then turbo-charges every other product you put on top of it. I find the texture a little bit thicker than a traditional toner, but still less than an essence, it’s hydrating and smoothing, with antioxidants, to help protect the skin from pollution. A moisture infusing and de-stressing hydrator, it deeply nourishes the skin’s surface for instant plumping. I also prefer to apply this directly with my hands rather than a cotton or bamboo round, as again I find it much gentler and soothing for when skin is sensitised. Also, smell is divine!

Available at Beauty Pie

3.The Organic Pharmacy Rose Facial Spritz, RRP £28.00 for 100ml

Ideal for sensitive skin and vegan-friendly, it helps to refresh skin wherever you are with its uplifting multi-purpose facial spritz that hydrates, tones and calms redness. Delivers immediately a noticeable sensation of freshness. I do love a mist toner, for like, everything! It’s great to top-up hydration throughout the day, help calm redness and sensitivity or just to uplift and brighten your complexion. This Rose Water mist is gorgeous for all of the above as Rose Water is soothing and hydrating and the scent is positively refreshing! Mist away after cleansing, serum or moisturiser or anytime really. You can pat it into the skin for quicker absorption or just let it settle on its own. Skin feels comfortable, soothed, hydrated and refreshed after using this.

Available at The Organic Pharmacy

4.Katherine Daniels Essential Toning Lotion, RRP £23.00 for 200ml 

Follow your cleanse with this soothing and alcohol-free lotion. Enriched with Pumpkin Extract and Sea Water, your skin is left feeling completely clean, refreshed and comfortable. Seaweed Extract (from Red Seaweed and Blue Micro Algae) is anti-ageing, boosts collagen, elastin and your skin’s natural defence mechanisms and Pumpkin Extract and Sea Water are calming, skin strengthening extracts that also inhibit inflammation. Apply to 2 to 3 pumps onto a cotton pad, swipe gently across cleansed skin on the face and neck, gently pat until absorbed and follow with your serum.

Available at katherinedanielscosmetics.com

5.First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner, RRP £19.00 for 177ml

This is an alcohol-free, oatmeal-powered toner that hydrates, relieves and soothes skin while supporting overall skin health for a balanced complexion. Use after cleansing to hydrate and balance your skin. Oat milk, Colloidal Oatmeal and Wild Oats are combined with Honey and Hyaluronic Acid to help soothe, relieve redness and hydrate. Skin is left plump and prepped to absorb oils, serums or moisturisers. This positively gorgeous lotion is fragrance free and brilliant to help calm, soothe and refresh sensitive skin. Again, I prefer to apply this formula directly with the palms of my hands rather than a cotton pad, as the texture is a bit thicker than a traditional liquid toner, making it ideal to be pressed into the skin gently with your hands. Brilliantly soothing!

Available at feelunique.com

6.Lush Eau Roma Toner, RRP from £6.00 for 100gr

This rose water face toner was created or even the most sensitive skins, as a way to hydrate and soothe skin gently and effectively. This Rose Water is made using the finest Rose Absolute from Senir, Turkey. It helps to calm skin and reduce redness making it perfect for sensitive skins and the added Lavender Water is used for its balancing and soothing qualities making it ideal for irritated or red skin, it’s also great for it’s aromatherapy benefits, helping to calm the mind and aiding restful sleep. Spray directly onto your face for a quick refresh or spritz onto a reusable cotton pad and swipe over the skin. Obviously, I prefer to spray this directly onto skin, but it’s entirely up to you and your skin which application you prefer!

Available at Lush

7.Osmosis MD Boost Peptide Activating Mist, RRP £32.00 for 100ml

This unique, peptide-infused, vitamin-enriched, and frequency-enhanced water rejuvenates, heals, and soothes leaving skin soft and lightly hydrated. This mist delivers lightweight hydration that gives your complexion a smoother, more youthful appearance. It is infused with a powerful combination of essential oils, Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and Green Tea that targets fine lines, dryness, dehydration and redness. Designed to enhance product performance, promote supple, hydrated skin and deliver peptides and antioxidants for healthier, smoother, plumper looking skin. Just lightly spray all over face, neck and decolletage, gently pat into the skin and follow with your serum. Fragrance-free.

Available at Osmosis Beauty

Combination Skin

This is a mix of different skin types and quite possibly the most common skin type nowadays. Usually it’s defined by a slightly oilier or balanced T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and drier or more dehydrated cheeks. 

