11 Best Toners For Every Skin Type

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Elevating your skincare routine doesn't need to be an expensive affair — making tiny changes like reading the ingredients of products to accommodate your skin type, adjusting the frequency of usage, and understanding what your skin needs from you can really make all the difference. Introducing a toner into your routine is one of those minor changes that may seem unnecessary until you can't live without it.

"Think of toner as prep for your pores," Charlotte Cho, the co-founder of Soko Glam and a licensed esthetician, told Allure. "It brings your skin back to its natural acidic state, sweeping impurities away and helping your skin absorb your skincare products. Your skin is like a dried-up sponge. If you put a thick cream on a brittle dry sponge, it won't accept it and it isn't 'prepped' for moisture. But if you wet the sponge, the cream will sink in more easily."

The effectiveness of every step in your routine — including the expensive serums, moisturizers, and treatments — can vastly improve when you prep your skin with the right toner. Toners themselves are infused with actives, exfoliants, and soothing ingredients that can make it a very important first step after cleansing. However, with the number of toners in the market, it can be difficult to navigate the space. If you're looking for a little help with the search, look no further. We've scoured retailers and carts to create a list of the best toners.

How we selected the toners

Originally, toners were created to remove remnants of makeup, impurities, and bacteria as well as soapy residue (via Dermatology Times). Those toners acted as cleansers and astringents for pores but were often alcohol-based, leading to incredibly dry skin. Now, toner formulations are more gentle while offering many other benefits like exfoliation, hydration, and maintenance of pH level.

With a range of benefits comes a range of toners to choose from. We've curated a list of the best toners you can buy — some at your local drugstore, some at Sephora — based on thousands of positive reviews and beauty editor recommendations. These toners have won awards and incredible clout all over the internet. We've factored in various skin types and the concerns, so you'll find toners that are extra moisturizing, anti-aging, oil-free, and more. Almost all have nourishing active ingredients that will boost any skincare routine. Scour through our list of toners to find the one that fits into yours.

Best overall

The reason the No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C Glow toner won this round of best on the market is that it can be adopted into any home, regardless of skin types or concerns. The water-based toner works for every skin type, from dry and oily to combination skin types; it has something for everyone. Specifically, it has AHAs to exfoliate your pores without stripping them of oil, willow bark extract as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient, and aloe vera to soothe your skin.

It's also infused with 2% vitamin C which brightens your complexion while helping with hyperpigmentation. "[Vitamin C] neutralizes free radical damage and protects the skin against UV light and other environmental aggressors, as well as blocking abnormal production of pigmentation to even skin tone and fade dark spots," dermatologist Joshua Zeichner told Vogue.

It's no wonder then, that this toner won a Best of Beauty Award from Allure. Reviewers on Target's website have given it a 4.6 out of 5 stars, and one reviewer called it the "best toner ever," explaining that it's "the only toner that has not caused any breakouts for me. I have oily, acne prone skin so I'm skeptical with trying new products. it has left my skin with an amazing glow and no breakouts."

Price: The No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C Glow toner retails for $14.99 at Target.

Size: 6.7 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: 2% Vitamin C complex

Best budget

Another brightening toner comes at a price tag that's easy on the wallet. Brand e.l.f, whom we can always look to for standout products on a budget, has a toner that is packed with ingredients that exfoliate, brighten, and soothe. Aloe vera and glycolic acid are right at the top of the ingredient list; aloe vera is known to calm redness while glycolic acid, a chemical exfoliant from the AHA family, helps speed up cell turnover and stimulate collagen production (via Verywell Health). The toner also has witch hazel and castor oil, both of which will soothe and revitalize your skin.

On Amazon, the toner has 4.4 stars out of 5 and one reviewer may believe it deserves a higher rating. " It's like E.L.F harnessed the power of g**damn Aphrodite to make this. The price is amazing for what it is," they said. Another reviewer gave us insight into how they used it, writing, "It really brightens up my skin up in the morning and removes cream cleanser traces in the evening. I pretty much love all things e.l.f., but this is an exceptional product, great value. It's tingly but not overly so."

Price: The e.l.f. Supertone Toner retails for $8 at Amazon.

Size: 5.1 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: Glycolic acid

Best drugstore

This toner was declared to be "just as good as [luxury skincare brands] La Mer and Laszlo," according to a reviewer, which is probably why you'll find it behind locked shelves at your local CVS. The La Roche Posay Effaclar Astringent is an anti-acne potion that uses LHA, a gentler derivative of salicylic acid, to exfoliate and unblock pores effectively. "Chemical exfoliants [like LHA] dissolve the 'cement' that holds dead skin cells on the skin's surface, allowing them to be shed more efficiently,"dermatologist David Lortscher told Hello Giggles.

