A well-structured skincare routine can do wonders for your complexion by restoring its natural glow and helping to promote youthfulness. A facial toner is one of the key products to include in your skincare arsenal.

What is a face toner? How do you choose the perfect toner, and what are its benefits? In this article, we’ll answer these and other questions about the uses and advantages of using toner daily.

What’s Face Toner?

Face toner is a liquid skincare product formulated to cleanse, balance, and refresh the complexion. When you use it regularly as part of your daily skincare routine, it can have a positive impact on the tightness and appearance of your pores.

In ancient cultures, women used different ingredients for skincare benefits, some of which toned the skin. However, toners were first introduced to the market in the early 1900s. At that time, the products available were mainly composed of harsh ingredients like astringent agents and alcohol.

The quality of the facial toners available has improved considerably since then, and there is a large selection of highly effective products to choose from. Is toner necessary? Yes, we think it is, and further on in this article, we’ll explain why.

Why Use a Face Toner?

To understand why you should include this product in your daily routine, it’s important to answer the question, “What is a face toner, and how can it help you?” A face toner removes all remaining traces of dirt [1], makeup, oil, and other impurities that a cleanser may have missed. That way you can be confident that your face is completely clean.

A quality face toner gives you a radiant appearance, helps to even out the complexion, and improves the absorption of other products in your skincare routine. You should use a face toner because your complexion needs proper care to look healthy and well-nourished.

Daily, your skin is exposed to makeup, air pollution, heat, wind, sun, dust, and other factors that may cause impurities to accumulate if not properly removed. You use toner immediately after cleansing to make sure your skin is free of these impurities. Later on in this article, we’ll explain how to apply toner properly.


Who Should Use a Face Toner?

Anyone can benefit from using a face toner, and in particular, individuals who are trying to optimize their skincare routine. Toners are particularly beneficial for people with oily, acne-prone skin because they slow sebum production and help unclog the pores. However, those with combination, dry, or sensitive skin can also benefit from using this product daily because it nourishes and evens out the complexion. We recommend that anyone above the age of 12 use a toner to get the most out of your skincare routine.

How to Choose The Right Toner For Your Skin?

To get the most out of a face toner, it’s important to take your time and make a wise purchase. Not every toner works equally well for everyone, and the secret is to choose a product that is ideally suited to your skin. Here’s how to select the best toner for you:

  • Identify Your Skin Type: Choose a toner specifically formulated for your skin type. Toner for oily skin should contain ingredients like salicylic acid to control excess sebum (oil) whereas toner for dry skin should contain ingredients that nourish your complexion like hyaluronic acid. If you have combination skin, you need a balanced toner that addresses both dry and oily areas. Normal skin benefits the most from a nourishing toner.

  • Consider Your Specific Skin Concerns: Take into account your specific issues such as aging, skin sensitivity, or frequent acne breakouts. Choose a toner that addresses these concerns specifically.

  • Read the Label: Make sure to read the list of ingredients for any product you are considering and avoid toners with a high alcohol content, as they can be harsh on the skin. For the same reason, you should opt for a fragrance-free toner. A product with a slightly acidic pH (around 5.5) can balance your skin’s natural pH and help improve the absorption of other products in your skincare routine.

  • Get Informed: Consult a dermatologist or another reputable source about choosing the best toner for your skin. A good example of a reputable source is the Solvaderm website which offers useful tips, tricks, and information about various skincare topics.

How and When to Apply Face Toner?

Using a face toner is a straightforward process, but first, let’s revisit the answer to the question, “What is a face toner?” A toner is a product that removes residual impurities and helps to balance your skin tone, and you use it after your cleanser and before moisturizing. Ideally, you should apply a face toner twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime.

Now let’s discuss how to apply toner correctly, to get the most profound benefits. Begin by washing your face with a cleanser and gently patting it dry with a towel. Soak a cotton pad with some of the toner, and gently press it onto your face over the entire area. Alternatively, you can put a few drops of toner onto your palms and rub the product onto your face for the same effect.

Face Toner Benefits

There is no single answer to the question, “What is toner used for?” since its advantages are truly numerous. These are the most important benefits:

  • Cleanses and Shrinks the Pores: The main purpose of a toner is to remove residual dirt, oil, and impurities left after cleansing. As a result, it can tighten the pores and make their appearance less noticeable, resulting in smoother skin.

  • Creates a Protective Layer: What is a face toner? This product forms a protective barrier on your skin that acts as a shield against air pollution, bacteria, and other irritants.

  • Balances the Skin’s Natural pH Levels: Since the skin has a slightly acidic pH, some cleansers may disturb this delicate balance. Face toner works to restore the skin’s natural pH for optimal health.

  • Boosts Hydration: Some toners contain hydrating ingredients that moisturize and nourish [2] your skin. Toner for oily skin includes ingredients that control sebum production and hydrate the complexion so it doesn’t dry out. Dry skin may produce more oil to compensate for the loss of moisture.

