We've been taught that a basic skincare regimen includes these three steps: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. We cleanse twice a day because we need to get rid of the dirt our face accumulates during the day. We moisturize because we need to maintain our skin's moisture barrier, thus preventing dry, flaky skin. But why do we need to use toners?
Toners are used after cleansing to remove leftover makeup, dirt, and oil which your facial wash may have missed. They're also good for disinfecting and calming the skin due to their alcohol content and added ingredients (such as rosewater and tomato extracts, for example).
But the fact is, you don't need to use toner all the time. Girls with normal skin can use it when they need it and they won't miss a thing! They just need to invest in a good facial wash that will throroughly clean their face. However, girls with troubled skin caused by acne and excessive oil production would need to use a toner regularly to really clean their pores.
As for me, I don't use toner everyday. I only use it when my skin is breaking out for some reason and when I feel that I have product build-up on my face. Otherwise, it's just the cleanse (Shu Uemura cleansing oil + Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (Oily Skin Formula) and moisturize (Clinique Moisture Surge) routine for me on a normal day.
My recos: the Burt's Bees Garden Tomato Toner is a mild, alchol-free toner that would suit oily women - it's what I use when I use toners. The Clinique Clarifying Lotion is more intense with a high alchohol content; it'll really clean your face up. For girls on a budget, try the Balancing Toner from Human Heart Nature, it's alchohol-free, too, organic, and only P99.
So do you really need toners? Your skin will tell you. :)
Read more about toners over at the Philippine Online Chronicles - what are the different types of toners? How do you choose the best one for you? Hope this helps!