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The Best Face Toners for Poreless Skin

By Rebecca Jenkinson - 3 years ago | Updated
Woman with a cotton pad next to four bottles of face toner

You may be thinking you can skip the facial toner, but we’re here to tell you that it’s a crucial step that helps refine, rejuvenate and refresh your skin.

Face toner should come after cleansing to help remove any excess impurities or face makeup. There’s a solution for every skin type, whether you have dry, oily, sensitive or mature skin. However, with so many to choose from it can be tricky knowing which one to add into your routine.

That’s where the skincare fanatics at Cosmetify HQ come in. We’ve compiled all our notes on how to implement toners into your routine, as well as our fave solutions for various skin types.

What is skin toner?

Toner was once seen as an unnecessary and harsh step in skin care; however, reimagined modern toners are now a nourishing and hydrating component of any beauty and grooming routine. Usually a liquid or spray format, toners help cleanse and clarify the skin. It is the first leave-on step in your routine, which treats your skin rather than a cleanser which you wash away.

What does face toner do?

Face toners have plenty of benefits. Not only do they give you that extra clean feeling, but they can also help refine texture and even out your skin tone. Whether you’re struggling with pesky pimples or dulling skin, toners can purify and exfoliate all in one single swipe.

One of the biggest benefits of face toners is that they help tighten and refine enlarged pores. This helps keep the skin clear and reduces the appearance of blackheads.

Star ingredients often include, antioxidant rich vitamin C, acne-fighting salicylic acid and brightening AHAs. If you're searching for a specific one, use of drop-down ingredient preference filter. Not sure where to look? Browse our beauty glossary to find out more.

How to use face toner?

With so many beauty gurus out there following 20-step skincare routines, you might not be sure where a toner fits in. But most skin care routines follow the basic steps of cleanse, tone, then moisturise, moving from lightest to heaviest products for the best absorption. For a poreless finish all day long, we'd definitely recommend following this rule and using a toner as the first thing after cleansing.

First, start by removing impurities from your skin using a facial cleanser (usually a balm or cream) and then follow with your chosen toner. Either spritz across the skin or apply to a cotton pad and swipe on the face, neck and décolletage. Allow the formula to fully absorb and then follow with your favourite serum, moisturiser and SPF.

To find the best formula for you and your skin, we’ve listed ten of the best face toners here at Cosmetify.

PIXI Clarity Tonic

£21.19

PIXI are renowned for their must-have tonics. This specific clarifying solution contains a winning blend of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid, which removes dead skin cells. It’s the perfect antidote to help tackle enlarged pores, breakouts and textured skin. Plus, the toner contains aloe vera and probiotics to help soothe the face.

Medik8 Press & Glow Tonic

£22.40 £28.00 (20% off)

This toner is a great all-rounder for all skin types and conditions. The aloe vera and acai in the formula hydrate your skin, soothe any inflammation and shield it from free radicals; polyhydroxy acids shed dead skin cells and prickly pear improves the appearance of fine lines.

The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Toner

£11.95 £13.00 (9% off)

The INKEY List is a firm favourite here at Cosmetify thanks to their purse-friendly formulas and their Glycolic Acid Toner is no different! It uses 10% glycolic acid to help gently remove any clogged skin cells for a refined, radiant and clear complexion. Plus, it includes 5% witch hazel which helps balance oil production.

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

£25.62

This one is from beloved brand Paula's Choice is perfect for pores, as well as relieving combination and oily skin that's prone to irritation. The lightweight solution is full of antioxidants and reinforces your skin's barrier to prevent future flare-ups and sensitivity.

REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic

£24.00 £31.81 (25% off)

If your skin's looking dull, you'll definitely want to try this brightening and clarifying toner. Lactic acid, an AHA, helps exfoliate dead skin cells and resurface your skin which, together with azelaic acid, gives you a radiant glow. As a bonus, willow bark helps reduce fine lines and minimise pores, leaving you looking extra youthful and flawless.

Murad Clarifying Toner

£18.75 £29.00 (36% off)

Use this blemish-busting toner in both the AM and PM to help tighten pores for a clearer complexion. Allantoin helps calm irritations, witch hazel draws out dirt and algae extract controls sebum production. This combo of ingredients refreshes the skin and reduces the likelihood of the midday shine.

DCL Active Mattifying Tonic

£29.00

Maybe you have the opposite problem, and your face ends up looking too shiny throughout the day from the extra oil your skin's producing. In that case, we love a mattifying toner like this one from DCL. Contrary to popular belief, you don't actually want to dry out your skin if it's excessively oil as it can only make your skin produce more oil to compensate. This toner, full of hyaluronic acid, willow and lavender, hydrates and calms, leaving you with a matte face throughout the day without drying you out.

Trilogy Vitamin C Energising Mist Toner

£21.00 £21.19 (1% off)

Dull, tired-looking skin in need a pick-me-up? Pick a toner with vitamin C, like this energising one from Trilogy. With a blend of mandarin, tangerine, ylang ylang and vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), this citrus-y spray is great for refreshing your skin, protecting it from environmental damage and evening out your tone.

NIP+FAB Charcoal + Mandelic Acid Fix Tonic

£13.23 £19.95 (34% off)

For anyone with stubborn blemishes and clogged pores, this purifying toner is a great option for achieving super clean, nourished skin. Charcoal minimises the appearance of skin impurities while witch hazel helps detox the skin and remove any products that might be left on your skin after cleansing. Plus, the antibacterial mandelic acid prevents future breakouts.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

£12.30

Finally, to round up our top ten we have the best-selling toner from The Ordinary. Again, we see the powers of glycolic acid get to work to help correct uneven skin tone and leave you with radiant results. It also contains aloe vera, ginseng root and Tasmanian pepper berry which helps soothe any inflammation.

For more top skin care tips take a look at the best The Best Chemical Exfoliators for Soft, Smooth Skin and the Best Collagen Skin Products for Plump and Firm Skin.

Rebecca Jenkinson

Written by Rebecca Jenkinson

Rebecca is a content writer with over three years’ experience and a keen interest in cosmetics. Cosmetify allows her to combine her blogging skills with her passion for beauty.

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