Botnia Skincare: Hydrosol vs. Toner

At Botnia Skincare, we’ve formulated two different types of water-based products that balance the pH levels of your skin after cleansing: Toners and Hydrosols. You might be thinking: What’s the difference? Let’s keep it simple: A toner or hydrosol is used to bring your skin’s pH level back into balance after you’ve used a cleanser, which can strip away your natural oils along with the dirt and impurities from your skin. Read on to see why toning your skin is a crucial step in your daily skincare routine.

Why pH matters//

The pH level measures the acidity of substances (pH meaning potential hydrogen). On a scale of 0 to 14, a pH of 0 would be considered strongly acidic like battery acid, and a pH level of 14 would mean the substance is strongly alkaline like drain cleaner. In the middle, a pH of 7 is considered neutral like water. Healthy skin is an average pH of 4 to 5, which sits slightly on the acidic side and helps to fight off free radicals and bacterial microbes that come in contact with the body. Skin toners help balance your pH levels back to a slightly acidic state.

Toner vs. Hydrosol//

Toners are meant to add acid into your skincare ritual to aid your naturally acidic barrier in protecting you against bacteria. So if you’re using a foaming face wash or a soap-based cleanser, you should use a conventional toner after cleansing.

When to use your toner:
Apply morning and evening to freshly cleansed skin before moisturizing.

Hydrosols (while sitting slightly acidic at times) are mostly completely neutral on the pH scale. Hydrosols are the water by-product of a botanical that includes the immune system of a plant. They are better used as added sustenance to your skincare regime or if you use an oil cleanser. Even though they’re the consistency of a toner, they’re actually closer to a serum in use. The type of botanicals used can also add additional healing properties to target specific skin conditions. Want to learn more about our seasonal hydrosols? Check out our other post here.

Who it’s for: Remember to check for contraindications of each hydrosol depending on the plant(s) used. 

When to use your hydrosol:
If you oil cleanse, spritz a hydrosol onto your skin to give water-based nourishment. If you use a conventional cleanser, spritz onto your skin AFTER your toner — hydrosols are not as acidic as toner. 

Can be used morning and evening and throughout the day as a refresher, especially after a little bit of Zoom fatigue! 😉 Organic acids found in some hydrosols provide astringent qualities and help to promote cellular turnover.

Use your hydrosol to refresh your mood throughout the day. Take a deep breath in to mentally absorb the plant energetics of your hydrosol!

Use your hydrosol to mix with our powder masks and make a custom Botnia facial at home! And remember: the key to good masking is never letting the mask dry on your skin. So keep your hydrosol handy and give your face a spritz every time you feel your mask getting dry or tight.


Step 1. Cleanser
Step 2. Toner
Step 3. Hydrosol
Step 4. Serum/Oil
Step 5. Moisturizer
Step 6. SPF (AM) 

Still not sure which product to use? Email us at and our master estheticians can help you decide which is best for your skin journey!

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