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Find Out How Long it Takes for Facial Toner to Show Results

There is no denying some of the primary benefits toners can deliver to men who work them into their skincare routine.

However, like other skincare products, the effectiveness of a toner depends on your skin type and the active ingredients found within, including glycolic acid and witch hazel extract, which help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, clear clogged pores, and balance your complexion’s pH level.

But how do you know that the toner is actually delivering any sort of results? And what sort of timeline should you expect?

Most toners will generally deliver their best results within four weeks of regular use. This includes clearer skin and a more even complexion.

This article will look at how different factors will contribute to how quickly you may start to see results when using a face toner.

Additionally, we’ll share a few pro tips on how to improve the effectiveness if you aren’t happy with the results you’re currently seeing.

Why four weeks is the best indicator of toner effectiveness

When evaluating any skincare product, four weeks is typically the ideal timeframe for assessing the effectiveness of facial toners.

The reason why is that the turnover rate of the epidermis is about 28 days, meaning that the top layer of skin will completely renew itself (source).

With that in mind, many dermatologists point out that the first indication of any skincare product’s effectiveness may be seen earlier, depending on the potency of the skincare product and the current state of your skin.

Are you sure progress isn’t just happening slowly?

Four weeks is a long time for anyone to wait and see results in their skincare products. So while you might not see any changes when looking into the mirror daily, taking pictures is the best way to see side-by-side comparisons of your skin’s progress.

We recommend taking a picture every three to five days to document how your skin is progressing. If you are seeing gradual changes, you just have to be patient.


Remember, toner is only one product that can affect your skin’s appearance. Diet, water intake, lifestyle, and other environmental factors can also affect how your skin looks.

What to do if you don’t see results

If you have been diligent about using your facial toner after a month and aren’t seeing the results you are looking for, then there should be some adjustments to your grooming regimen.

  • Learn to use the product: Some companies recommend that you use their toner twice daily for the most effective results, whereas others may say once every couple of days. Be sure to read the instructions before regular use.
  • Verify the skin type: Verify the toner contains ingredients suited for your skin type and desired outcome. For example, the toner should contain humectants like glycerin, aloe gel, or hyaluronic acid if you have dry skin. On the other hand, if you have oily skin, the toner should have oil-reducing ingredients, including witch hazel, BHA, or even alcohol. Applying the wrong toner for your skin type can result in lackluster results. Also be mindful if you are making your own toner or using a substitute along with the potency of the ingredients.
  • How you apply the toner matters: Since toners are liquid, they shouldn’t be applied by rubbing your hands on your face. Instead, a cotton pad should be used for application as it provides a deeper and even product distribution.
  • When to apply toner: Toner must be applied after you cleanse but before you moisturize. If you shave regularly, you can apply a toner before or after.

Finally, consider reaching out to a dermatologist for an expert opinion. A doctor can identify if toner, or another skincare product, is the right fit for your skin type and needs.

Indications you are over or under-applying your toner

Sometimes, if you aren’t happy with the results, you tend to want to apply even more of the same product until you see something happen – that’s completely natural!

However, when applying toner, you need to get to the sweet spot where your skin is getting the most benefit from the product without over or under-applying it.

Overapplication of a facial toner will often dry your skin – especially if it contains AHA (glycolic acid), BHA (salicylic acid), witch hazel, or alcohol. This is because using an excessive amount of a single product can cause stripping the natural oils from your face and make it prone to irritation or abrasions that lead to visible redness.

Underapplying toner results in you missing all the benefits it has to offer – you won’t see clearer skin or any major change in complexion (in a positive way).

Should everyone use facial toner?

Toner is optional for men with normal, combination, or dry skin. However, toners are made for these skin types who want to see clearer skin or even their complexion. So if you fall into this category, you may not be seeing results because your skin doesn’t really need it in the first place.

The primary market for toners is men with oily skin, given the astringent and oil-reducing properties of the ingredients.

So if you aren’t seeing much, re-evaluate whether you need to apply it in the first place.


We hope this guide helped identify why your toner may take longer than four weeks to show results.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different, and the effectiveness of toner will vary depending on the individual.

Keep in mind that the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your toner is to read the instructions carefully, use it in accordance with your skin type, and always apply it after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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