Finding the best toner for your skin concerns can be a game-changer, especially if your end goal is dewy, luminous skin. For the unfamiliar, a toner is designed to help remove the debris that your cleanser or face wash might have missed and to prep your skin for the next step in your routine. “I think of them more as an adjunct or add-on to your skin-care routine,” says Rhode Island-based board-certified dermatologist Tiffany Libby, MD.
Toners of the past were known for their astringent properties, which often dried skin out, but nowadays many of them (including alcohol-free toners) cater to sensitive skin. In fact, thanks to the addition of certain active ingredients, toner formulations are now able to target an array of skin concerns, such as the loss of collagen or excess oiliness that can lead to breakouts.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Charlotte Tilbury Daily Glow Toner, $55
- Best for Dry Skin: Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, $36
- Best Drugstore: CeraVe Alcohol-Free Hydrating Toner, $11
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Paula’s Choice Calm Nourishing Milky Toner, $24
- Best Luxury: Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner, $48
- Best for Dull Skin: Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic, $29
- Best for Oily Skin: Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner, $35
- Best Hybrid (Makeup Remover): Versed Baby Cheeks Hydrating Milk Toner, $18
Board-certified dermatologist Sapna Palep, MD, tells Allure toners that hydrate and smooth out fine lines often contain antioxidants, amino acids, and hyaluronic acid. On the other hand, toners that treat acne-prone skin often include salicylic acid (a type of beta hydroxy acid or BHA) or glycolic acid (a type of alpha hydroxy acid or AHA), which can even out skin tone and treat hyperpigmentation.
Just as there are different ingredients for you to choose from, there is more than one way to apply toner. It’s really up to an individual’s preference: you can use your hands, or cotton pads (Dr. Palep’s preference). And beyond the traditional bottled liquid, toners can also come in other delivery systems, such as gel sticks and face mists. (Dr. Libby particularly loves the spray formulations.)
But with so many toners out there in the market, it can be difficult to know what to pick for your specific skin needs. That being said, we’ve tried them all, so you don’t have to. Scroll down to find the best toner to add to your skin-care routine.
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