The main difference between toner and serum is that toner is a water-based product which restores skin pH level and removes cleanser residue. While, a good serum comes in both oil-based and water-based texture to deal with targeted skincare solutions.

Even if you use the most exceptional skincare products, if the order of the products is in the wrong, you might be preventing your skin from receiving full benefits. Well, the correct order of skincare products is cleanser —toner — serum —moisturiser.

Read on to know more about the importance of correct order of products in skincare routine and understand the difference between, toner, serum and moisturiser so that you wouldn’t want to skip any of the skincare steps.

What Is Toner?

Toner is a water-based skincare product that penetrates easily into the deeper layers of the skin to increase the skin’s absorption capacity and give a hydration boost. Read along to learn more about the benefits of toner for face

Benefits of Toner

  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Removes the remains of cleanser
  • Rejuvenates your skin
  • Tightens enlarged pores

How and When to Use Toner?

Toner is supposed to be used after using a face wash to remove the last traces of a cleanser. You can apply it by using moist cotton or pat it gently with your palms for maximum hydration.

What’s After Toner?

The next step after toner application is to massage your face with a hydrating serum based on your skin concerns. This is true for the PM skincare routine as well.

What Is Face Serum?

Face serum comes in a lightweight formulation with active ingredients and exfoliating agents. It comes in an oil-based or oil-free texture but is less thick than moisturisers. Here’s more about the benefits of serum for face.

Benefits of Serum

  • Caters specific skincare solutions for oily, dry and acne-prone skin types
  • Has anti-ageing benefits
  • Minimises the size of pores
  • Improves skin texture and skin tone
  • Fades dark spots, ageing spots, and pigmentation
  • Protects against sun damage
  • Reduces the appearance of dark circles

How and When to Use Serum?

A face serum is to be applied after toner and before moisturiser twice a day in the morning and nighttime skincare routine. Take 2-3 drops of serum between your palms, and press it all over your face for even application.

What’s After Serum?

After using a face serum, go ahead with applying an under-eye cream and face cream based on your skin type.

What Is Moisturizer?

A moisturiser comes in a thick creamy (water-in-oil) or gel-based (oil-in-water) texture to provide intense hydration and nourishment to your skin. Made with a combination of natural humectant and emollients, it helps improve the natural moisture barrier function of the skin while keeping it healthy & glowing.

Benefits of Moisturiser

  • Adds intense moisture and nourishment to the skin
  • Repairs and smoothens out skin texture
  • Promotes collagen production and cell turnover
  • Rejuvenated skin while adding natural glow

How and When to Use Moisturizer?

A moisturiser is to be applied after using a serum once in the day time skincare routine and once in the PM skincare routine.

What’s After Moisturiser?

After applying the moisturiser, use sunscreen with a broad-spectrum formula of SPF 30 or above for your daytime skincare. Whereas for nighttime skincare, use retinol after moisturiser for anti-ageing treatment.

What is the Difference Between Toner, Serum & Moisturiser?

A toner, serum, and moisturiser may seem to have the same relationship with our skin moisturisation, but all of them have something specific to offer. From consistency to their application and benefits, all three are versatile superstars for ultimate skincare. You may ask, what exactly is the difference between toner, serum and moisturiser? Check out the table below:

Toner comes in a water-based formulation with quick-absorbing consistencySerum is high in concentration of active ingredients with a lightweight textureIt comes in gel-based or cream-based texture based on skin type
Second step in skincare after cleanserThird step in skincare after tonerFourth step in skincare after serum
It refreshes the skin, tightens pores, removes cleanser residue & dead skin cellsIt glides into the epidermal layers to hydrate, protect and nourish combating several concerns: fine lines, dark spots, large pores, and hyperpigmentation.It works as a protective barrier between the surface of the face and the climate to maintain optimal moisture levels of the skin keeping soft & smooth.
Toner vs Serum vs Moisturiser

Next time you’re confused about choosing toner vs serum or serum vs toner remember both of them have equal parts to play. Considering, the difference between serum and moisturiser:  serum contains specific ingredients to treat a variety of skin conditions, whereas a moisturiser is particularly beneficial to deeply hydrate the skin and protect the natural moisture barrier of the skin.

