I consider myself to be pretty skincare savvy, but the one item I’ve never quite figured out — or regularly added to my routine — is toner. When Bliss came out with their new Clarifying Toner + Serum, I was even more confused, but also determined to get to the bottom of my toner conundrum.
Already a huge fan of Bliss’s Bright Idea collection, I was naturally interested in the new Clear Genius line, so I reached out to brand expert Dr. Mona Vand for details on the new collection and the real deal with toner. Here’s what she told me.
HelloBeautiful (HB): Toners seem to be that one skincare item people really don’t understand, what exactly does a toner do and who needs one?
Dr. Mona Vand (MV): The word “toner” is definitely thrown around lightly. I think the most common association people have with the word toner is some kind of harsh astringent, which it doesn’t have to be! I simply like to think of it as a “step 2” between your cleanser and serums or moisturizers. It’s always better to apply serums or moisturizers to slightly damp skin, this helps them absorb more readily (think about when you’re getting a facial, they never fully dry your skin before applying products, they always use a wet or hot towel!). Some people with blemish-prone or oily skin can really benefit from something like a salicylic toner, whereas other people might benefit from a simple sea salt face mist as a toner?
HB: What are the benefits of having a toner and serum all in one?
MV: One of the biggest benefits of this is reducing the number of steps in your skincare routine. So many people (including myself) will procrastinate getting ready for bed because of the 12-step process they’re too tired to do, and sometimes this even leads to avoiding skincare all together. Having a simplified 3-step (cleanser, toner/serum, moisturizer) routine will help with skincare compliance. I also love that this product is making high-quality serums accessible for more people. Serums by nature tend to be on the pricier side, because of their molecular size and effectiveness, and they’re not always affordable for a younger demographic. Having a two-in-one really fills that void.
HB: What skin issues does the Clear Genius collection tackle/clarify specifically?
MV: The Clear Genius line can truly be used for all skin types, but it’s especially great for oily and problem skin. It has a really wonderful balance of effective active ingredients (like salicylic acid) combined with gentle, holistic ingredients (like witch hazel and Brazilian sea water). A lot of acne ingredients can leave your skin irritated, but this combination allows it to prevent and treat oily skin while also nourishing and soothing the skin.
HB: What moisturizer do you recommend using with this collection?
MV: Since many people using this collection will likely have oily or problem skin, I would recommend a gel moisturizer or a very gentle moisturizer. Gel moisturizers are nice because they’re very light and cooling on your skin. Honest Beauty has a nice Hydrogel Cream, and Biossance has a nice Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer. The Rose Gold Rescue Moisturizer by Bliss is an amazing option as well because it’s meant for sensitive skin, so it will work harmoniously with the non-irritating collection. I would recommend waiting a few minutes after applying the toner serum to apply a moisturizer, just make sure it fully absorbs into your skin before layering on anything else!=.
A lot of us are trying new things at home now and may be overdoing it. What’s your recommended regimen for skin that’s been over-exfoliated/ irritated by too much product use?
If your skin is over-irritated, you can help calm it down by just taking it easy for a few days. Drink a lot of water, avoid hot showers and temperatures, and use a very gentle cleanser and moisturizer. It may even help to only cleanse at night, and in the morning just use cool water. If there’s acne + irritation I would recommend the Bliss Toner + Serum because it’s the perfect combination of ingredients to soothe irritation while at the same time still treating clogged pores and build up. If there’s no acne and just irritation on its own, I would stick with a simple moisturizer only until it heals. Definitely always use a moisturizer, because drying out your skin can lead to even more irritation and discomfort.