Facial toners are all the rage these days.
The right toner can give you the skin of your dreams. It delivers optimal hydration while revealing healthy glowing skin.
However, if used incorrectly, It can do more harm than good.
With the plethora of options available, it can get quite confusing, especially if you’re new to this. What type of toner should you use? How do you add toner to your skincare routine? Do you wash toner off or leave it on (especially when you use it for exfoliation)?
Sit back and relax while I bring you all the answers.
Skin Toner – What Is It?
Skin toner is a liquid-based product, used after cleansing your face to remove any residue and prepare the skin for the next step of your skincare routine.
A facial toner can remove makeup and excess oil, tighten pores, balance the skin’s pH, and gently exfoliate, leaving the skin hydrated and glowing.
In the early days, toners were strictly astringent in nature, mostly targeting people with acne. Get this, an astringent dries out skin like no other, making acne worse.
The modern toners we see today are enriched with soothing, hydrating, refreshing ingredients and more. It all depends on the formulation.
However, make sure to check the label for alcohol, fragrance, and other irritants.
Do You Rinse Toner Off?
No, you don’t rinse toner off your face.
Skin toners are formulated to be left on the skin, so they can sink in and let the skin absorb their goodness. Washing skin toner will just result in wasting the product and losing all the benefits.
Back in the day, the alcohol in the toners might have prompted this theory to wash skin toner off.
Today, skin toners are designed with ingredients that soothe, nourish, balance, and exfoliate the skin.
Some toners are even augmented with acne-fighting ingredients. Washing skin toner off defeats the purpose.
In short, there is no point in rinsing the toner off.
The only time when you should wash toner off, is when it burns or stings your skin or you feel like you might have an allergic reaction to it. Rinsing it off is one of the ways to relieve your skin and get rid of that burning sensation.
Do You Wash Exfoliating Toner Off?
I think it is common sense that tells you that if something is exfoliating, you need to wash it off.
Given the name of some ingredients in exfoliating toners such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, people tend to think that they need to wash their face after applying toner for exfoliation.
However, this is not the case. You don’t wash exfoliating toner off1.
Skin toners packed with exfoliating ingredients are actually beneficial to our skin.
They remove dead skin cells, excess oils, and dirt, improve the texture and brighten the skin tone. If you wash your face after using it, you will end up losing the benefits of the skin care product.
Think of your exfoliating toner as any regular toner, and leave it on your face. No need to wash the face toner off!
How Long Should I Keep Toner On My Face?
You don’t need to wash skin toner off your face, just keep it on and once it’s has dry on your face, follow with moisturizer.
Skin toners are formulated in a way that they sink into the skin instantly. Let the facial toner do its job as it prepares your skin for moisturization.
After cleansing, you should apply toner across your entire face and neck.
Before you move on to the next product lined up in your regular skincare routine, you should wait for around a minute or so, to ensure the toner is dry. Once it is, move on to your moisturizing product.
Remember to use skin toners that are alcohol-free and do not contain ingredients that can cause skin irritation such as essential oils, fragrances, etc.
What To Do After Using Toner?
After using toner, the next step in your skin care routine should be to apply moisturizer.
Skin toner preps the skin for the richness of serum/moisturizer/cream. It is recommended that you layer the products in the correct order for the best results.
Is It Necessary To Apply Moisturizer After Toner?
Yes, it is absolutely necessary to apply moisturizer after toner.
Your skin toner leaves the skin all ready to soak in the hydration offered by a moisturizer. Some toners can be slightly drying, especially if you have dry skin.
By following with a moisturizing product, you can protect the skin barrier and lock in moisture.
How Long Do You Let Toner Dry Before Moisturizer?
Ideally, you can let the toner sit on your face for a minute or two until it feels dry to the touch. This gives the toner some time to prepare the skin for the subsequent skincare products.
Can I Sleep With Toner On My Face?
Yes, you can sleep with toner on your face.
This light water-based skincare product seeps into the skin quickly, hydrating and balancing the skin while prepping it for your moisturizing product(s). There is no downside if you leave toner on your face overnight.
Proper Way Of Using A Toner
Here is a step-by-step guide to take care of your skin, including the proper way of using a toner2:
1. Start off with a cleanser: You need to have a clean surface for your products to work. So, the first step in your daily skincare routine should be cleansing the face with a cleanser. Cleansers help remove impurities and excess oil and unclog pores.
2. Apply toner: After cleanser, follow immediately with a facial toner. Since there is no hard and fast rule on how to use toner, you can choose whatever works for you:
- Use a cotton pad: One of the most common ways to use toner is to pour it on a clean cotton pad or cotton ball. Wipe the cotton pad across your face, neck, and chest.
- Spray it on: You can spritz the toner directly on your face and neck if it comes in a spray mist bottle. This way, you can use just the right amount you need, without having to waste cotton balls.
- Use your hands: Pour some toner on your clean hands and pat it on your skin gently.
4. Proceed with other products: Once the toner is dry, move on to applying the next product of your beauty routine. It can be serum, moisturizer, cream, or oil. Remember to apply them from lightest to heaviest in terms of consistency.
5. Sunscreen: Always finish your morning skin care routine with SPF!
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Toner For Your Skin?
The benefits of using a toner for your skin are as follows3:
Preps Your Skin
Using a toner prepares your skin so you can reap the most benefits of your next moisturizing skin care product.
Optimizes The pH Balance
Cleansers can disrupt the skin pH, leading to irritation or acne. This is where toners come in handy. Use toner to balance pH of the skin and rejuvenate it.
I recommend you stay away from alcohol-based toners, as they are super drying and can irritate your skin.
Toners can remove dirt, excess sebum, traces of makeup, and residue left on the skin after cleansing. Simply swipe a cotton pad soaked with toner on your face and see the magic.
According to your skin type and skin concerns, the right toner can refresh and brighten your skin.
Toners refine the skin by removing rough patches and blemishes, making the skin clear and smooth, and bringing out a dewy glow. They also offer gentle exfoliation, evening out the skin tone.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, feel free to use your hydrating toner twice a day. Toners hydrate the skin, locking moisture in the layers. This results in healthy and fresh skin.
Hydrating toners like those with hyaluronic acid can hydrate the skin deeply. Make sure to apply it to slightly damp skin, followed by a lightweight moisturizer.
Keeps Oil Production In Check
With a refreshing toner, you can kiss your oily skin days goodbye!
Some toners can reduce excess oil production without stripping away too much moisture. AHA and witch hazel toners are commonly used to remove excess sebum.
They also minimize the appearance of pores and temporarily tighten the skin.
Avoid witch hazel preparations with alcohol so you do not risk irritating your skin.
Nourishes The Skin
With the gentle formulations available for different skin types today (including sensitive skin), toners can nourish and soothe the skin really well.
Enriched with antioxidants and soothing natural ingredients like rose water, aloe vera, etc., you can enjoy clear and healthy skin that beams with radiance.
Toners containing BHA or tea tree oil are quite effective in fighting the bacteria that cause acne.
After using a cleanser, using such toners will fight acne and prevent future breakouts, while unclogging your pores. Win-win situation!
Wrap Up: Should You Rinse Off Toner?
Remember that you shouldn’t rinse off your facial toner, because it is designed to enrich your skin. It is a crucial part of skin care and washing it off makes it just useless.
Using a toner can level up your skin care game if used correctly. Leave toner on your skin and let it do its job.
To sum it up, do not wash off your skin toner (unless you feel like it burns your skin or makes it red)!
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