How to Apply Toner – Your Complete Guide

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Toner is a liquid that you apply to your skin after cleansing. It helps remove any dirt, oil or makeup left on the surface of the skin and leaves it feeling refreshed and clean.

Toner is a great way to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy, but it can be hard to know which one to use. There are so many different toners on the market that it’s easy for people to get confused about what they need.

This article will help you figure out how much toner you should apply, when you should apply it, and what kind of toner suits your needs best. It also includes some tips on how to avoid irritation or breakouts from using too much or not enough toner.

How to Apply Toner - Your Complete Guide

Why Use a Toner?

Toners can be used to remove excess oils and dirt from the skin after cleansing, but they do more than just cleanse.

These products also help tighten pores, balance oil production and add moisture back into the skin.

They will not completely dry out your skin like other cleansers or soaps because, unlike other cleaners, toners are alcohol-free.

Understanding the types of toners

There are a few different kinds of toners, but most come in liquid form and have a variety of ingredients.

It’s important to know what each kind does before you use it because some can dry out your skin if applied too often.

1. Bracers/Fresheners

A skin bracer is a type of toner that can also be used as an aftershave. It’s designed for men and contains ingredients like denatured alcohol and witch hazel, which help tighten pores and prevent moisture loss.

These products will not protect the skin from sun damage or reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.

2. Tonics

These types of facial toners are designed to balance the pH levels of your skin and prepare it for moisturizer.

You can use a tonic as soon as you cleanse, but some experts recommend waiting for between 5-10 minutes after cleansing before applying any other products.

That’s because if you apply your moisturizer too soon, it won’t absorb properly.

3. Astringents

This type of toner is often used to treat acne because it cleanses the pores by removing dead skin cells and other impurities that clog them.

It may also be used before applying moisturizer because it restores skin moisture levels by getting rid of any leftover soap or residue.

How to Apply Toner

Toners should be applied right after you rinse your face with cool water and pat it dry. It’s important to always use a clean cotton pad as the abrasiveness of paper towels, facial scrubs and washcloths can irritate the skin.

You’ll need about a half tablespoon of toner, but you can adjust the amount depending on what you’re using it for.

1. Steps

Find an alcohol-free toner that complements your skin type and skincare goals.

1. Cut a piece of a cotton pad in half and place it over your second or ring finger.

2. Dab the pad on the toner (about a half tablespoon) and apply it to your face in an upward motion.

3. Massage it gently over your skin, focusing on problem areas like the nose, chin, or forehead.

4. Repeat until all of your faces are covered before allowing the toner to dry.

5. Follow with moisturizer or facial oil.

2. Mist or Spritz

If you use a spray bottle, you can mist your face with toner after cleansing.
You’ll need about six spritzes to coat the entire surface of your face.

If you’re using a cotton pad, then use it with one to two drops of toner for spot treatments.

3. Use as an activator

You can use toner as a quick and easy way to hydrate your skin before putting on moisturizer or facial oil. Just add a few drops of the product to your fingertips and apply it all over your face.

4. Use as an under-eye mask

To minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark circles, soak a cotton pad with toner and place it over your eyes for 15 minutes before rinsing. [1]

When to Use Toner

Toners should be applied right after cleansing, but you can experiment with different methods with caution as mentioned below:

1. Sensitive skin

If your skin is sensitive, then it’s best to avoid toners with any of the following ingredients: alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, and fragrance.

All of these ingredients can irritate the skin and cause redness or flaking.

2. Oily Skin

Toners with alcohol can be too harsh on oily skin because they may over-dry it and upset your natural oil production which can lead to breakouts.

If you have oily skin, look for a toner with ingredients like witch hazel or tea tree oil because they help regulate your oil production.

3. Dry skin

Toners can be extremely helpful for people with dry skin, but if you’re using one that’s too harsh, it can create redness and irritation which makes the dryness even worse.

If you have very dry skin, choose a toner that contains moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

4. Acne-prone skin

People with acne often think toners will help clear breakouts because they contain alcohol which can dry out the blemish and make it heal faster.

However, if your skin is oily or sensitive, alcohol can cause your pores to produce more oil which clogs them and creates more acne.

If you have acne-prone skin, choose a toner that’s free of harsh ingredients like alcohol to prevent further breakouts.

Best Fillers for Forehead Wrinkles and Frown Lines

The best filler ingredient for forehead lines or wrinkles is PMMA as it can last longer than HA or collagen.

PMMA is also the type of filler that you need to use for deep lines because it does not break down. Fillers that contain HA are better suited to shallow lines and wrinkles, but they do disappear more quickly.

Do's and Don'ts of Toner Use


  • If you have very dry skin, use toner once or twice per day before applying moisturizer.
  • If your skin is oily, apply it only two to three times per week to prevent over-drying which can exacerbate breakouts.


  • For people with acne-prone skin, avoid using toners with harsh ingredients like alcohol because they can make blemishes worse.


Toners can be an incredibly beneficial skincare product, but you need to make sure it’s right for your skin type.

If you have very dry skin, use it daily before moisturizer to lock in moisture.
If your skin is oily, apply toner only two or three times per week after cleansing with a gentle cleanser.

For people with acne-prone skin, avoid using toners that contain harsh ingredients like alcohol because they can make breakouts worse.

If you have sensitive skin, look for a toner that’s free of harsh ingredients and contains natural ingredients like aloe vera to calm the skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I use toner?

Toners should always be applied with clean hands or using a cotton pad.

2. How often should I apply toner?

Toners are an optional step, but they’re most helpful for people with dry skin in winter months when skin needs extra moisture.

3. Are toners necessary?

Toners are only necessary if you feel like your pores need them or if you can’t live without them.

4. Can I use toner after the shower?

Some people like to use toners in the morning and at night before bed, but it’s up to you and your skin type.

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