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Toner – Before Or After Clay Mask?

by Gabbi

Clay masks are a relaxing element to any skincare routine, and if you have slowly been updating yours, you may start feeling overwhelmed. Once you start adding various products to your regimen, it can be hard to know what to use first, or whether you even need to use a certain item at all.

Toner is another popular skincare product that most people don’t understand how to incorporate into their routine. Toners are a great product to balance your skin’s pH or supplement the skin with additional benefits like hydrating properties.

However, what if you want to use both products in your skincare routine at once? Depending on what kind of toner or clay mask you use, you can combine them to create the ideal spa night routine. You may even discover your perfect regimen.

Do you use toner before or after a clay mask? This depends on a few factors. Some skincare specialists will say to use it after a mask to restore hydration, and others will say to use it before and after a clay mask to prepare and hydrate your skin.

The truth is, it will depend on what ingredients are in your toner and clay mask. For example, if both your toner and clay mask contain a BHA, chances are you don’t need to use both, so you don’t have to risk irritation from over-exfoliation. 

Should You Use Toner Before Or After Clay Mask? 


A toner is a skincare product that cleanses the skin, balances the skin’s pH level, and offers supplemental benefits. Toners are typically used after cleansing and before moisturizers. Now, some people can confuse toners and micellar water. 

Nowadays, the skincare industry is evolving faster than ever. As a result, toners aren’t as necessary as they used to be. For example, cleanser formulas were usually over-stripping, and toner was needed to balance the skin’s pH level.

However, cleansers currently have evolved their formulas to be hydrating, and they don’t contain as many harsh ingredients. That doesn’t mean toners don’t do anything for the skin. 

For example, toners can be formulated with exfoliating acids like BHAs, the most popular being Salicylic Acid. These toners will minimize the appearance of pores and help treat skin issues like blackheads, acne, and more. 

If you’re on the hunt for one to try, we recommend this skin brightening toner that contains BHAs and AHAs.

In addition, toners can also be hydrating. They can be formulated with hydrating properties like Hyaluronic Acid and Rice Extracts. 

Clay Masks 

Clay masks can also have various formulas. Some clay masks are also formulated with multiple BHAs or AHAs. On the other hand, they can also be more hydrating. Your skin’s needs will help determine what clay masks will suit you the best. 

Clay masks are a purifying and clarifying product that will absorb toxins, dirt, pollutants, and oil from the skin. However, it’s crucial to ensure you use a compatible toner with your mask to achieve the best results. 

In addition, clay masks are a treatment that can be used at home and are usually left to dry on the skin for 15-20 minutes on average. This clay mask helps reduce pore size and is perfect for unwinding at the end of the day.

If you’re interested in how you can pair a toner and a clay mask, make sure to follow along. 

How To Structure Your Skincare Routine 

So when should you use your toner? Well, you don’t have to use a toner both before and after a mask. However, since cleansers aren’t nearly as stripping as they once were, they don’t need to use a toner to balance pH levels.

If you have an exfoliating toner and you are pairing it with an exfoliating mask, you may want to ditch the toner altogether. For example, if both your toner and mask contain Salicylic Acid, using them together puts you at risk for over-exfoliation and irritation.

However, if you have a hydrating toner with an exfoliating mask, you will reap the most benefits if you use a toner after the mask. This will ensure you’re not washing your toner away instantly, and your skin can actually absorb the toner properly.

Overall, it depends on the ingredient list of your toner and clay mask. The formulations of both of these products will inform you if they are compatible and if you can pair them together. 

If you can’t pair them together, it may be wise to ditch your toner altogether. However, if they are compatible, you can use the toner after the clay mask so you can reap the benefits of both the toner and mask instead of washing one off. 

Skincare can be confusing, but as long as you keep your routine simple and educate yourself on the products you have, you’ll be on track to perfect skin in no time.

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