Facial Toner Ultimate Guide: How to Use It

Is your face skin feeling dull, like it needs extra love? Do you have some stubborn blemishes that aren't going away? If so, try out a facial toner. Toner is a liquid that removes excess oil, cleanses the skin, and prepares it for other products in your skincare routine. It also tightens pores and prepares your face for deeper cleansing treatments—like masks, exfoliation, or eye creams. When used in conjunction with other products—moisturising serums, makeup primers & even sunscreen (for SPF) —toners can be a vital part of creating your custom skincare regimen. This article will examine why you should use a facial toner and what to look for in one that will give you the best results.

What is Face Toner?

Face Toner

Toners clean and balance your skin after cleansing and are used as an ingredient in other products, like moisturisers or serums. There are many different types of toners, such as hydrating toners or astringent ones—each one with its distinct purpose: to set makeup and cleanse the skin. Toners can be in liquid form, sprayable bottles or gels.

What's the Difference Between an Astringent and a Toner?

A toner is a liquid applied directly to your skin after cleansing. It helps remove any remaining dirt, oil, and makeup from your pores so that your moisturiser or serum can penetrate more effectively. On the other hand, an astringent is a liquid that contains alcohol applied to your skin before applying makeup or moisturiser. It helps remove oil from your pores so that your foundation won't slide off during application.

Astringents are formulated with alcohol and essential oils, while toners tend to have more water content. They both work in similar ways. Using toner or astringent on your face feels slightly tingly as it dries down and tightens pores, removing any dirt or oil that would otherwise clog them up.

Benefits of Using a Face Toner

Face toners can help improve the texture and tone of your skin by sprucing up its outer layer (the epidermis) after you've cleansed—removing any dead skin cells that may be clogging pores or causing breakouts.

Here are some ways in which face toners improve your skin:

  • Balances Skin pH: 

Acidic or alkaline skin creates an ideal environment for acne-causing bacteria. A good quality toner (like the Revlon Touch & Glow Advanced Radiance Pore Minimising Skin Toner) can help restore your skin's pH.(1)

  • Cleanses: 

Facial toners help clean and prepare the skin for further treatments, such as moisturisers or serums.

  • Tightens Pores: 

Facial toners tighten the skin when applied to a clean face. A tighter texture makes the complexion look fresher and smoother.

  • Reduces Acne: 

It can help to reduce acne-causing bacteria that cause pimples by cleansing deep into your skin's surface layer, where they thrive on sebaceous secretions (oil). This action stops excess oil production while simultaneously killing bacteria that cause breakouts - including those responsible for cystic acne.

Reduce Acne
  •  Treats Acne Scars: 

Facial toners can help to fade the appearance of acne scars by absorbing excess oil that clogs pores and causes breakouts. This action also helps to lighten dark spots left behind by previous blemishes.

  • Smooths and Softens Skin: 

Toning can improve the texture of your complexion by removing dead skin cells, dirt, and other impurities from the surface layer of your skin.

  • Brightens Dull Skin: 

Exfoliating toners can help to brighten your complexion by removing dead surface cells that cause dullness. This effect is particularly noticeable on the cheeks, where dark spots caused by acne blemishes often linger after they've healed.

  • Helps Prepping Up: 

Toner is also often used as an intermediary product in a regimen, smoothing and perfecting the skin to make other products work more effectively.

Common Ingredients Found in Toners

There are many different types of toners on the market, but most contain common ingredients that help to provide their benefits. Here are some of the most common active ingredients found in toners:

  1. Glycolic acid - It’s a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found in sugar cane. It helps to exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface layer of your complexion and is considered an effective ingredient for treating acne.(2)
  2. Salicylic acid - Is beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps to clear clogged pores and prevent breakouts. It works by penetrating the oil in your skin and dissolving dead cells, making it an effective treatment for acne-prone skin.(3)
  3. Witch hazel: This astringent contains many beneficial properties. It has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea due to its ability to reduce inflammation and redness.(4)
  4. Vitamin C: This antioxidant helps to brighten the skin and reduce inflammation. It also has powerful anti-ageing properties that can help to prevent signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.(5)
  5. Aloe vera: This powerful ingredient helps to soothe and calm the skin. It is also known for its ability to treat sunburns and reduce inflammation.
  6. Chamomile: Chamomile is often used in skin products to reduce inflammation and calm the skin.
  7. Cucumber: Cucumber is a natural astringent that helps to tighten pores and soothe the skin. It also contains vitamins that can help to brighten the complexion.
  8. Tea tree oil is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It is known for its ability to treat acne and reduce redness caused by blemishes.

Does Skin Type Matter?

Toner is a great way to cleanse, remove impurities and balance the pH levels in your skin. You can use different types of toners depending on your specific needs—and reap all the benefits.

  • Acne-Prone: 

Use a toner with the lowest possible AHA and BHA concentrations.

  • Dehydrated: 

Alcohol-free toners with humectants like hyaluronic acid instead of AHA/BHA ingredients are a better bet.

  • Dry Skin: 

Toners with hydrating ingredients such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid can help draw moisture into your skin and keep it hydrated throughout the day.

  • Oily Skin: 

Choose an alcohol-free toner containing witch hazel or tea tree oil, which helps remove excess grease from your skin.

  • Sensitive Skin: 

Choose a toner that contains ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile. These types of soothing ingredients help ease inflammation in the skin, which can cause redness and irritation.

