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Toners are an often misunderstood beauty product, something that David Delport, global ambassador for REN Skincare, says has many beauty buffs (including himself) asking if they’re truly of benefit or simply another product to buy. “That was my point of view. I never used to use toners – ever,” Delport says.

He explains that our general understanding of toners’ function in skin-care routines dates to when cleansers commonly contained ingredients that were effective at removing makeup yet left behind a residue on the skin. “Back in the old days, when they made cleansers that weren’t of a good formula, you would need to use a toner to get skin free and breathing,” he says. As more natural skin-care ingredients came into favour, that toning step was no longer necessary and toners shifted to deliver hydration or an element of soothing. “It’s just more pleasurable than anything else,” he says. Today’s toners can also be a quick way to include functions such as exfoliation in your regimen.

My recommendation: REN’s Tonic has a cult following for its skin-brightening properties that exfoliate without irritating, a common complaint from those with sensitive or sensitized skin. I’ve been slow to hop on the toner train, but this one has been a gentle addition to my routine.


REN Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, $51 at Sephora (

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