I’ve always felt that toners are one of the most forgotten beauty products. Moisturizers, masks, serums–there’s so many skin products that get way more fanfare than misty toners ever do. But exfoliating spritzes and hydrating face mists are, for my money, one of the most important skincare products in my routine. More specifically, the Dermalogica Multi Active Toner ($39), which gives me visibly quenched skin every time I use it.
I love spray toners, generally, not only because they hydrate and refresh your skin, but because the act of using them has become a personal calming ritual. I use them after washing my face and before moisturizing, but also regularly spritz them on throughout the day—they’re a great way to perk up without guzzling a jumbo cup of coffee. Pro tip: I like to keep one in the glove compartment of my car for hydration on the road.
But I also like when toners do something to actually improve your skin. Which is why I’m so impressed with Dermalogica’s Multi-Active Toner. Even just a few days after using, it my skin healthier and more quenched. It’s less dry, less irritated, and more even overall.
It’s also recommended by board-certified dermatologists, like Ashley Magovern, DVM, in New York City. Dr. Magovern confirms that that adding a spray like this one to your arsenal of beauty products is well worth it. “This toner will help soothe and protect the skin barrier after cleansing,” she says. “It’s hard to believe, but water can actually be an irritant to the skin. So it’s important to hydrate and lock the skin cells back together after cleansing and before moisturizing. You can also use it throughout the day to refresh your skin.”
If you have ultra sensitive skin like I do, you definitely don’t want a toner with alcohol in it. Instead, look for skin-soothing ingredients, which the Multi-Active Toner has aplenty. “Dermalogica’s toner has aloe, which is a wonderful ingredient to bring down inflammation. And it’s especially helpful if you have rosacea,” says Magovern. It’s also formulated with, “arnica, lavender, cucumber, and sodium PCA, which draws in moisture and makes it a great formula for all skin types–whether you’re prone to oily or dry skin,” she adds.
Now, let’s talk price. It’s $39, which may feel steep for a product you didn’t even know you needed. But it comes in 8.4 fluid ounces, which is actually quite large for a toner, meaning you can get a ton of spritzes out of just one bottle. It’s not TSA-friendly, though, so when I travel, I transfer some of the stuff to a small spray bottle and pack it with me.
Aside the large, un-travel-friendly size, my only bone to pick with the toner is that, when you spritz it on, the “velocity of the nozzle,” (meaning how strong the spray is) is slightly intense. If I’m going to spray something directly onto my face, I want it to be a wider, light spritz. This one is a little too concentrated for my preference. You can technically spray it on directly, but I like to put it on a cotton pad first and dab it all over my face. It’s gentler, and gives you more control of how much product you use.
Scent is super important to me. It should be instantly relaxing and not at all chemical-y—which Dermalogica’s mega-mist has on lock. The Multi-Active Toner’s scent is very light, which I love; it smells like a calming lavender that isn’t overpowering at all, thanks to its infusion of soothing botanicals.
Bottom line: If you feel like there’s something missing from your skincare routine, I’d encourage you to give this toner a whirl. Between the ultra-soothing ingredients, moisture-locking formulation, and heavenly scent, it deserves a place in every medicine cabinet. (Or, ya know, your car’s glove compartment.)
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