Recently, we've fallen back in love with toners here at Byrdie HQ. It's not that we ever stopped loving them, per se, but considering the movement toward serums, oils, and other dreamy elixirs that promise to gift us with fairy-kissed skin… well, forgive us if we neglected to give our once basic toner the love it deserved. (Although, mind you, our favorite toners these days are anything but basic.)
Essential for nixing any lingering leftovers post-cleanse, rebalancing moisture and pH levels, and improving the results of proceeding skincare products, toners are pivotal for achieving a healthy and radiant complexion. Therefore, we've been dedicating more of our time and energy to the topic, dishing up the best toners for oily skin and the best alcohol-free toners. (You're welcome.) Yet, there's one major area we still have yet to cover: the blessed drugstore (i.e., ultra-affordable) variety.
And since many of our wallets are feeling a little worse for the wear since the holidays, a list featuring the very best drugstore toners couldn't feel more opportune. Keep reading for our editor-approved list of 10 glow-enhancing toners you can pick up at your local drugstore.
Often compared to its much, much pricier counterparts, this glow-enhancing drugstore toner from Pixi is one of the best your hard-earned dollars can buy. (Plus, you'll have some extra moolah leftover for tomorrow's a happy hour—a win-win, if you ask us.) Deemed hypo-allergenic and free of parabens and alcohol, it features an impressive ingredient roster including exfoliating glycolic acid, energizing ginseng, and soothing aloe vera.
Not only does daisy extract (this toner's hero ingredient) sound divine, it also does the divine by easing discoloration, dullness, and dreariness where our complexion is concerned. Plus, it's 98.9% natural (near perfect in skincare speak), so you can rest assured you'll be doing your skin a favor now and later.
If you're in the market for an affordable toner and also fall into the acne-prone camp, this option from natural and cruelty-free brand Yes To is a game changer. It's infused with tomato extracts (weird but surprisingly effective), witch hazel (Mother Nature's best stringent), salicylic acid, and exfoliating fruit extracts from the likes of blackberry and watermelon. Post-tone, skin feels refreshed, grime-free, and balanced.
Underperforming in price (that's a good thing) and overperforming in effectiveness and quality, Garnier's cult-favorite micellar water is an essential, do-it-all antidote for the woes of every skin type—even the finicky. Whether you need a refresh after the gym, an extra step to lift away makeup post-cleanse, or just a soothing pick-me-up around 3 p.m. (when that stress sweat seems to kick in), this best-of-the-best drugstore toner from Garnier has your back.
We already wrote an ode to this all-natural drugstore brand (yes, we're just that obsessed), and this pore-refining toner just so happens to be one of the line's must-have skincare standouts. Boasting white clay (to tame oil) and willow bark and lemongrass (to tone and balance), it has the makings and efficacy of a toner 10 times the price.
A longtime editor favorite, this back-to-basics (sorry, couldn't resist) toner features a straightforward ingredient list for straightforward results: water + raw apple cider vinegar + witch hazel + clary sage + sandalwood = a bright, balanced, blemish-free complexion. Plus, it also happens to be organic.
A true classic, this rose petal–infused drugstore toner is a dream for those with sensitive and dry skin. Free of alcohol, it will never irritate or overdry, and thanks to a helpful dose of organic aloe vera, it feels oh so soothing after a long day at the office or outside in the sun.
This pH-balancing toner keeps your skin even and moisturized post-cleansing or as a quick refresher on clean skin. There are no fragrances, just good-for-you multivitamins, minerals, and rose-hip oil to nourish and replenish.
Formulated with natural AHAs from the hibiscus plant, this toner helps to gently exfoliate and clarify the skin by sweeping away inactive cells and removing debris. If the exfoliating part has you nervous, know that it's safe enough for all skin types to use.
Treat signs of aging with this glycolic and vitamin A–infused (retinol) toner to brighten the complexion and "thicken" the skin to fill out fine lines. Skin will also receive a generous dose of moisture form sea kelp and aloe vera.
Still unsure about the difference between toner and essence? (We were at first, too). This story will help break it down.