Glycerin and antioxidant-infused water makes this toner ideal for those with sensitive skin, uneven skin texture, or acne-prone skin. One reviewer on Amazon said, "I've used Proactive toners and they're good but I always come back to this one because it works so well with my oily and acne proned [sic] skin." Another said, "This may seem a little pricey but it lasts me 6-7 months!! It works great too — shrinks your pores and it doesn't dry your skin. It works great on my sensitive skin and helps with black heads."

Price: The La Roche Posay Effaclar Astringent retails for $24.99 at Amazon.

Size: 6.76 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: LHA (salicylic acid)

Best splurge-worthy

Technically, the Hourglass Equilibrium Restoring Essence isn't a mere toner; it's an essence, which means that it's packed with nourishing actives that can act like a supercharged toner or a watery serum. "Essences combine the various elements of a skincare routine in one step: they hydrate and re-balance the skin whilst also using highly concentrated levels of active ingredients, enabling a deeper penetration into our skin barrier. This extra hydration allows your skin to absorb all the goodness of your next product even more so than usual," Julia Marinkovich from K-beauty brand COSRX told Elle.

Hourglass uses a trademarked "cell balancing complex" which claims to visibly restore the skin barrier while protecting your skin from pollution. We looked at the ingredients and found that, in addition to emollients and humectants, the essence has alteromonas ferment extract — a type of ocean bacteria that can increase resistance to UV damage (via My Adelline). It also features ectoin, an ingredient that hydrates deeply (via Vogue Scandinavia).

This essence literally has no '1 star' reviews on Sephora. One customer called it "a true star in the skincare world." Another said, "The best essence on the market! Scent-free and hydrating; no wonder it won an Allure Beauty Award."

Price: The Hourglass Cosmetics Equilibrium Restoring Essence retails for $65 at Sephora.

Size: 4 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: Ectoin 

Best for sensitive skin

Developed by dermatologists, CeraVe's line of products work for all skin types but are best suited for sensitive skin. The brand's micellar water doubles as a great toner, as it's infused with many skin-loving ingredients. "CeraVe's micellar water is formulated to not disrupt the skin's protective barrier, so it will remove excess oil and dirt without stripping your skin of the natural oils it needs ... It's also safe for sensitive eyes, which helps to safely remove eye makeup," MD Jeannette Graf told Byrdie.

Micellar water, in general, is a great non-drying alternative to makeup wipes and alcohol toners. "It can be used as a cleanser, a toner, makeup remover and even moisturizes the skin — making it a great investment for any beauty addict," Murat Evin from The London School of Makeup told Dermstore.

CeraVe's micellar water is packed with glycerin and ceramides to restore your skin's moisture barrier while keeping it hydrated. It also has niacinamide to help soothe your skin. The fragrance-free and non-comedogenic formula has won over 2,800 customers on Amazon, who've given it a 4.7 out of 5. One reviewer said, "Love this, found a year ago. Best thing I've found for my sensitive, blotchy skin. Gentle as water and still removes mascara."

Price: The CeraVe Micellar Water retails for $16 at Amazon.

Size: 10 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: Niacinamide

Best for acne prone skin

Anyone with acne-prone skin knows that finding a skincare product that is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and anti-acne is a real struggle. Bumps could pop up out of seemingly nowhere, reacting to the slightest ingredient change in your routine. Your search for toners just got a little less nerve-wracking; the Perricone MD Acne Relief Gentle Exfoliating Toner is everything it says it is — gentle, exfoliating, and effective against acne.

Salicylic acid is the star of the clarifying formula, a pore-minimizing ingredient that effectively exfoliates your skin. It also has lactic acid, another gentle exfoliator that removes bacteria and reduces blemishes. Finally, the toner uses citrulline, an alpha-amino acid, to protect your skin from pollution while calming it. The combination of ingredients makes this toner perfect for anyone with clogged pores, blemishes, or acne. One reviewer on the brand's website said, "I am having breakouts right now and usually only super strength products help. However, this is super gentle and non-irritating; way better than I could've imagined. It felt moisturizing and didn't make my skin tight or burn." Another said, "I could see a visible difference in the size of my pores after a couple days of use. It also helped prevent breakouts and healed my skin."

Price: The Perricone MD Acne Relief Gentle Exfoliating Toner retails for $45 at Perricone MD.

Size: 4 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: Salicylic acid

Best for dry skin

For those with parched skin, toners that claim to cleanse and tighten pores can be quite harsh as they can have ingredients that strip natural oils away. A toner is better used as a hydrating leave-on as opposed to an astringent for anyone with dry skin, and the Versed Baby Cheeks milky toner is a great option.

Coconut water and glycerin are the first few ingredients listed in this hydrating toner, both of which play a vital role in introducing moisture. Propanediol, a glycol that improves absorption of a product, functions as an emollient and humectant (an ingredient that retains and attracts moisture), which makes it ideal for dehydrated skin (via The Derm Review). The toner is also infused with bamboo and algae extracts, both emollients. The brand claims that the pH levels of the product falls in the range of 5.0 to 6.0, which is ideal for healthy skin.

