Toner serums are the latest beauty hybrid – and our skin is so ready

Call it the 'Fenty effect'...

Digital Beauty Editor / August 03 2020

We here at BEAUTYcrew love a collab – it wouldn’t be unusual to catch us listening to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s huge duet track 'Rain On Me' while wearing (okay, lusting after; they don’t come cheap) the infamous Rihanna x Manolo Blahnik thigh-high denim boots.

As the latter proves, though, there are few collabs we enjoy more than one where RiRi’s involved – and so when she decided to drop her long-awaited Fenty Skin product lineup, there was one formula in particular that really caught our attention: the toner-serum hybrid.

Billed as a 2-in-1 product that combines the best that both formulas have to offer, it’s safe to say it went straight to the top of our wishlists (sorry boots, you'll have to wait a little longer). The question is: is it really a good idea to get yourself a product that does both?

We caught up with Renée Rouleau, the celebrity facialist behind Lili Reinhart and Demi Lovato's covetable glow levels (and creator of one of the OG serum-toner combos) to find out…

What are the pros and cons of condensing skin care steps?

“[In terms of pros, skin care hybrids are] time-saving and offer less confusion, due to the easier-to-follow routine," Rouleau explains. "[It also means] less products [that] you have to purchase, and less risk of irritation from overdoing it with products.”

“[As for the cons, condensed formulas are generally] less likely to create positive change on the skin, especially when it comes to correcting skin issues like brown spots, post-breakout marks, acne and clogged pores.”

What are the differences between toners and serums, and why do they work well combined together?

“A toner is a water-based solution (to benefit the skin, toners must be alcohol-free) that uses humectants to keep the moisture in the upper layers of the skin to prevent skin dehydration,” she tells BEAUTYcrew.

“A serum is a skin care product with a gel or light lotion consistency that contains a high concentration of performance ingredients. You should use a serum underneath a moisturiser or treatment mask. While a cleanser, toner, and moisturiser [trio] is still the foundation of a solid routine, serums are a great addition. It’s best to use them when your skin is in a rut or [when] you’re seeking better results. Simply put, if you want to up your game, serums are the way to go.”

“[However, despite their differences], they both pamper and soothe thirsty skin cells by delivering moisture deep into the skin, [and so work well when paired together as a hybrid]," Rouleau confirms.

What ingredients should we look for in toner serums?

“Hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, and sodium PCA are all great ingredients to [look for in serum-toner hybrids as they] drench thirsty skin cells and restore them to a healthier state," she says.

Where should toner-serums sit in our skin care routines?

"[As for application], a hydrating, serum-infused toner like my Moisture Infusion Toner can be applied right after cleansing the face. Apply a little moisturiser on top once you’re finished to seal everything in," Rouleau explains.

On board with the hybrid idea? Here are the freshest toner-serum formulas to shop...

Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore Refining Toner-Serum

Puremay Soft Serum Toner

Renée Rouleau Moisture Infusion Toner

Main image credit: @fentyskin

After a classic toner instead? These are our favourite toning formulas for oily skin....

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