1.Syrene Aqua Gel Refreshing Toner, RRP £58.00 for 150ml

A hydrating toner that preps and primes the skin to leave it feeling refreshed, soothed, and nourished. This unique hydrating gel toner works to enhance the skin’s moisture content for long lasting hydration whilst also working to improve the tone and texture of the complexion. It will leave your skin feeling soothed, rejuvenated, and balanced making it perfect for use post cleanse. With Seaweed Extract (Ephemer™), an active ingredient that contributes to the protection of the skin by helping strengthen its antioxidant capacity, slowing the formation of free radicals responsible for ageing and thus helping to maintain and boost skin elasticity, Marine Collagen, which promotes a glowing, vibrant complexion and forms a protective shield for the care of dry, stressed skin, it also helps increase skin’s moisture levels and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Manuka Honey, which is naturally antibacterial and helps to keep skin clear and retain moisture, Larch Tree Extract (Galactoarabinan), which is a unique ingredient that helps to deeply hydrate the skin whilst also reducing the amount of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) to ultimately improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Sea Salt, which is packed full of healthy skin-friendly minerals such as Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium which help to improve the overall skin health, and also deeply cleanses pores and balances oil production to help keep the skin clear and Aloe Vera, which is a well-known ingredient that is loved by many thanks to its naturally skin soothing properties, it helps to soothe the skin whilst also providing deep hydration and nourishment. Apply a small pump onto a cotton pad or palm of your hands and gently swipe or press onto skin. The smell is sea breezy, refreshing and just gorgeous!

Available from www.syreneskincare.co.uk, Harvey Nichols and Liberty London

2.Bioeffect OSA Water Mist, RRP £35.00 for 60ml

Love that this hydrating mist can easily be used over makeup as it has a slight mattifying, but not flat effect. For when you have that particular preference, of course! Designed to strengthen and hydrate the skin, it’s made with pure Icelandic water and contains Orthosilicic Acid (OSA – a natural substance found in seafood, seawater, vegetables and whole grains, and a bioavailable form of silicon, a mineral involved in the formation of collagen) and Optimised Hyaluronic Acid to strengthen and hydrate the skin. It refreshes, hydrates and rebalances the skin. Fragrance, oil and alcohol-free, it’s ideal to keep with you at all times and top-up hydration throughout the day. To apply close your eyes and mist 2 to 3 sprays to your face and neck, and gently pat it into skin until absorbed. Use as often as desired to refresh, hydrate, and mattify your skin.

Available at bioeffect.co.uk

3.Beauty Pie Uber Youth Super Elixir Microbiome Mist-On Serum, RRP £80.00 (£17.43 for members) for 95ml 

So this is a bit more than just your usual spray-on toner. Ideal for anyone wanting to balance their skin’s microbiome, as that will help with a multitude of issues such as acne causing bacteria, inflammation and protecting the skin barrier and minimizing glycation (this is a process which is caused by the presence of excess glucose in skin fibers. This excess triggers an internal reaction in which sugar molecules adhere to the collagen and elastin proteins, which normally help keep skin firm and supple and this can cause loss of firmness). This powerhouse serum-in-a-mist tackles all of that at once. Packed with antioxidants and wrinkle busting, anti-hyperpigmentation and anti-glycation collagen boosters, plus skin-barrier-supporting Defensil® and dynamic Probiotic Revivyl® this is an absolutely incredible fragrance-free mist to add to your arsenal. Mist all over face, neck and chest on cleansed skin, pat into skin to aid absorption and follow with your treatment or serum. An absolute must have!

Available at Beauty Pie

4.Murad Prebiotic 3-in-1 Multi Mist, RRP £30.00 for 100ml

Carrying on with the prebiotic formulated, microbiome balancing mists, this is a peptide-rich, hydrating mist that replenishes with prebiotics to balance skin’s microbiome for healthier-looking skin. Formulated with Prebiotic Hydrating Sugars to promote enrichment of good bacteria, reinforce and help boost skin’s natural hydration reserves for a smooth, healthy barrier, Yeast Peptide which helps lock in skin’s natural moisture levels to promote healthy, hydrated skin, which, in turn, supports an ideal environment for a healthy microbiome and a  Biopolymer Complex that forms a natural, breathable, second skin that helps prime and set makeup for longer wear. I do love a prebiotic mist, for all of the already mentioned benefits, but this has the added benefit of being able to be used as a makeup setting spray with a slightly mattifying finish. To use, hold the bottle 8-10 inches (approx. 20cm) away from your face, close eyes and mist evenly onto skin. Can be applied under makeup to prime or after makeup to set. Use to refresh throughout the day. Absolutely gorgeous!

