Last updated: June 16, 2020

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Are you familiar with the three golden rules of a quality facial care routine? If you can only name two out of three, this shopping guide will interest you; from now on, you won’t make the same mistakes anymore. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing are the three steps of face care, but many of us tend to forget the second one.

As you will discover throughout our article, adding a face toner to your beauty routine will offer you many benefits. Due to a lack of information, many women still leave this wonderful cosmetic aside. It’s time for you to change this, so keep reading our guide to learn more about face toners.

Key Facts

  • The daily use of a face toner is much more beneficial than you might think. That is why it is essential that you include it in your facial care routine.
  • This product will revitalize your skin, making it much more receptive to the cosmetics that you use afterward. It contributes to closing your pores and rebalancing the natural pH — and these are just some of its numerous benefits.
  • Now, you can’t simply purchase the first face toner you find on the market. There are various factors that you have to evaluate before making your decision. These include your skin type, as well as the properties and ingredients of the product.

Our Selection: The Best Face Toners in the U.S. Market

You know just how much our team of experts likes to give you their best tips, so we want to start off with our selection of the best face toners currently available out there. We have analyzed a wide range of products and have opted for different cosmetics that will satisfy every type of user. Are you ready to find the perfect face toners for your skin?

Best Natural Face Toner

Thayers has been producing natural, vegan, gluten-free cosmetic products since the first half of the 19th century, so it’s no wonder its witch hazel face toner is so popular on the market. Ideal to clean pores and prevent breakouts on your skin, it includes other natural ingredients such as Aloe vera and lavender. This astringent face toner also has moisturizing properties and will leave your skin’s pH perfectly balanced.

Best Face Toner by Neutrogena

If you like to take care of your skin, there is little doubt that you have heard of – and probably used – Neutrogena products before. This skincare brand creates high-quality cosmetics, and this alcohol-free face toner is no different. Its formula helps clean and tone your skin without leaving it dry afterward. This product is oil-free and, therefore, suitable for oily skins. The manufacturer recommends applying it with a cotton ball.

Best Face Toner: Amazon’s Choice

With thousands of high ratings and positive reviews, Dickinson’s original witch hazel face toner is a top-rated product on the market. And it’s easy to see why! Not only is it a 100% cosmetic, but it also offers great value for money with 16 fluid ounces in each bottle. This pore-perfecting toner is fragrance-free, making it ideal for your morning beauty routine. Particularly recommended for sensitive skin.

Best Face Toner in Spray

Suitable for all skin types, this face toner by InstaNatural consists of a variety of ingredients for a powerful blend of properties. Vitamin C contributes to reducing the appearance of fine lines while boosting the overall health of your skin. Its format is a great alternative too. You can carry the spray around with you to freshen up during the day. Besides, this product is free of harmful ingredients like parabens and mineral oil.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Face Toners

As we mentioned earlier, the reason why many women still forget to use a facial toner in their beauty routine is that they just don’t know how useful this cosmetic can be. It is high time that we put an end to this lack of knowledge, and this is what we intend to do in the following section. Below, we have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding face toners.

Avoid products with menthol and alcohol at all costs.
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What are the benefits of face toners?

Let’s dive right into what matters most to us: the advantages and results that you will notice by adding a face toner to your daily beauty care routine. Get ready to be convinced!

  • It closes the pores that open during cleaning.
  • It improves the firmness and the tonicity of the dermis.
  • Your production of sebum and, therefore, the appearance of acne, is kept in check.
  • It activates blood circulation, regulates the pH, and contributes to the absorption of moisturizing cream for greater hydration.
  • Your skin is refreshed.
  • It provides radiance.
  • It nourishes the skin and satisfies its needs.
  • In addition to all these incredible benefits, a face toner is very easy to apply. Do you regret not using it yet?

When and how should I apply my face toner?