What is the Correct Skincare Order?

Now that we are aware of the roles of toner vs serum vs moisturiser, let’s discuss toner or serum first and its correct order in skincare.

Whats the Correct Skincare Order - Toner or Serum First
Whats the Correct Skincare Order – Toner or Serum First

Step 1 – Cleanser
Step 2 – Toner
Step 3 – Serum
Step 4 – Eye Cream
Step 5 – Spot Treatments
Step 6 – Moisturiser
Step 7 – Sunscreen for Dry Time Skincare
Step 7 – Retinol for Night Time Skincare

Step 1- Cleanse

The basic step to your skincare routine is a clean face canvas. Use a gentle exfoliating face wash to deeply cleanse your face, remove dead skin cells, and unclog pores.

Acne Control Mattifying Face Cleanser: Green Tea, Moringa & Aloe Vera

Organic Harvest Acne Control Mattifying Face Cleanser is infused with green tea, moringa and aloe vera extracts. It works great to gently exfoliate congested pores and help you get rid of dirt and impurities accumulated on the face. It also helps perk up dead skin cells and prevent acne while leaving a nourishing effect on the skin. This organic face cleanser with the benefits of green tea for skin is suitable for oily, combination and acne-prone skin.

Youthful Glow Face Cleanser: Saffron, Oat Milk & Peach

Organic Youthful Glow Face Cleanser is made with the right concoction of saffron, oat milk and peach extracts. It helps clear out all the dead skin cells, grime and impurities deep-seated on the face. Made with the benefits of saffron for the skin, it adds a natural glow to your skin while keeping it squeaky clean and soft. It helps protect your skin against sun damage, prevent early signs of ageing and impart a healthy glow.

Step 2- Toner

The first product that should be used after cleansing the skin is face toner. It is important to use a toner after cleansing your face to minimise large and open pores and remove excess oil and residue from the skin. It also helps clean clogged pores, resulting in lesser acne issues, and restores skin’s freshness and pH balance. However, many people tend to pick — toner vs serum, because there’s an assumption that toner would irritate the skin. Fortunately, that is not the case with the emergence of organic toners.

Organic Harvest Recommended Toners

Organic Harvest brings you an extensive collection of organic toners for many more skin concerns including skin infections, dry skin, large pores, excess sebum production and dirt. These face toners are made from plant extracts that are cultivated without the involvement of hazardous chemical pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides. Our cosmetic experts ensure the products undergo rigorous testing standards to deliver 100% purity with no harmful additives. Given below are some of the Organic toners that will change your skincare game forever.

Acne Control Mattifying Face Toner: Neem & Tulsi

Organic Harvest’s Acne Control Mattifying Face Toner With Neem & Tulsi is a certified organic product made with plant-derived ingredients free from parabens, sulphates or any harmful additives. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Neem and Tulsi make it the best toner for acne-prone skin to soothe your face. Its water-based organic toner helps in minimising large open pores and removing excess oil and is ideal for oily skin types.

Youthful Glow Face Toner: Saffron & Oat Milk

Organic Harvest’s Youthful Glow Face Toner contains a richness of saffron, oat milk and other plant oils. This organic toner removes the last traces of dirt and balances the skin’s pH level while minimising enlarged pores. The nourishing effect of saffron and oat milk helps soften the texture and keep your skin moisturised. As it is an organic formula, it is suitable for all skin types.

Green Cucumber Toner for Minimising Large Pores

Green Cucumber Toner for Minimising Large Pores
Green Cucumber Toner for Minimising Large Pores

Organic Harvest’s Green Cucumber Toner is 100% organic toner made with plant-derived ingredients. The water-based consistency of the toner helps in minimising large and open pores and removing excess oil from the skin. It has antibacterial properties preventing skin infections and its cooling properties help in soothing the irritated skin. If you are searching for an organic skincare toner with no paraben, mineral oil or animal ingredients which is suitable for all skin types, this one will be your best friend!

Price: 445 INR
Buy Link: Green Cucumber Toner

Step 3 – Serum

After using toner what is next? The second product that goes after applying toner is a serum. With exposure to the harmful UV rays of sun, dirt and pollutants, the skin starts to age prematurely, leading to the appearance of fine lines and spots on the surface of the skin. Comparing serum vs toner — face serums have active ingredients to serve as an excellent boost solution for uneven skin tone, fine lines, dull skin and a variety of skin concerns.

