Is it okay to apply toner with hands?

Is it okay to apply toner with hands?

Can You Apply Toner with Your Hands?

Rice Toner

Applying skincare products the right way is as important as choosing the right ones for each step. While some treatments are only meant to be applied at night, others are best suited for morning use. Similarly, some products need to be left on the skin for about 10 to 15 minutes while some need to be left through the night. When it comes to toners, the main question people have is whether to apply with fingers or cotton. In this article, we are going to explore this question in detail and let you know, is it okay to apply toner with your hands?

What are skin toners?

Let’s start with the basics. Skin toner is a fluid substance packed with amazing skin-loving nutrients like glycerin, acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents. These ingredients help to repair, rejuvenate, and revive your skin. Adding this lightweight formula to your skincare routine provides it with a boost of hydration to leave it plump and glowing. It gets rid of residual makeup, refines your pores, and helps your skincare products sink better.

What is the best time to use a toner?

The best time to use a toner is right after cleansing and before face oils, serums, and moisturizers in your skincare routine. If you are planning to exfoliate your skin or double cleanse, a toner should come right after both these steps and before applying any skin repairing or hydrating products. By applying a skin toner at this step, it acts as a catalyst that ensures skincare products applied next penetrate your skin and deliver results. Other benefits of using a skin toner include:

  • Removes soap and makeup residue from the face
  • Reduces the appearance of pores
  • Restores skin’s PH balance
  • Protects skin from environmental aggressors
  • Helps remove excess oil from the face
  • Some contain humectants that lock moisture into the skin

Should You Apply Toner with Hands: Key Considerations


The decision on whether to apply toner with your hands will rely on two fundamental considerations. They include:

  • Is your toner a thin fluid?
  • Have you used a cleanser that effectively and fully removes impurities?

With so many types of toners available in the market, you need to evaluate the product you're using. This will help you determine how to apply the product and decide whether your hands or toner pad is ideal.

Products applied to your skin with your fingers directly help to pull any remaining impurities like makeup and pollution in an effect known as washing-in. Conversely, using a toner pad helps in removing those residues. This also means that the choice between using your fingers or a cotton pad will depend on the effectiveness of your cleansing step.

The easiest way to test the effectiveness of your cleanser is to a cotton pad to apply your toner. Then check the amount of impurities or dirt it collects after application. You will be safe to use your fingers for toner application if you see only minimal traces of oil and makeup remaining. When you still have a lot of impurities on the skin, a toner pad may be the better option.

How To Apply Different Types of Toners

As we mentioned earlier, the fluidity of your toner will help determine the best way to apply it. Traditional toners are water-like fluids and come in large, easy-to-use bottles. This is quite different from newer toner breeds that often come in spray bottles or products with a serum-like consistency.

Depending on these differences, the way you apply your toner should be guided by how the manufacturer has designed their product to work. A quick check on the label will let you know the consistency of the solution and the best way to apply it.

A pro tip for toner pads is to pre-dampen the cotton pad with water. Then squeeze out the excess fluid and apply your chosen toner. By wetting the cotton pad this way, you stop it from absorbing your product. This ensures that the toner stays on the surface of the pad, reducing waste and giving you maximum skincare benefits.

Quick Tips on How to Apply Toners on Different Skin Types

While the type of toner and effectiveness of your cleanser are the main considerations when it comes to applying a toner by hand, you also need to consider your skin type. There are a few ways to apply your toner for maximum benefits for each skin type. Here is a quick overview of how to go about it:

1.  Oily and Combination Skin: Apply Toner with Cotton Pads

The most recommended way to apply toner for oily and combination skin types is to use a cotton pad. Using a toner pad allows you to make your skin smoother and softer by exfoliating it gently. Cotton pads also help to grab any impurities and excess oil that may be sitting on top of the skin. Using a cotton pad is also ideal for other skin types when following up with a treatment like a serum or vitamin C because it better preps the skin to absorb what’s coming next.

To apply toner with a cotton pad, wipe the skin gently starting from the inner to the outer part of the face. Make sure the cotton pad is sturdy and compressed for best results.

2. Normal to Dry and Sensitive Skin: Apply Toner with Hands

When applying a toner with your hands, you can feel the immediate hydration to the skin. For people with dry or sensitive skin types, this method works great and produces good results. By combining gentle tapping motions and the natural heat of the hands, you help the toner absorb better. You can also press your hands on the skin gently for a few seconds for faster and deeper absorption into the skin.

3. Very Dry Skin: Apply Toner with a DIY Sheet Mask

For very dry and super-sensitive skin types, the most hydrating method is to use a toner as a sheet mask. Wet a few cottons pads the toner and then apply them to the face. Leave the toner pads for about 5-10 minutes and follow it up with a cream or light lotion to lock in the moisture. This approach will help your skin stay hydrated for longer and allow makeup to apply easily and stay put for a longer time.

4.  Another Way: Apply Skin Toner as a Mist

Another way to get all the benefits from asking for toner is using it as a mist throughout the day. The method is more moisturizing than a traditional water-based mist and applying the toner with your hands. However, you may need to avoid using toner as a mist when you have makeup or sunscreen on.

Where to Buy the Right Toner for Your Skin Type

The benefits of applying a skin toner cannot be overlooked. While most people wonder if it’s okay to apply toner with hands, the approach will depend on the kind of products you use and the effectiveness of your cleanser. If you’re interested in buying a toner you can apply with your hands without compromising the results, Shop Palace Beauty offers you a wide selection to choose from. Be sure to check out our online store and pick a top product to enhance your skincare routine.