They've been part of your routine ever since the gateway that was the 3-piece skincare system, but your skin has come a long way since your introductory kit to complexion care. Not all toners are created equally, and depending on the issue at hand, that alcohol-based formula could be doing more harm than good—particularly if you happen to be on the drier side. But that doesn't mean you should knock toners altogether. Used as a primer for the rest of your serums and moisturizers, they help the skin better absorb the active ingredients, and at the end of the day, do double-duty to whisk away leftover makeup. Certain types can actually help to counteract oil production or kill blemishes, meaning you don't have to pile so many other remedies on over the top. To help you find your perfect match, we outlined some of the best formulas for every skin type below.
1. For Oily Skin
For skin with a tendency to get shiny, the addition of clay into Fresh's toner is a miracle-worker—the wonder ingredient helps draw out oil and impurities from your skin, leaving behind a matte, pore-free finish.
2. For Breakout-Prone Skin
This potent formula performs a balancing act on your oil production, ensuring that your pores remain clear from anything that could trigger a breakout, while soothing any existing activity and fading any leftover acne marks.
3. For Dry Skin
Using a toner on skin that is already pretty dry may seem counterintuitive, so in this case, we'd advise going for an essence instead, which should be patted directly onto clean skin rather than swiped over the surface with a cotton ball. Erborian's ginseng-rich formula in particular fuses the hydrating qualities of your favorite moisturizer with a lightweight, fluid texture, and helps anything you layer over the top to be absorbed on a deeper level.
4. For Aging Skin
Similar to dry complexions, opt for an essence over a toner if your skin is showing signs of aging—namely SK-II's iconic formula. The hero ingredient at work here is pitera, which is found in sake during its fermentation process and is rich in vitamins and amino acids. In addition to the much-needed boost in hydration it provides, you'll also find your fine lines to be less noticeable as it helps to kick-start your natural repair process.
5. For Uneven Tone
Whether brought on by sun damage or post-acne marks, the infusion of ginseng and mulberry root in this gel-based toner will help to fade any hyperpigmentation without leaving your complexion parched.