22 Best Toners and Astringents
Toners sometimes get a bad rap. But if you've got dry or oily skin, using one can transform your complexion. Here's how to find the right toner for your skin type
Check out the 22 best toners now.
Dr. Howard Murad, M.D., a Los Angeles-based dermatologist, backs those of us on the pro-toner side. He says toning is an essential step in any healthy skin care regimen. "I find that using a toner is just as crucial as cleansing, as it restores the skin's natural pH balance," says Murad.
What about the growing posse of dermatologists who argue that toners are not only unnecessary, but can also be too drying? Murad says these docs aren't considering how far toners have come in recent years. Once strictly alcohol-based (and yes, therefore very drying), toners now "use ingredients that help fight aging, acne, and even redness, and they are beneficial for all skin types."
If you're looking to add a toner or astringent to your skin care routine, it's crucial to find one that'll work best with your skin type. So keep these tips in mind:
• Have oily or combination skin? Use an astringent. These work best when it comes to removing excess oil, says Dr. Nathan Newman, M.D. Astringents have ingredients such as alcohol, witch hazel, or acids (like salicylic acid) that help reduce oil production and fight acne. Using an astringent is critical for oily skin as it helps "clean and tighten your pores, making it harder for debris and dirt to penetrate your skin and cause irritation or breakouts," says Murad.
• Have dry or sensitive skin? Use an alcohol-free toner. Those with dry skin should avoid using astringents or toners that have retinols, glycolics, or benzoyl peroxide in them. These will be "too drying and may even cause the skin to breakout," says Newman. Instead, look for one that is water-based and has ingredients like rosewater or chamomile extracts, and vitamin B derivatives like panthenol, which help lock in moisture and prevent makeup from looking cakey.
Now that you know what to look for, here's how to find an astringent or toner that you'll love. See the 22 best astringents and toners now.
SEE NEXT PAGE: No. 22: Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Toner, $34.95