What Does Face Toner Do?

Toner has become a skincare essential, but what does face toner do? Face toners are used to further cleanse and refresh the skin after your initial cleansing. They remove any last traces of makeup or dirt, and they also help to restore the pH balance of your skin.

Face toner has come a long way since it was first introduced into the skincare world. In the past, face toners were often harsh and drying to the skin.

What Does Face Toner Do

They contained ingredients like alcohol, which can be extremely drying and irritating. Today, however, there are many different types of face toner available, including toners that are alcohol-free and gentle enough for every skin type.

In this comprehensive post, we will not only discuss all of the different ways that toner can benefit your skin, but also go over how to use it correctly, what ingredients to look for, how to choose a toner based on your skin type, and more.

See Related: How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body?

What is Face Toner?

A face toner is a liquid solution that is applied to your skin after cleansing. It is often made with water and glycerin, along with a variety of other ingredients like herbal extracts, essential oils, and more that we’ll discuss shortly.

Face toners help remove any last traces of dirt or makeup from your skin while balancing the skin’s pH balance. It is an essential step towards healthy skin.

Your skin’s pH levels can be a tricky thing to understand, but essentially, your skin has a natural pH level of around five. This is slightly acidic, and it helps to protect your skin from bacteria and other environmental aggressors.

When the pH level of your skin becomes too alkaline, it can lead to dryness, sensitivity, and irritation. This is where face toner comes in — by restoring the pH balance of your skin, it helps to keep it healthy, happy, and glowing from day to day.

What are the Benefits of Using Face Toner?

There are many benefits that come along with adding a high-quality face toner to your daily skincare routine. These include:

  • Remove dirt, grime, or makeup.
  • Hydrate and nourish the skin.
  • Soothe and calm the skin.
  • Refreshes skin
  • Tighten pores and reduce overall oiliness.

When it comes down to it, there are really no disadvantages of adding a good toner to your daily skincare routine. It all comes down to finding the best one for your unique skin type.

How to Apply Toner

Face toner should be used after cleansing and before applying moisturizer. Simply soak a cotton ball or cotton pad in your face toner of choice, and then gently swipe it all over your face.

Toner is one of the most important skincare products

Be sure to avoid the area around your eyes, as toners can sometimes be too harsh for the delicate skin there. Once you have applied face toner all over your face, you can then follow up with your usual skin care routine.

A high-quality face toner should be alcohol-free, as is meant to refresh your skin without taking away from its natural moisture. Toner works to remove excess oil, and prepare your skin for your water based moisturizer and any other steps you take in your day-to-day skincare routine.

Astringent vs. Toner: What’s the Difference?

You may have seen products labeled as “toners” and “astringents” and wondered what the difference is. The answer is that they are essentially the same thing — a liquid solution that is applied to the skin after cleansing. That said, there are a few key differences between the two.

An astringent is a type of toner that contains alcohol, which can be drying to the skin. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, an astringent can be beneficial as it can help to control oil production and reduce breakouts.

However, if you have dry or sensitive skin, a face toner is the better option, as it won’t irritate your skin or cause it to become even drier.

Quality Ingredients to Look For in Toners

When shopping for face toners, there are a few key ingredients to look for that will help to nourish and condition the skin. Of course, there are different toners you can choose based on your skin type.

To start, here are some of the best ingredients to look for when you’re shopping for toners if you have oily or acne-prone skin. You’ll also want to be sure to look for a hydrating toner.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid, which means it’s great for exfoliating the skin and reducing breakouts. Salicylic acid is known for its ability to break through oil and get deep into your pores in order to help get rid of acne.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is an astringent, which means it can help to control oil production and reduce breakouts. It’s also anti-inflammatory, so it can help to soothe the skin.


AHAs, or alpha-hydroxy acids, are exfoliating acids that can help to reduce breakouts by acting as a natural exfoliant. They work by breaking through the oil in your pores and helping to get rid of any dead skin cells that might be clogging them. They can also help keep your skin hydrated by balancing the moisture in your skin.

Toner will make your skin look and feel hydrated

Toner Ingredients for Dry Skin

If, on the other hand, you struggle with dry, sensitive skin, here are some of the ingredients you should look for when shopping for toner for your face.


Glycerin is a humectant, which means it helps to keep your skin hydrated by drawing moisture from the air and into your skin. It’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a plant that is known for its healing properties. It’s anti-inflammatory, so it can help to soothe the skin. It’s also hydrating and can help to improve your skin’s elasticity.

