How To Apply Facial Toners – Hydrating Toners vs Exfoliating Toners

Before I got deep down into the skincare hole, I never knew the importance of using toners. I had used only one in my life and I didn’t notice any benefit from it, so I didn’t get the hype. A number of years, a Facial Aesthetician certificate and reading of a million skincare journals later, I understand what toners are and why I need them. And you just might need them too.

What are Toners?

Toners are usually liquid products, applied to the skin as a second step in a skincare routine. Essentially, the main importance of using a toner is to return your skin to its original pH level (which is usually around 5.5). A lot of cleansers on the market offset the natural pH of the skin, hence, the reason for a toner. However, some people argue that once your cleanser is of the perfect pH level, you do not need a toner. Depending on your skincare goals, here are some things to consider;


What are the Uses of a Toner


Aside from returning your skin to its original pH level, toners are a great way to add hydration to your skin. There isn’t a skin type under the surface of the Earth that would not benefit from a hydrating toner. Like LaBeautyologist always says, ‘hydrated skin = healthy skin’. There is a myth that people with oily skin should use only astringents or drying toners but that is very far from the truth as the lack of hydration could trigger the skin to produce more oil than it should, thereby making the use of drying toners, counterproductive. Hydrating toners can┬ábe used every day and even layered multiple times.


If you are on the exfoliating toner train, which I highly recommend (if you don’t know what exfoliation is, this video explains it perfectly. Click HERE), then toners are the vehicle for most chemical exfoliation products. If you ever come across a toner that contains ingredients such as Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Witch Hazel, and so on, that is an exfoliating toner. It is not advisable to use exfoliating toners every day as this could lead to over exfoliation and cause damage to your skin’s barrier over time.

What is the Right Way to Apply Toners?

The answer to this question depends largely on which/the kind of toner you are using.

For Hydrating Toners:

The best way to apply hydrating toners is to adopt the Asian way of pouring the toner into your hands and patting it into your skin. It is believed that rubbing on your skin when applying toners, tugs at your skin and tugging could lead to premature ageing. Patting your products into your skin

  • help products absorb better and quickly
  • reduce the amount of product quantity you’re using, thereby allowing your products to last longer
  • promotes blood flow which gives the skin a glow
  • is gentle and I find that it gives you a ‘spa – pamper’ feeling

Although some people argue that your products will still get absorbed no matter the technique you use in applying them, there is no harm in trying this technique to see how it works for you.

Some hydrating toners come as sprays. In this case, spray the product to your skin and pat till it absorbs.

How To Apply Facial_Toners_Hydrating_Toners_Exfoliating_Toners

For Exfoliating Toners:

The best way to apply exfoliating toners is to use cotton pads. This is because as the product is applied to the skin, the pads help in exfoliating the skin even more and to sweep away the dead skin cells that get broken down or loosened up by the exfoliating toner. Some brands make cotton pads that are pre-soaked in exfoliating acids. This saves you the process of pouring the product unto a cotton pad but the same logic of exfoliation applies.

How To Apply Facial_Toners_Exfoliating_Toners

I advise that after exfoliating, you still use a hydrating toner or essence because most exfoliating toners are drying so the hydrating toner will help to bring back some moisture to your skin.

To Conclude…

Using toners is a great skincare practice/step. Remember that it is up to you to take charge of your skin by doing ample research before applying anything to your skin or seek help from a professional when in doubt. I’m always a tweet away

How do you apply toners? What are some of your favourite toners? Let me know below



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