We like to think of toner as the bad boy of our skin-care routine: It tantalizes us with benefits that never seem to manifest IRL. But maybe we've been too quick to judge: "Toner has gotten a bad rap, but that's just due to misundertsanding," says New York City dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. "Most people mistakenly lump toners in with alcohol-heavy astringents or makeup removers when, in fact, toners have a unique purpose."
When used after cleansing, toners have been proven to help control excess oil and sebum production. Translation: Now’s the time to add one to your regimen. Toners restore the natural pH level of your skin, which, according to Dr. Engelman, often fluctuates in the summer causing your oil glands to go into overdrive.
Our favorite way to use one? Saturate a cotton pad with product and swipe from the outside of your face inward. That way, you're not spreading around the sebum that tends to congregate in your t-zone. You can't go wrong with Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner ($6; walgreens.com), a perennial InStyle Best Beauty Buys winner.