Hydrating toners have become an increasingly important step in my skincare routine. Since they’re early on in the routine–usually following cleansing, actives, or a first treatment essence, depending on your routine–they’re meant to prep your skin to absorb everything that follows. That means I look for hydrating toners that absorb quickly while adding moisture to my skin.
Hydrating toners, while potentially helping to balance ph, shouldn’t be confused with ph-lowering toners like the Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, which is solely meant to lower your skin’s ph to prepare for actives and can actually be quite drying.
Hydrating toners can be “water” toners that are, as you might guess, the consistency of water; personally, I prefer the slightly thicker than toners that are just a bit viscous and have some slip to them.
There has been a lot of buzz recently about the “7 Skin Method,” (toners are called “skin” in Korea) which apparently is all about putting on 7 layers of hydrating toner on your face and calling it a day, maybe adding a moisturizer to lock it all in.
Listen. I know this method sounds like a great way to rush through product so you have to buy more, and that’s true, but apparently this method can be great for people whose skin dislikes heavier products but who still need hydration. (On particularly dry days, I’ve been known to put on 3 layers of hydrating toner.)
But now I’m off topic.
Basically, hydrating toners can do a lot of good for your skin and are an asset to your routine. So. Let’s get to reviewing a popular one, the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner.
Klairs Supple Preparation Toner
“The first burst of water: KLAIR’S toner hydrates and calms sensitive skin post-cleansing and tidies the skin texture to smoothen while maintaining the optimal pH balance to help the absorption of other products as well. With a various plant extracts and soothing ingredients blended together for a calming formula, the non-irritating, super hydrating toner can be used for sensitive skin as well.
Faster absorption, enhanced hydration: The skin glows brighter with higher moisture retention. The Renewal Toner is prescribed with an upgraded moisturizer that rapidly absorbs into the skin while prolonging hydration by more than 20% than conventional toners with hyaluronic acid and beta-glucan. For dry skin, use 2-3 times consecutively to help relieve strain from dry skin. With decreased oiliness and increased absorption, it’s suitable all year around for oily skin as well.” (from Wishtrend)
Basically, they claim that in addition to balancing your skin’s ph (although you should be using a low ph cleanser anyway!), the Klairs toner will smooth, calm, and hydrate your skin. Plus, it absorbs quickly and helps your skin retain more water longer.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethyl Sulfone, Betaine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Natto Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Chlorphenesin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Panthenol, Arginine, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract, Beta-Glucan, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Lysine HCL, Proline, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acetyl Methionine, Theanine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium, Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Copper Tripeptide-1
I’ll just touch upon a few of the ingredients that stand out:
- Hyaluronic acid: Can boost skin’s moisture content, soothe, and helps defend against moisture loss. It is capable of holding up to 1,000 times its own weight in water (!!!).
- Centella extract: Contains antioxidants and is soothing to the skin.
- Licorice Root extract: Has skin-soothing properties. It also may be effective in evening skin tone. It is ideal for sensitive or red/irritated skin.
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract: Aloe extract, known for soothing irritated skin.
- Arginine: an amino acid with antioxidant properties.
Overall, this is a pretty impressive list of ingredients to hydrate and sooth even sensitive skin.
A few of the extracts, like lavender, are there seemingly only for scent with no real added value for the skin, so people who are very sensitive to fragrances may be wary. The toner does have a distinct scent, but it’s not artificial–it’s actually sort of herbal and lavendery–and I’ve come to enjoy it.
The (Personal) Evidence:
First, this toner absorbs very quickly. I use my hands to apply a generous amount to my face and pat it in. Not only does it absorb quickly, but it absorbs fully, which my previous hydrating toner didn’t do.
In fact, as noted above, I will sometimes apply up to three layers of toner if my skin feels particularly thirsty. I don’t have any problems layering other products over it.
Within a week or so of daily use, my skin became smoother–I felt fewer bumps and “rough” patches that I would get along my jawline. Because my skin was more hydrated, and the toner helped the subsequent products sink in, my face was also softer and plumper.
Klairs Supple Preparation Toner definitely helps soothe my skin when it’s irritated. In fact, when I used up my first bottle and delayed in opening my backup so that I could try a different toner (ugh FOMO), my skin definitely noticed: it was redder and more prone to itchy red comedones.
This was around the time I finally realized my moisture barrier was broken, so it was clear to me that the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner had been helping to calm my irritated, over-exfoliated skin.
So, will I buy this product again?
Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
Yes. I enjoy this product enough to purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.
Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I’d use it if someone gave it to me.
No. I won’t use this again and will probably bad-mouth it to others.
Hahahahaha. Nope. Noooooooope. Not even if you paid me.
The Verdict: Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
I’m currently on my second bottle of Klairs Supple Preparation Toner, and I have another in my stash.
I still have a few other watery toners that I will no doubt test, but this is the one they have to beat. It’s fairly inexpensive–you can get it for around $20 or so–and the bottle is pretty good sized for that price.
What hydrating toners are you currently loving?