We now know that this beauty product needs to be applied after cleansing and before moisturizing the skin. This means that you should use it twice a day, in the morning and at night. Here is a list of steps to make the most of your face toner:

  1. Once you are done cleansing your face, apply a small amount of toner on a cotton ball without soaking it.
  2. Divide the cotton in two to use for each side of your face.
  3. Through circular movements working from inside to outside, run the cotton ball over your entire face (unless you have mixed skin).
  4. You can also use the face toner on your neck and neckline.
  5. Allow your skin to absorb it fully before applying the moisturizer.

As you can see, there’s nothing easier! The best thing is that this thirty-second routine can truly make a difference in the health of your face dermis.

Make sure the face toner you purchase is suitable for your skin type.
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What types of face toners are there?

These cosmetics come in different formats, such as micellar water, lotion, and thermal water. In addition, we identify four main types according to the properties that they provide for the skin:

  • Astringent toners: They are designed to control sebum production and close pores.
  • Stimulating toners: Ideal to obtain smoother skin and reduce the signs of aging.
  • Emollient toners: These products are very moisturizing and nourishing.
  • Soothing toners: As their name indicates, they have soothing and decongesting properties.
Shari Sperling, M.D.Board-Certified Dermatologist

“There are certain buzzwords to look for in order to find the best toner for your skin. For example, acne-prone skin should look for salicylic acid to help treat and prevent breakouts, while glycerin is a good ingredient for dry skin due to its moisturizing properties.”

Which face toner is right for me?

This is probably the first question you are asking yourself. There is such a wide variety of beauty products out there that it can be truly challenging to find the most suitable for your skin. In the table below, you can learn more about the right product:

Skin type Recommended face toner Why?
Normal skin Virtually all, apart from the most astringent products. Highly astringent toners can dry out the skin.
Dry skin Emollient face toners They are the most moisturizing cosmetics.
Combination skin You are advised to combine two toners in different areas of the face. Each zone has its own characteristics.
Oily skin Astringent toners They close pores and balance the production of sebum.
Sensitive skin Soothing toners They have a decongestive and anti-inflammatory action.
Mature skin Stimulating toners They soften and calm the skin. In addition, they often have antioxidant and regenerative properties.
Acne-prone skin Astringent toners They prevent excessive oil production.

You should already know the type of skin that you have. You can now choose the best face toner for you and see the incredible results these cosmetics offer.

What ingredients should I look for in my face toner?

Now that you have discovered which face toner is the right one for your skin, you still have to pick from the vast array of products available on the American market. In that regard, it is essential that you pay attention to the different ingredients that compose your cosmetics. Here is a list of key components according to your skin type:

Skin type Essential ingredients
Normal skin Hyaluronic acid, rose water, Aloe vera
Dry skin Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, rose water
Combination skin Witch hazel, lactic acid, glycerin
Oily skin Tea tree oil, salicylic acid, witch hazel
Sensitive skin Aloe vera, chamomile, amino acids
Mature skin Vitamin E and C, plant stem cells, and alpha-lipoic acid
Acne-prone skin Tea tree oil

Menthol and alcohol are two ingredients that you should avoid at all costs. While they may give you a refreshing feeling at first, they will dry up your skin in the long run.

What other uses do face toners have?

Although their primary purpose is the intermediate beauty care step between cleansing and moisturizing, many women also use them in other ways. Face toners are a great cooling spray during the day, for instance, or a practical makeup fixing spray. In fact, many cosmetic companies are already designing products with formats adapted to these uses.

The different ingredients present in your face toner determine its efficacy.
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Should I always apply my face toner with a cotton ball?