Organic Harvest Recommended Face Serums

Organic Harvest has curated 100% pure face serums for a variety of skin benefits to achieve a radiant complexion, lighten pigmentation, improve skin elasticity, treat inflammation and most importantly defy the signs of ageing. Our team ensures these Organic skincare products are free from any chemicals, or additives while choosing the right ingredients that will work for your skin. You can check out the following organic face serums as per your preferences.

Brightening Face Serum: Kakadu Plum, Acai Berry & Rice Water

Organic Harvest’s Brightening Face Serum is enriched with the goodness of kakadu plum, acai berry & rice water. Made with a higher concentration of vitamin C serum benefits, it helps manage skincare concerns such as uneven skin tone, treat skin imperfections and pigmentation. With regular usage, it can help you brighten your skin complexion. One of the best parts is that it contains no toxic chemicals or additives making it suitable for all skin types.

Anti-pigmentation Face Serum: Kakadu Plum, Acai Berry & Almonds

Organic Harvest Anti-pigmentation Face Serum With Kakadu Plum, Acai Berry & Almonds is an ultra-hydrating serum that helps in reducing melanin production, lightening pigmentation, and resulting in a healthy skin glow. This best anti-pigmentation serum also protects the skin from sun damage and prevents wrinkle formation and an even skin tone. The gel-based smooth consistency of this organic serum is made for all skin types.

Youthful Glow Face Serum: Saffron & Oat Milk

Organic Harvest Youthful Glow Face Serum With Saffron & Oat Milk has great moisturising intent to defy the process of ageing while reducing the appearance of fine lines and creases on the face. It also helps reduce pigmentation and impart a youthful glow to your face. Made with a super absorbing lightweight texture, this organic serum is suitable for all skin types.

Step 4 – Eye Cream

After applying the face serum use a moisturising under-eye cream to fight dark circles and remove puffiness. If you’re looking to get rid of under-eye bags and dark circles permanently, your skin will bless you for this!

Moroccan Argan Oil Anti Wrinkle Under Eye Cream

St.Botanica Moroccan Argan Oil Anti Wrinkle Under Eye Cream is made using premium botanical extracts and natural oils like argan oil, vitamin E and B3. It is a fast-absorbing formula that prevents fine lines near the under-eye areas, replenishes texture, and keeps them hydrated for long hours. Using it on a daily basis helps reduce under-eye puffiness, and dark circles, and improve skin firmness. It is one of the best under-eye creams for dark circles suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.

Step 5 – Spot Treatment

Spot treatments mainly target concerned areas of skin such as blemishes, acne, patchy skin texture, infections, and fine lines. It is one of the crucial skincare steps after the use of serum and toner.

Step 6 – Moisturiser

The final product that should be used once the serum gets fully absorbed into the skin cells is a moisturiser. Whether you have dry or oily skin type, a moisturiser is a must. It provides the much-needed hydration to the skin for soft and supple skin. Moreover, a moisturiser helps to further prep the skin for the day ahead. You can also consider a face moisturiser with an SPF as it will provide a dose of SPF protection and impart a dewy glow simultaneously.

Organic Harvest Recommended Moisturisers

Organic Harvest brings you an extensive range of moisturisers or face creams impregnated with  100% organic ingredients and are PABA and Paraben free, Mineral Oil-free and animal ingredients free. These organic face creams are devised to combat different skin problems of acne, pigmentation, discolouration, and more. Explore a few of the organic face creams below and up your skincare regime to make way for gorgeous looking healthy skin.

Acne Control Mattifying Day Cream: Green Tea & Moringa

Organic Harvest Acne Control Mattifying Day Cream With Green Tea & Moringa is enriched with moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties to keep your skin moisturised and happy. Essentially, it is an oil-control designed for acne-prone skin to prevent blemishes and keep your skin fresh, clear, and soft. This day cream is 100% organic and cruelty-free with zero harmful chemicals like paraben, mineral oil and animal ingredients, making it suitable for daily use for all skin types.

