Of all the skincare products out there, I feel like toners are easy to overlook. Since I’m always rooting for the underdog, I thought it would be a good idea to dedicate an entire blog post to these guys. If you’re wondering what toners accomplish, if they’re worth it, or how to get started with them in your routine, keep reading!
This post contains affiliate links.
What’s in this post:
What Do Toners Even Do? Are They Necessary?
It might not *seem* like toners and face mists do much, but they can definitely be a helpful addition to any skincare routine! Every toner is formulated differently and will reap various benefits, so you’ll have to decide what your skin needs the most.
In general, toners can:
- Balance skin’s pH
- Provide a boost of hydration and counteract dehydration
- Lower skin’s surface tension and prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL)
- Prime and enhance the performance/penetration of your other skincare products
- Act as an astringent and tone skin (keep pores clear and regulate sebum production)
- Be used for “skin flooding” aka the TikTok trend where you first drench skin with a humectant then layer with an emollient to lock it in
At the end of the day, I don’t think toners are 100% absolutely necessary as long as you’re making sure to include some sort of hydration in your routine. But they’re an easy way to shower your skin with some extra nutrients and are a quick bonus step!
When & How to Use a Toner in Your Skincare Routine
WHEN: You should use a toner right after cleansing. It’s best to apply it while your skin is still slightly damp to keep the hydration intact, then follow up immediately with a serum or moisturizer to seal it all in! 💦
HOW: You can spritz a toner directly onto your face, or use some sort of wipe to sweep it onto skin such as organic cotton balls or rounds. Or even better, a reusable option! I love these organic cotton/bamboo facial rounds from Love Peace Organic. They have a little pocket for your fingers so they’re easier to hold onto. You can use code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount!
Additionally, if you don’t feel like your skin needs a deep cleanse in the morning, you can even use toners as a mild cleanser by wiping them across your face and neck to pick up dirt, oils, and grime.
Lastly, you can even use toners to set your makeup or as a mid-day refresher for dewy skin! ✨
The Best Clean & Natural Toners for Each Skin Type!
Now, if you’re wondering what the most suitable toner for YOUR specific skin type is, I got you! As you may know, I have very strict standards for ingredient purity and safety. So rest assured, all of these meet my criteria and use clean, non-toxic, plant-based, or organic ingredients.
Plus, they’re all vegan and cruelty-free! 🐰
But first, let’s go over some common ingredients that are found in toners that I recommend avoiding:
- Synthetic fragrances
- Alcohol as a primary ingredient or multiple alcohols in the formula because it can be extremely drying and stripping (some of the toners I suggest below use very minimal amounts of alcohol in them, so it’s not a concern in my opinion, but I did note which ones are completely alcohol free!)
Want to learn more about ingredients to avoid in your skin and personal care products? Download The Ultimate Clean Beauty Ingredient Glossary & Printable Pocket Guide!
Best Toner for Dry or Dehydrated Skin: Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator
Josh’s toner is kind of a cult fave in the clean beauty world, and for good reason! First of all, I appreciate how many pure and certified organic ingredients are in this formula. You can literally pronounce and recognize EVERY single ingredient. Secondly, it has SUCH an incredible smell; kind of like a mild marshmallow vanilla scent! It’s made with:
- Organic aloe vera leaf juice as the first ingredient to calm, hydrate, soothe, and deliver phytonutrients and antioxidants
- Sea buckthorn oil, ashwagandha, borage seed oil, and evening primrose oil merge to support the appearance of plump and glowing skin
The oils in this toner make it extra unique. I highly recommend it if you experience lots of dryness or parched skin!
Also available here at The Detox Market.
Best Toner for Dull/Oily/Combination/Acne-Prone Skin: Alpyn Pore Perfecting Liquid Exfoliator
I feel like just calling this one a “toner” isn’t doing it justice, because it’s sooooo much more than that! It’s a leave-on liquid exfoliator (you need to apply it with a cotton round!) that also tones and clarifies. It’s powerful, yet gentle enough to use daily! I recommend using it at nighttime because you shouldn’t really exfoliate then go out in the sun.
Alpyn uses a lot of wild and sustainably sourced ingredients. They packed this solution with:
- Borage extract to soothe and hydrate
- Tremella mushroom to hydrate and maintain skin’s natural pH 🍄
- Salicylic acid (BHA) to exfoliate and sweep away debris
- Vitamin C to brighten and protect against free radical damage
- Vegetable collagen and niacinamide
I would suggest this one if you have dullness, congestion, clogged pores, or are prone to breakouts. I always notice a more even complexion and soft, smooth skin when I use this! So good.
You can use code ORGANICALLYBECCA15 for a discount 🏷️
Best Toner for Sensitive Skin: Wabi-Sabi Botanicals The Offering Probiotic Toner
Wabi-Sabi formulates products with sensitive skin in mind and uses NO essential oils which can be irritating and sensitizing. This mist is fine, soft, and doesn’t aggressively spray all over (you know what I’m talking about). It smells delicate and citrusy and feels oh-so soothing. The Offering is made with:
- Orange blossom distillate which has regenerative properties 🍊
- Probiotics to balance your skin’s microbiome and tone
- Reishi and shiitake mushroom extracts help soothe redness and repair
- Green tea extract to control sebum production and prevent breakouts
Your sensitive skin’s new BFF! This one is truly a godsend when my skin is feeling stressed, irritated, or reactive.
You can use code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount on your first purchase 🏷️
Best Toner for Maturing Skin: Osea Sea Vitamin Boost
Osea offers two toners! This vibrant red Sea Vitamin Boost is loaded with anti-aging properties, making it especially ideal for mature or drier skin. I am in my 30s and like to use this one from time to time because I’m all about aging gracefully. It contains:
- Three forms of seaweed
- Pomegranate extract
- Sea water 🌊
These ingredients are antioxidant-rich, visibly reduce signs of aging, plump the look of fine lines, and result in a radiant glow.
You can use code BECCA10 for a discount on your first purchase 🏷️
Also available here at The Detox Market. Discount not applicable.
Best All-Around Toner & For Normal Skin Types: FitGlow Sea Ceramide Toning Mist
This is one that I feel like all skin types can benefit from! The mist is fine and has a subtle, pleasant scent. It’s a powerhouse product supercharged with:
- Five ceramides to calm and restore skin
- Hyaluronic acid for hydration
- Red algae extract
- Red seaweed extract
It’s refreshing, nourishing, soothing, and can help balance skin. If you’re unsure about which toner will work best for you, or your skin doesn’t have any particular issues, try this one! Bonus: it comes in a sustainable aluminum bottle.
Also available here on Amazon.
Best Budget-Friendly Toner: Earth Harbor Tidal Rose Hydration Toner
Even though this one has a lower price tag, it still packs a punch! It’s essential oil-free, has a lovely natural rose scent, and is ideal for all skin types 🌹 Tidal Rose contains:
- White tea
- Persian lilac
These are nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, healing, help reduce redness, and even skin tone. It even comes with a little rose quartz crystal in the bottle. So great!
After reading this, I hope you never look at toners the same way ever again! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Thank you so much for reading 💚