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5 toners to give your skin a smooth, hydrated glow

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The best toners will restore your skin’s natural pH levels after cleansing. They also prime your skin for serums or moisturizers. Many toners offer targeted ingredients that address specific issues.

If you don’t already use a toner, then crowbarring this extra step into an already-time-consuming routine might seem unnecessary. Experts agree that even the most powerful toner is not enough. Cosmetic Doctor Dr Sonia Khorana explains that toners were once used to remove any make-up left over after applying your best cleanser. “But, cleansers are pretty adept at doing this job now. Most are also pH-balanced.”

Toners are now more efficient. Gallinee founder and microbiome expert Dr Marie Drago says that toners today can do a lot, from hydrating to refining or exfoliating. Toners don’t have to be one-size fits all. They contain active ingredients that are similar to what you would find in a high-powered serum or best night cream. Toners can target pigmentation or mottled areas, while others gently exfoliate the skin, improving its texture and luminosity. There are gentle, soothing versions for those with sensitive skin who may be prone to redness.


It can be difficult to find the right skincare products for you. Toners can be difficult if you have sensitive skin or a skin condition that is prone to rejecting new products. It can be daunting to try different toners in order to find the best one. We tested the top toners available, and included them in our skincare routines for at most a week. This allowed us to compare how they performed when we used them consistently. This guide will help to decide which product is best for you, what you can expect to achieve, and any possible complications.

For most people

+Alcohol free
+Boosts luminosity
+Smells wonderful

Pixi Glow Tonic, a skincare product that is beloved by millions of people, has become a cult favorite. Its ability to make the skin glow like a light switch makes it a popular choice. The 5% glycolic acid formula breaks down the bonds that hold dead cells to the skin to smoothen pores and speed up cell turnover. To keep your skin soft and smooth, soothing aloe verde is used to offset all this exfoliating goodness.

This made applying make-up much easier. Even the best foundations can look uneven if you have a rough skin texture. However, after using this base, my skin felt more comfortable and looked more natural. My skin looked brighter and healthier after the first use. I noticed a difference in my complexion within one week. When your skin looks tired and dull, this is a great toner.

The best expert toner

+Exfoliates and Hydrates in One
+New-to-market formula
+Gets to work quickly
-Precious compared to other toners

Face Gym is changing the face of skincare with their ‘Workout’ facials. These beauty treatments target the muscles that aren’t being used for contouring and lifting. The brand offers a wide range of products and tools that you can use at home to maintain your skin’s health between visits.

The brand’s most popular product, Skin Changer essence/toner hybrid, is a star product. It does exactly what it says on its tin. It takes just a few minutes for the product to fully dry after being applied to the skin. This gives the skin a plump and moisturized feel. The skin is left slightly tacky, but this quickly disappears and forms the perfect base for your rest of your skincare routine. My skin felt brighter, hydrated and more radiant after using this product for a few days. Long-term use will result in less breakouts and diminished hyperpigmentation. The product is unscented, but it has a pleasant, fresh aroma. Plus, the premium frosted-glass packaging is a bonus.

The best heavy-duty toner

+Vegan & Totally cruelty-free
+Works fast
-Maybe too harsh for sensitive skin

We mean heavy-duty when we say it. This toner can solve all your skincare problems quickly and effectively. However, it is not suitable for sensitive skin or those with dry skin. This toner is great for people who have acne or are prone to scarring, or have a rough texture or stubborn scarring.

Glycolic acid, which is known for its ability to shed dead skin cells, is the holy grail ingredient of many skincare enthusiasts, especially those suffering from breakouts. Glycolic acid is also multi-purpose. Many people love to use it to prevent ingrown hairs and reduce the odor under their armpits (yes, really!). For my acne-prone skin I find that applying this toner every other days is enough to prevent my breakouts from getting worse. Use your hands to massage the toner into the skin with your fingertips. After drying, apply other products.

This toner is best used in the evening. Use your best facial sunscreen each day to protect yourself from sunburn.

This is the best toner for dark spots and fine lines

+Multi-use product targeting lines for skin clarity and skin clarity
+A little goes far
-More costly than other drugstore toners

It can reverse the signs of ageing such as fine lines and sun damage. Ole Henriksen is a well-known brand in the world of skincare. This is due to its brightening, glow-inducing products.

This product is part of a PM range and can be used in conjunction with a skincare routine. It should be applied after cleansing in the morning. The brand’s barrier booster essence will give you a glowing complexion the next day. Use a cotton pad to wipe the product over your face, removing any dirt and buildup that your cleanser did not remove.

The toner is scented with lemony freshness and absorbs quickly into the skin. It is normal to feel a slight tingling sensation after applying the product, but this is normal with AHA products that actually work. You can also use it on sensitive skin.

5. L’OREAL REVITALIFT 5% Pure Glycolic Acid Peeling Toner
The best drugstore toner

+Ideal for sensitive skin
+Perfect for daily use
+Fresh scent
-Slightly difficult applicator

This is another toner that contains acne-fighting glycolic acids. It can be used every day. This peeling toner is ideal for sensitive skin. It gently exfoliates and reveals a radiant complexion.

Our skin felt soft and hydrated immediately after we applied this formula. Don’t take this as a sign that you should skip your favorite moisturizer. To rehydrate and keep that glow, use your favorite cream.

Keep in mind that this toner’s texture is more watery than other products, and it comes out of the bottles quickly. This is especially true if you apply the toner with your hands rather than a cotton pad.

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