When to Use Toner Day or Night: The Ultimate Guide

In skincare, toner is a crucial component that is best used after cleansing but before moisturizing. It balances the skin’s pH levels, removes impurities, and replenishes the essential nutrients that the skin loses during cleansing.

One common question asked by many is whether toner should be used during the day or night. There’s no straightforward answer to this question as it depends on the toner’s primary function, your skin type, and your skincare routine. Below is an ultimate guide on when to use toner during the day or night.

Toner for Daytime Use

Toner is an essential part of your daytime skincare routine as it prepares your skin for the day ahead. Some of the reasons to use toner during the day include:

Prepares Your Skin for Moisturizers and SPF

Applying toner after cleansing your skin creates a smooth, clean slate for your other skincare products like moisturizers and sunscreens. This makes them more effective and ensures maximum absorption by the skin. Toner also helps to break down stubborn impurities that might clog your pores, thus preventing acne and breakouts.

Hydration and Refreshment

If you have oily skin, you might shy away from using moisturizers during the day. Toner can help to hydrate your skin without making it feel greasy or heavy. It provides a refreshing mist that is ideal for hot days or when your skin feels dry or tight.

Prepare Your Skin for Makeup

If you use makeup, toner helps to make it stick well to your skin. It also creates a barrier that prevents your makeup from clogging your pores and causing breakouts. Some toners have a mattifying effect that helps to reduce oil production, making your makeup last longer.

Toner for Nighttime Use

During the night, the skin naturally repairs itself from environmental damage and stress. Using toner during the night can enhance this process by providing the skin with the necessary nutrients and hydration. Below are some reasons to use toner at night:

Removes Impurities

The skin accumulates dirt, makeup, and environmental pollutants throughout the day, making it essential to use toner to remove these impurities. Removing impurities helps prevent premature aging and breakouts, giving you a fresh, glowing complexion.

Provides Hydration and Nutrients

Toner prepares the skin for the application of essential skincare ingredients such as serums, facial oils, and moisturizers. A well-formulated toner can also infuse the skin with hydration and nutrients, helping to improve skin texture, brighten the skin, and reduce the appearance of pores.

Helps Balance Your Skin’s pH

The pH level of your skin affects how it functions and how susceptible it is to environmental stressors. Using toner before applying overnight treatments helps to balance your skin’s pH, ensuring maximum benefits from your other skincare products.

Choosing the Right Toner for Your Skin

The type of toner you choose largely depends on your skin type and your skincare concerns. Below are some pointers to help you choose the correct toner for your skin:

For Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, look for toners that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Toners containing alpha-hydroxy acids help to eliminate dead skin cells that dull the complexion while promoting skin cell turnover.

For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, look for toners containing pore-minimizing ingredients such as salicylic acid, witch hazel, and tea tree oil. These help to regulate oil production, reduce pore size, and prevent breakouts.

For Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, go for toners that are free of fragrances and alcohol. Look for mild toners that contain soothing ingredients like chamomile, aloe vera, and calendula.

For Combination Skin

If you have combination skin, find a toner that can balance your skin’s moisture levels. Avoid toners with alcohol, which can strip your skin of essential oils. Consider using a toner with natural ingredients like green tea or aloe vera.


In conclusion, the decision of when to apply toner depends on the primary function of the toner, your skin type, and your skincare routine. Use toner during the day to prepare your skin for the day ahead, and use it at night to remove impurities, provide hydration and nutrients, and balance your skin’s pH levels. Always choose a toner that suits your skin type and your skincare concerns.


  • Q: Can I use toner twice a day?
  • A: Yes, you can use toner twice a day, but be careful not to overdo it, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. Using toner twice a day is recommended for people with oily skin.

  • Q: Should I apply toner before or after moisturizer?
  • A: Toner should be applied after cleansing and before moisturizing.

  • Q: Is toner necessary for a skincare routine?
  • A: Yes, toner is essential for a complete skincare routine as it balances your skin’s pH levels, removes impurities, and prepares your skin for other skincare products.

  • Q: Can I use the same toner for daytime and nighttime?
  • A: Yes, you can use the same toner for daytime and nighttime as long as it suits your skin type and skincare concerns.

  • Q: How often should I change my toner?
  • A: It is recommended to change your toner every 6-12 months, depending on how often you use it and other environmental factors.


  • “The Ultimate Guide to Using Toner.” Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s Bazaar, 13 Oct.2021.
  • “Why You Should Use Toner-Plus, the Best Toner for Your Skin Type.” Health, 22 Mar.2018,
  • babyenroute.ca/skin-care-the-best-way-to-use-toners-in-your-skin-care-routine/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *