What Goes First Toner or Moisturizer?

Healthy skin requires a good skincare routine. Choosing which products to use and when can be overwhelming. Toners and moisturisers are must-haves. Toners balance pH, while moisturisers hydrate and protect. Which product should be used first?

What is Toner?

What is Toner

Toner follows cleansing and before moisturising. Its main purpose is to balance the skin’s pH, which harsh cleansers and environmental factors can disrupt. Toner removes any dirt or makeup that was missed during cleansing.

Toners are liquid, gel, or spray. They can contain witch hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and salicylic acid. Toners use witch hazel because it tightens pores and reduces inflammation. Aloe vera is another skin-soothing ingredient.

Hydrating, exfoliating, and pH-balancing toners exist. Hydrating toners moisturise the skin, while exfoliating toners remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover with AHAs or BHAs. pH balancing toners help sensitive skin restore its natural pH.

What is Moisturizer?

What is Moisturizer

Moisturiser hydrates and protects skin. After cleaning and toning, apply it morning and night to seal in moisture and prevent dryness. Creams, lotions, and gels can moisturise diverse skin types and issues.
Moisturisers have hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and antioxidants. Hyaluronic acid is used in moisturisers because it can store 1000 times its weight in water, plumping and hydrating the skin. Another moisturising component is glycerin.
Lightweight, heavy, and oil-based moisturisers exist. Oily or mixed skin needs lightweight moisturisers, whereas dry or mature skin needs heavier creams. Oil-based moisturisers can protect and nurture dry or sensitive skin.

Which Goes First: Toner or Moisturizer?

Tone before moisturiser. Toner balances the skin’s pH, therefore applying moisturiser first might upset it. To increase moisturiser absorption, use toner first to eliminate any debris or makeup missed while cleaning.

There are various aspects to consider while choosing a toner and moisturiser and their sequence. If your exfoliating toner contains AHAs or BHAs, wait a few minutes before adding moisturiser. This helps the toner absorb and prevents irritation.

Skin type matters too. Oily skin may prefer a lightweight toner and moisturiser that absorbs fast. For dry skin, try a moisturising toner and a thicker cream moisturiser.

Cleanse, tone, moisturise is the usual order. However, your routine should be tailored to your skin’s demands.


Choose toners and moisturisers that suit your skin type and issues. Cleansing, toning, and moisturising regularly can help maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

Remember, everyone’s skin is different. Adjust your regimen to suit your skin’s demands.

Jenifer Jane
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