Available at murad.co.uk, John LewisDebenhams and other selected retailers

5.The Organic Pharmacy Herbal Toner, RRP £35.00 for 100ml

Their best-selling toner that soothes, awakens, revitalizes, plumps and rehydrates the skin in preparation for moisturising. The powerful blend soothes and balances, producing radiant results, it’s 100% vegan and helps to minimise the appearance of pores. Proven to boost skin moisturisation by 17% after 20 minutes, it’s enriched with Green Tea, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Aloe and Calendula. Gorgeously refreshing and freshly scented, it’s gorgeous for daily use, AM and PM, just mist onto cleansed face and neck and gently press with your hands to help it absorb.

Available at The Organic Pharmacy

6.StriVectin Tri-Phase Daily Glow Toner, RRP £29.00 for 147ml

Starting to delve into the territory of acid toners which gently exfoliate, this three-phase toner smoothes, hydrates and brightens with a glow restoring blend of skin-loving acids. This advanced formula is packed with nourishing botanical extracts supercharged by StriVectin’s proprietary form of Niacin/Vitamin B3, which makes it a recipe for a perfected complexion. Mandelic Acid, a gentle AHA suitable for even sensitive skin, is known to help refine and clarify the complexion and Lactic Acid, a well-known AHA, brightens and restores radiance while Squalane Oil nourishes and replenishes skin and Licorice Root Extract soothes skin and enhances luminosity. Rice Amino Acid deeply moisturises, helping to counter irritation and Hyaluronic Acid deeply hydrates while Aloe Leaf & Calendula Flower extracts soothe dry, fatigued skin. Patented NIA-114™ technology is clinically proven to strengthen the skin barrier and supercharge the performance of other ingredients. Clinically proven to instantly leave skin feeling hydrated, softer, smoother and more supple.* With continued use, clinically proven to leave skin visibly brighter and more radiant with a healthy-looking glow.** *Based on consumer evaluation when used as directed / **Based on consumer evaluation at 4 weeks when used as directed. To use, shake the bottle to mix all three phases, then saturate a cotton pad and gently sweep across the face and neck. Follow with your hydrating mist and serum of choice.

Available at Indulge Beauty/The Fragrance Shop

7.Shiro Yuzu Balancing Face Mist, RRP £52.00 for 120ml

This gorgeously citrusy mist from Shiro allows you to moisturise, soothe, refresh and energise your face with just one spritz. Made with distilled Yuzu Water and Yuzu Essential Oil, this face mist lightly coats the whole face to moisturise skin. Mist on throughout the day for added hydration, and to energise yourself with its refreshing and citrusy yuzu scent. Spray 20 cm away from face and gently press into skin. Can be used before or after makeup. Can also be used on body, scalp and hair. 

Available at shiro-shiro.uk

Oily/Blemish Prone Skin

Usually more prone to breakouts and blackheads, this skin type usually presents with an excessive sebum production, with skin looking shiny, slightly thicker and with enlarged pores. Oily skin can still get dehydrated (meaning it lacks water) and sensitised. Acne is a different condition that can happen to anyone, regardless of skin type, and it’s usually either hormone related (which is why it’s so common during adolescence and around menstrual periods) or sensitivity/allergy related.

1.COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, RRP £19.99 for 150ml

This gentle, clarifying toner is ideal to refresh and reset the complexion with its AHA/BHA blend. This mist is gentle enough to be suitable for everyday use to help clear skin of impurities, dead skin cells and clogged pores, whilst minimising the appearance of blackheads and blemishes to reveal a smooth, clear complexion. Willow Bark Water and Apple Fruit Water help to clear pores and improve skin texture, whilst Glycolic Acid and Betaine Salicylate work to remove dead skin cells that can lead to clogged pores and soothing and hydrating Allantoin is combined with Mineral Water (sourced from Jeju Island in South Korea and recognised for its natural BHA content), to help restore moisturised, revitalised skin with revived radiance. Cruelty free and Vegan. Spray directly on to skin and pat gently until absorbed or spray onto a reusable cotton pad swipe all over your face and neck. Even though it’s quite rich in it’s AHA and BHA contents it feels very soft and soothing on application.

