Similar to the Western-style routine, the Korean routine also incorporates a toner. Toners from Korean brands contain different ingredients than your typical Western toners. Most Western brand toners are full of alcohol and other drying ingredients. Korean toners, on the other hand, do not contain alcohol and are meant to hydrate the skin.
There are actually several purposes of the toner step in the Korean skincare routine. The first is, as mentioned above, to hydrate the skin. Another purpose is to remove fine traces of residue. It’s pretty clear—Korean women like to make absolutely sure their skin is squeaky clean (without being dried out, of course)!
Yet another purpose of the toner step is to soothe your skin. After using a Korean brand toner, your skin will feel very refreshed. This makes toner a wonderful step for your morning routine! The final purpose of the toner is to rebalance the pH level of your skin.
Toners come in many varieties, but it’s unlikely you will find one that you react badly to, since Korean toners do not contain harsh chemicals.
Most are marketed as “refreshers,” so more likely than not, you’ll end up with one that is great at hydrating and waking up the skin. You can also purchase a separate toner for use at nighttime. If you choose to do so, go for one that is meant to be soothing. However, you can certainly use the same toner in your morning and night routines.
Use a cotton pad or cotton ball to swipe the toner over your face. Let it air dry and absorb completely before moving on to the next step.