What Is Facial Toner Used For? 11 Reasons Why You Need One

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Facial toners are the essential step two of every skincare routine. But why do you use facial toner? Why should you use a facial toner?

And if you do not have one in your routine because it has been touted to be an alcohol-based product, you need to know the truth.

Truthfully, the old-school facial toners were alcohol-based astringents but the new-school facial toner is here and that is what you need in your skincare regimen.

Facial toners have been revamped into more than just cleansers. They soothe your skin, work on your pores, and cut down your chances of getting skin breakouts. Read on to see answers to your questions on what’s in a facial toner for me.

1. Deep Skin Cleansing

This is the first and main reason why anyone grabs a toner from the shelf. After a face wash and facial cleanser, toners help to remove any residue that your cleanser didn’t get to.

Facial toners remove dust, excess oil, dead skin cells from exfoliation, and even the residues of your facial cleanser. Moreover, you can use a facial toner to cleanse your skin in between your daily activities to keep your skin looking clean and feeling refreshed.

2. Remove Excess Oil

Oily and acne-prone skin types understand the woes of oily skin. It comes with the discomfort of overly shiny skin and frequent skin breakouts. Therefore, the first way to tame breakouts is to regulate your oil production.

Facial toners have small molecular structures that can penetrate your skin. The alpha- and beta-acids (AHAs and BHAs) contained in facial toner work to dissolve the excess oil and even dead skin cells that clog your pores.

These acids unclog your pores and reduce your chances of getting blackheads and acne. Facial toners help your skin maintain a natural and healthy glow. 

3. Balance Skin pH

Your skin naturally has an acidic pH. After washing your face with face soap and using a cleanser, this pH is altered. This is where a facial toner comes in. It restores your skin to its original pH.

Besides, if your skin is left unbalanced, it naturally tries to restore itself. This process can lead to overcompensation and consequent overproduction of sebum. As a result, your skin breaks out into acne and other blemishes.

4. Prep Your Skin

The humectants in a facial toner open your pores to receive the ingredients of the other products down your routine. After wiping your face with a toner, your skin is open to soak up the active ingredients of your face serum.

In addition, after toning, your skin can take in the moisturizing ingredients of your face creams. Toners leave your skin grease-free, and smooth and make it a clean canvas for seamless makeup.

5. Skin Hydration

Facial toner contains humectants like glycerin and vitamin E which help your skin to attract and retain moisture. Also, rose water is an essential ingredient in face toners that give your skin a hydration boost.

Hydration is necessary for healthy skin and to allow your skin to soak up the ingredients of a moisturizer. After the drying effect of a cleanser, a toner will help restore moisture to your skin. This leaves you with soft, supple, and glowing skin.

6. Improve Skin Complexion

Vitamin E has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce skin inflammation and redness. This skincare vitamin works with glycerin to hydrate dry, dull skin and give you a glowing complexion.

Furthermore, the AHAs and BHAs have gentle exfoliation properties that unclog your pores of excess oil and dead skin cells which are the onset of acne and its scars. Facial toners that contain tea tree essential oil also help to regulate sebum production.

It sums up to say, when your skin is hydrated and the oil levels are in check, your skin will have an even tone and a natural glow.

7. Minimize Pores Appearance

The molecular structure of facial toner makes it easily absorb into your skin. Thus, it clears your pores of clogs and makes them less noticeable.

Additionally, our skin looks smooth and clearer with an uncompromised glow. This is one of the major reasons why people with oily skin prefer to use toners. Continuous use of toner in your skincare routine will result in taut, polished skin.

8. Protect Skin From Toxins

While you go about your daily activities, you cannot avoid coming in contact with the elements which can stress your skin. In response to these environmental stressors, free radicals may build up in your skin.

These free radicals are toxic to the health and overall appearance of your skin. Facial toners reduce the size of your pores and thus block out these stressors from penetrating your skin.

In addition, the antioxidants help to detoxify your skin and remove any toxins that may have managed to penetrate your skin.

9. Soothes Skin

Facial toners that contain ingredients like eucalyptus, aloe vera, chamomile, and rosewater help to soothe your skin and calm skin inflammation.

In the same way, misted facial toners leave a calming and refreshing sensation on your skin. On the go, you can use it to refresh your skin and look your best even after long, tiring hours.

10. Minimal Skincare Routine

After applying facial toner, you do not need to rinse your face. This makes your skincare routine simpler and easier if you are a minimalist or on those days when you are under a time constraint. Also, toners use fewer chemicals to deliver a lot of nutrients to your skin.

11. Prevent Ingrown Hairs

If you dare to shave your face, you do need facial toners. Post-shave, you should spritz facial toner over your face to clean shaving cream residue and the excess hairs that can clog your pores. Consequently, you use toner to prevent cases of ingrown facial hair. 

How to Apply Facial Toner

Applying a facial toner is no hard work. What you need is a formula that suits your skin type and its concerns, and some cotton balls. Follow these steps to effectively use facial toners as part of your morning and evening skincare routine.

  • Dampen a cotton ball with a mild cleanser
  • Afterward, gently use it to cleanse your face to remove any soap, oil, dirt, or makeup residues
  • Do not rinse or wipe your face with a towel. Proceed to dampen another cotton ball with facial toner
  • Then, with gentle swipes, use the dampened cotton ball to deep cleanse your face to get rid of the harsh chemicals of the cleanser and balance your pH
  • You also do not need to rinse or wipe off the toner from your face
  • Leave it on your skin for some minutes. It will penetrate and nourish your skin
  • Thereafter, you can proceed with a face serum and moisturizer, and makeup

Is Facial Toner Cleanser?

Facial toner is not the same as your cleanser. Beginning with their consistencies, cleansers may exist in gel, foam, or water-/oil-based forms while facial toners are only in water-based forms.

Face cleansers are the first step of every skincare routine and facial toners come after. While you may use cleansers without toners, you cannot use a toner without first using a cleanser.

Moreover, face cleansers contain harsh chemicals that can strip your face of its natural oils and make your skin dry. Facial toners will clean the residues, soothe your skin and balance its pH.

Is Facial Toner Astringent?

Facial toner is not astringent. Astringents and facial toners were once called the same thing. With recent development, astringents fall under the classifications of facial toners based on alcohol concentrations and they have the highest alcohol percentage (20-60%).

Moreover, every skin type can comfortably use a facial toner. On the other hand, astringents can be too drying and irritating on skin types other than oily, acne-prone, or combination skin.

Facial toners and astringents have similarities in their ingredients and method of use, and this is why they are often misplaced. These ingredients include rose water, glycerin, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid.

Side Effects of Using Facial Toner

Facial toners do not pose any threat whatsoever to your face. If you are using the right formula, alcohol-free, you should not get any skin irritations. However, if you have a sensitive skin type, a facial toner may be stinging and cause skin irritations.

Also, a facial toner with fragrance or using astringents on dry and sensitive skin can cause skin breakouts.


Is facial toner necessary?

Yes, it is. Facial toner is necessary for you if you have oily to dry skin, and you probably wear makeup very often. Moreover, besides cleaning your skin, it helps to restore your skin’s pH and prevent skin breakouts.

However, the daily necessity depends on your skin type and your concerns. If your skin gets too dry, you can limit using a toner to once a day. And if it’s too oily, twice a day is necessary.

Should you replace moisturizer with facial toner?

No, you should not. You may find a facial toner moisturizing because of the humectants, it is not a moisturizer. Toners prepare your skin to receive the ingredients of a moisturizer.

Besides, these two skincare products are very different in formulation and function. While a facial toner will absorb into your skin to deliver its function, a moisturizer sits over your skin and perform its functions.

Should you use facial toner as a makeup remover?

No, you shouldn’t. A facial toner is not a makeup remover. You should use toner post-bath and after cleansing to get rid of any makeup and oil residues.

Face toners were originally made to maintain your skin’s pH balance and deep cleanse your pores to reduce breakouts. You should use it after you have removed any visible makeup.

Can you use facial toner after hair removal?

Yes, you can. Treating your face to a facial toner after waxing will be doing your skin a lot of good. Your skin might get irritated and red after waxing. So, you should spritz alcohol-free facial toner over your face to soothe your skin.


You should move from using a skincare product because of the rave around it to using it because you know the benefits of it. Facial toners are essential for you if you’re looking to get extra skin cleansing after wearing makeup.

A facial toner has a lot to offer your skin besides cleaning. In addition, they have evolved from being classified as alcohol-based liquids to alcohol-free liquids that gently tend to your skin.

Furthermore, to get the best of these skincare products, you need to start with getting the right formula and applying it appropriately. Use a face toner to open your skin to soak up the ingredients of other skincare products down your routine.

Facial toners load your skin with lots of benefits that target an improved texture and feel of your skin. The downsides? They certainly are avoidable. Getting started with a facial toner will not be a bad idea.

Thanks for reading.

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