Regardless of whether your skin type is dry as a sponge or oily as a chip shop, depending on what product you’re putting on your skin, a dry or damp surface will make a difference to how you absorb it.

In terms of face toners, generally speaking, they should be applied to dry skin. They’re also a handy skin-dampening step to prepare your complexion for the serums that are about to follow.

Bookmark this handy list to remember what products should be applied to dry skin and which to apply to damp skin.


Exfoliators (AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs) like my Resurfacing AHA Toner.

Retinols or retinoids.

Acne medications.

Oil-based cleansers like cleansing oils and balms.


Water-based cleansers, like mousses, gels, and creams.

Serums (without potentially irritating ingredients like retinol or chemical exfoliants).

Face oils.


Hydrating Masks.