Your Cart is Empty

  • Add description, images, menus and links to your mega menu

  • A column with no settings can be used as a spacer

  • Link to your collections, sales and even external links

  • Add up to five columns

  • August 29, 2022 5 min read

    Toning VS Bleaching: Get To Know About These Confusing Beauty Terms

    What is the difference between toning and bleaching? What are the benefits of toning and skin bleaching? Do they have any side effects? Here is everything you need to know about these two beauty terms.

    Toning and bleaching have been confused with each other for the longest time. There is a difference between toning and bleaching. Toning involves using skin toner, lotions, and serums to cleanse the skin and reduce the appearance of pores. Toning is an important step in skincare that completes the cleansing process. On the other hand, bleaching involves the use of chemicals to whiten the skin or even complexion by disrupting melanin production. Some chemicals have proven effective in skin bleaching, while some are toxic. Skin bleaching can be done by a dermatologist or by a non-doctor. Find out more about toning and bleaching in this article.

    Skin Toning

    Toning is the in-between step in a skincare routine. A toner is a product that is used after washing the face but before moisturizing. A toner is meant to restore your skin's pH after using an alkaline-based commercial soap. Nowadays, cleansers are gentler on the skin.

    Benefits of Skin Toning

    Skin toning prepares your face for moisturizers. Jin & Laopanupong (2021) noted that toning helps remove excess dirt and makeup leftover on your face after washing it. Nevertheless, toners aren't a replacement for your cleanser. Instead, they add to your cleansing. Modern toners go beyond the basic role. They address various skin concerns like acne, dryness, and aging.

    Baumann & Weisberg (2008) established that a toner that contains glycolic and salicylic acids helps keep oily skin matte. You can even find toners for people with dry skin that contain hydrating ingredients.

    Skin toners help deal with breakouts from sunblock and sweat when the weather is warm. They also deal with dirt that clogs your pores. Toners come in handy if your skin is prone to acne. Skin toning is an easy way to maintain skin balance. All you need to do is swipe a cotton ball over your face to clear away impurities. What does a toner do?

    • Restores your skin's pH balance- This is essential because the skin's barrier is responsible for keeping the skin moisturized while keeping away germs and bacteria. For the acid mantle to operate at peak performance, your skin's pH balance must be optimal. Your skin is naturally acidic, with a pH of around 4.5-5.5. If your skin's pH level goes above 6.5, the skin's barrier gets compromised, and your skin becomes prone to bacteria and infections. Skin toners restore your pH balance after cleansing.
    • A toner shrinks the appearance of pores- Toners help tighten and cleanse pores. Therefore, there is less room for dirt and oil to get in and cause acne, infections, or irritation.
    • Toners ensure the body is well protected- A toner is not just meant for your face. You can use it for cleansing and removing excess oil from breakout spots on your back, neck, and shoulders.
    • Toner acts as a moisturizer- Some toners are humectants. They bind moisture to the skin.
    • Toners refresh your skin- You can use a toner to wash your skin when it's oily or dirty. It leaves your skin revitalized.
    • Toners help prevent ingrown hairs- Toners contain glycolic acid, which can prevent ingrown hairs and help groom.

    If your skin is sensitive, your toner can significantly impact your face. Sensitive skin conditions should be reported to dermatologists. Many people complain about reactions to products they use for toning. You cannot achieve healthy, youthful skin without using the right cleanser and toner. Before using a toner, get your skin evaluated by a dermatologist.


    Skin bleaching is using products to lighten up dark areas on your skin. Skin bleaching products include bleaching creams, pills, soaps, and professional treatments such as laser therapy. Skin bleaching does not have any health benefits. Results are not fully guaranteed, and it's been proven that skin bleaching can result in serious complications and side effects. If you've been considering skin bleaching, you should understand the risks.

    How Does Skin Bleaching Work?

    Skin bleaching minimizes the concentration of melanin in the skin. Melanin is a substance in the body that produces skin pigmentation. The amount of melanin in your skin is determined by genetics. Dark skin people have more melanin. Sunlight, hormones, and some chemicals affect melanin production. Applying a skin bleaching product to your skin reduces the number of melanocytes in your skin, resulting in lighter skin.

    Benefits of Skin Bleaching

    Skin bleaching does not have health benefits but desirable cosmetic effects on the skin.

    Skin Bleaching Minimizes Dark Spots

    Boo (2019) commented that skin bleaching could minimize dark spots on your skin caused by aging, sun damage, and hormonal changes. It can benefit those looking to reduce skin discoloration like sun spots, melasma, age spots, and eczema.

    It Reduces Appearance of Acne Scars

    According to Faronbi et al. (2018), some skin bleaching products help fade acne scars. They don't necessarily help with active inflammation caused by breakouts, but they may reduce dark areas that remain after acne has healed.

    Evens out Skin Tone

    Skin bleaching can even out your skin tone by reducing areas of hyperpigmentation. It can also help reduce the appearance of freckles.

    Side Effects Of Skin Bleaching

    Skin bleaching may cause mild burning, dryness, stinging, and redness. If any of these effects persist, visit a doctor. If a doctor prescribes your medication, keep in mind your doctor knows the benefit to you is greater than the risk. Most people who have lightened their skin haven't experienced serious side effects. In case of blisters, skin cracking, or darkening of the skin, ensure you tell your doctor right away.


    Skin bleaching products contain inactive ingredients which can cause allergic reactions. Before using any skin bleaching product, tell your doctor your medical histories, such as asthma and other skin conditions such as eczema. Before surgery, inform your doctor about all the products you've been using. During pregnancy, it should only be used when needed. Make sure you discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unclear whether bleaching products pass into your breast milk, so consult your doctor before breastfeeding.


    Toning is the continuous use of cleansing toners, lotions, washers, and serums such as vitamin c serum to cleanse your skin. They shrink pores, clear skin discoloration, and even your skin tone. On the other hand, bleaching is using chemicals and laser therapy to brighten your skin. Skin bleaching products such as creams and soaps containing harsh chemicals may have many side effects, so it's advisable to seek advice from a professional before using them.


    Baumann, L., & Weisberg, E. (2008). The Baumann Skin Typing System. Cosmetic Dermatology, 69.

    Boo, Y. C. (2019). Human Skin Lightening Efficacy Of Resveratrol And Its Analogs: From In Vitro Studies To Cosmetic Applications. Antioxidants, 8(9), 332.

    Faronbi, J. O., Oyediran, O. O., Adebiyi, M. A., Adereti, S. C., Faronbi, G. O., & Famakinwa, T. T. (2018). Perceived Risk And Consequences Of Bleaching Practices Among University Students In Southwest Nigeria. International Journal Of Basic, Applied And Innovative Research, 7(1), 2-11.

    Jin, C. Y., & Laopanupong, T. (2021). Protecting And Resolving Facial Skin From UV Rays And Air Pollution. Journal Of Clinical And Laboratory Research, 2(1).