While we are ultimately a fashion title, team L'Officiel has always been big enthusiasts of beauty (makeup, skincare and beauty tools included), which is why we are starting a beauty column, titled "L'Officiel Best Of Beauty".
This is where we choose a specific category within the beauty spectrum (it can be a moisturiser, mascara, foundation or even cleansing devices) periodically and give you a quick rundown on what we love from each category.
And for our debut L'Officiel Best Of Beauty, we decided to talk about toners – the essential first step in every skincare routine. For this round, our digital director Calvin Chong will give his pick on his favourites for a variety of concerns to guide you through the beauty maze – from acne-prone issues to dry skin and even anti-ageing related products!
Read on to find out what is in our list and see if your own favourites are in it:
COSRX ONE STEP ORIGINAL CLEAR PAD
One of COSRX's all-time bestsellers, the One Step Original Clear Pad is self-proclaimed as "your last step of cleansing and the first step of skincare" you need in your beauty regime, which I agree and will explain below.
Known as the go-to label for those with acne-prone skin (hello, COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch?), this particular toner pad is perfect for most skin type as a toner that chemically exfoliates without drying out the skin.
Personally, as I practice the toner-layering method, these pads are perfect as my first and second layer of toning and as my final and third cleanser to remove excess makeup, pollution, dust and dirt on my skin (the first step would be a cleansing balm, followed by a regular foam/jelly cleanser) before piling on my serums and moisturiser.
You can first wipe your skin with the rougher textured part of the pad as an exfoliator (thanks to the BHA content) and run it over again on the other side, which is smoother, as your second toner and finally, another layer which can be a moisturising or hydrating toner. As it has quite a formidable formula, I personally only use this as a night toner and use milder alternatives for my morning regime.
Tip: For those with sensitive skin, try its sister pads, the One Step Green Hero Calming Pad, which contains calming ingredients like Centella Asiatica that works wonders on break-outs and redness.
FRESH ROSE DEEP HYDRATION FACIAL TONER
For those with dry skin concerns, an ultra-hydrating formula is in order and the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner is definitely on top of my list and both day-and-night toner!
Rich and penetrates deep into the skin, the toner is made with a formula that contains rose fruit extract (for toning), rose water (for soothing), rose flower oil (for nourishing) and hyaluronic acid (for moisturising and hydrating) – quite literally all you need in a toner to keep you fresh and charged for a day's work.
And since it is a hydrating toner, it makes a perfect fit as my third toner after the COSRX toning pads to help further regenerate my skin. And for daytime usage, I usually layer three layers on for maximum nourishment (yes, toner layering is a real thing!).
Tip: If you think this particular toner is on the pricier side, there are other rose options you can opt for like the Mamonde Rose Water Toner.
KIEHL'S CALENDULA HERBAL EXTRACT ALCOHOL-FREE TONER
For many years since hitting puberty, my skin was prone to break-outs, scarring and irritation but everything changed when I started using the Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner.
A relatively mild and calming solution, the Calendula toner using a few key ingredients including the oil extracted from common marigold flowers that is optimal for skin soothing purposes. It also has Allantoin, an ingredient made from Comfrey Roots that can help inhibit bacteria on your skin; and Great Burdock, which is good to improve dry skin.
In my experience, this toner is perfect for those with oily or combination skin, all thanks to its alcohol-free formulation.
THE ORDINARY GLYCOLIC ACID 7% TONING SOLUTION
A relatively new player in the market, The Ordinary is the latest buzz worldwide created by the Canadian company DECEIM who focuses on creating ethical and cruelty-free beauty solutions with active ingredients like acid, squalane, peptides and more.
Now the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is not just your regular toner, it utilises glycolic acid (which is part of the alpha hydroxy acid, AHA, family) to help exfoliate and melt impurities on the topmost layer of your skin and it is more suited to be used only for night-time routines (remember, the formula is strong, so only use it once a day!).
With a solution containing glycolic acid, Tasmanian Pepperberry, ginseng root, and aloe vera, the solution not only purifies, but it also has amino acids to help strengthen the barrier of your skin.
Tip: According to the Ordinary, do not use it with any peptides or EUK 134-based skincare as it might cause irritation and remember to put on sunscreen after as AHA tends to make your skin more sensitive.
This guide is written based on an individual's opinion and experience upon trying the products. For those who do try them, we recommend patch testing on small areas of your skin to see if you have any allergic reaction to the product or its ingredients. We also recommend users to only change/add new products to their beauty routine one at a time to avoid "shocking" your skin with too many new formulas.