Available at Boots

2.Starface Night Water, RRP £10.00 for 120ml

From super-cool brand Starface comes this Exfoliating Night Water, which is formulated with a complete blend of AHAs, BHAs and PHAs to unclog pores, Botanical Extracts to calm redness and Niacinamide to reduce acne scarring and brighten skin. Always follow what your skin is telling you, a little stinging sensation is normal, like a slight buzzing feeling, but if it feels more like a burn, diminish frequency from daily to every other day or even every 2 days (about 3 times a week) and let your skin adjust. If persistent irritation occurs, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist. Free of parabens, fragrance, oil and sulfates, cruelty-free and vegan. To use, saturate a reusable cotton round with a few pumps, gently press (not swipe) into clean, dry skin, avoiding the eye area, and go to bed.

Available at Starface

3.Beauty Pie Dr.Glycolic Pore-Purifying Glow Toner, RRP £30.00 (£11.47 for members) for 150ml

This toner exfoliates dead, dulling skin cells to reveal smoother, healthier looking skin in a flash. With 9.2% Glycolic Acid derived from sugarcane, for resurfacing, renewing, breakout minimizing, pore-clearing and to improve visible scarring and hyperpigmentation, refine skin’s texture and reduce visible wrinkles, 1.5% Multi-Fruit AHAs, a natural blend of Bilberry, Orange and Lemon Fruit Extracts – natural AHAs – to support resurfacing and reduce appearance of blemishes and wrinkles and effectiveness boosting and brightening 1% Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), a non-sensitizing vitamin that helps visibly improve the appearance of large pores and uneven skin texture and tone, and reduces the visibility of fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness. It also helps boost the hydrating ability of most moisturizers, plus soothing Anionic Polysaccharides to balance the exfoliating activity and help minimize skin sensitivity and help keep skin dewy and smooth. A gentle but super-effective multi-acid resurfacing toning lotion. Oily and acne prone complexions can use it daily, but if you have drier skin and want to use it to exfoliate, you can do it up to 3x weekly. If your skin is prone to sensitivity, start by using once a week and gradually increase usage as your skin adjusts. A mild tingling sensation is normal, as this is incredibly active, but if it doesn’t subside, neutralise it with water, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist. Personally I only use it at specific times, when my skin is breaking out, and only every other day, but it does the trick and my skin becomes clearer with using it. To apply, soak a reusable cotton pad and dab across a just-cleansed face, neck and chest, avoiding the lips and eye contour. The use of AHAs can cause photosensitivity, so don’t forget your SPF.

Available at Beauty Pie

4.Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner, RRP £31.00 for 150ml

The newest member of the beloved Watermelon Glow collection, this alcohol-free hydrating and pore refining toner is powered by  the hero ingredient acclaimed by Korean beauty buffs, Watermelon Extract (surprise!) for its ability to soothe irritated and inflamed skin with luscious, skin-restoring vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids and powerful acids such as a potent PHA (Poly Hydroxy Acid) that clarifies the uppermost layer of your skin, buffing away dead skin cells to clear blocked pores, while a naturally derived BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) helps to battle blackheads and ease congestion, working to gently refine and decongest problem pores for ultra-smooth, radiant skin. With five different weights of Hyaluronic Acid, perfect for flooding thirsty cells with instant and lasting hydration and an antibacterial blend of Tea Tree and Centella Asiatica to calm and clarify your skin. A dream come true for visible pores, it helps to decongest and tone for a smoother looking complexion. Dispense a small amount of toner onto the palm of your hands and pat gently onto clean skin on the face and neck, paying special attention to where pores tend to be more visible (Nose, Forehead). With this particular formula you can spray your hydration mist before and after applying it and follow with your serum.

