Do You Wash Off Toner? Can You Leave It On?

Skin toner is one of the main components of a good skincare routine. It is the product you use after washing the face and putting on moisturizer and other skincare products, therefore preparing your skin to receive more nourishment. A common question many have is, do you wash off toner?

You should not wash off the toner. If you have always been washing toner off your skin, then consider this as the perfect time to stop. Skin toner is a product that you can leave since the skin quickly absorbs it anyway. Think of it as you would any astringent or micellar cleansers that you do not have to wash off.

Read on to learn more about toner and why you should not wash it off your face.

Do You Wash Off Toner?

do you wash off toner

Toner should not be washed off your skin. If you wash off toner, it defeats the purpose of using it in the first place. Skin toner is a face product that you need to leave on, so you can let its components soak into your skin.

However, you should also note that it is not a good idea to use too much toner. This is particularly true for alcohol-based toners. Avoid their excessive use as they may cause your skin to get rough and dry quickly.

After applying toner and wiping away the dirt and grime from your skin, wipe away the excess using a clean cotton pad. You will be leaving just enough for your skin to absorb. Also, consider getting a toner that contains zero amounts of alcohol to be on the safe side.

What Does Toner Do?

Skin toner is an essential skin care product that helps remove dirt, excess oil and cleanser, and any other trace amounts of dirt left on the skin. Aside from that, you can expect skin toners to perform the following functions:

1. Shrinks Pores

A high-quality toner contains botanical extracts that help tighten the skin and shrink the pores. With that, it can also be a huge help in preventing acne breakouts and other skin blemishes.

2. Balances the Skin’s pH

What most people do not know is that the human skin is naturally acidic. Using soap, which is alkaline, will throw the natural pH balance of the skin. When you wash your face using soap, it removes the oil on the skin that keeps its correct pH level.

It leads to the skin producing even more unwanted oil to overcompensate. A toner will help maintain the skin’s natural pH without producing excess oil because it restores the balance quickly.

3. Moisturizes the Skin

Moisturized skin is healthy skin, and using a skin toner is a great way to restore moisture after washing your face. Most soaps and facial cleansers strip away the moisture from your skin. However, you can still improve its ability to absorb moisture.

You can find toners specifically designed to pull moisture from the top layer of the skin into the inner layer. It can quickly restore skin moisture levels and lower the risk of skin irritation.

4. Refreshes the Skin

Toners remove almost all remaining impurities that your facial cleanser might leave behind. These products are useful in getting rid of any bits of makeup that you might have missed when you were washing your face. It also prepares it for the next step of your skincare routine. If you want your skin to look and feel bright and healthy, get a toner that contains essential vitamins and antioxidants.

5. Rejuvenates the Skin

Toners help rejuvenate the skin by promoting cell reproduction. It is necessary because you lose millions of skin cells every day. Therefore, you need to get help for the regeneration process. Using a toner will also create a sort of protective barrier that prevents the skin from losing moisture. It also protects it from damage.

6. Helps Remove Dead Skin Cells

Toners may not have the same exfoliating qualities as an actual exfoliant, but it acts as a good follow-up product that helps remove almost all dead skin cells from the surface. With that, you have a lower chance of getting ingrown hairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Really Need a Toner?

Now that you learned about the different benefits of using toner, do you still doubt whether you need it or not? Let’s put it this way. Once you try using toner, you will be beating yourself for not using it sooner. If you can manage to find one with the perfect formulation for your skin, then the benefits will essentially double.

Is It Alright to Use Toner Every Day?

wash off toner

Although you must only use a couple of facial products a couple of times a week, toner is not one of them. Dermatologists even highly recommend using toner every day. This product can help remove almost all traces of dirt and leftover makeup on your skin’s surface. Furthermore, it allows your skin to receive the most benefits from your other skincare products.

Is Toner Bad for Your Skin?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), alcohol-based skin care products can dehydrate your skin. With that, it is no longer surprising to see dermatologists recommending that people avoid toners containing alcohol. This can be not very clear, as many assume that all toners contain alcohol.

The good news is that you can also easily find toners that do not contain any alcohol at all. Some of them are even self-hydrating. So, the answer is neither yes nor no, as you cannot make a blanket statement that covers all toners. Some may be bad for the skin, but there are definitely many of these products that are also good for you.

When Should I Use Toner?

You must apply toner immediately after you finish cleaning your skin. There is a rule of thumb that applies to applying skincare products: to go from lightest to heaviest. Toner goes first because it is so light that your skin will almost immediately absorb it.

Because it is almost as light as water, toner goes on the face immediately after cleansing. After applying it, you can put on all the other heavier products.

You can also use a toner after using micellar water to remove all traces of makeup. It is also useful during those times when you want to refresh and hydrate your skin.

