Do You Use Salicylic Acid Before Or After Toner

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Do You Use Salicylic Acid Before or After Toner? Here’s the Correct Order

For a clearer and healthier complexion, exfoliating and toning are must-do steps in any skincare routine. But where do salicylic acid and toner fit in? This article will delve into their roles, guiding you on the best order to use them for optimal results.

Salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), penetrates deep into pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe acne and prevent breakouts. On the other hand, toner removes any remaining impurities, balances the skin’s pH level, and prepares it for subsequent skincare products.

Salicylic Acid Before or After Toner?

The general rule is to use salicylic acid before toner. This allows salicylic acid to work its magic by unclogging pores and targeting blemishes without the risk of being diluted or blocked by toner.

After cleansing your face, apply salicylic acid as per the product’s instructions. Allow it to remain on your skin for a few minutes before moving to the next step.

Benefits of Using Salicylic Acid Before Toner

  • Unclogged Pores: Salicylic acid breaks down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, enabling them to be easily removed by toner.
  • Reduced Oil Production: Salicylic acid regulates sebum production, preventing clogged pores and minimizing breakouts.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: The soothing properties of salicylic acid help reduce skin irritation and redness associated with acne.
  • Improved Absorption: By using salicylic acid before toner, you enhance the absorption of the subsequent skincare products by removing any barriers.

Tips for Using Salicylic Acid and Toner

Start Gradually: If you’re new to using salicylic acid, start by using it once a week and gradually increase frequency as your skin tolerates it.

Avoid Over-Exfoliation: Excessive use of salicylic acid can lead to skin dryness and irritation. Use it in moderation and pay attention to your skin’s response.

Moisturize Regularly: Since salicylic acid can have drying effects, it’s essential to moisturize your skin regularly, especially after using it.

Sun Protection: Salicylic acid can make skin more sensitive to sunlight. Always wear sunscreen to protect your skin from damage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use salicylic acid with other skincare products?
A: It’s generally safe to use salicylic acid with other skincare products, but it’s best to avoid combining it with other exfoliators or harsh ingredients to prevent irritation.

Q: How often should I use salicylic acid?
A: Depending on your skin type and tolerance, you can use salicylic acid once a week to multiple times a day. Always start with less frequent use and adjust as needed.


Incorporating salicylic acid into your skincare routine is a great way to combat acne, unclog pores, and improve skin health. Remember to use it before toner for optimal results. By following the tips outlined above, you can effectively address your skin concerns and achieve a clearer, healthier complexion.

Are you interested in giving salicylic acid and toner a try? Share your experiences and any questions you have in the comments below.

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