Available at Cult Beauty

5.Q+A Niacinamide Daily Toner, RRP £8.00 for 100ml 

Designed for all skin types but especially great for oily or problematic skins. It contains Niacinamide, which is a brilliant ingredient if you suffer from pigmentation, acne, inflammation, blemishes and uneven skin tone, Aloe Vera, which is rich in polysaccharides, a powerful molecule that hydrates the skin whilst creating a protective barrier from external aggressors and pollutants and Hyaluronic Acid to plump, seriously hydrate and improve texture leaving skin soft and bouncy, and is the perfect toner to boost overall skin health and manage blemishes and uneven skin tone leaving it cool and calm without any irritation or dryness. Also high in skin healing vitamins and minerals A, E, Magnesium and Zinc. It has a 95.4% natural formula and is cruelty, alcohol and fragrance free and vegan friendly. To use, apply a few drops on a reusable cotton pad and gently swipe or dab all over face and neck, let it absorb slightly, follow with your hydration mist and serum of choice. You’ll definitely notice a difference in your complexion with continued use, it will be brighter, smoother and well, for lack of a better word, more toned. 

Available at qandaskin.com, feelunique.com, prettylittlething.com and selected Lloyds

Pharmacies

6.Murad Clarifying Toner, RRP £25.00 for 180ml

This is a great one for blemish prone skin, to help keep breakouts at bay and eliminate excess oil without drying the skin out. Instantly removes oil and impurities as it refreshes. Eliminates excess oil and helps keep pores clear. Tightens the look of pores as it soothes and balances. The oil-fighting formula instantly balances, refreshes and helps minimise the look of pores. Cooling formula removes oil and impurities to instantly refresh skin. Witch Hazel tightens the appearance of pores and dissolves excess oils while Cucumber Extract helps soothe for a perfectly balanced complexion, Algae Extract, helps reduce shine and Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin E help neutralise damaging free radicals.

Available at murad.co.uk

7.Made for Life Organics Refresh & Clarify Toner, RRP from £25.00 for 100ml

This alcohol-free toner refreshes and revives skin, reduces pore size and improves the effectiveness of other facial products. This toner is perfect to use daily to refresh and hydrate, it uses floral extracts to leave your skin revitalised and toned. Sage revives your skin and your senses whilst helping to tighten pores. Additionally, Lavender soothes and tones while Chamomile helps to restore your skin’s natural balance. The fresh, slightly herbal scent helps to uplift and refresh also. Use after cleansing. First shake the bottle well to blend the floral waters and essential oils. Spray a little directly onto the skin, or onto a reusable cotton pad, and sweep or dab lightly over your face and decolletage, allowing the toner to soak into the skin.

Available at madeforlifeorganics.com

Dry Skin/Dehydrated Skin

No, dry and dehydrated are not the same thing! Dry skin usually lacks or is very low on the natural oils (sebum) our skin produces to protect itself, meaning the skin’s protective barrier can be easily depleted or compromised and there may also be a lack of natural moisturising factors or NMF (usually our skin produces these also, these commonly being squalane, wax esters and triglycerides). Dry skin will usually feel tight and uncomfortable and look dull and lackluster and sometimes be flaky. Dehydrated skin is missing water, not oil, and that is usually caused by external factors such as extreme/constant weather changes (air con, heating, cold, etc), unbalanced diet or lack of proper water intake, medication, hormonal changes, too much caffeine or alcohol or even stress, among other things. Dehydrated skin will also feel tight and look dull.

1.Dr.Hauschka Facial Toner, RRP £25.50 for 100ml

This Facial Toner will give your skin bursts of energy, with it’s unmistakable medicinal plant composition that fortifies and refreshes the complexion, and also lends it its unique fresh scent. Ideal to use in the morning and evening after cleansing, and whenever you like in between for a burst of hydration. It’s also suitable for use over make-up and as an invigorating aftershave for men. It supports the skin’s natural processes of cleansing and renewal, refines the appearance of pores, balancing moisture levels and oil production, and leaves skin looking and feeling healthy, toned and radiant. Anthyllis Extract helps skin remain balanced and healthy. Witch Hazel Extract supports tone and elasticity, refining pores. Ideal for dry and sensitive skin, as well as skin that is in need of regeneration.  After cleansing in the mornings and evenings, mist onto the face and gently pat it into the skin.

