Toner is one of the biggest misunderstood skin care products out there. And to be honest, at one point when I was younger, I also believed some of these myths. What about you? 1. Toner is a cleanser. This one bugs me the most. I've read blogger reviews where the person clearly didn't understand the role toner plays in a skin care routine. They'll say, "It worked great removing the makeup my normal cleanser leaves behind." Yes, you may see remanents of your makeup on the cotton pad you just applied your toner with, but that's because anything wet applied to a cotton pad and rubbed on your face will do that if you didn't do a good job of cleansing in the first place. 2. You don't really need toner; it's a marketing ploy. If you don't understand how toner plays an important role in the line up of skin care products recommended for your skin type, then it is easy to write it off as one of those add-ons or up-sells at the cosmetics counter. This isn't the case though. 3. Toners are intended to tighten skin/shrink pores. NOPE. First off, pores do not shrink. I repeat, there is no way to shrink your pores (now THAT is a marketing ploy.) Second, if your toner is making your skin feel tight, then it is possible that you may be using one with too much alcohol or it's one that is not suitable for your skin type. So what is the purpose of toner? It balances the pH level of your skin, preps the skin for your serum and moisturizer, and when left damp on your skin, it allows your moisturizer to seal in the water (toner is mainly water) and keep your skin hydrated. So why not just splash your face with water if that's the main ingredient in toner? Because most toners also include a variety of special ingredients that target specific skin care issues. For example, I love Paula's Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner because it includes licorice root. Licorice root fades hyperpigmentation, which I have quite a bit of due to poor skin care choices in my youth (i.e. not wearing sunscreen.) Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner is another alcohol-free toner that I love that has anti-inflammatory properties (and you HAVE to grab her Toning Cloths, which are amazing.) So please don't skip the toner, your skin will reap the rewards. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and Twitter. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!