What Does Toner Do for Your Face: 9 Benefits No One Told You Of

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Do you know that the one thing standing between you and the clear skin you desire so much could be the lack of toner in your skincare routine? ‘What does toner do for your face that makes it important?’ I bet you are curious to know the benefits of using facial toner.

According to Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist,  facial toner is the secret weapon to achieving healthy skin. King goes further to state that using a mild toner will help to unclog pores by getting rid of excess oil and buildup of dirt in your skin.

Facial toner does several benefits to the skin, from removing excess oil and dirt from the face to prep the skin for the application of serum and moisturizers. 

You have probably been using toner on your face in your skincare routine, or even coming across it as a step in application guides on the internet, but you don’t know what it does on the face. Read ahead to find answers to all of your questions concerning facial toner. 

What Does Facial Toner Do for Your Face?

Facial toner helps to unclog these pores by removing dirt and excess oil from your skin. 

No matter the nature of your skin, facial toner will work to help you achieve smooth, clear skin by getting rid of stubborn dirt that has refused to leave your face even after washing it. Facial toner works beyond just cleansing the face.

According to Dr. Ho Jin Kim, facial toners also help to target other skin issues such as acne, dryness, and aging. While some toners are specially formulated to help regulate oil for oily skin, some work for dry skin to help them hydrate their skin. 

According to Rebecca Kazin, MD, board-certified dermatologist, “traditional toners were used to help balance the pH level of the skin after cleansing it.” However, toners have evolved from being used in the skincare routine for several other skin issues. 

According to board-certified dermatologist, Joshua Zeichner, recent facial toners contain soothing, brightening, and anti-aging ingredients that make them suitable for all skin types. 

Benefits of Using Facial Toner

According to Dr. King, facial toners are especially useful for those with oily or acne-prone skin, and also for anyone looking for extra cleansing of their face after using even products on it. 

Also, If you are looking for an outline of the things facial toner does for your skin, here is one to enlighten you. 

1. It Helps to Shrink Your Pores

The skin tends to look smoother and well-polished when the pores are smaller. Using a facial toner on your face will help to give your face a lovely, shiny appearance. Simply soak your cotton ball into your toner, and gently apply it to your face by wiping your face with the cotton pad or ball.

2. It Balances and Restores Your Skin’s PH Level

The skin is naturally acidic and can lose its pH balance due to cleansing by soap. Using a soap that does not have the same pH level as your skin will result in the skin getting dry, oily, or irritated. It will take a while after this for the skin to recover back to its pH balance.

3. It Encourages Even Skin Complexion

Toners help to restore lost nutrients that have been stripped off the skin while cleansing.

According to Paul Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist, a toner can help to smoothen out the skin’s texture, as well as restore the skin’s elasticity, and this will result in a firm, smooth, and even skin. 

4. It Acts as a Moisturizer

That’s right, it does help to hydrate the skin. The majority of facial toners are humectants, meaning they can help to lock in hydration on the skin. 

Using one that contains rose water is especially the best option to hydrate your skin, as well as make your skin permeable for other moisturizing skin care products.

5. It Refreshes and Soothes Skin

Toner also helps to soothe and refresh the skin. After washing your face, apply your facial toner to help revitalize your skin. This is a great way of eliminating any form of redness and discomfort from your face. 

6. It Prevents Ingrown Hairs

Using toners that contain ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acid and glycolic acid can help to groom your facial hair to prevent ingrown hairs. Simply use your toner the regular way, and you are good to go.

7. Removes Dirt From the Skin

According to Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist, toner also helps to remove oil and the buildup of dirt, bacteria, and makeup from the face.

“It also helps to remove remnants of stubborn dust, pollution, and impurities that linger on your skin even after washing your skin,” she explains further.

8. It Protects the Skin From Free Radicals

Toners help to make the pores smaller and this reduces the probability of the skin getting invaded by free radicals and environmental aggressors. It serves as a layer of protection against environmental elements that can cause harm to the skin such as dust, and so on. 

Using facial toner will help to keep your face smooth, clean, and free from damage. 

9. Improves Efficacy of Other Products

According to Gunna Covert, the lead esthetician at Daphne Studios says that “toner exfoliates, restores the skin’s pH balance, and makes other skincare products absorb faster and easily into the skin.”

Using a facial toner will help your skin become permeable enough for other skincare products to penetrate and work efficiently on your skin.

How Does Facial Toner Work?

Facial toner works on the skin by penetrating deeply into your skin to get rid of dead skin cells, as well as hydrate the skin. This helps to prepare your skin for the application of your other skincare products. 