Here is another question many women are asking themselves. Some of us aren’t very fond of classic cotton balls – either because we don’t like their texture or because they leave little traces on our faces. Although certain face toners must be applied with cotton, the good news is that you have other alternatives:

  • If your product comes in a spray format, you can apply it like a mist directly on the skin.
  • You can also use your hands to apply your face toner. If you prefer this method, make sure you simply press it with your palms without rubbing it in.
  • Here is a professional trick: put a small amount of toner in your hands, lower your head, and apply on the face with small pinches and touches. This activates your blood flow.
  • If you are reluctant to use cotton balls, we still recommend that you read the manufacturer’s instructions before making your purchase. You should always follow their advice when using a cosmetic product.

Shopping Criteria

We couldn’t possibly finish our shopping guide without delving into some of the most important criteria that you need to evaluate when making your purchase. These aspects will help you find your way to the perfect face toner for your skin. Whether you are a makeup professional or simply looking to better your beauty care routine, pay attention to the following factors:

Skin Type

As we have discussed extensively, the very first thing that you have to keep in mind when buying a face toner is your skin type. This will allow you to identify your personal needs and focus on your weak points to work toward, the perfect complexion. We have prepared more tips for you in the table below:

Skin type Main need
Normal skin Daily care
Dry skin Moisturizing
Combination skin Distinguishing the different zones
Oily skin Controlling sebum production
Sensitive skin Eliminating or reducing irritations
Mature skin Minimizing the signs of aging
Acne-prone skin Controlling sebum production

Please keep in mind that these indications are for general purposes only and that every skin is different. No one knows yours better than yourself, so take the time to understand it and care for it accordingly.

Type of Face Toner

This is another crucial criterion that you cannot overlook; in fact, it is closely related to the previous aspect we looked at. Depending on the different needs of your own skin, you will have to pick a face toner with the most suitable properties to meet them.

In addition, don’t forget that combining various products according to those necessities can be very beneficial. Your skin isn’t always the same, and it is essential that you can cater to its changing needs. To help you with this, many cosmetic brands have designed multi-function face toners.

Ingredients

This is probably natural to you if you are big on makeup, but you can never be too careful. The ingredients present in your face toner are essential. As you know, the facial skin is extremely sensitive, and many external agents can damage it. In that regard, we strongly advise that you opt for the most natural face toner you can find.

You can look for products made from plants, essential oils, or flowers while avoiding those containing parabens and alcohol. While they are more durable, the latter can cause long-term side effects, such as redness or allergic reactions.

Other Properties

The reason why we want you to pay attention to this factor is because we think going one step further is always good – especially when it comes to skincare. In that spirit, we encourage you to check the other properties your face toner can give you besides those determined by your skin type. Some of the most popular are anti-aging and anti-fatigue effects, particularly useful if you apply the toner during your morning routine.

Quality

Last but not least, we couldn’t leave quality aside. This criterion actually encompasses different aspects. First of all, it refers to the quality of the product in terms of its composition and the dermatological tests it has passed. It may seem obvious, but this could literally save you a lot of unwanted allergic reactions.

On the other hand, quality is also determined by the results of the face toner. You have two options to find out more about this: you can either test the product yourself or read the opinions and reviews of other women that have used it.

Summary

We all love to boast a perfect complexion daily. This is the reason why we put effort and dedication into our different facial care routines. But many of us have completely forgotten about toning, the missing link between cleansing and moisturizing. We’re confident you won’t make that mistake again.

While face toners are often left aside, these cosmetics offer an incredible range of benefits and advantages to our skin truth – and you will quickly notice the results. Besides, they are so easy to apply that you will only add an extra thirty seconds to your beauty routine. Now you know the three golden rules!

We hope that our guide has convinced you to welcome this wonderful cosmetic into your life. If that’s the case, feel free to tell us all about your experience with face toners in the comments section below! You can also share this article on your social media so that your friends also learn everything there is to know about these incredible beauty products.

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Why you can trust me?

Charlotte Steward Beauty Expert & Cosmetologist
Charlotte became interested in the subject of beauty at an early age. It is her passion to improve the beauty industry. She now has her own small beauty salon and many regular customers who appreciate Charlotte's expertise.