Women's Health may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only feature products we believe in. Why trust us?

12 Best Toners For Acne-Prone Skin, Say Dermatologists

They've come a long way from your toners from high school.

toners for acne
Christine Giordano

If you find yourself regularly fighting breakouts or controlling your acne-prone skin, you’d likely benefit from adding a toner to your skincare lineup.

While there continues to be some confusion over what defines a toner, it’s best understood as a water-based liquid that delivers deep and fast hydration and primes skin for the rest of your routine. Even so, “there is still no uniform definition across the beauty industry of what a toner actually does as their functions vary from brand to brand,” explains Shereene Idriss, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Depending on what it contains, it may also deliver a boost of antioxidants or even serve as an exfoliating step to get rid of dead skin cells and unnecessary build up.”

Meet Our Experts: Shereene Idriss, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City

Because most people with acne have some combination of these skin types or have different needs at different times, here are the best toners for acne-prone skin so you can find the best option for you.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
1
Best For Oily Skin
Caudalie
Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner
2
Best Budget Buy
Neutrogena
Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent
3
Best Hydrating
Glow Recipe
Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner
4
Best For Dry Skin
The Ordinary
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
5
Best for Combination Skin
Isla Beauty
Tone Balance Elixir
6
Best Classic
Mario Badescu
Glycolic Acid Toner
7
Best Sustainable
PURPOSEFUL SKINCARE BY ALLIES
Heroine Mandelic & Licorice Superfood Glow Toner
8
Best Balancing
Lancôme
Tonique Radiance Clarifying Refining Toner
Now 28% off
9
Best For Uneven Texture
Farmacy
Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner
10
Best Smoothing
Tula
Get Toned Pro-Glycolic 10% Resurfacing Toner
11
Best for Cleansing
Murad
Clarifying Toner
12
Best Brightening
BYBI
Day Glow AHA Facial Tonic
13

How do I choose the best toner?

Of all the toners available, Dr. Idriss believes the exfoliating options are the most compelling since they can be used by all skin types to target a range of concerns while also buffing the skin's surface. “If you have oily or acne-prone skin, salicylic acid toners are best suited for you,” she says. “Whereas if you have dry skin, then glycolic acid toners can help deliver dual action of hydration and exfoliation. And finally, if you are on the sensitive end of the spectrum, a toner with a polyhydroxy acid, like glucanolactone, might be your best bet.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Acne