Either you take off the lid and use a cotton ball; or use your fingers and get them wet and then put it on your face....... or, you screw on the pump and either SPRAY it on your face or onto the cotton ball/pad.
I bought the pump, but dont' use it. I just put my two fingers over the top of the bottle and turn it over; just to get my fingers wet and then rub it on my face.
There are two kinds of pumps. There's a spray pump, which I prefer for the liquid solution. I spray my fingers with the solution and then apply it to my face. Far less messier than any other method I've found. The other kind of pump is more for applying it to a cotton ball--it's like a spout. Neither of the pumps are necessary, but I really like the spray pump. If I have body blemishes, it's also conveniently easy to spray onto the body.