Available at drhauschka.co.uk

2.Elemental Herbology Antioxidant Hydration Mist, RRP £30.00 for 100ml

Use this antioxidant-rich mist toner to hydrate, soothe and protect dehydrated, sensitised skin and to instantly refresh and calm redness throughout the day. With Rose Damask Flower Water which is a calming flower water rich in antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental damage, ​Rose Damask Oil to deeply moisturise and repair, this nourishing oil extract helps to reduce redness and sensitivity and Glycerin sourced from rape-seed oil, which has powerful humectant properties to lock moisture into the skin. Beautifully refreshing and lightly scented of rose, it’s truly gorgeous to apply whenever! During your routine or throughout the day, it’s brilliant anytime. And even though it’s 100ml, the bottle is compact enough that you can easily slide it into your purse before going to work. Lightly mist over face and neck, on cleansed skin and pat it into the skin until absorbed then follow with your usual serum. Skin feels fresh and soothed and comfortably hydrated afterwards.

Available at elementalherbology.com

3.Indeed Hydraluron+ Moisture Mist, RRP £24.99 for 75ml

Combining the magic of low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid to intensely hydrate, and provide long-lasting moisture and plumpness to the skin with powerful extracts from the Butterfly Bush (officially knowns as Buddleja Officinalis, a beautiful early flowering shrub from China) that has over 3x the antioxidant power of goji berries, this intensely hydrating mist helps to restore skin’s protective barrier, brighten the complexion and defend against environmental stressors such as pollution and those pesky blue light emissions. An essential step in any skincare routine this mist also simultaneously reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to bring skin back to its prime. Ideal to keep at your work station for daily top-ups, this product delivers an ultra-fine, even mist to provide an instant-refresh at any time of the day. At just 75 ml, it’s compact and perfectly handbag sized, to keep you hydrated and protected at any time. With eyes closed, hold the moisture mist 8-10 inches (about 20cm) away from the face and evenly spray 2-3 pumps before applying your serum or moisturiser. Reapply throughout the day on a bare face or over makeup to refresh skin. Love how lightweight it is on the skin yet highly hydrating.

Available at Boots, Asos, Feelunique and Superdrug

4.Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist, RRP £28.00 for 120ml

A long time favourite of mine for daily hydration, this weightless hydrating serum in a setting mist formula is made with Mineral-enriched Seawater and Sea Fruit Extract combined with Algalyte Complex to intensely hydrate and lock-in moisture for a more youthful complexion. A unique Polysaccharide blend helps to form a protective, seamless layer to help seal in hydration and set makeup. Skin is visibly replenished and radiant. As the final step, both morning and evening, spray 3 times over face and neck. Spray in a Z formation, hold bottle 6 to 8 inches (approx. 20cm) from face, close eyes, and spray across the forehead, then spray across face diagonally followed by a spray across the lower face. Reapply as desired. Incredibly hydrating, it’s a truly light, super-fine mist, ideal for daily top-ups, even over makeup, as it was designed to help lock it in place also. Skin feels supple and incredibly hydrated.

Available at SpaceNK, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic and Feelunique

5.Jane Scrivner Skin Drink, RRP £23.00 for 100ml

This hydrating high-octane face mist is bursting with trace essential oils from skin loving florals that instantly refresh and revitalise tired, dehydrated skin. Formulated with a blend of Organic, high altitude Lavender Hydrosol which is soothing, balancing, anti-inflammatory and restorative and apothecary French Rose Hydrosol for a hydrating, rejuvenating, calming and cooling effect on the skin, co-operative farmed Somalian Frankincense Essential Oil, a natural astringent with strong reparative and regenerative properties, tones, lifts and tightens the complexion. As the water evaporates this skin drink leaves a delicious film of trace oils to massage in, to nourish, balance and hydrate skin. To apply, shake thoroughly before use to fully infuse the Frankincense. Hold bottle 20 to 30cm away from face, close eyes and spray a fine mist into the air above face and décolleté. Gently massage in. Use after cleansing, before or after facial oil or serum application to hold hydration in and tone skin, or as a spritz to ‘set’ makeup. Can also be used as a general cooling mist. This offers such a lush experience from the moment you spritz it to when you gently massage it into the skin. Skin is left feeling supple, hydrated and smooth.

Available at  janescrivner.com

6.BYBI Mega Mist, RRP £26.00 for 50ml

Mega Mist is a refreshing and hydrating face mist for skin that’s feeling dehydrated. Formulated with powerhouse ingredient Hyaluronic Acid, which is a humectant, meaning it attracts and holds onto moisture leading to truly plump, dewy and bouncy skin, Aloe Vera, Algae and Pomegranate help to soothe skin that’s feeling dry or sensitive, reducing redness and calming irritation and Rose, Lemon Balm and Orange Blossom floral waters help to improve the texture of and tone the skin whilst tightening pores. It’s great on top of or underneath makeup for a plump, glowing, pillow-soft finish whilst maintaining skin hydration levels. It’s a gorgeous toner for after cleansing and before moisturising, in both your morning and night routine. And it smells absolutely lush!

