Do You Need An Acid Toner For Your Face?

Do You Need An Acid Toner For Your Face?

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while now, you may have a vague idea of what a toner and exfoliator is, so now you’re ready to know more about what an acid toner is and whether it is something you need to add to your skincare routine.

What is an acid toner?

Acid toners are a hybrid of exfoliators and regular toners, making them a pretty impressive product. The reason it has the name of acid toner is due to the fact they contain facial acids in the formulation to provide a chemical exfoliation to the skin when applied. Unlike physical exfoliation that requires you to manually work the scrub into the face to lift away any dirt, the build-up of dead skin cells and bacteria, chemical exfoliation is able to work on the outer layers of the skin to slough away any impurities that lead to a number of skin concerns without you lifting a finger. Check out our post about how chemical exfoliation works to perfect your skin to find out more on this.

Much like regular toners, acid toner will unclog the pores, remove dirt and debris and reveal a glowing complexion. The main difference is the ingredients in an acid toner work deep in the skin and reach areas other toners aren’t able to. The main advantage you will find is that acid toners are a lot more gentle on the skin in comparison to physical exfoliates which can drag the skin causing micro-tears, inflammation and fine lines.

What is the point of an acid toner?

During your skincare routine, a toner is applied after cleansing the skin. The original formula for toners was to help balance the skin's pH level, which is normally slightly acidic at 5.5. Toners help to restore balance and prepare the skin for the rest of your routine and any products you apply after. Over the years there have been a number of toners that are more of a gimmick, these contain floral water designed to calm and soothe the skin after cleansing, though they may smell and feel divine on the skin, they don’t have much impact to your skin in regards to treating any concerns you may have, such as blackheads, uneven skin texture or a dull-looking complexion resulting in many of us deciding to not add to their skincare routine altogether. This is why acid toners have risen in popularity over the last few years making the toner step of your routine now as important as cleansing.

The main reason acid toners are giving such great results boils down to the acids blended into the mix, here are some keys ingredients to look for in an acid toner:


Glycolic acid

Citric acid

Latic acid

Mandelic acid


Salicylic acid

To find out more about these acids you can check out our post about the benefits of AHAs and BHAs for the skin.

Any toner containing any of these acids will give your skin a deep clean, unclogging the pores, hydrating the skin and reducing any pigmentation to the skin, a great deal more than regular toners. You may even discover that an acid toner was the missing step in your skincare regime you needed to help rejuvenate the complexion.

What are the benefits of using acid toner?

For a product that is so simple to use it is remarkable to think of the number of benefits you will find it has on the skin:

The benefits of using an acid toner

Smoother skin

Less acne

Glowing complexion

Increased collagen production

Improved skin health

Balanced pH

Promoted circulation

Decreased signs of ageing

The number of times you use an acid toner throughout the day is down to personal preference or how much your skin type will allow. Much like all skincare products, it is best to be mindful when introducing them to your routine. With the toner containing either an Alpha or Beta Hydroxy Acid over-using, it can become too harsh on the skin, stripping it of its natural oils which leads to a multitude of skin problems, especially in you have a dry or sensitive skin type.

Start by using the product once a day a couple of times a week and build from there, this will allow your skin time to become used to the effects the toner will have without shocking it. Once you have established the product works for you than you are able to use it as often as required. For more oily skin types using an acid toner in the morning and again in the evening will help keep on top of excess sebum and other impurities that can lead to breakouts and blemishes. For more dry or sensitive skin types use the acid toner in the evenings for a deep clean that won’t cause any irritation or reactions.

Are there any downsides to using an acid toner?

As previously mentioned if you find yourself being overzealous and using an acid toner too often you will find that over-exfoliating will lead to redness, irritation, increased dryness/flakiness, acne and increased oil production. If you are noticing some of these reactions its best to go back to basics and reduce how often you use the product.

You may also find your skin can feel a little thirsty after using an acid toner, especially if you don’t follow it with other products, like hydrating serums and moisturisers this will keep the skin looking healthy and glowing. It is also a good idea to stop using a physical exfoliating scrub whilst you use the toner to avoid any irritation from too much exfoliation.

Another thing to remember is that your skin will become more UV sensitive and so wearing a daily SPF of 30 or above is vital to keep your skin healthy and avoid any pigmentation or premature ageing caused by sun damage.
Do I really need an acid toner for my face? We would certainly say yes, the beauty of acid toners is how simple they are to include in your routine. All you need to do is soak a disc of cotton, swipe it across the skin and leave the rest to the chemical exfoliating ingredient to put in all the hard work. Like all skincare products, it is really down to you and your preference whether you’d like to introduce it into your routine, but in all honesty, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate a glowing, healthy, younger-looking skin. Hopefully, this has helped you decide whether you need an acid toner for your face for not. For us, it is such a simple step to add into your routine to give you great results and one step closer to the flawless skin you’ve always dreamed of.

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