I Think My Toner Is Hurting My Skin—Here's the Evidence

Toner has always been a confusing step in an otherwise fairly self-explanatory skincare routine—what does it do? I know it's meant to balance, hydrate, and prepare your skin for the next product, but it seems like the majority of toners I've used over the years have hurt my skin.

Still, I'm determined to find the right toner for me. I'm curious about why some toners are hydrating and others leave your skin dry and irritated. Is there a particular ingredient that causes a toner to yield dryness? I reached out to Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, the co-founders of Glow Recipe, as well as Karen Ballou, the CEO and founder of Immunocologie, for their take on it all. They had a lot of surprising and interesting insights.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about your toner.