You may be wondering the difference between essence vs toner or what is the best toner for me? Facial toners are used after cleansing to restore the skin's pH levels to a normal level. Following facial toners, you should apply an essence. Facial essences can be described as a serum-toner hybrid. Facial essences are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins and provide a more targeted treatment depending on your skin concern.