The Most Effective Toners Based on Your Skin Type


Photo: ©Lumina / StocksyIf ‘toning’ just reminds you of a workout, you’re missing out on some serious skincare benefits. While toners were once known to dry out oily and acne-prone skin, they have since evolved to be a necessary part of any effective skincare routine. Let’s take a look at this misunderstood and often overlooked skincare essential.

What are toners?

Toners are water-based liquids infused with beneficial ingredients that penetrate quickly and deeply into the skin.

When should I use toners?

Right after cleansing, morning and/or night. Toners have purifying benefits and can clarify your skin of anything your cleanser may have missed. Plus, they’ll prime your skin to better absorb the skincare products that follow, like serums.

What do toners do?

Essentially, whatever you want them to. While they have universal benefits, like refreshing and clarifying skin, reducing the appearance of pores, and priming the face for the remainder of your skincare routine, toners also each come with individual benefits targeting specific skin concerns.

To help you choose, we’ve rounded up our top picks based on skin type.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner, $14

Good for: Dull, mature skin
What it provides: Brightening benefits.

This alcohol-free toner features a soothing blend of brightening ingredients, including niacinamide, licorice root and vitamin C to help improve the look of hyperpigmentation, soothe inflammation and reduce dullness, promoting brighter, more even-toned skin.

Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water Gel Toner, $25-$55

Good for: Oily, acne-prone skin
What it provides: Mattifying benefits

Specifically formulated to target oily and acne-prone skin, this gel-to-water toner features a blend of bentonite clay, green tea and witch hazel extracts to absorb excess oil and soothe redness for a calmer, smoother, shine-free complexion.

Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner, $34

Good for: Dry, flaky skin
What it provides: Hydrating benefits

This moisturizing formula includes hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and the antioxidant CoQ-10 to leave skin hydrated and plump.

Boscia Resurfacing Treatment Toner with Apple Cider Vinegar, $28

Good for: Stressed skin
What it provides: Exfoliating benefits

With 20% acid complex, this toner resurfaces and exfoliates skin by gently removing dead skin cells for an invigorated complexion.

Mila Moursi pH Balancing Toner, $85

Good for: Combination or uneven skin
What it provides: Balancing benefits

With a blend of lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycerin, mint extract and allantoin, it helps balance the skin’s pH levels by minimizing excess sebum, boosting moisture retention and encouraging skin cell renewal for a smoother, more balanced complexion.

Uma Deeply Clarifying Aloe Alum Toner, $65

Good for: Clogged, congested skin
What it provides: Purifying and clarifying benefits

Rich in ayurvedic botanicals, this toner helps combat infection, protect and heal skin to ensure it can protect itself from environmental and bacterial pollutants.

Featured Products