Beauty

17 Best Facial Toners to Soothe Skin Post-Cleanse

Toners are an important part of the skin-care equation, especially if your end goal is dewy, luminous skin. However, a lot of people still don’t know what exactly toners are or what they do. Board-certified dermatologist Tiffany Libby, M.D., explains that a toner is designed to help remove the debris your cleanser or face wash might have missed and to prep your skin for the next step in your routine. “I think of them more as an adjunct or add-on to your skin-care routine,” Dr. Libby tells Allure.

Toners of the past were known for their astringent properties, which often dried skin out, but nowadays many of them (including alcohol-free toners) are better catered towards sensitive skin — so you need not worry. In fact, toner formulations have been improved to target an array of skin concerns, such as the loss of collagen or excess oiliness that can lead to breakouts — all made with varying ingredients, depending on your skin-care goals. 

Board-certified dermatologist Sapna Palep, M.D. tells Allure toners that hydrate and smooth out fine lines often contain antioxidants, amino acids, and hyaluronic acid. On the other hand, toners that treat acne-prone skin often include salicylic acid (a type of beta hydroxy acid or BHA) or glycolic acid (a type of alpha hydroxy acid or AHA), which can even out skin tone and treat hyperpigmentation.

Just as there are different ingredients for you to choose from, there is more than one way to put product on. Application is very easy and Dr. Libby says it’s really up to an individual’s preference: you can use your hands, or cotton pads (Dr. Palep’s preference). And beyond the traditional bottled liquid, toners can also come in other delivery systems, such as gel sticks and face mists. (Dr. Libby particularly loves the spray formulations.)

But with so many toners out there in the market, it can be difficult to know what to pick for your specific skin needs. That being said, we’ve tried them all, so you don’t have to. Scroll down to find the right toner to add to your skin-care routine.

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