The purpose of a toner is to keep the skin clean and healthy. Some people believe that skincare toners should burn or sting a little when they apply them to prove that it's working. This is a serious misconception.
Is toner supposed to burn? The simple answer is no. Your toner is not supposed to burn or sting when applied. A toner can only cause a burning sensation if it contains an active ingredient.
If you notice that your face or skin is burning after applying a toner, then there may be a problem with the formula. You should immediately rinse your face to wash off the product. Toners should not burn your skin.
What Does it Mean When a Toner Burns Your Skin?
Whenever you feel a burning sensation on your skin after using a toner, it could be as a result of any of these:
1. You Applied it on a Sensitive or Broken Skin
If you have a highly sensitive skin, it's important to know what kind of toner to use and when. Toner burns are usually caused by products that contain alcohol, which causes irritation when applied to sensitive skin. But alcohol itself is not a bad skincare ingredient but can cause pain if applied to sensitive skin.
If you experience this problem with any of your skincare products, try switching up the formula so that you're not using any ingredients that might be too strong for your skin type.
2. The Toner Contains High Sensitizing and Irritating Ingredients
When your toner burns, you can easily identify the difference between them being too hot or too little. If the toner burns you, this could be a sign that some ingredients contain irritants that could cause skin redness or irritation. This is a similar case with some moisturizers. You can check out this post on why does moisturizer burn to learn more.
Skincare toner is supposed to be refreshing and smooth, but sometimes it can feel too harsh when it contains a high concentration of irritating ingredients.
3. Your Skin is Allergic to Particular Ingredients in The Toner
A good rule of thumb is to familiarize yourself with the ingredients in your toner. Reading the product label and doing a bit of research to know possible reactions the ingredients could have on a skin would go a long way in helping you avoid certain products.
4. You're Using a Lot of Acidic Products
Using many active acidic ingredients in multiple steps of your skincare routine can also cause a burning sensation. Your skin or face does not need to be exfoliated when using a toner every day.
If you must use multiple skin care products with active ingredients, consider spacing out their usage throughout your routine to ensure you are not causing burning.
What to Do if Toner Burns Your Face
- If your toner burns your face, you most likely need to stop using it immediately and get relief. Do not believe that it will stop in the future if you continue. The burning is a sign that an ingredient in the formula does not agree with your skin type. If your skin is in bad shape, contact a dermatologist and ask for something to reduce the pain and to help reduce the appearance of scars.
- You can consider only using the toner every 2-4 days instead of daily. Usually, using too much of this product when it does not agree with your face or skin type will lead to burning because it can remove too much of your protective layers.
- If you notice that your toner is burning your skin when you apply it, try using a higher SPF or lower pH toner that does not contain alcohol. Not all alcohol in products can cause irritation, so if any does, try a product without alcohol instead.
- It's important to note that some of the toner burns result from incorrect usage. So I advise you to check the label for the correct usage to follow throughout the routine.
Is Toner Supposed to Make Your Face Red?
No, toner is not supposed to make your face red. A toner provides gentle exfoliation and brightened skin through a gentle application, leaving your skin looking and feeling cleaner, brighter, and more even-toned.
Please note that having a red skin after using a toner is a major red flag. The facial skin layer is very thin and your nerves and blood vessels are closer to the face than other skin parts.
Harsh toners can easily create reddened skin or inflammation when applied to the skin or a sensitive part. It can also cause burning because of a high compression of acids, alcohol, or other irritating ingredients in the formula. You can check out this post on toner vs serum to know which could be best for your skin at any point in time.
Red skin or face is not a sign that your skincare is “working.”
How Do You Apply Toner to Avoid Burning?
- The first step is to make sure your skin is clean and dry. You can use a cleansing cloth or soft cotton pad with water to remove dirt or makeup from your face.
- If the bottle has a dropper applicator, remove the cap, shake it, or pour until the product is on top of the cotton pad and apply it to your face.
- If it doesn't have a cotton pad, just spring the product on your face
- You can also pour some of the product onto your palm or finger palm and then dab it into your face with circular motions.
- You can use a compressed shape mask by pouring the toner on it and wearing the mask on your face.
How Should Skin Feel After Applying Toner?
After applying toner to your face, you may feel the product's benefits, with your skin feeling cleansed, absorbed, and refreshed.
However, after a few weeks of usage, as prescribed, your face or skin will appear softer, smoother, clear, and bright.
Gentle Toner Recommendations That Won’t Burn or Sting Sensitive Skin
If you have a sensitive skin, or just need a toner you can use without being bothered about burns to your skin, I highly recommend you try out Madamglow Witch Hazel Face Toner for all skin types.