Can You Use Toners Morning & Night? All The Details About Their Place In Your Routine

When it comes to our skincare routine, we typically like to keep it into two distinct phases: morning regimen and night regimen. This is because we likely have certain products that we use in the morning and different ones that we use at night. Some people may not even mix morning products with night ones, as each has a distinct purpose and targets a particular skincare concern. Seeing that certain products hold a special place in our routines, you may be wondering: Where does toner fit in? Is it part of our morning or night treatment?

Toners are typically water-based solutions that are used to deep cleanse the face. And unlike other products, there is no time restriction on when toners can be used. You can apply them during your morning routine to prep your skin for makeup or apply them at night to remove excess residue before bed. You can, therefore, use toners during your a.m. and p.m. routine — but using them twice a day depends on your skin type and the type of toner you use.

Pay attention to the ingredients in your toner before using it morning and night

Many of today's toners are no longer heavily alcohol-based and help hydrate your skin while optimizing its pH levels. As dermatologist Alok Vij tells Cleveland Clinic, "Previous generations of toners were used to get rid of any residual impurities or extra oil left on your skin that weren't able to be removed with a cleanser. They tended to be very high in alcohol content, which tends to be really drying. Today's toners are more moisturizing and soothing." 

Therefore, if the ingredients in your toner have hydrating and soothing properties — or if you don't have sensitive skin — you can likely use it both morning and night. Some toners (especially alcohol-based ones) can irritate sensitive skin if used too frequently. For example, toners that include harsher ingredients, such as AHAs, can be used once a day as long as the AHA concentration is less than 5% (per Healthline).

Different types of toners exist for different skin types. For example, Estee Williams, a NYC dermatologist, tells Women's Health, "A toner with a combination of glycolic and salicylic acids can keep oily skin matte throughout the day." For dry and sensitive skin, instead of opting for harsh ingredients like salicylic or glycolic acid, "look for toners with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lecithin, aloe vera, and rosewater," board-certified dermatologist Hadley King tells Allure. Read the instructions for your toner to see if it can be used both morning and night and of course, consult with your dermatologist if you need further guidance on your particular toner.

Where should toners go in your skincare routine?

During our skincare routine, be it in the morning or at night, we tend to use an array of different products. For instance, we may use facial cleansers, eye treatments, serums, spot treatments, moisturizers, and anti-aging creams. Given that we can typically use toners both in our a.m. and p.m. regimen, where exactly should they go in our skincare process? Well, the answer is quite simple. The order of toner use should be facial wash first and toner right after. Equally straightforward is toner application. Using cotton pads infused with toner, diligently go over the neck and face to deep cleanse the area. 

Using toner in the morning helps prep your skin for your makeup routine. Healthline suggests that your morning skincare routine should begin with a facial wash, followed by toner, and then serum and spot or eye treatments, and end with moisturizer. Using toner in the night helps remove excess makeup, leaving it refreshed and hydrated, thus helping it absorb your moisturizing night cream better. As such, during the night, wash your face first, apply toner next, and moisturizer at the end. Given that toners not only offer deep cleansing but are also tailored for specific skincare concerns, they can become your trusted go-to product for your daily skincare regimen.