Best toners for every skin type

The best toners for every skin type

15 May 2024 | |By Hitanshi Kamdar

From pore-reducing to exfoliating, these targeted toners promise fresh, healthy skin

All products are chosen independently by our editors. Luxury London may earn commission on items purchased.

If it seems like skincare routines have become more and more complicated, you’re not wrong. Don’t have time to religiously follow multi-step programmes every night? The good news is only a few key steps are essential for skin health. While your trusted facial cleanser and moisturiser duo is a great start, consider adding a toner to the mix for clear and balanced skin. Toners have come a long way from the harsh formulas of days gone by, with the best modern toners boasting an array of benefits while being gentle on the skin.

With advanced formulas that replenish the delicate skin barrier, the best toners also help remove traces of oil and dirt from the face, in addition to providing extra hydration and pore-reducing benefits. In addition, many formulas boast active ingredients, such as vitamin C, glycolic acid and niacinamide, that can address concerns including discolouration, dullness, and blemishes.

What exactly is a toner?

A toner is essentially a liquid skincare treatment that helps remove traces of oil, dirt and makeup and preps the skin for product application. The best toners are packed with essential ingredients that help restore the skin’s natural pH balance, boost hydration and prepare your skin to better absorb moisturiser. You can find a toner for every skin type – a formula with glycolic acid can be a great exfoliant while salicylic acid toners can help reduce redness and calm acne, and soothing ingredients such as honey and niacinamide aid in hydrating the skin. Choosing the right toner is key to unlocking smooth, soft, and younger looking skin.

How to use toner

Apply toner directly after cleansing, while the skin is still moist, to ensure efficient active ingredient absorption. Simply apply using hands or a cotton pad in and upwards motions, wait for it to sink in and follow with your regular serums and moisturisers.

The best toners for every skin concern

As with all skincare products, there are hundreds of options available, so to help you pick the right product for your skin, we’ve narrowed down the best toners for every skin type.

The best overall: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial toner

Everything you could ever need in a toner packed into one bottle, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial toner is perfect for all skin types. The pH-balanced formula primes the skin for absorption without stripping it of essential nutrients and is blended with ingredients such as squalene, apricot kernel oil and avocado oil that work to gently remove dirt from pores, refine texture and boost hydration to leave behind soft, replenished skin that makes for the perfect base for skincare and makeup.

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The best toner for congested skin: Skin Rocks The Control Acid toner

Congested skin can lead to a myriad of problems: breakouts, dullness, blackheads and whiteheads. Skin Rocks’ The Control Acid toner targets the build up of dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt to combat skin congestion. The soothing formula is made with a potent mix of salicylic acid, niacinamide, polylysine, lemon myrtle leaf extract and honey extract to gently unclog pores, regulate oil production and help reduce redness and irritation. While the formula works well on all skin types, it is particularly great for oily or blemish-prone skin. Use with a cotton pad on clean skin up to three times a week or visit the Skin Rocks counter at Liberty London for a custom skin regime tailored to you by Skin Rocks’ consultants.

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The best toner for uneven skin: La Mer The Essential Tonic

La Mer may be renowned for its potent face creams but the brand’s advanced technology can also be found in this super hydrating toner. The Essential Tonic contains its signature Miracle Broth, a blend of giant sea kelp, vitamins and minerals that reduces inflammation and soothes the skin for a hydrated, smooth complexion. Douse a cotton pad with the toner and wipe over the face before following up with moisturiser for radiant skin.

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The best toner for dull skin: Ren Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow daily AHA tonic

Get perfect glowy skin in time for a no-makeup summer with Ren Clean Skincare’s gentle everyday formula that delivers a powerful dose of skin stimulants with every use. The formula features three hero ingredients: lactic acid and willow bark extract work together to speed up the skin’s natural resurfacing process, shed dead skin cells and promote cell renewal, while azelaic acid brightens the complexion. Soak a cotton pad and swipe over the face and neck to refresh skin after a day out in the polluted city.

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The best exfoliating toner: Medik8 Press & Glow tonic

Exfoliation is key to a healthy glow. Medik8’s Press & Glow tonic is packed with a cocktail of instantly effective ingredients including PHA (poly hydroxy acid) and prickly pear extract to exfoliate dead skin cells, support natural cell turnover and provide hydration. The toner also includes soothing aloe vera and antioxidant-rich acai extract to target inflammation and redness, leaving you with luminous, supple skin.

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The best restoring toner: Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin skin barrier serum toner

Trust Korean skincare brands to up the ante when it comes to toning. Dr. Jart+’s Ceramidin skin barrier serum toner is an all-in-one miracle product that softens and hydrates the skin while strengthening the skin barrier. Packed with ceramides and vitamin B5, the formula sinks deep into the skin and helps nourish parched pores and relieve tightness. Ceramides also boast anti-ageing properties, getting you closer to a youthful glow with every use.

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The best multi-tasking toner: The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution

The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution is anything but ordinary. The water-based liquid formula is based on hero ingredient glycolic acid, which gently exfoliates the skin, reducing the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation, alongside a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative that reduces redness and irritation. It’s also infused with soothing aloe vera and ginseng and can be used to target hyperpigmentation on the underarms, elbows and knees, in addition to dabbing a small amount on the scalp to reduce dandruff.

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The best toner for blackheads: CosRx BHA blackhead power liquid

CosRx’s Blackhead Power Liquid can be used as a toner or after toner and features pore-purifying willow bark water to help keep blackheads and breakouts at bay by cleansing dirt and excess oils from pores. Massage into the skin after cleansing to purify pores, brighten dark spots and keep skin squeaky clean.

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