I don't shave every day. If I try to apply skin toner to my face with a cotton pad, and I haven't recently shaven, then the pad gets carded to shreds against my facial stubble.

My toner is expensive, so I don't want to try to dab it on my face with something thicker that will soak up too much (like a washcloth).

How can I apply toner to my face, sparingly, when I have rough stubble?

3 Answers 3


Pour some toner the size of a quarter into your palm, touch palms briefly together and press both palms against your face stubble to transfer the toner.


There's nothing to shred if you use a leather pad.

Forget a cotton pad. Vegetable material such as cotton is made from matting tiny fibres together. When you pull it across your beard stubble you are effectively "carding" the cotton. Carding is a "combing" process used to separate cotton fibres for manufacturing cloth and thread by "spinning." The spinning twists the tiny fibres into longer workable ones.Then the threads are weaved into a fabric pad. You are reversing the process and shredding the fibres all over again.

There's nothing so soft as chamois leather. Chamois is softer than silk when moist. It is very absorbent so don't use a big sheet of it for your expensive toner.

Chamois is tough as it's leather and will outlast any fabric or woven material

You can get it at a hardware store in a piece big enough to wash a car——cut a small square from the edge to use as your applicator.

Wash the chamois before use according to the directions on the bag. Then, keep the same piece for applying the toner. Wash it well after use and store it on top of your toner bottle to keep it handy.


Do you pay attention to the "grain" (direction) of your hair growth?

Have you noticed that going "with" the grain allows your hair stubble to lie flat with little resistance? Going "against" the grain lifts the stubble so that it becomes a stiff brush.

Use the cotton pad to go according to the direction pattern of your hair growth.

If the pad snags, go in the opposite direction for application and removal of skin toner.

  • Yes, good idea. But it takes a few days for my hair to grow long enough to lie down; I'm asking about that period where the stubble is essentially poking straight out without a lie and feels like sandpaper regardless of the direction of stroke.
    – Lysander
    Sep 11, 2018 at 13:53
  • @Lysander Ask your barber to show you the grain of your hair growth. No matter the length, hair follicles have a "direction" of growth although you might not be aware of it.
    – Stan
    Oct 12, 2018 at 14:31

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