Understanding your skin’s pH

Toning the skin is a crucial step in a skincare routine that involves applying a proper pH balancing toner to the face and neck after cleansing. The primary purposes of using a toner are as follows:

Balancing pH Levels: The pH level of healthy skin is slightly acidic, with a pH range of 4.5 to 5.5. Cleansers, especially foaming ones, can sometimes disrupt this natural pH balance by making the skin more alkaline. Even the tap water we use disrupts the skin’s natural pH. Toners help restore the skin’s pH balance, which is important for maintaining skin health and its natural protective barrier.

Removing Residual Impurities: Even after cleansing, some impurities like traces of makeup, oil, and dirt may still be present on the skin. Toners can help remove these residual impurities, ensuring that the skin is clean and ready to absorb other skincare products.

Hydration: Some toners contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid sodium PCA and botanical extracts. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with dry or dehydrated skin.

Preparation for Other Skincare Products: Applying a toner after cleansing can help prepare the skin for the subsequent application of serums, functional hydrators, and other skincare products. Skin that is properly toned can better absorb these products, maximizing their effectiveness. We recommend ZO Complexion Renewal Pads for all skin types

Tightening Pores: Some toners contain acidic ingredients, like salicylic acid, can aid in minimizing surface oil, minimizing the appearance of pores. This can give the skin a smoother and more refined look. We love ZO Oil Control Pads for this reason!

Calming and Soothing: Toners with a humectant blend will help retain and replenish hydration. They may also help have a calming effect on the skin, reducing redness and irritation. We recommend ZO Calming Toner for dry, sensitized skin types.

Ultimately, toning the skin is a step that can contribute to a well-rounded skincare routine by helping to maintain a healthy skin barrier and improving the overall effectiveness of other skincare products you use. It’s important to note that not all toners are the same, and their ingredients and functions can vary widely. The choice of toner should depend on your skin type and specific skincare needs. If you are unsure which toner is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our Skin Health Expert today.


Medically reviewed by Leslie A. Reap, PA-C / Kalli K. Rohleder, RN, BSN