How to Use Skin Toner – When and How to Apply It

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Incorporating the use of a skin toner into your skincare routine is one way to achieve the smooth and healthy skin you desire. If you are looking for a guide on how to use skin toner in your routine, this is for you. 

Skin toners help to ensure that your skin is free from dirt. When you use your skin toner after cleansing your skin, it works to finish up the cleansing process by ridding your skin of stubborn oil or makeup products sticking to your skin. 

Asides from the double cleansing benefits you get to enjoy, it also works to do other things. Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Ho Jin Kim says that “toners work to treat skin concerns such as premature aging, acne and so much more.”  

This article entails all there is to know about the proper usage of a skin toner, ranging from when to use it and how often to use it. Read ahead to find out how to use your skin toner properly to enjoy all of the benefits it offers your skin.

How to Use Toner Correctly on Your Skin

Skin toners are multifunctional skincare product that does more than just cleanse your skin. They exfoliate your skin to unblock your pores and give your skin a smoother look. It is very important to know how to use your toner to achieve the result you want to get from it.

Skin toners are formulated differently, therefore, you’d need to find one that works for your skin type or one that works best for your skin concern. To find a skin toner for your skin, you have to consider your skin allergies too. 

Find the Right Skin Toner

Check through the list of ingredients in a skin toner before deciding on it. For dry skin, the ideal option for you is a toner that can help in hydrating your skin. 

The best ingredient to look for in a skin toner is Rosewater. Rosewater is a popular moisturizing ingredient that helps to hydrate the skin. Likewise, rosewater also helps to regulate sebum (oil) in your skin. This makes it ideal for oily skin too. 

If you are looking to tackle skin issues such as acne, aging, and dark spots, a Chamomile-based toner is a perfect choice for your skin. It helps exfoliate the skin, as well as soothe inflammation and discomfort on the skin. Tea tree also performs the same work on the skin.

Witch hazel is another natural ingredient to look for in your toner if you have acne-prone skin. It will help to exfoliate your skin, regulate oil production in your sebaceous glands, and even help to sort out discoloration and uneven skin tone. 

Look for a toner that contains Green tea if you are looking to replenish your skin and strengthen your skin’s defense line against damage. It contains the right antioxidant properties that will help for that purpose.

Aloe vera is a natural healing agent and hydrator. It works to repair the skin as well as soothe the skin to reduce discomfort, swelling, or redness on the skin. 

It is best to always go for natural plant-based toners, especially if your skin is sensitive. Amongst the ingredients to avoid are; alcohol, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, fragrances, phthalates, and parabens. 

Those ingredients have a drying effect on the skin and are not suitable for sensitive or dry skin; avoid them.

Cleanse Your Skin

The cleaning of the skin is what starts every skincare routine. This is important in the preparation of your skin for the application of your products. This is done to remove dirt, oil, and makeup from your skin. 

To do this, you need to use a gentle face and body wash to wash off the dirt on your skin. Make sure that the facial or body wash that you use works well for your skin without messing up your skin’s pH balance.

Apply Your Skin Toner

After washing your skin, go on to pat your skin dry with a clean, soft towel. You can now apply your toner to finish up the cleansing process. Ensure that you are using a toner that works for your skin concerns. 

How to do it:

  • Use a cotton ball or gauze pad to take out a small amount of the toner.
  • Apply the toner all over your face and skin using a cotton ball or pad.
  • Do this gently in a circular motion.
  • Reach out to the hidden areas of your face such as your hairline, jawlines, and the sidelines of the face. 
  • When toning the body, be sure to focus on the affected areas of your skin.

Apply Your Serum

Serums are skincare products that deliver nourishing ingredients into the skin cells to address skin issues and to improve the appearance of the skin. After applying the toner on your face, you can move on to apply any serum of your choice. 

Skin toners pave a smooth entry for other skincare products such as your serum to penetrate easily into the skin. Applying your serum to your skin immediately after using your toner will allow the serum to enter and work efficiently on the skin.

Moisturize Your Skin

This is a very important step in every skincare routine especially if you use a serum that dries up your skin, as it helps to lock in hydration in the skin after using your serum. This will help the serum work more efficiently on your skin. 

At this point, you can go ahead to use any other cream or oil on your body if need be. However, if all you use in your everyday skincare routine is just a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, use your cleanser first, then move to apply your toner, and finish with moisturizer.  

Finish This Routine With Sunscreen

Sunscreens are an important part of a morning skincare routine. This is because it offers the skin maximum protection against environmental oppressors such as the sun. Therefore, use an SPF 30 sunscreen or higher on your skin every morning before leaving your home. 

If you use a moisturizer that is labeled a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you can skip this step.

When Should You Use Skin Toner?

You should always use your toner after cleansing the skin. This allows the toner to do a deep cleansing to remove all the leftover dirt, oil, or makeup on your face. Therefore, you can use your toner in your morning routine or your night routine. 

Applying your toner before any other skincare product will help prepare your skin to receive the ingredients in your other skincare product. This allows the skincare products to penetrate your skin with ease. 

How Often Can You Apply Toner to Your Skin?

The right usage frequency of skin toner depends on the toner you use and your skin type. You can use your toner as often as twice daily. That is in your morning and nighttime skincare routine.  

If your toner contains chemicals or other toxins, it is best to only use it once daily. This will help to prevent your skin from getting irritated by the harsh ingredients. 

Toners formulated for acne should not be used more than once daily. This will help to avoid over-exfoliating your skin. However, A natural plant-based toner can be used on your skin as often as you want without irritating your skin.

Is It Safe to Use Toner on Dry Skin?

Skin toners are formulated differently, therefore using one is safe use on any skin type. There is a toner for every skin type, all you need is to get one that works perfectly for your skin without irritating it. 

Simply follow the instructions on how to properly use it without causing any irritation and you will be fine. 

Can You Use Skin Toner on Your Armpits?

You can apply toner on your armpits to stimulate a deep cleansing of dirt under your pits. Depending on the toner you use, it may help to rid the skin of bacteria that cause odor. It may also help to lighten up dark armpits 

You can use a skin toner on any part of the skin that you’d like to treat. All you have to do is simply apply the same instructions given earlier to use your toner correctly on your armpits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use skin toner daily?

Yes, you can. You can apply a skin toner in your daily skincare routine to double cleanse your skin and prepare your skin for the application of your other skin products.

How much toner should you use?

A drop or pump of a skin toner is enough. While you use toner on your skin daily, ensure that you don’t need too much. Only apply a little amount of the serum on your skin to enjoy the benefits. 

Using too much will only clog up your pores and that ruins the entire essence of using your toner in the first place.

Do you need a cotton pad to apply toner?

Yes, you do. Skin toners are liquid formulas. Therefore, you need a cotton pad or gauze pad to apply the product to your skin.

Using your fingers is not a wise choice and might create a mess during the application process. Not to mention that it will also waste the product. 


Skin toners are multifunctional skincare products known for their benefits for skin improvement, including a brighter more radiant complexion. However, using too much can cause excessive exfoliation, drying, or rinsing of the skin. 

People with particularly sensitive skin should avoid certain toner ingredients, and monitor the frequency of use if irritation occurs. Properly incorporating toner into your skincare regimen is a balance of using the right amount, the right frequency, and the right formula.

Follow the instructions in the article to use your toner effectively to achieve your desired skin improvements.

Thanks for reading. 

Visit Serum101 for more enlightening guides on how to properly use your skincare products.