One reviewer on the brand's website said, "This stuff is amazing my skin is hydrated all day and night and my skin is so silky smooth," while another said, "My skin has never experienced a toner that actually hydrated it. I have sensitive dry/ eczema prone skin and it's always struggle finding a good toner. Not only does this one make me glow but it keeps my face hydrated ALL day! 10/10 would recommend."

Price: The Versed Baby Cheeks Hydrating Toner retails for $17.99 at Amazon.

Size: 4 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: Bamboo and algae extract

Best for oily skin

People with oily skin may gravitate towards toners that have alcohol since it would help remove it. Karen Ballou from skincare brand Immunocologie warns against this logic. "Most people use an alcohol-based toner to get rid of oils, but in actuality, your skin needs oil," she said, per Byrdie. "Alcohol can cause serious disruptions to the sebaceous glands, and how they produce oils is important to your skin's balance. For example, those with sensitive skin may see an exacerbation of dryness after using a toner with alcohol, while those with oily skin may see an increase in sebum oil as their skin tries to make up for the imbalance." 

Ole Henriksen's Balancing Force Oil Control toner works to balance your skin's oil production without stripping its natural moisture barrier. Instead of alcohol, a blend of botanicals that include green tea, eucalyptus, kelp, and algae absorb excess oil while soothing your skin. The formulation also has lactic acid, salicylic acid, and glycols to exfoliate and purify pores.

On Amazon, the toner has 4.5 out of 5 stars and one reviewer said, "I've been using this twice a day for a week now and I can already tell a difference in my complexion. Most, not all my acne has cleared up and my skin is less oily [than] before."

Price: The Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner retails for $42.86 at Amazon.

Size: 6.5 fl oz

Standout Ingredient: BHAs and eucalyptus

Best for enlarged pores

Salicylic acid and BHAs are the main ingredients to look for when you want to minimize the appearance of your pores, per Adore Beauty. The ingredient deeply penetrates your skin to exfoliate and remove trapped sebum and other impurities. Biossance uses a natural source of BHAs (beta hydroxy acids that are oil soluble) in its Pore Minimizing toner: willow bark extract. This ingredient is gentler than salicylic acid but just as effective; it exfoliates, refines pores, and is anti-inflammatory (via Byrdie). The formula also has squalane, a lipid that can anti-oxidize and hydrate your skin, per Healthline. The zero-alcohol toner has won numerous beauty awards for its unique combination of ingredients that are also certifiably clean: it's snagged Byrdie's Eco Award as well as Glamour's Beauty Award.

The toner's also been declared 'Amazon's Choice' on the website, and one reviewer said, "Works incredibly well to smooth skin and prevent acne but isn't drying or irritating." A customer on the brand's website raved, "This product, single-handedly, changed my skin for the better. Thank you!!!"

Price: The Biossance Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner retails for $28 at Amazon.

Size: 4.5 fl. oz

Standout Ingredient: BHAs and squalane

Best soothing toner

The Matcha toner from Milk Makeup is unlike others in many ways. For one, it's a solid stick toner that opens like a lipstick. It also uses powerhouses of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients as its actives instead of exfoliating acids, which means that it soothes while cleansing your skin. Matcha, a concentrated form of green tea, is the main active in the stick formula. According to dermatologist Judith Hellman, matcha "contains catechins, a type of polyphenol, making it into a powerful antioxidant. The catechins help trap and inactivate free radicals in the skin, thus thwarting many of the signs of aging," (via Allure). It also has kombucha, a known antioxidant and cactus which is "rich in essential fatty acids, which help maintain the skin's lipid barrier and lock in moisture," according to dermatologist Jessie Cheung (via Coveteur).

The unscented purifying toner has 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and one reviewer said, "Since using this toner I haven't had to use face moisturizer post cleansing because this toner is hydrating. It's a perfect balance of toning and cooling hydration to start a make up session or just going to bed."

Price: The Milk Makeup Matcha Toner retails for $25.45 at Amazon.

Size: 0.19 oz

Standout Ingredient: Matcha and cactus

Best for hyperpigmentation

People of color often experience hyperpigmentation, a common condition where parts of the skin appear darker than the others (via Cleveland Clinic). Kojic acid is an ingredient that inhibits melanin production, which is why dermatologist Corey Hartman said that "it is best for anyone looking for a more naturally occurring ingredient to lighten dark spots and provide a more even complexion," (via Allure). The Peach Sake toner from Skinfood uses the kojic acid in sake as one of its main ingredients. It also has peach extract, which is rich in vitamin A and C, to brighten your skin and anti oxidize free radicals.

One reviewer on the brand's website said, "I've been using all three Peach Sake products paired with the Skinfood Egg White Cleanser for about a month and I don't think my face has ever looked better! My scars are even fading! It doesn't dry me out at all. A little goes a long way and I love it!"

Price: The Skinfood Peach Sake Toner retails for $7.99 at Skinfood.

Size: 4.6 fl. oz

Standout Ingredient: Rice sake