Facial toner vs herbal distillate. I finally know which one is better!

Hello My Friends!

Lately many of my friends have ‘converted’ from using facial toners into herbal distillates worshipers. Today I’ll tell you whether this is a good idea to switch your team and whether herbal distillates should be recognized as replacements for facial toners. I know that herbal distillates are gaining in popularity and that many of you are wondering if you too should give a rest to regular facial toner. Is it a good decision? Do facial toner and herbal distillate really differ that much? If so, which one is better to condition skin with? Well, I’ve examined this issue thoroughly so now let me encourage you to learn what I’ve found out.

What’s a facial toner?

Actually, there is no general or textbook definition of facial toner so… it’s time to create one! 🙂

The word toner – nor sometimes even tonic – means to reinforce and strengthen. An English dictionary provides the following description: “a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being.” Exploring this issue further, the proper definition of the word toner creates itself: “It’s a liquid substance that actively affects skin. It’s task is to strengthen epidermis, moisturize, nourish and boost skin appearance.” Nevertheless, facial toners offer definitely more than that, which is determined by the product’s constituents. Therefore, a facial toner may soothe irritations, relieve and relax skin, supply skin with antioxidants and even protect skin against negative influence of external aggressors. Moreover, facial toner is supposed to restore and balance skin’s pH. Additionally, it can be said that facial toner collects impurities that other face washes aren’t able to remove.

Naturally, facial toners might vary and this is obviously determined by the producer. Therefore, a facial toner might be either a marvelous, natural and full of active substances product as well as an ’embodiment of evil,’ which is a cosmetic that does us more harm than good.

What’s a herbal distillate?

First of all, a herbal distillate is a 100% natural product. You won’t find any traces of synthetic substances in its composition. In short, herbal distillate is obtained due to steam distillation of either plants or some parts of a plant (e.g. leaves or flowers). The main product of this process is essential oil and the side product is the very herbal distillate. The truth is, for a really long time, this flower water qualities weren’t recognized at all. But as it appeared later, such herbal water – after separating it from the essential oil – works just fine as a face cleansing product.

It’s worth realizing that herbal distillate has two applications. To demonstrate, it can be used solo as a wholesome cosmetic (there is no need to combine it with other substances), or it can be used as an ingredient to create other hair and body cosmetics.

As it’s easy to see, herbal distillates share their properties with essential oils but they are definitely more gentle to skin and can be applied without thinning. Moreover, herbal distillates are less allergenic and their aroma isn’t as intensive as essential oils’.

Okay, I guess, now you know what a facial toner and what a herbal distillate are. Both products are liquids, both should be used in the very same stage during face cleansing routine – right after cleansing face and prior to applying face cream. To make it even more convenient for you, I’ll enumerate the similarities and differences of both face care products:

Facial Toner and Herbal Distillate: Similarities

  • share similar properties;
  • have the same application in face care;
  • balance skin’s pH;
  • collect the impurities that other face washes don’t remove;
  • soften epidermis and prepare skin for other beauty rituals;
  • soothe irritations and moisturize;
  • facilitate application and faster absorption of vegetable oils.

Facial Toner and Herbal Distillate: Differences

  • toner isn’t a 100% natural product;
  • various compositions (facial toner has longer list of ingredients, it may contain more synthetic substances);
  • herbal distillates are free from synthetic substances and parabens, these are natural beauty products;
  • apart from oils, vitamins and plant extracts a facial toner often has active substances, colorants, preservatives, fragrances and sometimes alcohols;
  • facial toner isn’t a versatile product contrary to a herbal distillate that can be combined with other beauty products;
  • facial toners smell good, whereas most herbal distillates aren’t pleasant for everyone (luckily the aroma vanishes fast);
  • most facial toner’s pH ranges 5-6, whereas various herbal distillates has various levels of pH, therefore it might be hard to restore natural skin’s pH using herbal distillate only;
  • herbal distillates are naturally antibacterial, which is perceived as their huge asset;
  • some facial toners might contain adverse and irritating/dehydrating substances; sometimes facial toners contain surfactants that might cause rosacea, clog skin pores and intensify acne;
  • herbal distillates, despite being natural, contain esters of essential oils and because of that they may irritate sensitive and atopic skin.

Facial Toner or Herbal Distillate: What to Choose?

Obviously, I can’t just point a finger and make a decision for you which face skin product to choose. Even a facial toner might turn out to be a well-composed cosmetic that doesn’t feature any synthetic substances or parabens. Sometimes, it also happens that facial toner effects and the accumulation of precious substances that outclass all herbal distillates, so again – the choice is yours.

To be honest, I do my best to always keep both products on my shelf in the bathroom. I like having them handy because I enjoy making my own beauty products and besides, I frequently use natural oils and – trust me – there is no better ‘oil base’ than herbal distillate.

To sum up, there is no simple answer to “What should I use: a facial toner or herbal distillate?” No matter the product you choose, always check the list of ingredients before buying either.

Tell me, do you apply herbal distillates or are you more of a facial toner fan? Have you got your favorite beauty product? Please use the comment section 🙂


Howdy my beautiful readers! My name is Anastasia and I'm more than happy to welcome you on my beauty blog. Since I love retro style and everything that is connected with it, I do my best to find old school cosmetics that are far from being artificial. Here, I'll share with you my findings to make our body, hair and skin care as natural as possible. Enjoy the reading!

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