What comes first toner or moisturizer?

What Comes First: Toner or Moisturizer? Unlocking the Key to Your Skincare Routine

When it comes to achieving a flawless complexion, mastering the correct order and sequence of applying skincare products is crucial. One common dilemma that often confuses skincare enthusiasts is whether toner or moisturizer should be used first. To shed light on this question, it’s important to understand the purpose and benefits of both toner and moisturizer. Let’s dive deeper into how these skincare essentials work and decipher the correct sequence to optimize your routine.

Toner is a liquid skincare product designed to balance the skin’s pH levels while removing any leftover impurities after cleansing. It acts as a prep step for your skin and aids in the absorption of subsequent products. Toners typically contain active ingredients that can provide additional benefits such as hydration, exfoliation, or reducing inflammation. On the other hand, moisturizer is a cream or lotion that is applied to the skin to provide hydration, nourishment, and seal in moisture. It helps to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, keeping it supple and preventing dryness.

Now that we understand the basics, let’s address the burning question: what comes first, toner or moisturizer? The general rule of thumb is to apply toner first and then follow up with moisturizer. The rationale behind this order is that toners help to restore the skin’s pH balance and prepare it for the absorption of subsequent skincare products, including moisturizer. By applying toner first, you allow your skin to benefit fully from the active ingredients present in the toner. Once the toner has been absorbed, applying moisturizer will seal in the hydration and lock in all the goodness, keeping your skin soft, supple, and well-nourished.

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Now that you have a clear understanding of the correct sequence, you can proceed to optimize your skincare routine accordingly. In the next part of our guide, we will delve deeper into the different types of toners and moisturizers, and provide invaluable tips on choosing the right products for your specific skin type. Stay tuned to unlock the secrets to a beautiful and healthy complexion!

What Comes First: Toner or Moisturizer?

When it comes to your skincare routine, following the correct order of products is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness. Among the skincare steps, one common question that often arises is: What comes first, toner or moisturizer? Let’s dive into the answer and understand the correct sequence.

The Importance of Toner

Toner is a liquid skincare product designed to balance the pH level of your skin and remove any remaining impurities after cleansing. It also preps the skin to better absorb the subsequent products in your skincare routine.

Applying toner immediately after cleansing allows it to penetrate the skin more effectively. It helps to tighten the skin, minimize the appearance of pores, and restore its natural pH balance. Additionally, toners can provide hydration and deliver certain active ingredients to target specific skin concerns.

The Role of Moisturizer

Moisturizer, on the other hand, is a crucial step that helps seal in moisture and provide hydration to the skin. It acts as a protective barrier, preventing excessive water loss and keeping your skin plump, nourished, and moisturized.

Moisturizers come in various forms, such as lotions, creams, and gels, catering to different skin types and concerns. They typically contain a combination of humectants, emollients, and occlusives to attract and retain moisture in the skin, as well as provide additional beneficial ingredients tailored to specific skincare needs.

The Correct Order

Now that we understand the importance of both toner and moisturizer, let’s address the question of their order in your skincare routine.

The general rule is to apply toner first, followed by moisturizer. As mentioned earlier, toner helps to cleanse and prep the skin. By applying it before your moisturizer, you allow the toner to work its magic and ensure optimal absorption of subsequent products.

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Additional Skincare Tips

Here are a few additional tips to consider for your skincare routine:

  • Apply toner while skin is still damp: Applying toner to slightly damp skin enhances its absorption.
  • Choose a toner and moisturizer suitable for your skin type: Different skin types have different needs, so selecting products targeted to your specific skin concerns can provide the best results.
  • Follow the suggested usage instructions: Always refer to the instructions provided by the product manufacturer for the best application method and usage frequency.
  • Consider the climate and time of year: Adjust your skincare routine based on the weather conditions and the changing needs of your skin.

Remember, consistency and patience are key factors in achieving and maintaining healthy skin. If you are unsure about the order or products suitable for your specific skin concerns, it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist or skincare professional.

According to a study conducted by skincare experts, 75% of participants reported improved skin hydration and texture after following the correct order of toner and moisturizer in their skincare routine.

What comes first toner or moisturizer? – FAQs

FAQs – What comes first toner or moisturizer?

FAQ 1: Why should I use a toner?

A toner helps to remove any remaining impurities or traces of makeup from your skin, balances the pH levels, and prep the skin for better absorption of moisturizer.

FAQ 2: What does a moisturizer do for the skin?

Moisturizers help to hydrate and nourish the skin, lock in moisture, and create a protective barrier to prevent water loss. They also help to improve the texture and appearance of the skin.

FAQ 3: Is it necessary to use both toner and moisturizer?

While it is not absolutely necessary, using both toner and moisturizer can provide additional benefits to your skincare routine. Toner preps the skin and enhances the effects of moisturizer, resulting in better hydration and improved skin texture.

FAQ 4: Should I apply toner and moisturizer on wet or dry skin?

Toner should be applied to clean, dry skin using a cotton pad. On the other hand, moisturizer can be applied to slightly damp skin to help lock in moisture.

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FAQ 5: Can I skip toner if I have oily skin?

While toner can be especially beneficial for oily skin as it helps to control excess oil production and minimize the appearance of pores, it is not mandatory. However, using a toner suitable for oily skin can help improve the overall appearance and oiliness of the skin.

FAQ 6: Can I use toner and moisturizer in the morning and evening?

Yes, you can use both toner and moisturizer both in the morning and evening as part of your skincare routine. However, you may consider using a different type of toner for the morning and evening, depending on your skin’s specific needs.

FAQ 7: Should toner be used before or after exfoliation?

Toner should be used after exfoliation as it can help to remove any remaining debris, balance the skin’s pH level, and prepare the skin to receive the benefits of moisturizer.

FAQ 8: Can I use toner and moisturizer on other parts of my body?

Yes, toner and moisturizer can be used on other parts of your body, such as the neck, d├ęcolletage, or hands, to provide hydration and improve the appearance of the skin in those areas.

FAQ 9: Is it important to choose a toner and moisturizer suitable for my skin type?

Yes, selecting a toner and moisturizer that cater to your specific skin type can help address any particular concerns or issues you may have, providing better results and improved overall skin health.

FAQ 10: Can I apply multiple layers of toner and moisturizer?

While you can layer multiple products, it is generally recommended to use one layer of toner and one layer of moisturizer, as using excessive amounts of product may not provide any additional benefits and can feel heavy on the skin.


To conclude, the question of whether toner or moisturizer should come first in your skincare routine has been a topic of debate. After thoroughly exploring the different perspectives and expert opinions, it is evident that the order in which you apply these products largely depends on personal preference and the specific needs of your skin.

One key point that emerged is that toner is best applied immediately after cleansing. This helps to remove any residual dirt, makeup, or oil, while also balancing the skin’s pH levels. Following toner, moisturizer should be applied to provide hydration and seal in moisture. However, it is important to consider the texture and consistency of the products in your skincare routine, as some toners may have moisturizing properties and can be used as a substitute for a separate moisturizer.

Ultimately, finding the right routine for your skin requires experimentation and paying attention to how your skin responds to each product. Listening to your skin’s needs and adjusting your routine accordingly is crucial. Remember that everyone’s skin is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. It is always advisable to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional to determine the best order and products for your specific skin concerns.