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Should I Add A Toner to My Skincare Routine?

May 1, 2020

With warmer weather right around the corner, we’ve been getting some questions about the need to use a toner after cleansing or in place of cleansing with soap. (Just for the record, it’s not washing your face without cleanser!)

We decided this would be a good subject for our next blog.  In preparation, we did some research about toners and why they seem to be at the top of people’s minds now. What we found was kind of surprising. First of all, there are TONS of articles out there expounding the benefits of toners and encouraging everyone to use one. Needless to say, we are dubious and have a slight sarcastic approach – wondering if this is just another way for cosmetic companies to sell more products, regardless of true need.

All the articles say that you NEED a toner in your routine because it will:

  • Make your pores smaller
  • Remove the residue from other products – makeup, sunscreen, SOAP
  • Act like a moisturizer
  • Prevent ingrown hairs
  • Add a layer of “protection”
  • Restore your skin’s pH balance

Sounds GREAT!!! Sounds like EVERYONE should use one, right? So why doesn’t Ninja Skincare offer a toner? Are you missing out? Are we behind the times?

The reason we don’t sell a toner is because you don’t need one with our products. The list of benefits above is achieved by many of our other products – and besides….that list of benefits isn’t necessarily true.

Let’s take the first ‘benefit’ – Makes your pores smaller. HA! If that were the case, we’d ONLY sell toners. Truth is that pore size (which is really hair follicles size…pores are sweat pores and unless you have bionic eyes, you can’t see them) is based on genetics and also how much ‘stuff’ is filling up the follicles. Step in….your topical medications! With consistent use, you will remove the trapped dead skin cells/debris in the hair follicles and the follicles will ‘spring’ back to their original size….for your skin type. Example: your neighbor has perfect skin, never washes their face and has super small follicles…whereas we don’t even though we are washing our face constantly and applying our medications. Genetics sometimes sucks. But hey, your neighbor also has really bad allergies and asthma and needs daily meds to breathe, and we don’t – so maybe genetics don’t suck so much after all?!

Next ‘benefit’ – Removes the residue from other products. This is where that nifty product called cleanser comes into play. Our cleansers leave NO residue on the skin and also the pH is very low. Low pH is essential for making an inhospitable environment for bacteria, which is key for acne prone skin. And in regards to the other products like makeup and sunscreen – that’s where scrubbing for 1 minute with our cleanser and rinsing well comes in….wash until your skin is squeaky clean. Ta-da – one step and you’re done!

‘Benefit’ # 3 – Act like a moisturizer – this is hilarious! You mean you’re adding more oils to your face with your toner? Don’t laugh – many toners contain oils too – again, another reason to avoid them all together.

Next ‘benefit’ – Prevent ingrown hairs. If you use a toner with an active ingredient like salicylic or lactic acid, then you’re getting a slight assistance for cleaning out the follicles and preventing acne and ingrown hairs. But the strength of the active ingredients is not strong enough to do much, which is why we recommend our stronger topical medications to keep the follicles clean to prevent ingrown hairs.

This next ‘benefit’ is silly – Add a layer of protection. From what? Sun? Wear your Daily Defender Sunscreen SPF 30. Protection from air? Fire? Water? This is completely unclear and we can’t help but make fun of this one!

Finally – Restoring skin’s pH balance – exactly!! We need an acidic environment (called an ‘acid mantle’ in skincare land) to make our skin an unwelcome home for bacteria. Again – our cleansers are all low pH….and because they are, you can use them several times a day (as needed after sweating, mid-day-get-the-oils-off) without upsetting the acid mantle of your skin.

We hope this information was helpful and shone some light on the need not to use a toner with Ninja Skincare products. Stay safe, stay sane and keep washing your face and checking in!


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