If you have health concerns or take medication, talk to your doctor before starting a new skincare regimen. Also, test products on a small skin patch if you have sensitive skin—to check for allergic reactions or irritation.

How to Use Toner Step by Step

How to use toner

Facial toner is an essential skin care product used alone or as part of a complete regimen (following cleansing and before moisturiser). Here’s how to apply toner:

Step 1: Cleanse your face with a gentle facewash. We recommend using Revlon TOUCH & GLOW ADVANCED RADIANCE GEL FACE WASH. It’s an anti-acne facewash enriched with fig and witch hazel extracts that reduces skin breakouts and blackheads. Use warm water to wet your skin, then apply a small amount of cleanser and gently massage in circular motions. Make sure to rinse the product to maintain the toner's effectiveness.

Step 2: Pat dry your face with a clean towel or tissue.

Step 3: Apply a cotton pad with toner to your face. Use one saturated with the product, then gently swipe it over your skin in upward motions.

Step 4: Next, apply a face serum.

Try TOUCH & GLOW ADVANCED RADIANCE FACE SERUM. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid, this product works together to repair skin cells, rejuvenate them and help them absorb nutrients more effectively once applied after toner.

Step 5: Wait one minute before applying moisturizer, and give the toner and serum time to absorb into your skin.

Step 6: Apply moisturizer to your face. Use a small amount of product, then pat it on your skin in a circular motion to help it absorb more effectively and keep you hydrated throughout the day.

Step 7: Use sunscreen to protect it from sun damage. Revlon Touch & Glow® Advanced Sun Care can give your skin a beautiful, radiant glow without causing breakouts or greasiness. It also prevents tanning and black spots as well as aging.

Knowing how to use toner on your face is a step towards better skin care. By following these steps, you'll be able to enjoy the many benefits of toner. It can help keep your skin healthy and glowing, so try it out today!

Also learn SPF 30 vs SPF 50 : What’s the difference.


Toner is essential to any skincare routine, and it's important to use it daily. It can help even out your skin tone—reducing the appearance of pores while controlling oil production and hydrating your face so that you feel fresh all day long. If you don't already have one in your makeup bag, try adding a toner to it today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does a toner actually do?

A: A toner removes any remaining dirt and oil from your skin. It also helps to balance the pH levels of your face so that it doesn't feel too tight after cleansing.

Q. When do you apply face toner?

A: You should apply toner after cleansing and before moisturising. If you have oily skin, wait until your face has thoroughly dried from cleansing before using toner.

Q. Is using a face toner necessary?

A: If you have oily skin or acne, it is a good idea to use a toner. However, if you have dry skin, then it may not be necessary for you to use one.

Q. Can I apply toner with my hands?

A: Yes. Applying toner with an oil base won't cause any issues if you apply it with your hands. However, if you are using a toner that contains alcohol or water, then it is best to use a cotton pad so as not to irritate your skin.

Also read 10 essential skin care products for healthy skin.

Q. How to use toner?

A: After cleansing your face, pour a small amount of toner onto a cotton pad or your clean hands. Gently wipe the pad or pat the toner onto your face, starting from the centre and moving outwards. Focus on the problem areas and let the toner absorb into your skin. Follow it up with your regular skincare routine. Use it twice daily, morning and evening. 

Q. How to apply toner on the face?

A: A toner is applied to the face after cleansing and before moisturising. You can apply it to clean skin using a cotton pad or your fingers. Let it seep into the skin naturally and follow with a moisturiser.

Q. Why is toner used?

A: There are several reasons to use a toner in skincare, such as for balancing the skin's pH, removing impurities, and calming or soothing the skin. Some toners also have humectants that help hydrate the skin.

Q. Can we use a toner daily?

A: Yes, toners are typically designed to be used daily as part of your skincare routine. Using it daily can help maintain the health and balance of your skin. It's recommended to use a toner in the morning and evening after cleansing your face. 

Q. Is Toner safe for my Face?

A: Yes, toners have several benefits on applying to the face, such as balancing the skin's pH and keeping the skin healthy. However, it's important to choose a toner that is suitable for your skin type and concerns. Some toners may contain active ingredients or exfoliants that are meant to be used less frequently, so you should check the instructions on the specific toner you are using.

Q. How long does toner work for the face?

A: Toner is designed to provide immediate benefits to the skin upon application. Once you apply toner to your face, it starts working right away, helping to balance the skin's pH, remove impurities, and provide hydration or other targeted benefits depending on the formulation.

Q. What to avoid when using a toner?

A: You should avoid toners with harsh or drying ingredients, avoid overuse, do not apply the toner on irritated or broken skin, and always check for your skin type and sensitivities before choosing a toner.

Q. How many toners can you use on your face?

A: In general, it is recommended to use only one toner on your face at a time. Layering multiple toners can potentially overload the skin with excessive ingredients and lead to irritation or other adverse effects.

Q. When should you apply toner?

A: You should apply toner twice a day, in the morning and evening.

Q. Do you need to use toner every day?

A: You can use toner every day to notice greater benefits of the product on your face. Although it is not required to be used every day, it is recommended as part of your daily skincare routine.

Q. What is the max time for toner?

A: The application of toner is typically a quick step in a skincare routine, and it is meant to be left on the skin for a short time before moving on to the next steps.

Q. Is toner good for all skin types?

A: Toners can be beneficial to all types, of skin, but you should choose a toner with ingredients that suit your skin. For example, someone with dry skin should go for a toner with hydrating ingredients.