Available at BYBI

7. Ecooking Mist, RRP £24.50 for 200ml

This hydrating and refreshing skin tonic was designed to instantly refresh your complexion. This is a weightless and soothing facial spray with skin-toning benefits. Boasting a high Vitamin E and Glycerin content to replenish vital moisture deep below the skin surface, this hydrating mist is also formulated with Aloe Vera, Cucumber and Chamomile to soothe any sensitivity whilst helping to firm and tone facial contours. To apply, hold bottle approx. 20cm from face, close your eyes and mist gently over face and neck then softly pat into skin to aid absorption and follow with your serum of choice. Or you can mist it onto a reusable cotton pad and gently swipe across a cleansed face and neck before continuing with your routine.

Available at Indulge Beauty/The Fragrance Shop

Balanced/All Skin types

Balanced or “normal” skin is usually the holy grail of skin types and sported by those that won the skin typing genetic lottery (yes, the rest of us are jealous). It is as the name suggests, perfectly balanced between sebum and natural moisturising factors. It has good, even texture and pores are a non-issue. Balanced skin can still get dehydrated or sensitised or even get occasional spots.

1.Monat skin Revitalising Essence, RRP £42.00 for 120ml

A lightweight liquid (an essence falls somewhere in between a toner and a serum in consistency) that brightens with Natural Fruit Acids, which smooth, brighten and perfect pores whilst providing fast hydration and nourishing benefits in the form of restorative Colubrine (a South-American Tree) and Beet Root Extracts. Chamomile soothes, protects and replenishes. Skin is smoother, brighter and more radiant. Replenishing & soothing, this ultra-gentle, beneficial lightweight essence has just the right blend of hydrating, skin-replenishing, and anti-ageing ingredients that smooths and softens for brighter, more radiant skin. Use daily, morning and night. After cleansing, pour a small amount into hands and press gently onto face, neck and décolletage. Allow it to almost fully absorb before applying your serum and moisturiser. Usually an essence is an additional step between toner and serum, but it can be used instead of toner to boost hydration and the efficacy of your following skincare products.

Available at Monat Global

2.Natura Siberica Moisturising Face Tonic, RRP £8.99 for 100ml

This amazing face tonic deeply moisturises, refreshes and tones skin, giving it a natural glow and radiance. Formulated with Kuril Tea, (or Bloodroot), which grows mainly in the Altai mountain region of Siberia, it contains a high concentration of Vitamin C, which perfectly tones and awakens skin’s natural radiance. Organic Siberian Pine Oil, packed full of vitamins, nourishes and softens skin. Hyaluronic Acid deeply moisturises skin, increasing its firmness and elasticity. With added Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, to help slow down the ageing process of skin. Spray directly onto face and neck, or apply with a cotton pad. Scent is fresh and slightly herbal, but soft. Skin feels incredibly nourished, hydrated, soft and supple after use, and with a healthy, natural, plumped glow.

Available at naturasiberica.co.uk

3.Nudestix 5% Citrus Fruit & Glycolic Glow Toner, RRP £24.00 for 95ml

This brilliant glow toner is made with 3% Glycolic Acid and a 2% Fruit Acid Complex composed of Grape to detox, Lime to exfoliate away dead skin cells, Orange and Lemon for it’s skin brightening and antioxidant properties, Apple to help balance oil secretion and Hyaluronic Acid to plump, soften and moisturise skin. The alcohol-free, vegan, spa-strength resurfacing treatment accelerates skin’s cell-renewal process by smoothing and brightening, minimising the appearance of lines and pores and leaving you with a plump and glowing complexion. The Natural AHA’s absorb into skin to loosen and shed dead and dull skin cells. It gently exfoliates for brighter, fresher looking skin for an instant glow while the Glycolic Acid, deep cleanses pores to help reduce the appearance of blemishes and allow active ingredients to penetrate better and triggers production of collagen and hyaluronic acid to plump and moisturize skin as well as reducing the look of wrinkles. With Aromatherapy Essential Oils of Grapefruit, Lavender, Orange Peel, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint and Tangerine Peel to uplift and energise. (Smells fab!) For best results use 3-5 nights per week after cleansing skin, apply with fingers or cotton pad all over the face to remove all traces of dirt and dead skin. Pat remaining toner into skin for the ultimate glow. Again, see how your skin reacts and adjust usage accordingly. Comes in a travel friendly 95ml bottle, for a healthy on-the-go glow and all the packaging is eco-friendly, recyclable and biodegradable. The formula is free from sulphates, phthalates, gluten, parabens and synthetic fragrances and also cruelty-free.