Anti-Pigmentation Face Cream: Kakadu Plum, Acai Berry & Almonds

Organic Harvest Anti-Pigmentation Face Cream is made using the goodness of Kakadu Plum, Acai Berry & Almonds. It has a non-greasy cream formula to combat all kinds of skin imperfections such as dullness, pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Enriched with potent nourishing ingredients, it is the best cream for pigmentation that offers intense hydration to your face and promotes collagen production leaving you with a youthful-looking skin appearance.

Youthful Glow Face Cream: Saffron, Oat Milk & Peach

Organic Harvest’s Youthful Glow Face Cream With Saffron, Oat Milk & Peach is a unique formulation to fight acne and dark spots. This organic face cream is extremely effective to treat myriad of skin conditions in curing blemishes, delays ageing and gives a youthful face glow. It also helps in flight damage against environmental stressors. As it is 100% organic and cruelty-free containing no paraben, mineral oils, and animal ingredients, it is ideal for all skin types.

Price: 499 INR
Buy Link: Youthful Glow Face Cream: Saffron, Oat Milk & Peach

Step 7- Sunscreen for Daytime Skincare

Sunscreen not only offers UV protection but also shields all the layers of skincare done so far. Take a coin size amount of a non-greasy sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and slather it evenly on your face to protect your skin against free radicals damage and premature ageing.

Sunscreen – Oily Skin SPF 60

Sunscreen for Oily Skin

Organic Harvest Sunscreen for oily skin with SPF 60 is made with blue light technology and a water-resistant texture to provide ultimate indoor and outdoor protection against the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It has a matte finish effect and doesn’t feel greasy on the face making it the best sunscreen for oily skin.

Price: 495 INR
Buy Link: Sunscreen – Oily Skin SPF 60

Step 7- Retinol for Night Time Skincare

For all of the steps till spot treatment in your PM skincare regime. But instead of sunscreen, use retinol to provide added nourishment to your skin with anti-ageing benefits. It prevents the onset of early signs of ageing.

Pro Tip- Make sure to keep a 15-20 seconds gap after applying each product while following the toner, serum and moisturiser order.


Can I use toner and serum together?

No, you will need to apply the toner first to get rid of the last traces of the face cleanser and increase skin absorption capacity. Then go ahead with serum for face.

What do you use first cleanser or toner?

Take a mild foaming cleanser to ensure your face is squeaky clean. Now, use moist cotton to apply a toner to remove cleanser residue and prep your skin.

Can I use serum without toner?

One should always use a toner after cleansing the face and before using a serum. Both of these skincare products have different benefits to offer hence one should not skip the toner before applying a serum.

Do I use a serum before or after toner?

One should apply the serum after using a toner to further prep the skin for maximum hydration and allow the skin to absorb the serum better.

What goes on the first serum or moisturiser?

Skin experts recommend applying the serum first and then a moisturiser because the serum contains active ingredients in lightweight consistency whereas the moisturiser is comparatively thicker, giving the skin an opportunity to absorb active ingredients first and then lock in the moisture.

Can I skip moisturiser and use a serum?

As we already know serum and moisturiser both have different functions and benefits for the skin. The serum contains antioxidant active ingredients taking care of various skin conditions and a moisturiser helps protect the natural moisture barrier of the skin with its intense hydration capabilities.

Can we apply serum after toner?

Yes, it is important to hydrate your skin and get rid of the remains of the face cleanser before applying the face serum.

When to use toner and serum?

You have to apply toner after cleansing and before using the face serum.

How to use toner and serum?

Firstly, double-cleanse your face, and follow it up with a toner using moist cotton. Now take 2-3 drops of serum between your palms, rub it to activate the ingredients, and press it all over the face.

Can I use serum after toner?

Yes, ideally you will have to apply a toner and then go ahead with using a serum for the face.

Is toner before or after serum?

Toner must be applied before serum to prep your skin for maximum absorption by giving a hydration hit.


Organic Skincare products if used in the correct sequence of toner serum moisturiser order – benefits are endless. Now that there’s no confusion about using a toner first or serum first we bet you to start your skincare journey in the right direction and achieve gorgeously spotless and supple skin!

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