No matter your age or skin type, maintaining a proper skincare routine is a must!
A great skincare routine is necessary to clean, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. This keeps the skin healthy, glowing and fresh … and it starts with the basics—a facial cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen.
Yet, there is one other product that can greatly benefit the skin that a lot of people haven’t yet added to their beauty arsenal:
A facial toner.
Whether you have sensitive skin, oily skin or dry skin, here’s everything you need to know about facial toner, including 13 of our favorite products to start using now.
What is Facial Toner?
Washing your skin with a facial cleanser is the most important step in any skincare routine. But even the best cleansers can leave some traces of dirt and grime behind. That’s where the facial toner comes into play.
Facial toner is a liquid product that removes all of those remaining impurities that get stuck in your pores. Toners also restore the skin’s pH level, smooth rough patches, and help to improve the overall tone and texture of your skin. Whether your concern is anti-aging, brightening or tightening, a great toner can do it all!
People with acne-prone skin often use an astringent to clean those deep pores, but astringents can be harsh on the skin. Toners are much gentler on the face and neck and can be used by anyone with any skin type.
When Should You Use Facial Toner?
A great skincare routine starts with having the right products. But it’s equally as important to use those products in the right order.
Here’s the order in which you should be applying your skincare products:
Step One: Cleanse and wash the face
Step Two: Apply a toner to fully rid your pores of all remaining dirt and grime
Step Three: Apply any serums, eye creams or spot treatments that you use
Step Four: Apply a hydrating moisturizer
Step Five: Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or above
If you want healthy, glowing skin, follow these steps, in this order, every morning. Repeat this same routine at night, but skip the sunscreen – you don’t need that when you’re heading off to bed.
Not sure how to apply facial toner? Just soak a cotton ball or cotton pad in the toner of your choice and wipe it all over your freshly washed face, making sure to hit your cheeks, forehead, nose and neck.
Now that you know what toner can do and how to use it, it’s time to find one that’s right for you. Here’s the roundup of our 13 favorite toners that can improve different types of skin.
If you’ve ever used La Mer skincare products before, you know exactly why this toner gets the top spot on our favorites list
La Mer The Tonic is a refreshing, hydrating toner designed to purify the skin and make it glow. Made with deconstructed water molecules, this toner helps to balance your complexion and soothe the skin. It also has a cooling effect that makes your face feel instantly fresh and cool.
With calendula flower petals, the Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Toner is perfect for combination skin. This face toner is alcohol-free and full of soothing ingredients to reduce redness, combat dullness, and improve the texture of your skin.
A unique combination of herbal extracts makes this skin toner ultra-moisturizing to boot.
With aloe vera and rose water, this skin toner from Thayer’s cleanses pores, prevents irritation, and helps to soothe the skin.
The Thayer’s Facial Toner with Witch Hazel and Rose Petal is an alcohol-free toner made with organic ingredients. It cleans, moisturizes, and has a lovely rose fragrance (unlike some other witch hazel toners that have an overpowering scent).
Eliminate dryness and minimize the look of your pores with the fresh Rose and Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner.
With angelica leaf extract, soothing rosewater and rose fruit extract, this hydrating toner does more than just clear the skin of any excess grime and dirt. It also helps to perfectly prep the skin for the next steps in your skincare routine.
Another reason to love it is that you can actually see real rose petals floating inside!
While our favorite L’Occitane product has always been (and will always be) their Amande hand lotion, the Immortelle Precious Essential Water toner is a close second.
Crafted with immortelle floral water and hyaluronic acid complex, this toner cleans, soothes and hydrates the skin in preparation for the other steps in your skincare routine. It can be used on all skin types, but it’s one of the best toners for people with sensitive skin.
If you’re on a mission to glow up, check out the Pixi Glow Tonic.
Free of alcohol and parabens, this toner includes 5% glycolic acid to help exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. Aloe vera helps to soothe and hydrate the skin, while the inclusion of ginseng helps to energize and improve circulation.
Glycolic acid is naturally exfoliating, so in addition to cleaning the skin, it also helps to brighten your skin tone and promote radiance. Use it morning and night after your face wash, and you’ll be good to glow!
Most toners need to be applied to a cotton ball and rubbed onto the skin, but not the Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner. This toner comes in a convenient spray so you can spritz it directly onto your face and neck.
It includes anti-inflammatory amica, humectants to hydrate the skin and soothing lavender to calm the skin. Whether you’re trying to combat dullness, redness, or dryness, this toner is great for use on any and all skin types.
The Versed Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Solution is an easy and effective way to get gorgeous, radiant skin.
This toner is designed to lighten dark spots and brighten your skin, as well as fight the signs of aging and unclog pores. It has a powerful four-acid complex of lactic acid, glycolic acid, azelaic acid and kojic acid – but it doesn’t create that tingling feeling that some acid complexes do.
This brightening toner also has the ability to even out the texture of the skin, so it’s great for eliminating the signs of recent acne breakouts.
Make your skin more radiant with the exfoliating 7% Glycolic Acid Toning Solution from The Ordinary.
Glycolic acid makes this toner perfect for anyone looking to improve their skin’s texture and even out their skin tone. It’s vegan, fragrance-free and free of all parabens, sulfates and animal oils. It’s also incredibly effective, and at less than $9 for an eight-ounce bottle, it’s one of the most affordable toners you can buy.
Ready to create a personalized skincare routine with products designed for your specific skin concerns? Check out How to Build a Skincare Routine With The Ordinary Products.
Unlike most toners on the market, this one is formulated in a solid stick, so it’s super easy to apply, and you won’t have to worry about running out of cotton balls!
Like all effective toners, this product helps to cleanse and balance your skin tone. But with matcha green tea, it also detoxifies your pores and helps to make large pores look smaller.
With tea tree oil for purification, the Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner is ideal for people with acne-prone skin. This toner is great for oily skin, and it’s gentle yet powerful enough to smooth and soften the skin and minimize the look of pores.
Incorporate this toner into your skincare routine, and you’re sure to see an improvement in the tone and texture of your skin.
The Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Toner is non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested and designed to absorb excess oil in the skin. It’s ideal if you’re trying to achieve a more matte, less shiny appearance.
Like all good toners, the Vinopure toner tightens pores and cleanses and purifies the skin. It’s perfect for oily skin as well as combination skin, and it’s even better when used in combination with Caudalie’s Vinopure Perfecting Serum and Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser.
Neutrogena products get rave reviews for their effectiveness and affordability, and the Alcohol-Free Toner is one of them.
This toner is gentle and mild on the skin and has a hypoallergenic formula that cleanses and refreshes without causing any irritation or dryness. It’s non-comedogenic, so it helps to clean and clear your pores, and it feels great on the skin!
At less than $10, this is the perfect toner to try, regardless of your skin type.
Should You Use a Facial Toner Every Day?
Concerned about blemishes and breakouts? Trying to brighten dark spots? Fed up with large pores?
No matter your skin concerns, it’s time to add a toner to your skincare routine. It only takes a minute or so to apply, and it’s a simple step that can help you achieve the gorgeous, glowing, healthy skin that we’re all going for.
You might also be interested in: The 23 Best Skincare Subscription Boxes for Men and Women [For All Skin Types]
Best Skin Toners:
- La Mer The Tonic
- Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Toner
- Thayer’s Facial Toner with Witch Hazel and Rose Petal
- fresh Rose and Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner
- Immortelle Precious Essential Water
- Pixi Glow Tonic
- Dermalogica Multi Active Toner
- Versed Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Solution
- 7% Glycolic Acid Toning Solution
- Milk Makeup Matcha Toner
- Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner
- Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Toner
- Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner