Reviewed: The 5-Ingredient Toner That Tamed My Oily Skin

Faith Xue

As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). “Reviewed” is a new series where we report on some of the best products we’ve tried. Whether it’s a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day, or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you’ll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!

If my oily skin were a Miley Cyrus song, it would be “Can’t Be Tamed.” (Sorry, had to.)  I’ve tried everything: AHAs, the BHAs, salicylic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A, retinol…the list goes on. No matter how many mattifying products I try, or how many serums I slather on that promise to “control oil production,” I’m still greeted with a shiny, annoyingly light-reflective face when I look in the mirror mid-afternoon. But lately, that’s all changed. A few weeks ago, I started using S.W. Basics’ Toner ($22), and it’s been the stern-yet-loving governess my skin has always needed—the Maria to my skin’s Von Trapp children, if you will. Made with only five ingredients—water, raw apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and clary sage and sandalwood essential oils—the toner may smell weird (like kombucha punching you in the face), but it balances oil production like none other.

I sweep it across my face morning and night after cleansing, and by 2 p.m., not even a hint of a greasy slick is in sight. This is a huge deal, coming from the girl who usually needs at least two blotting papers to get the job done. Paired with my beloved BareMinerals Complexion Rescue ($29), I finally feel like I’ve found a product combination that keeps my rebellious skin in check. You might argue that $22 is a whole heck of a lot to pay for ingredients you can pick up and DIY yourself, but as someone who can barely muster the energy to step into her kitchen to cook actual food, the convenience to me is worth every penny. (Also, it should be noted that the product in the photo is the travel-sized version—the full sized one is four ounces.)

I could end this by saying my Miley song skin reference has officially changed to "Adore You," but I refrain. Instead, I'll just say that this is an amazingly natural, simple, all-organic product that has earned a permanent place on my bathroom counter, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone with do-as-it-pleases skin.

What's your go-to toner? Sound off below!

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