It’s Time to Add Hydrating Toners to Your Skin Care Routine

Toner has a bad rap as an unnecessary step that leaves skin parched and stripped. But that’s far from the case these days. Now, it’s all about hydrating toners that actually add moisture while balancing your complexion.

They’re especially popular in Asian countries. And as Christine Chang, co-CEO and co-founder of Korean skin care destination Glow Recipe, explains, hydrating toners (often referred to as “softeners”) typically make up “the first leave-on step of hydration after cleansing.” In terms of function, she notes they’re quite different from traditional American face toners. They’re not typically used to cleanse (what with the advent of double-cleansing) and are “instead used to infuse the skin quickly and efficiently with liquid hydration, plumping it up for the next skin care steps to be effectively absorbed.”

So what’s the best way to add toners to your routine? Well, they’re perfect for the buzzy seven-skin method. “Our favorite way to incorporate a hydrating toner is actually by practicing the seven-skin method, a method we had heard about from our editor friends and beauty gurus in Korea,” says Glow Recipe co-CEO and co-founder Sarah Lee. “It’s where you put on a layer of hydrating toner seven consecutive times.”

Sound like overkill? “You can also adapt this method for days you don’t need as much hydration and alternate by using a three-skin method, layering just three layers,” adds Lee.

We’re total toner converts. Keep reading for 14 of our faves.

[ Next: 7 Drugstore Face Masks Dermatologists Actually Use ]


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