One of the subjects that I find my patients have the most confusion with concerns toners and astringents and for all intents and purposes they really are the same. A lot of people tell me, I wash my face then I put my toner on, then I put my sunscreen on and that’s the problem. We don’t put “toners” on. Toners are used to remove things from the skin; the toner itself is not a chemical that we put on the skin. If we want our sunscreens, antioxidants, exfoliants or any other active ingredients to do the same thing every time we use them, then we have to make sure that skin is prepared the same way for their application every time. And preparing the skin involves two steps, a cleanser and a toner and they’re both used to remove things from the skin; dirt, oil, impurities. And after you’ve used your cleanser to do the initial preparation, you then use the toner to wipe away anything else that’s been left including perhaps, some residual cleanser. So, think of cleanser and toner as the one-two punch in getting the skin ready for other things and you’re using your toner to remove things from the skin, you’re not putting toner on the skin and you’re not leaving any toner on the skin. One more note about toners, as long as you don’t have dry or sensitive skin, it’s okay to have a little bit of alcohol in your toner.