How to Use a Toner on the Face

A headshot of a teen Caucasian female using a cleansing pad on her face while looking at the viewer

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Facial toner is a skin care product that offers different benefits depending on the type of toner used. It can soak up excess oil and remove dirt, makeup and dead skin cells; restore your pH balance; and condition and moisturize your skin. Toner will also prepare your face to absorb the products you apply after. It typically comes in a liquid form, although some toners are formulated as gels or mists. A toner can be used alone or as part of a skin care regimen.

Select an appropriate facial toner for your skin type and budget. If you suffer from acne, select a toner specifically indicated for this condition. If you need help finding the right toner, consult with a dermatologist, skin care specialist or an experienced sales associate.

Read the manufacturer's instructions for your facial toner and follow them. If the manufacturer's instructions differ from the content in this article, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Wash your face with your regular facial cleanser and pat your face dry with a clean towel. This step is optional, as some people prefer to use facial toner on its own.

Apply a small amount of liquid facial toner to a cotton ball or pad. Take care not to saturate the cotton ball or pad with the facial toner but use just enough so that it glides easily over your face.

Move the cotton ball or pad gently in small circles across your face, paying special attention to your chin, nose, cheeks and hairline. Avoid your eyes, nostrils and mouth.

Repeat the process with a fresh cotton ball or pad until you no longer see dirt and debris on the cotton ball or pad. This step is optional; sometimes using just one cotton ball or pad is sufficient.

Wait at least one minute for the toner to dry on your face. Toner is not meant to be washed off. Then, if desired, apply your favorite moisturizer or serum.