When it comes to face care, cleansing and moisturizing go without question. But is toning really that important? Most skin care professionals say yes.
Pennsylvania-based small business owner Rachel Smith, who operates Raediance, a beauty consulting company, and Press Life Nails, a customized nail design company, says no one can go wrong with using toner.
“Toner is good for skin clarifying and balance,” says Smith. “Balance can be mattifying or balancing out oils. It varies, even for the same person. For me, it depends on the seasons. During summer, my skin is more oily. During the winter, drier. So before I apply makeup on my clients, after they’ve cleansed their face, I always use a toner.”
So what kind of toner should you use? Just like cleansers and moisturizers are made for different skin types, so are toners. And while using a single skin care system is great, don’t be afraid to mix things up. Listen to how your skin feels. Here are 12 toners to try if your skin needs a change.
L’Oréal Paris HydraFresh Toner
Gentle, non-drying, 99% alcohol-free. With Pro-Vitamin B5, it protects your skin from moisture loss. Good option for combination skin. Available online or at local drug or grocery stores.
Olay Oil Minimizing Clean Toner
Containing witch hazel, this toner removes excess oil and makeup from your skin. Widely available online and at a local drug or grocery stores.
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner
Fans of SheaMoisture hair products who struggle with acne should try this toner. Recommended by Smith, it removes impurities and controls oil accumulation and shine without clogging pores.
For many of us, Sea Breeze was quite possibly our first experience with using a toner. It’s been around for decades. Some have sworn by it, others say it’s too harsh on their skin. However, there are two types to choose from including Classic Clean (the original formula, that sandy-colored liquid we know so well) and Sensitive Clean.
Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner
Proactiv Revitalizing Toner
For some with severe acne, Proactiv products have been a lifesaver for them. Alcohol-free, this toner removes dead skin cells and excess oil. This is one product line, especially if you have been struggling with problem skin, that you might want to use as a system for optimum results.
Clean and Clear Toners
Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner
A very mild formula, this toner is hypoallergenic and cleans without stinging or drying out your skin.
Burt’s Bees Toners
Just the names alone create more than enough excitement to want to give them a try. Garden Tomato literally has tomatoes in it. To be specific, tomato extracts, in addition to cucumber and parsley extracts, to help balance the pH of your skin. Rosewater is a mild toner with aloe vera and glycerin to gently remove dirt and oil. For acne-prone folks, there is Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner, with witch hazel and lemongrass.
Alba Botanica Toners
Alba is an excellent brand for those concerned about the quality of ingredients and where they come from. All three of their toners, Acnedote Deep Clean, Even Advanced Sea Kelp, and Hawaiian Complexion Balancing, are made from 100% vegetarian ingredients, aren’t tested on animals, have no artificial colors or scents, or harsh sulfates or parabens.
100% Witch Hazel
Notice how some of these toners have a single ingredient in common? Yup, witch hazel. There are a few out there to choose from, but T.N. Dickensen’s is the most popular and one of the least expensive, depending on where you get it. The only downside is that it does contain 14% alcohol, so if you want or need to avoid/minimize alcohol in your skin products, skip this one.