I'm a guy and I don't like having to think a lot about my skin routine. I want my skin to look good, not break out, and not break the bank. Also, I don't want to be rubbing chemicals into my face every day, so I try to stay with products using primarily natural ingredients. Easy, right? It turns out that it's hard to find good products at reasonable prices, especially when it comes to toner.
First, why toner: I've learned over the years that you really do need all three basic steps in daily skin care: 1)cleanser, 2)toner, 3)moisturizer. For some reason, guys especially tend to ignore toner. (Toner and aftershave are not necessarily the same thing. Most aftershaves, especially the cheap, chemical concoctions, are a waste of money unless you really just want the fragrance and alcohol, or maybe a touch of glycerine.) Of the three essential steps, cleansing is almost always harsh and drying, while moisturizing can be heavy and packed with synthetic chemicals. Toner bridges that gap. It lets you take it easy on the other two while still keeping your skin nice and balanced. A good toner both cleanses and moisturizes while adding some helpful properties to keep skin healthy.
When I first began using toner on a daily basis, it was really just an experiment to see if it made any difference. I kid you not, within days I actually had a couple of people ask how I kept my skin so nice (and that's certainly not something most guys ask each other unless they really want to know.) Even my adult brothers, who understandably have skin a lot like mine, pulled me aside and asked me what I was doing to keep my skin so clear and balanced. Needless to say, I started taking toner a bit more seriously.
When my original "sample-sized" toner ran out, I started a search of toner options for everyday use. Waleda Smooth Shave Toner rose to the top. It has great ingredients. The Myrrh is a really nice touch! Too many other toners, like Burt's Bees Clarifying Toner, are based on salicylic acid, which is the same acid commonly used to burn off warts, foot corns, and calluses. A little salicylic acid may make sense from time to time. If you have an acne problem, you might want to use it regularly. Otherwise, such a harsh acid is hardly something I want or need to rub on my face every day.
My only complaint about Waleda's Smooth Shave toner is the price point. It's not outrageous, but $20+ for 3.4 fl oz really adds up for daily use. As a result, I use a less-expensive toner on most days and rotate this one into use every few days or so in order to make it last longer. I took off one star for that reason alone. It turns out, skin toner options are limited and many of the natural ones are pretty expensive. If you are a little bit discriminating about the ingredients (witch hazel and some appropriate essential oils are a good place to start), you can easily wind up paying several dollars per fluid oz.
The only comparable item I've found for much less is Cool Clarity! Facial Toner - 8 oz., which is just $12.50 for 8 fluid oz. Cool Clarity doesn't have the Myrrh and it doesn't leave my skin quite as nice as Waleda's toner does, but it has good, natural ingredients and it's a less-expensive compliment to this one.
With Witch Hazel (a natural astringent and a good alternative to harsher salicylic acid-based products) and a pleasant blend of essential oils, Waleda's Smooth Shave Toner leaves my skin lightly fragranced, nicely balanced, and not needing a heavy layer of moisturizer. The Myrrh is great for skin and it has a non-intrusive, yet intriguing fragrance.
I've had good experience with all the Waleda products I've tried over the years. I also buy Waleda products for my wife from time to time and she loves them. For a quality line of natural products, I'd easily take Waleda over Burt's Bees, which seems to have gone downhill in recent years. In my experience, Waleda uses great basic ingredients and usually includes some harder to find, more exotic - but still functionally "value-add" - ingredients as well.
If you're using a toner with lots of synthetic chemicals or harsh ingredients, do yourself a favor and switch. If you're not using a toner, try this one. Either way, you'll see a pleasant difference.