Do You Use Moisturizer Or Toner First?

A good skincare routine is essential for healthy-looking skin, but do you use moisturizer or toner first? We've checked in with some of our favorite skincare experts to find the answer.

Use toner before moisturizer, and here are the steps:

  1. Cleanse your skin with your favorite cleanser.
  2. Using a cotton pad, wipe your skin with your preferred toner.
  3. Apply the moisturizer of your choice as the final step.

Let's take a look at each of these steps, and then we'll also address some of the reasons and benefits of using toner. In addition, we've got a great video on how to make natural toners using household ingredients, if you're so inclined.

Collage of a woman applying moisturizer and hand holding cotton pad and tonic, Do You Use Moisturizer Or Toner First?

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Daily Skincare Routine Steps: Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize

As we've just pointed out, toning happens before moisturizing in a daily skincare routine. So, let's take an in-depth look at each step.

Cleansing Your Skin

Our faces are subject to an awful lot of dirt and grime every day. That's why it's so essential to make cleansing your face part of your daily routine, especially at the end of the day when you've walked city streets, sweating in the hot sun, and interacting with a lot of people. Our pores collect grime and dirt, which can lead to acne and other skin problems. Cleansing helps break that cycle.

If you have dry skin, you might choose to cleanse just once a day and opt for a water rinse in the morning after your night's sleep.

L'occitane makes fantastic skincare products. This gentle water gel cleanser is the perfect choice for washing away the day's impurities. Click here for this on Amazon.

Toning Your Skin

The second essential step in your skincare routine is toner. Using a toner is similar to giving your skin a tall glass of its favorite iced drink because toner is cooling and bracing; it leaves your skin feeling refreshed.

What Is The Point Of Toner?

So, what is the source of this extra skincare step? As scientific studies around skincare continue to advance, new products develop. Toners emerged as a refreshing layer between cleansing and moisturizing.

Your skin drinks toner in to get rid of any leftover traces of impurities stuck in your pores. When you use it regularly, it has a significant impact on the health of your pores. It restores your skin's pH balance, reduces rough patches, and improves your overall skin tone.

Use this toner by Chanel for either men or women. It refreshes and comforts your skin. The blue micro-algae protect your complexion from pollution, while marine Salicornia extracts moisturize skin at the same time. Click here for this on Amazon.

How Often Should Toner Be Used On Your Face?

It's recommended to use a toner as part of your regular moisturizing routine, which for most people is once during the morning and evening. However, if you have dry skin, some recommend only using toner once daily. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to apply an alcohol-free toner.

This alcohol-free toner from Neutrogena is for those with sensitive or dry skin. Click here for this toner on Amazon.

Cotton pads like Sky Organics are great for both removing makeup and applying toner. Click here for this on Amazon.

What Is A Natural Face Toner?

A natural face toner is a toner that relies on non-chemical ingredients to provide the soothing properties for your skin. Ingredients like rosewater, cucumber, chamomile, and lavender all have aspects that refresh and rejuvenate tired skin.

We found a great video on ways to make natural toners with ingredients you can find around your house.

If you're not the DIY type, then you can find natural toners available through retail outlets.

Thayers' Witch Hazel and Rosewater Toner has been around since the 1800s. This refreshing toner cools off your skin to invigorate and smells fabulous. Use it a few times, and you'll want to keep it in your daily skin routine forever. Click here for this on Amazon.

This Aloe Vera Facial Toner, steeped with natural antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, is excellent for your skin. It's great for all skin types - dry, oily, normal, sensitive - and helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your skin. Click here to see this on Amazon.

Green Tea helps clear up acne when applied topically, so it's no wonder toners now include it in recipes. This Green Tea Matcha balancing toner is formulated with effective emollients like green tea extract, aloe vera, cucumber, and peppermint essential waters. It's safe for even the most sensitive skin. Click here for this on Amazon.

Moisturizing Your Face

The final step in your skincare routine is an excellent moisturizer. For your morning moisturizer, choose something with an included SPF to help stave off sun damage. In the evening, you might select something extra moisturizing to wear through the night.

We love this day cream from Shiseido with 23 SPF protection. Click here for this on Amazon.

Philosophy's Miracle Worker night cream is a serum and moisturizer combination. It gives your skin a one-two punch of elasticity. Click here for this on Amazon.

Can You Moisturize Without Washing Your Face?

The reason we wash our faces before moisturizing is to keep from trapping a layer of dirt and grime on our skin. Therefore, if you're avoiding too much cleansing for sensitivity reasons, we suggest washing only at night. Most people's faces don't get dirty while they sleep (unless you're sweating at night), so, in the morning, use a light spritz of water before moisturizing.

There are also lots of good face cleansers available for those with sensitive skin.

LaRoche-Posay makes wonderful, dermatological approved skincare products. This hydrating gentle cleanser will help you be able to wash and moisturize. Click here for this cleanser on Amazon.

Can I Use Serum Instead Of Moisturizer?

First, let's explain the difference between the two. Serums, thin liquids used on the skin, contain a whole host of anti-aging properties, including peptides, antioxidants, and skin brighteners. They rarely contain the plant oils or nut oils found in moisturizers, so they have a light consistency.

Moisturizers, on the other hand, are rich in emollients and ingredients that provide your skin with moisture. If you have oily skin, you might be able to get away using only a serum. However, for those with any other type of skin, particularly dry skin, you're going to want to use both.

Serums like this one from Seoul Ceuticals are rich in Vitamin C, which is super for fading age spots and giving skin a healthy glow. (Check out our post on Vitamin C serums here: How to Use Vitamin C Serum? [Including how when and how often]) They also work to reduce fine lines and shrink pores. Click here for this one on Amazon.

Remember To Cleanse, Apply Toner, And Then Moisturize

Your daily skincare routine is an easy three-step process. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize. For those with dry skin, you might skip the morning cleansing and choose a quick water splash instead. But don't skip the toner. It will lighten, brighten, and make your skin feel alive.

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