  • Tightens the Skin: Astringent ingredients in toners can temporarily tighten your skin, which is particularly useful for people who want a firmer complexion.

  • Refreshes the Skin: Toner contains ingredients that can even out your skin tone and bring more life to your complexion.

  • Boosts the Absorption of Other Skincare Products: The best toners for combination skin and other types can improve the absorption of the products in your routine. This occurs because when your skin is perfectly cleansed, it allows ingredients to penetrate more deeply and provide more powerful benefits.

  • Helps Prevent Ingrown Hairs: When impurities build up on your skin, it sometimes prevents the hair from growing properly and leads to ingrown hair. Toner keeps your skin clean and helps prevent this issue. Toner for oily skin is particularly helpful in this regard as this type is prone to clogged pores.

  • Moisturizes: Some toners do more than just cleanse and tone your skin, they also moisturize for deep hydration benefits. The best toners for combination skin also moisturize your face so that your skin doesn’t get rough and dry.

  • Prevents Acne and Blemishes: Is toner necessary? Yes, and one of the most significant reasons for its use is to control oil production. By balancing sebum release, toner reduces the risk of acne and blemishes.


Toner vs. Cleanser vs. Moisturizer

Although toner does clean and hydrate your skin, it’s not the same as a cleanser or a moisturizer. The primary purpose of a quality formula like Rejuvoderm Clarifying Cleanser is to remove impurities from the skin without drying it out, and this product also improves the firmness and elasticity of the complexion.

What does skin toner do? In essence, its role is to remove traces of impurities left behind by your cleanser. Most importantly, toner improves pH balance so that it absorbs other products more efficiently.

A product we recommend is Maxatone Clarifying Toner, which purifies the skin while leaving it fully refreshed and hydrated. It also soothes irritated skin and unclogs the pores for a reduced risk of breakouts.

The main purpose of a moisturizer is to lock in hydration [3] to maintain the skin’s natural barrier and provide nourishment. A formula like Infusoderm Deep Hydration Daily Moisturizer hydrates, revitalizes and protects your skin. Toners don’t lock in hydration as moisturizers do.


Can I use face toner every day?

You can use toner for oily skin, and for other skin types, daily. You get the most from this skincare product when you use it twice a day as part of your regular skincare routine.

Are face toners necessary?

Is toner necessary? To answer this question, you must first understand the importance of a regular skincare routine. As a proper skincare routine is crucial for a healthy, youthful appearance, toner is necessary to make this happen.

When should I use face toner?

You should use face toner twice daily, once in the morning and again before bed. What is a face toner, and what does it do? This product provides hydration and freshness, deeply cleanses, and tightens the skin.

Can I apply serum without toner?

Yes, you can apply serum without having used a toner, as long as your skin is very clean. However, the absorption of the serum is deeper if you use toner beforehand.

Can I leave toner on my face overnight?

Yes, you can leave toner on your face overnight. What is a face toner? It’s a liquid skincare product that refreshes the skin, and that’s exactly what the formula does when you leave it on during the night. However, make sure to apply a moisturizer after to lock in hydration and prevent dryness.

Does toner help with oily skin?

Yes, toner helps with oily skin by balancing oil production and preventing the pores from getting clogged. Make sure to choose a product that doesn’t contain harsh ingredients.


The main focus of this article was to answer the question, “What is a face toner, and why do you need to use it? A face toner should be a key component of your skincare routine as it offers a wide range of benefits and effects. Toner can take your skincare to a whole new level, making your complexion brighter, more balanced, smoother, and radiating with youthfulness.


1] https://www.byrdie.com/what-does-toner-do
2] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308150045_Comparison_of_skin_hydration_in_combination_and_single_use_of_common_moisturizers_cream_toner_and_spray_water
3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5849435/

Celeste Small

Celeste Small

Medicine has always been a passion ever since she was young so it was no surprise when Celeste decided to pursue pharmacy. Celeste Small was born in South Florida and raised in Melbourne, FL. She graduated from Rockledge High School in 2010 and received both her Bachelor of Science (in 2014) and Doctor of Pharmacy (in 2018) degrees from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Celeste has worked at in an independent pharmacy in Titusville, FL for three years after graduating from pharmacy school and currently is working at the Patrick Space Force Base in Cocoa Beach, FL as a contract pharmacist. Celeste is also currently a freelance medical writer on the side and has written content for blogs, presentations, and for educational material. She also manages a website called Pharmacistconsult.com where she and other pharmacy colleagues post informative medical information for both healthcare professionals and consumers alike. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, going to theme parks, listening to music and enjoying the Florida sun.


  • Bachelor of Science, University of South Florida
  • Doctor of Pharmacy, University of South Florida


  • Florida Board of Pharmacy License
  • Florida Consultant License


  • Staff Pharmacist-Itani Family Pharmacy 2018-2022
  • Contract Pharmacist-Patrick SpaceForce Base 2022-Present
  • Freelance Health Content Writer 2018-Present
Written by Celeste Small

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