TONER: Why it’s so important & the best ones I’ve ever used

TONER - San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver, talks why toner is a necessary part of your skincare routine and the best toners she has ever used

If we are being honest, my favourite part of my skin care routine is TONER.

I think it is a very underrated & overlooked part of a skincare routine & I get it, I used to be the same way.

I was very indifferent towards toner until I started using it. It’s one of those products where you will see & feel instant results AND major long term results.

After washing my face {with about 3-4 different Japanese soaps depending on the day – post for another day}, I follow up with 2 toners: a light “priming” one & a heavy duty one.

The key to anti-aging skin is MOISTURE & lots of it.

Plump, dewy skin is youthful skin, & toner is essential to accomplish this.

A good toner will make everything else, like serum & moisturizer work better. These days, there’s a toner for everything: anti-aging, moisture, oil control, exfoliating, or even alkalizing.

Also – don’t wait for your toner to dry to apply your serum &/or moisturizer! Damp skin is soooooo much better to absorb moisturizer / serum & will make your products work even better.

I mentioned I used two toners, so I do them immediately after washing. While my face is still damp from washing it, I spritz it with rosewater & then this toner. Immediately after, I follow with this serum & this moisturizer {will DEF have a post coming on this too, I’m obsessed with this Japanese brand}. Easy.

Before I get into what toners I love & why, I figure I should talk my skin type. My skin is fucking weird and took LOTS of work to get it to where it is. I used to have oily, acne-prone skin with large ass pores. If we are being honest, in my 20’s, I didn’t take care of myself as I should of, & it showed in my skin. Since moving to California in 2013, I started to take much better care of myself through diet, not going out lol, drinking a TON of water {biggest skin care tip}, & having a full fledge skincare routine {including rx retinol}.

I started with a regular 3 product routine: face wash + toner + moisturizer & as it transformed to where I wanted it, I added more targeting products. These days, I have about a 10 product routine I do daily but I strongly believe toners helped me balance out my skin AND shrinked my pores.

Today: my skin is normal, clear {but not perfect – working on it}, & VERY smooth. I look for products that will keep things even, clear, youthful, & even more smooth. I look for anti-aging, hydration, & pore minimizing in my skincare.

SO- I can’t reiterate it enough, a good toner is game- changing for your skin & each one of these I used & absolutely loved. I also think it’s important to switch things up so your skin doesn’t get too “used to it”.

PS – RANDOM I know but I talked about it here briefly, these cotton pads from Japan are the BEST. Seriously, I won’t ever use anything else. So soft, doesn’t shed, & hella cheap. Erik loves them too.

The Best Toners I Have Used

Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner

Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

Buy here  Price: $6.15

When I first moved to California – Healdsburg to be exact – my first stop was Target. I got this toner & it was the first toner I used to jumpstart my skincare transformation. It’s a brand I trust & this one is a gentle exfoliant. This one has alpha & beta hydroxy acids {AHA & BHA} which helps smooth the skin & even things out. Thanks to the AHA & BHA, it helps visibly reduce pore size & you will see a difference after each bottle.


100% Pure Lavender Pore Refiner Tonique 

100% Pure Lavender Tonique - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver. Today, sharing why everyone should use a toner and why a toner is so necessary!

buy here price: $30

This was actually one of my first blog posts in 2015 – Read it here! Three years later, I strongly stand by this toner. Not only does it smell amazing, but it deep cleans your pores – which helps visibly reduce them – and really firms things up. The bottle is also very high quality and I love that it’s a spray. This toner left my skin soft, smooth, & hydrated. Unfortunately, it’s sold out but you can sign up for the mailing list – I also trust this Jasmine / Green Tea one from them too!

Pure Fiji Balancing Toner

Pure Fiji Balancing Toner - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

buy here Price: $35.95

When we went to Fiji in 2016, we got facials at the resort we stayed at: Likuliku, & everything they used was Pure Fiji products. To this day, this is a brand I absolutely love. Everything they make is super high quality & full of dilo oil. I talk about both dilo oil & Pure Fiji here but to cliffnotes, when I got my facial, basically toner was used in between every single step. Righteously so, as it makes each product work better. I brought home their Balancing Toner with me & absolutely loved it. It’s anti-inflammatory & anti-aging. Ingredients include passionflower, witch hazel, green coconut kinetin {anti aging ingredient}, cucumber, dilo, & many more. It alkalizes / balances skin & stimulates collagen production. It’s a bit hard to find but here is the full Pure Fiji website.


Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner

Trader Joe's Rose Water Facial Toner - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

buy in store, more info  here Price: $3.99

This was an impulse buy and I’m sure glad I did it! This is the first toner I use daily after washing my face, or my “priming” one before the next one. I talked all about why rose is so good for skincare here & this one is no exception! It has rose water, rose oil, witch hazel, & softening soap bark extract. It smells fantastic & really refreshes skin. When I go to the gym {I have a skincare routine on this too}, in lieu of moisturizer, I just spritz this. For the price, it’s fantastic.

Hada Labo Rohto Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

Hada Labo Rohy Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion from Japan - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

buy here price: $11.60

OKAY. This toner deserves a post on it’s own and BELIEVE ME it is coming. This brand is very popular in Japan and is making waves here in the US. Toners in Japan are unlike anything here in the United States. For starters, they are called “lotions”. They are not astringent in the slightest. In fact they are wattery & a bit thicker than what we have as toners here if that makes sense. What else is super unique is that since the lotions are so hydrating & anti-aging, they are patted on the skin with your fingers. In fact, I do a full on facial massage when I put it on to help contour my face and cheekbones. This lotion has three types of hyaluronic acid that instantly plumps & hydrates skin. I saw results instantly with this & they get better and better with each use. Not to play favourites but I’m going to play favourites and not only is this my favourite toner ever, but it’s my favourite brand in all of my skin care. Stay tuned for a full blown post! PS – shipping on this can take a while because it’s the real deal straight from Japan. WORTH THE WAIT.


Toners on my List to Try!

Kikumasamune Sake Skin Lotion High Moisture

Kikumasamune Sake Skin Lotion High Moisture from Japan - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

buy here Price: $13.99

As much as I love the Hada Labo Rohto Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, when I run out of it, this is the one I’m going to try next from Japan. Again, I believe in switching things up and this one has such rave reviews. This lotion is made by a sake brewery {Japanese rice liquor} which is super brightening, hydrating, & healing. Though it’s made from a sake brewery, there is no alcohol in it, but it has a strong sake smell. I’ll let y’all know how it goes!!

Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Turbo Line Smoothing Toning Lotion

Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Turbo Line Smoothing Toning Lotion - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

buy here price: $23.56

I am in LOVE with their pumpkin enzyme mask – more on it here – and this brand sure knows skincare. Not going to lie, the name alone has me sold. It’s full of hyluronic acid {can you tell I love this ingred?!} & combines 18 neuropeptides & peptides which helps reduce wrinkles & lines…. ummm yes please. ALSO- no matter what your age is, it is NEVER too early to start using anti-aging or wrinkle reducing products.


Alegenist Hydrating Essence Toner

Alegenist Hydrating Essence Toner - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

Buy here price: $25

This is a gentle, skin soothing toner which balances skin moisture & prepares skin for moisturizer. Ingredients include alguronic acid, witch hazel, and chamomile. Chamomile is SO good for skin & really soothes skin which makes this a good one for the warmer weather. The extra sun always requires extra soothing. Alguronic acid is a powerful anti-aging compound which will also plump up your skin. The reviews on this are fantastic!

ByTerry Cellularose Hydra Toner

By Terry Cellularose Hydra Toner - a favourite of San Francisco California based Lifestyle blogger, Shannon Silver

Buy here price: $65

It goes without saying that this a splurge product & one I’m willing to take the plunge on. This toner is clarifying & brightening. This brand is one of the best rose based products around. Again, rose is KEY for anti-aging. Again, think of a silky rose petal, it all makes sense. This one is full of rose native cells & will leave skin vibrant & glowing.

OKAY! Are y’all as obsessed with toner as I am?! If so, please share some of your favourites!!  Always looking for new ones & bonus points if they are from Japan.

On another note, my birthday is in exactly a week – crazy!! Where does the time go? Luckily, we finally figured out where we are going for it… stay tuned 🙂

See ya tomorrow,

x Shannon <3



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