What's So Great About Toner Anyway? You'll Be Surprised

Toners: What are they good for? Well, surprisingly, quite a lot. I used to be sceptical about the power of toners, but then I ended up wailing to a woman at Liberty at the Kiehl's counter about how my skin was looking dreadful (don't worry, she actually worked there, it wasn't random).

She took one look and said it was because my skin was dehydrated and that I needed to exfoliate the dead cell buildup on the daily. By doing that, my moisturiser would work much better. However, to do that, and therefore resurrect my dull and blotchy skin, I needed to use a toner (because they exfoliate, don't you know?). And she was right; it worked like a charm.

So what's the deal with toners, and why do I suddenly think they're the best? There are a few uses for toners, which is why you should include one of these multitaskers into your skincare routine. Whether that's for redness, dehydration, dullness or spot-prone skin, there are plenty of toners on the market that do miracles for your complexion.

Keep scrolling to find out more about toners, and shop the best below.

Best toner: picture of woman looking surprised

They exfoliate the skin

Whether you've got dull skin, have a few blemishes or have acne, there are toners packed full of ingredients that will help slough off dead skin cells. Dermatologist Erin Gilbert says that "toners containing alcohols remove excess oil from the skin and can actually help prevent breakouts for those with acne-prone skin." It's worth looking for toners containing fruit enzymes of boasting alpha-hydroxy acids, as these will nibble away at dead skin that blocks pores contributing to spots.

They make other products work better

Always used after cleansing, a toner does the job of getting rid of the final dregs of makeup and dirt on the skin. According to dermatologist Alicia Zalka, "a toner can help other skin applications penetrate more rapidly." Whether that's your serum, moisturiser or night cream, you can bank on the fact that it's working much better now you've got a toner in your skincare lineup.

They can help to moisturise the skin

You don't just have to look for a toner that gets rid of dead skin cells (although that is a good idea); you might also be keen to try a toner that helps your skin feel more moisturised, especially if you're prone to dehydration or you have genetically dry skin. Try one with hyaluronic acid (a molecule that draws moisture to the skin) for the best results.

Keep scrolling for our pick of the best toners around.

Best toner: Pixi Glow Tonic
Pixi Glow Tonic $18

Containing glycolic acid, this toner simultaneously gets rid of dead skin and brightens complexions. The witch hazel also helps to firm up your skin. One of our all-time favourite products.

Best toner: AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner
AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner $20

Talk about prepping this skin. This toner dissolves dead surface cells and purifies pores to enable all your other moisturising products to maximise their benefits.

Best toner: Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner
Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner $30

This isn't your average toner. For starters, it's alcohol-free, so it acts more as a pre-serum treatment rather than a traditional toning product. One for those who need added moisture (thanks to the hyaluronic acid) and anti-ageing properties (CoQ-10 protects from ageing free radicals).

Best toner: Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex
Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex $25

Warning: This one is not for those who have dry skin. This is very much for complexions that suffer from breakouts and oily, clogged-up pores.

Best toner: Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner
Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner $48

An all-in-one wonder product, it's out of this world. (Martian—get it?) Sunday Riley's toner doesn't just tackle dehydrated skin, but it also combats acne-prone skin, while also reducing redness. See what we mean?

Best toner: Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extrat
Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extrat $35

Ultra-soothing, this calendula toner from Kiehl's is also alcohol-free, so it's ideal for sensitive skin.

Best toner: Avene Eau Thermale Cleanance Mattifying Toner
Avène Eau Thermale Cleanance Mattifying Toner $11

One of the more affordable toners, this one from French beauty brand Avène helps to control sebum production and makes the skin feel clean and matte after use. Best for blemish-prone skin.

Opening Images: Zara

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