Do You Toner Before Moisturizer? Find Out Now!

Skincare is a crucial part of everyone’s beauty regimen, and it’s essential to understand the order in which your products should be applied. One of the most commonly asked questions in the skincare community is – should you use toner before moisturizer? The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all, it depends on individual skin type and concerns. In this article, we’ll dive into the details and help you understand when to use toner before moisturizer, and when not to!

The Role of Toner in Your Skincare Routine

First things first, let’s understand the role of toner in your skincare routine. Many of us believe that toner is an unnecessary step, but that’s not true! Toners are liquids that help eliminate any remaining dirt, oil or makeup after cleansing. They balance the pH level of your skin and help prepare it for the next steps towards a healthier, glowing complexion. Toners come in different types – hydrating, exfoliating, or calming – which work well for different skin types.

Benefits of Using Toner Before Moisturizer

There are several benefits to using toner before your moisturizer:

Deep Cleansing

Using a toner after cleansing helps eliminate any excess dirt or oil on your skin, giving you a deeper cleanse.

Boosts Hydration

If you have dry skin, using a hydrating toner can be exceptionally beneficial. Toners that contain glycerin, hyaluronic acid or aloe vera can help boost hydration and prep your skin for moisturizer.

Helps Absorption of Skincare Products

Using a toner before any other skincare products helps to balance your skin’s pH level, allowing better penetration and absorption of your remaining products such as serums and moisturizers.

When Should You Skip Toner?

While toner is a crucial step in many people’s beauty routines, some may not need it. Here are a few instances –

If You Have Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, using a toner with astringents like alcohol, tea-tree oil, or witch hazel can cause irritation, redness or even cause a burning sensation. It’s best to avoid using toners that have fragrances or strong scents as well, as they may be too harsh on sensitive skin.

If Your Cleanser Has a Balanced pH Level

Using a toner may not be necessary if you’re using a cleanser with a balanced pH level. While toners help balance your skin’s pH level, a cleanser that is pH-balanced the same way your skin is ensures that its pH is restored after cleansing.

How to Use Toner Before Moisturizer

As we’ve established that toner works as a bridge between cleansing and moisturizing, it’s essential to know how to use it correctly:

Step 1: Cleanse Your Skin

Cleanse your skin with a gentle face wash or cleanser to eliminate any dirt or oil. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Step 2: Apply Toner

Pour a generous amount of toner on a cotton pad and gently wipe your face, starting from the center towards the edges. Don’t tug on your skin or overdo it; a single pass should be enough.

Step 3: Apply Moisturizer

After applying the toner, allow it to dry, and then apply your regular moisturizer. Within a few days, you’ll notice your skin feels softer, smoother, and more hydrated.

The Bottom Line

Using toner before moisturizer can be an excellent addition to your skincare routine. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should invest in an exfoliating or clarifying toner. If you have dry or sensitive skin, a hydrating and calming toner can work well to keep your skin moisturized while balancing its pH level.


FAQs About Using Toner Before Moisturizer

  • Should toner be used before or after moisturizer?

    Toner should be used before moisturizer to prep your skin to better absorb the nutrients from your moisturizer.

  • Can toner and moisturizer be used together?

    Yes, toner and moisturizer work well together to balance your skin and leave it hydrated.

  • What happens if you don’t use toner before moisturizer?

    If you don’t use toner before applying moisturizer, it can hinder the effectiveness of the ingredients in your moisturizer.

  • Why do some people skip toner?

    People skip toner if their cleanser already has a balanced pH level, or if using toner irritates their skin.

  • Can toner cause breakouts?

    If you’re using a toner with harsh ingredients like alcohol or witch hazel, it can dry out your skin and cause it to produce more oil that can lead to breakouts.


Brenner, S., & Miot, H. A. (2012). Skin pH: from basic science to basic skin care. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 92(2), 118–123. <a href=”″></a>

Nielsen, J. B., Nielsen, F., & Kjærsgaard, A. (1985). Influence of pH and various skin preparations on the growth of Propionibacterium acnes in vitro. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 65(3), 200–203.

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