Available at BeautyBay

4.ESPA Hydrating Floral Spa-Fresh Mist, RRP from £20.00 for 100ml

An hydrating toner enriched with essential oils and flower waters to refresh and comfort skin. Rose Damascena hydrates and Honeysuckle Flower Extract soothes and protects, while Neroli replenishes for a beautiful soft skin. Apply after cleansing by soaking a cotton pad in toner and sweeping over face and neck. Alternatively, mist directly onto skin as desired throughout the day to instantly hydrate and refresh and you can also mist over makeup. Smells amazing and leaves skin feeling so soft and hydrated.

Available at ESPA

5.Ishga Hebridean Marine Face Toner, RRP £26.00 for 150ml

This refreshing face toner is bursting with powerful skin antioxidants, and is an uplifting way to prepare skin for other face products. Hebridean Seawater which contains over 60 vitamins and minerals and has been used for centuries to treat everything from sore throats to wounds, is blended with Hebridean Spring Water, gentle Red Mandarin Oil, Aloe Vera and Cucumber to brighten, hydrate, cool and soothe. Fucus Serratus Extract, Contains high levels of natural skin Antioxidants known as Polyphenols. These Antioxidants provide protection against environmental damage to the skin by neutralising free radicals. Alcohol free, it comes in a versatile bottle to spray onto cotton pads and gently swipe on, or spritz directly on freshly cleansed skin or over makeup for a refreshing lift on a busy day. Apply morning and evening. Smells fresh and slightly herbal-marine, like a sea breeze over green dunes. Skin feels plump, refreshed and hydrated. Consistent with their ethos, it’s true to the principles of vegan skincare and all their ingredients are Organic certified by the Soil Association. 

Available at uk.ishga.com

6.Alteya Organics Rose Otto Facial Toner, RRP £22.00 for 200ml

Formulated with certified organic Rose Water and Rose Otto which help balance and revitalize skin, and boost the effectiveness of your skincare routine. The deeply softening and soothing rose extracts rich formula help purify, hydrate, nourish and detoxify skin, making it fresh and supple. It helps to fight free radicals, stimulate collagen production and helps slow down the aging process. Has a toning and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, lending skin a healthy glow. And the Organic Rose Water not only lends it a lovely fragrance (it really smells divine) but it has been known for centuries for its beautifying properties on skin. It has gentle astringent properties and is suitable for all skin types. It tones and balances skin, and has astonishing, calming and nourishing properties. Use twice daily, in the morning and evening by soaking a cotton pad and smoothing gently over the entire face and neck after cleansing.

Available at Lovelula.com

7. Crabtree & Evelyn Brighten + Hydrate Exfoliating Tonic, RRP £25.00 for 130ml

If you want to unclog pores and refine texture, opt for this toner which contains AHAs and BHAs, for bright, balanced skin. Sweep over skin to leave it smooth, radiant and more even thanks to a supercharged skincare blend of powerful ingredients. AHAs and BHAs work together to exfoliate the skin surface and unclog pores, creating a smoother, more refined texture. Apple Fruit Water hydrates and stays in balance with the skin’s natural pH level while Liquorice Root Extract soothes and calms, with natural antiseptic properties, to keep skin feeling comfortable. Suitable for all skin types, apply after cleansing to reap the skin-smoothing, glow-boosting benefits. After your evening cleanse, shake tonic onto a cotton pad and sweep over clean skin. Wait a few seconds to absorb, then smooth on your serum. Note: they recommend to only use this treatment at night. AHAs and BHAs may cause skin sensitivity when exposed to sunlight. If using in the morning, don’t forget your SPF!

Available at Crabtree & Evelyn

Next time we look at Eye Creams!

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