Again, do you wash off toner? You do not wash off the toner. Skin toner is a product that you can leave on the skin because it gets quickly absorbed. Think of it as you would any astringent or micellar cleansers that you do not have to wash off.

How to Use Toner?

So, now that you have seen the light and are willing to add toner into your daily skincare routine, the next question may be, “how to use it correctly?”.

The following are the steps of a proper skincare routine that includes the use of a toner:

Step 1 – Clean the Face Using Micellar Cleanser

The first thing you should do is clean your face as best as possible using a micellar cleanser. It can remove most of the dirt, makeup, excess oils, and other impurities on the skin. Use a micellar cleanser, pour a bit of the product onto a cotton pad, then gently wipe it across your face. Repeat until the cotton pad does not have any visible dirt on it.

Step 2 – Use a Regular Facial Cleanser

After the initial cleanse, follow-up using a rinse-off cleanser. These products further clean the surface of the skin and exfoliate most of the dead skin cells. You can use a lot of facial cleansers, but the best ones are the clay.

These products look like they’re made of clay, but when you add a bit of water and work it between your palms, they turn into a mousse that you then use to scrub your face. Rinse the cleanser completely and pat your face dry using a soft towel.

Step 3 – Apply the Toner

Pour a bit of toner onto a cotton pad, and then gently wipe it across your face. Do it a couple of times to get rid of all traces of dirt and other impurities that might remain on the skin. Remember that you do not rinse the toner, but you can wipe a clean cotton pad across your face to absorb any excess toner if you want.

Most toners are safe to use twice a day – once in the morning and again in the evening. Those are the times when you are preparing your face for your regular skincare routine. You can even find those with hydrating properties, making them perfect for use any time of the day.

Step 4 – Apply the Other Products

Now that your face is all clean and prepped, you can start laying down the layers of moisturizers, serums, and other facial products that you have in your lineup. For instance, after applying the toner, you can lay down a thin layer of moisturizer, face serum, and eye cream. If you will be going out for the day, use appropriate sunscreen.

Other Ways to Use Toner

should you wash off toner

Yes, there are other uses for toner aside from the ones already mentioned. Some of these uses may even surprise you:

1. Cooling Yourself Down

If the summer heat gets a bit too much, you can use a bit of toner to refresh your skin. In cases like this, you can store your toner and other skincare products in the fridge to keep them nice and cool.

When it gets a bit too hot, take the toner out, pour a bit on a cotton pad, and wipe it across your face in circular motions. Aside from removing excess oils on your skin, the product itself will cool you down and hydrate your skin.

2. Cleaning Your Neck and Chest

Your toner is not just exclusively for the face. You should spread the love around and give your neck and chest some much-needed attention. When you are cleaning your face, do not stop at your chin. Go beyond your jawline and give your neck and chest a thorough cleaning as well.

Your neck and chest will most likely be the first areas on your body to show signs of aging, so take care of them well. Moreover, those places on your body are also prone to acne breakouts. This means that after cleaning your face, neck, and chest, you have to use toner on them as well.

3. Keeping Fresh While on the Go

If you are a frequent traveler, then you might notice that your skin dries up relatively quickly when you are on the road. If you fly often, then be aware that the air in the plane has relatively no humidity. It is the reason why it can cause dryness.

You will need a convenient way to refresh your skin before it gets any further damage. That said, start carrying a travel-size bottle of hydrating toner and a couple of cotton balls in a resealable plastic bag during your next travels.

The next time you feel like your face is getting too dry, moisten a cotton ball with a bit of toner and wipe it all over your face. The cooling sensation will help you feel refreshed. The toner itself will also help lock in moisture so your skin will not dry up any further.

4. Preparing for Makeup

Clean, soft, and moisturized skin is the perfect base for a flawless makeup job, and toner will help you get there. Thorough cleansing, followed by a liberal application of toner and moisturizer, turns your skin into the perfect platform for makeup. Prepare your skin further by putting on a thin layer of foundation and concealer, and you are good to go.

Conclusion – Do You Have to Wash Off Toner?

If you need to ask, “do you wash off toner?” then you might not have been using this product at all until recently. The answer to that question will always be no. You should avoid washing off toner as doing so defeats its purpose.

You must leave the toner on your skin so that it can do its job, which is hydrating your skin and locking in moisture to prevent it from drying any further. Toner is so light anyway. With that, expect your skin to absorb it almost immediately, eliminating the need to wash it off.

Other uses of toner include the following:

  1. Cooling Yourself Down
  2. Cleaning Your Neck and Chest
  3. Keeping Fresh While on the Go
  4. Preparing for Makeup

To include a toner in your routine, follow the simple steps below:

  1. Clean the Face Using Micellar Cleanser
  2. Use a Regular Facial Cleanser
  3. Apply the Toner
  4. Apply the Other Products