Toners are most helpful and necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin, or for people who want extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavy skin products such as sunscreen.
Here are some additional benefits:
It shrinks pores: Applying a small amount of toner to a soft cotton ball or pad and gently blotting and wiping your face with it will remove oil and give the appearance of smaller pores.
It restores your skin’s pH balance: Our skin is naturally acidic, typically with a pH balance of between five and six (on a scale from 0 to 14). But that balance can get out of whack after cleansing due to the alkaline nature of soap. When this happens, your skin needs to work overtime to return to its normal levels (and that may result in oil), but using a toner can help restore this balance quickly.
It adds a layer of protection: Toners can help close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing, reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin. It can even protect and remove chlorine and minerals present in tap water.
It acts like a moisturizer: Some toners are humectants, which means they help to bind moisture to the skin.
It refreshes skin: Toner can also be used in lieu of washing your skin when it’s oily or dirty. It will leave your skin revitalized even when you’re on the go.
It can prevent ingrown hairs: Toners containing glycolic acid or other alpha hydroxy acids can help to prevent ingrown hairs, so it also aids in grooming.
Keep reading for the best drugstore toners:
1. Thayer’s Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner with Rose Petal
A true classic, this rose petal–infused drugstore toner is a dream for those with sensitive and dry skin. Free of alcohol, it will never irritate or overdry, and thanks to a helpful dose of organic aloe vera, it feels oh so soothing after a long day at the office or outside in the sun. The brand has been around since 1874, so clearly, they’re doing something right.
Price: $13.36 – $34.99
2. Simple Soothing Facial Toner
This checks all of the important criteria to look for when choosing a product for sensitive skin. It’s free of drying alcohol and potentially-irritating fragrance, and contains soothing and good-for-your-skin ingredients, namely soothing chamomile extract, softening allantoin, and restorative pro-vitamin B5. Made with triple-purified water to hydrate skin and better prep it for moisturizer, it also contains witch hazel to help absorb any excess oil.
3. C&C by Clean & Clear Tough Love Acne Clearing Toner
If you’re prone to blackheads, you know the struggle to keep your pores clean. Salicylic acid (in this acne-fighting toner) will help. It penetrates your skin deeply to dissolve pore-clogging sebum oil and dirt and keep blackheads at bay.
4. Garnier SkinActive Hydrating Facial Mist with Aloe Juice
Made with aloe juice, this facial mist spray instantly hydrates and refreshes skin, even after makeup. This face spray with aloe juice can be used as a moisturizer to hydrate, before face makeup as a primer, after makeup to set it, and anytime throughout the day to refresh skin. No need to rinse. Even ladies with dry skin can benefit from using a toner.
5. Avène Gentle Toner
Avene Gentle Toning Lotion perfects make-up removal, of dry-prone sensitive skins and wraps the epidermis in a genuine soothing veil, Anti-irritative and alleviating, it soothes skin and makes it supple and soft. This toner is specifically formulated for easily irritated skin. It uses the brand’s famous spring water to hydrate and soothe while silicates form a barrier against pollutants and environmental aggressors (that’s why this toner is perfect for using in the morning especially).