The short answer is yes you should use a toner as part of your daily routine but not for the reasons often quoted.
How things used to be
The old fashioned toners used to be considered to be part of your cleansing routine. You would be advised to use a cleansing solution and then wipe your face with a moist cotton pad with a toner to remove oil and traces of make-up. The toners used to be primarily alcohol based and you would normally get a tingling sensation after using them. It was then discovered that (surprise, surprise!) alcohol is actually bad for your skin as it dehydrates it thus encouraging your skin to produce even more oil to moisturise itself. Ladies with dry skin were simply told not to use a toner at all.
New Generation Toners
New generation toners are not designed to clean your skin. In fact a lot of the toners are now designed to be sprayed on your face as fine mist instead of being on a cotton pad. The main purpose of modern toners is to restore PH balance of your skin. A neutral PH of 7 should be a perfect balance of acid and alkaline. Pure water does have a neutral balance but the problem is that your regular tap water contains dissolved minerals and gases and unfortunately the composition of these tends to be stronger on the alkaline side often referred to as ‘hard water’. Hard water would dehydrate your skin and may be the cause of further breakouts for oily skin or dryness and irritation for sensitive skin. Over the time hard water speeds up the aging of your skin. To neutralise these effects you should use a toner after cleaning your skin. Toners are all designed to be marginally more acidic and will therefore restore the neutral PH of your skin. Using just a serum or a cream is not good enough because such products are not as liquid as water and therefore will not work quick enough on your skin.
Extra Benefits of a Toner
Additional benefits of using a toner vary and depend on your type of skin. A toner for oily acne-prone skin would have a good dose of amino fruit acids or glycolic acid which act as exfoliating agents. Toners made for sensitive and dry skin types usually contain soothing ingredients such as thermal spring water and certain natural oils.
Are you still hesitant to use a toner?