These toners are formulated to help minimize the appearance of pores, and naturally, remove dirt and oil from the skin. 

Using facial toner in your skincare routine is the golden step you cannot afford to miss, as it will give your face a more radiant and refreshed look.

How Do You Choose the Right Facial Toner?

According to Dr. Hartman, toners now contain hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and so on, to restore the skin’s hydration as well as replenish the skin with other nourishment. 

As with every other skincare product, you have to check the ingredient list of the toner before purchasing or opting for it. Ensure that the toner you choose does not contain ingredients that can dry out your skin. 

Instead of opting for one that contains chemicals and ingredients such as alcohol, parabens, and artificial fragrances, go for one that contains natural ingredients that have antioxidant properties.

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Do away with any toner that contains alcohol as it tends to have a drying effect on the skin.
  • Salicylic acid is another ingredient to avoid, it also dries the skin and it is commonly used in facial toners formulated to treat acne.
  • Benzoyl peroxide is also very intense and can massively irritate the skin.
  • Fragrances are also to be avoided.
  • Phthalates and parabens are strong chemicals that shouldn’t be absorbed by the skin. 

Common natural ingredients to look for: 

  • Witch hazel is a natural ingredient that works to promote even skin tone, and it also helps to unclog the pores as well as regulate the production of natural oil in the skin. If you have oily skin, witch hazel is one of the many ingredients to choose from.
  • Green tea is another ingredient to look for in a facial toner, as it contains antioxidant properties that help to revitalize and even out the skin.
  • Aloe vera contains hydrating and soothing properties that are good for alleviating discomfort and redness on the skin. 
  • Tea tree oil is another ingredient that helps to unclog pores and removes the buildup of dirt from the skin. 
  • Rosewater oil has countless benefits for the skin. It is your best bet when it comes to removing dirt, and tightening the skin naturally.

When Should You Apply Toner in Your Routine?

The best time to apply your toner is after cleansing your skin, as it helps to remove stubborn dirt and impurities that didn’t get off while washing the face. Doing this will help to refresh and prepare the skin for the application of other skincare products. 

Applying toner before serum and moisturizer will help to make the skin permeable enough for them to penetrate and work efficiently on the skin.

How to Apply Facial Toner

The proper time to use toner on your face is after cleansing your face. At the beginning of your skincare routine, it is important to cleanse your face first before applying your skincare products.

Cleanse your face by washing it with gentle soap and proceed to blot your face dry using a dry, clean towel. After that move on to apply your toner. To apply your toner, get a cotton swab or ball and apply a small amount of facial toner on it. 

Gently wipe your face with the toner, and ensure even coverage while at it. After applying toner to your face, you can proceed to use your serum. If your skincare routine does not include serum, you can apply your moisturizer after allowing your skin to absorb the toner.

How Often Should You Use a Face Toner?

Toner can be used in your daily skincare routine. However, it depends solely on your skin type and the toner you are using. Natural plant-based toners can be used as often as twice daily. 

If your toner contains chemicals or other drying toxins, start slowly and then build up a daily usage frequency as time goes on.

Frequently asked questions

Can toner make your face dry?

Yes, it can. But only if it is a chemical-based toner. Toners that contain chemicals such as salicylic acid, parabens, and so on, can dry out the skin.

It is best to opt for ones that contain only natural ingredients.

Does toner work on the skin? 

Yes, it does. Facial toner helps to unclog these pores by removing dirt and excess oil from your skin. 

No matter the nature of your skin, facial toner will work to help you achieve smooth, clear skin by getting rid of stubborn dirt that has refused to leave your face even after washing it. 

What should you do after applying toner to your face?

After applying toner to your face, the next step is to use your serum and moisturizer. 

If your skincare routine does not include serum, move straight to moisturizing your skin to lock in hydration on your skin after allowing your skin to absorb your toner. 


I bet no one told you that a facial toner is a secret weapon to achieving healthy skin. The skin on the face breaks out when there is a build-up of oil and dirt clogging the skin pores. Facial toner helps to unclog these pores by removing dirt and excess oil from your skin. 

No matter the nature of your skin, facial toner will work to help you achieve smooth, clear skin by getting rid of stubborn dirt that has refused to leave your face even after washing it. 

Now that you know why you need a facial toner and how to use it, do not hesitate to try it out. Apply your facial toner diligently and your skin will thank you for it.

Thanks for reading.

Like this article? Visit Serum101 for more enlightening guides on necessary skincare products to use for your face.