Are Serum and Toner the Same Thing?

Are Serum and Toner the Same Thing?

I’ll be the first to admit that skincare products can be very confusing, especially when you are trying to use them in a daily skincare routine. We often get sent a few questions about which products to use, which work together and when should you apply them?

With this is mind today I’m going to be a tackling one of the latest answers to be passed my way and that is “are serum and toner the same thing?” so, if you’ve found yourself ever wondering something similar then stick around and we’ll find out more together.

What does serum do for your face?

You will often find that serums are a skincare product that is formulated with potent levels of active ingredients. You can expect to find glycolic acid, salicylic acid, vitamin C and many more added into the mix as serums are known for their ability to penetrate the furthest. If there are any concerns with premature ageing, hyperpigmentation and a dull complexion I am confident you will find a serum that works for you and your skin type.

The texture of serums vary from other products, such as moisturisers as they are usually lighter in consistency meaning they should be applied to the skin before moisturisers or any other products that are thicker. The easiest way of remembering what a serum actually does for the skin is by thinking of them as jam packed delivery parcels formulated to target specific areas and concerns.

The main benefits and areas serums are able to help are the following:

  • Anti-ageing benefits due to the fact they are able to reach the lower layers of the skin and repair any damage caused by free radicals that can cause signs of premature ageing including fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Combat uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation such as dark spots developed from overexposure to harmful UV rays.
  • Deeply nourish and hydrate the skin to help restore the skin’s natural protective barrier that can often become damaged when it comes into contact with various environmental aggressors.
  • Most potent way of ensuring your skin is getting the highest amounts of vitamins, active ingredients and powerful blends.

There are many more benefits from using serums, but I just wanted to share with you the most common and noticeable to begin with. Although serums are considered a high performing product it is totally down to you and your routine if to include a serum.

What does toner do for your face?

Traditionally toners where part of the famous routine method better known as- cleanse, tone and moisturise. Things have admittedly moved on a lot since then and you’ll find toners have changed in various ways too, for example, previously formulated from floral water the step didn’t really do much for the skin expect make it feel clean and fresh. Now you can find an array of toners all containing different active ingredients and chemical exfoliants such as AHAs and BHAs, most popular being glycolic acid. Quite often you can expect to find toners benefit the skin by finishing off the work started by a cleanser, for example, cleansers work at removing traces of product and bacteria whilst beginning to loosen the bonds of dead skin cells holding them to the surface of the skin. Once you have swiped a cotton disc soaked in your chosen toner you will slough away any remaining dirt, debris and build-up of dead skin cells.

Here is a quick rundown of the benefits you will find when using a toner in your skincare routine:

  • When formulated with active ingredients and chemical exfoliants toners can help slough away the layer of dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells and traces of product left behind from cleansing
  • Toner will remove any barrier stopping other skincare products to benefit through the skin and reach the layers they need to
  • You can find toners to suit all skin types, from traditional floral water to chemical exfoliating blends
  • If used correctly you can keep the skin healthy and glowing by removing build-up and balancing excess sebum on the outer surface of the skin

Is it okay to use serum without toner?

This is really up to you and what works in your skincare routine, as I have previously mentioned the benefits of using a toner there is really no law saying you have to use all of these products. The main points you have to remember about using a serum with or without a toner are:

  • As long as you cleanse the skin your serum will be able to work its way into the dermis but perhaps not as rapidly if you used a toner first
  • By using a serum and not toner you will avoid any potential overuse of potent formulas that can cause skin dryness when used incorrectly
  • Those of you with an oily or blemish-prone skin type may find skipping a toner can result in an imbalance of excess sebum that can be controlled with other ingredients and products
  • Each product work perfectly as a stand-alone product, but you may find using them together creates a skin benefit power duo

We’ve certainly given you a hint into how effective using a serum and toner together can be so I’m going to share this in a little more detail now, if however, you are finding serums a topic that needs a little more explaining or you need help trying to find how to choose one that suits your skin, check out our dedicated serum blog post.

Can I use toner and serum together?

Absolutely! As mentioned before, you will find serum and toner make a potent power couple and can help treat your skin to a large variety of skincare benefits. Although both of these work great when applied alone, using them together offers more benefits such as:

  • Using complimentary ingredients to treat the skin for optimal results
  • Toner can remove barrier allowing the serum to absorb into the skin quicker
  • Serum can restore and soothe the skin after applying a toner containing chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid

I may even be as bold as saying you will find there is a huge difference to the skin if you have not previously introduced either of these products to your daily skincare routine. 

Do you use serum before or after toner?

Toners are considered the second step to a skincare routine and help prepare the skin for other products to absorb and penetrate further. This results in it being advisable to apply toner before serums to gain optimal results and reap the rewards of using products correctly and effectively.

I hope that answers some questions you had about serum and toner, don’t forget if you ever have a skincare question, head over to our Instagram and drop us a message, we’ll be so happy to see you there!

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