How Toners Fit Into Your Grooming Routine

Do you ever sit there, looking in the mirror while washing your hands, wondering how to close up those pores on your nose or perhaps reduce the shine in your T-zone?

While sure, a cleanser can help remove much dirt and other filth from your skin, and an exfoliator can also be equally effective at getting even deeper set grime lifted from those pores, what if another product can kind of bridge the gap between these two products?

Enter: the toner.

While a secret product used by our female counterparts for years (sorry ladies, the secret is out), toners quickly make their way into many modern men’s grooming routines.

Toners provide a deeper cleanse and balance the pH levels while unclogging and minimizing pores.

In short, they are quite the secret weapon that will make your skin look and feel great.

Today, we’ll be looking into the benefits of toners, how and when to use them, and much more.

The Benefits of Using Toner

man standing with a suit

Toners have many benefits for the skin; when you use a toner, you clean your skin a second time. In addition, as stated previously, toners help to remove any dirt, oil, or sweat that may have been missed when you wash your face.

They are used after a face wash or cleanser.

When used repeatedly, men will often find that the toner will reduce pores and shiny areas on the skin while also helping to improve overall complexion. In addition, men with normal to oily skin often benefit from adding a toner to their daily routine.

Additionally, with the regular use of a toner, the pH balance will be improved. This reduces dryness, irritation, and breakouts (acne and blackheads).

When to Use a Toner in Your Grooming Routine

various mens grooming products

Confused about when exactly you should be using a toner in your grooming routine? Then, we’ve got you covered.

Ideally, you should be using a toner after you wash your face. But before you shave (or apply a beard care product) and before any moisturizers or anti-aging products.

Some men may want to apply a toner after shaving, which is okay. However, our recommendation is to do what gives you the best results. If you notice irritation, pronounced dryness, or lackluster results when applying toner before shaving, then yes, apply only after you shave – and vice versa.

To measure the effectiveness of the toner application, take a quick selfie and document the progress. Comparing pics side-by-side should give you a good idea of whether or not the product is working.

Note: We recommend about two weeks of regular application before making any changes.

How Often Should You Use a Toner?

Skincare experts and dermatologists generally recommend using a toner once a day. But if you are dedicated to looking your very best and getting your skin into tip-top shape, you may consider using a toner twice a day.

Applying your toner shouldn’t be a chore. Instead, do what works best for you and which routine provides the best-looking results for your skin.

What Type of Toner Should You Use?

It’s great being a man in 2024. The options available now are much better than they were a few short years ago.

But just because more companies make toners now than before doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take great care when buying toner.

Here are some key tips:

When selecting a toner, it is important to choose one that is suited for your skin type.

  • If you have oily skin, look for a toner with witch hazel or apple cider vinegar. These ingredients will help to control oil production and prevent breakouts.
  • If you have dry skin, look for a toner that contains Glycerin or aloe vera. These ingredients will help to hydrate and soothe the skin.
  • If you have sensitive skin, look for an alcohol-free toner. Alcohol can be drying and irritating to the skin.

What About the Skin Underneath Your Beard?

The skin underneath your beard is just as sensitive as the skin on the rest of your face. Just because it is hidden under your glorious mane doesn’t mean it should be neglected.

If your beard length permits, typically those with 1″ or shorter length, apply a toner to the skin by massaging it with your fingertips. If you have a longer beard, you may need to skip the toner as you may have difficulty penetrating down to the skin level.

What Makes a Toner Work?

Toner’s work by relying on a specific set of active ingredients. Some of the most common ingredients you’ll find listed include the following:

  • Witch Hazel: This is a natural astringent that helps to cleanse the skin and pores. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe the skin.
  • Glycerin: This is a natural humectant that helps to keep the skin hydrated.
  • Cucumber: This natural ingredient focuses on soothing the skin and is claimed to help minimize pores.
  • Peppermint: While commonly used as a beard growth accelerator, in the context of a toner, Peppermint will gently cleanse the skin and pores while providing a refreshing sensation.
  • Salicylic Acid (BHA): This gentle exfoliant works well for those with oily skin. It helps to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores.

The Takeaway

Toners are a great way to get your skin looking and feeling it’s very best. Using a toner in your daily routine can shrink pores, remove dirt and sweat that was missed during your initial face wash, and restore your skin’s pH balance.

When using a toner, always select one appropriate for your skin type. And if you have sensitive skin, always do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying toner all over your face.

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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