Why Every Man Should Start Using Toner ASAP

As men, we tend to overlook the importance of skincare. From neglecting to moisturize to burying our heads in the sand when it comes to using a exfoliator, it’s no wonder that most men’s skin is often left dry, dull, and without life.

One product that is making a splash in the men’s grooming realm is toner.

Used by women for years as a way to remove dirt, makeup, and excess oil from the skin, toner is a critical grooming product that can help a man achieve the perfect complexion with minimal effort.

Today we’ll be sharing what a toner is all about, its key benefits, how they work, and much more.

Let’s dig in and get into the weeds about toners!

What is Toner?

toner skincare bottle with cotton pads

The best way to think of a toner is a cleanser but amplified. It is used between the cleaning and moisturizing process of your grooming routine. When applied to the skin, a toner will help remove impurities, dirt, grime, and other debris that your cleanser simply couldn’t remove.

But what sets these apart from, say, a cleanser or exfoliator is that a toner also helps to balance the skin’s pH levels and can even help to reduce the appearance of pores.

What is in a Toner that Makes it So Effective?

Toners are typically made up of several key ingredients, such as:

  • Witch hazel: This natural astringent helps to reduce pore size and mattify the skin.
  • Alcohol: This ingredient will help to remove excess oil and dirt. However, it’s important to choose a toner with the least amount of alcohol possible to prevent irritating or over-drying the skin – especially if you already have dry skin, to begin with.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids: Also known simply as AHA, alpha hydroxy acids, like lactic or glycolic acid, are natural exfoliants that can help to remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, more even skin.
  • Hydrating and soothing agents: Look for ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, cucumber, or chamomile that can help to soothe, hydrate, and protect the skin.
  • Glycerin: This ingredient is naturally derived and can help to retain moisture on the skin.

What Are Toner’s Benefits?

When you begin regularly using a toner, you will notice several benefits.

For starters, toner will help restore and maintain the skin’s natural pH balance, which is important for overall skin health. In addition, it can help to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, reduce inflammation, improve skin texture, and clarify the complexion (including hyperpigmentation). So if you have overly large pores on your nose or lighter or darker spots on your face, a toner will help resolve that for you.

Men with oil skin may see the largest benefit of toners as they will help reduce excess oil and mattify the skin without causing dryness, irritation, or flaking.

As a bonus, many toners include skin-nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamins, and other antioxidants that help to fight against fine lines and wrinkles, so you can look like your younger self again.

How Long Before You See Results?

How long before the toner is truly effective will largely depend on the frequency of use, the product’s effectiveness, and, most importantly, how your skin reacts to it. Every man’s skin is different. With that being said, we found that most men will start to see noticeable results in about 3-4 weeks.

What Types of Toner Are Available (Astringent and pH Balancing)?

Before buying any toner, it’s important to know that toners largely fall into two primary categories: astringent and pH balancing.

  • Astringent Toners: These toners often contain alcohol or witch hazel and are designed to help remove excess sebum and dirt from the skin. These toners are best for men with oily skin only, as using an alcohol-based toner on normal to dry skin may cause irritation and dryness.
  • pH Balancing Toners: When the pH balance of your skin gets too high or low, it can cause several skin issues, such as acne, dryness, and irritation. Some men’s toners are specifically designed to get your skin to the preferred range of 4.7 and 5.75. A pH-balancing toner can work for all skin types.

When to Work it Into Your Grooming Routine?

Adding a toner to your grooming routine is simple and should be done directly after cleansing but before moisturizing with your preferred face cream. By inserting the toner between these two steps, you improve the effectiveness of your other skin care products by helping to prepare the skin for better absorption.

Furthermore, if you shave, you can apply a toner before or after shaving – there is no right or wrong way to do it. Additionally, it’s important to note that once you apply a toner, you should not rinse it off.


Adding a toner to a man’s skincare routine is essential for maintaining a healthy, balanced complexion. Not only does toner help to remove excess dirt and oil, but it can also help to boost the efficacy of other products, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, and maintain the skin’s natural pH balance.

These benefits make toner an important part of any comprehensive skincare regimen that any man can benefit from. By incorporating a good toner into their routine, men can look and feel their best every day.

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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