25 Best Face Toner Picks


In between cleansing and moisturising, you’d be forgiven for seeing a face toner as a bit of an old-fashioned skincare step. Remember the cleanse, tone, moisturise advice our mums (and 1990s Clinique ads) dished out? As it turns out, there is real benefit to toning, especially if you’re prone to dry skin or in need of extra glow.

But what does it mean to ‘tone’ your complexion?

‘Think of a toner as the preparation stage of your skincare routine. You have already cleansed, so your skin is clean, now it is time to refine your skin with toner,’ explains Daniel Isaacs, director of research for Medik8. According to him, good toners help increase the permeability of the skin, thus allowing the rest of your skincare products to work harder.

Acid toners are growing in popularity. These contain BHAs, PHAs or AHAs (or a combination) to chemically exfoliate the top layer of the skin where dead skin cells tend to build up. ‘This can help to create a smoother skin texture and lift the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation for a glowing complexion,’ says Isaacs. With exfoliating toners, it’s important to exercise caution. Start with a weekly application and see how your skin reacts. It’s also key that you don’t damage the skin barrier with too much acid-infused products in the rest of your regime. Aside from exfoliating toners, there are also toners for hydration, rebalancing, purifying, soothing, refreshing and scented floral waters (phew!). Isaacs recommends a humectant-rich formula (look for ceramides, glycerin, PHAs and hyaluronic acid) for dry and sensitive skin types while oilier skin types will fare better with toners containing niacinamide and salicylic acid. As for simple floral waters, these are great as a calming treat (provided you’re not sensitive to scent or essential oils) and as a sensorial pick-me-up. To apply your toner, soak a reusable cotton pad and gently sweep post-cleansing. Using toners on damp skin can increase the product penetration as skin is more permeable, but if your toners contain acids, there is risk of irritation so applying on dry skin is advisable.

Ahead, our favourite toners for every skin type and condition.


Best for…make-up prep

Glow Toner

Charlotte Tilbury



Best for…fragrance-free

Centella Unscented Toner


Best…For Sustainability

Active Botanical Refining Toner


Best for…skin plumping

The Texture Tonic


Best for…blemish-prone

Skin Resolution Clarifying Toner


Best…For Value

Rose Petal Facial Toner


Best toner for…Improving Skin Texture

Pure Clarity Purifying PHA Skin Tonic


Best toner for…Barrier Repair

Ceramidin™ Liquid


Best toner for… Active blemishes

Facial Purifying Tonic


Best for…Stressed Complexions

Face Calm and Restore Toner


Best toner for…multi-use

Multi-Active Toner


Best toner for…Mattifying

Vinopure Clear Skin Purifying Toner


Best toner for…Nourishing

Rose Deep Hydration Toner


Best toner for…Soothing

Soothing Apricot Toner


Best toner for…A Luxurious Treat

The Tonic


Best toner for…Brightening

Multi-Action Hydrating Toner


Best toner for…Sensitised Skin

Physiological Soothing Toner


Best toner for…Gentle Exfoliation

Glow Tonic


Best For…Everyday Use

Skin Purifier


Best toner for…Reactive Skin

Daily Refresh Balancing Toner


Best toner for…Calming

Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner


Best toner for…Your Microbiome

Balancing Toner

Dr. Barbara Sturm



Best for…pigmentation

Liquid Facial Resurfacer

Sarah Chapman Skinesis



Best for…dry skin

Tonique Confort


Best for…On-The-Go Spritzes

Essential-C Toner

Read the full article here

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