Aloe vera has also been discovered to promote the production of collagen in your skin. This can be extremely beneficial if you’re trying to achieve or maintain a youthful glow, especially as you age.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a type of AHA that is known for its ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water. This makes it an excellent ingredient for dry skin, especially when used in an AHA serum, as it can help to keep your skin hydrated and plump.


Chamomile is an herb that is known for its calming properties. It can help to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. It can be an extremely beneficial toner ingredient if you deal with constant redness or irritation.

Bonus: Where to Apply Liquid Foundation

How Often Should You Use Toner?

You can use it once or twice a day after you cleanse your face. If you’re using an astringent, it’s best to only use it at night, as it can be drying to the skin.

If you have severe skin conditions consult a board certified dermatologist

If you have dry or sensitive skin, you may want to only use toner once a day, in the evening. You can always experiment to see what works best for you and your skin type.

Does Toner Change the Size of Your Pores?

One of the most common misconceptions about toner is that it can help to change the size of your pores. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Pore size is determined by genetics and there’s no way to change them.

That said, face toners can help to make your pores look smaller by keeping them clean and clear. When your pores are clear, they will appear smaller.

Other Misconceptions About Toner

In addition to the belief that toner can change pore size, there are a few other misconceptions about this skincare product. One is that toner is only necessary for those with oily skin.

While it’s true that toner can be beneficial for those with oily skin, it’s not just for them. Toner can be beneficial for all skin types, as it can help to cleanse and hydrate the skin.

Another misconception about toner is that it’s only necessary in the summer. While toners can be especially helpful in the summer months, when your skin is more likely to be exposed to dirt and pollution, it’s not a seasonal product. You can use it all year round, no matter what the weather is like.

Who Should Use Face Toner?

In short, everyone! Toners can be beneficial for all skin types. Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, there’s a face toner out there that can help to improve your complexion.

If you’re not sure which one is right for you, consult with a skincare professional or do some research to find the best one for your skin type. We’ve done a little bit of the research for you, so keep reading to find out more about the type of toner you should use based on your unique skin type.

Various Skin Types and the Toner to Match

We mentioned previously which toner ingredients to look out for if you have dry skin or oily skin. But, what if you are trying to reduce the appearance of your large pores?

Or, when if you suffer from hormonal acne? Are there different types of toners that work for these skin types?

Large Pores

If you have large pores, you’ll want to look for toner that is pore-minimizing and clarifying. You should avoid face toners that are drying or stripping, as they can make your large pores worse. Instead, opt for one that contains ingredients like witch hazel, tea tree oil, or salicylic acid.

Acne-Prone Skin

If you have acne-prone skin, you’ll want to look for a facial toner that is anti-acne and clarifying. You should avoid toners that are drying or irritating, as they can make your acne worse. Instead, opt for one that contains ingredients like witch hazel, tea tree oil, or salicylic acid.

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to look for one that is gentle and non-irritating. You should avoid products that contain harsh ingredients like alcohol, as they can be very irritating to the skin. Instead, opt for a facial toner that contains ingredients like chamomile, lavender, or aloe vera.

Toner's soothing ingredients leave skin refreshed

Signs You May Need to Switch Your Toner

If you’re using a face toner and you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for, it may be time to switch to a different one. There are a few signs that indicate you may need to switch.

First, if you’re using a one that contains alcohol, it may be drying out your skin. Second, if you’re using a toner that contains harsh ingredients, it may be irritating your skin.

Finally, if you’re using one and your skin is still not looking its best, it may be time to try a different one.

Is Your Toner Doing Its Job?

While there may be telltale signs that your toner isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, you may not notice as easily if your toner is doing its job. After you use your toner, pay attention to how your skin feels.

If it feels soft, smooth, and hydrated, you’ve picked a good toner. Your skin shouldn’t feel dry, itchy, or irritated after you use your toner.

Additionally, have you noticed an improvement in your complexion overall? As we mentioned, toner should work to balance your skin’s pH levels, soothe irritation, and tighten pores.

So if you don’t see a noticeable difference in your skin after adding a toner to your daily routine, it may be time to dry a different one or consider talking to a skincare professional about the skin issues you’ve been facing and how you can find a toner that works for your unique needs.

Level Up Your Skincare Routine with the Perfect Toner

Now that you know what face toner does and how to choose the right one for your skin type, it’s time to level up your skincare routine with the perfect one for you. Toner is an important step in any skin care routine, so make sure you’re using one that’s right for your skin type.

With the right toner product, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your skin’s appearance. So what are you waiting for?

Keep Reading: What Is The Best Face Wash For Oily Skin?

For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts, and more.