Toner For Acne Prone Skin: Best Guide

After cleansing, toner for acne prone skin can help close pores and tighten spaces between skin cells, making it harder for dirt and other harmful substances to get into the skin.
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Best Toner For Acne Prone Skin
Toners are often overlooked as luxury skin care items that you can skip if you are trying to save money. Is it true?

You’ve seen them in the skincare section of your local drugstore: the skinny bottles with clear or lightly tinted liquid inside. A strange product is a toner for the face. Many people who use one don’t know why, but it’s what they’ve always done. We love routines, but we love sharing the best reasons to use toner for acne prone skin and what it does for your face even more.

Face toner is a secret weapon for good skin care. It is a water-based liquid that can have soothing ingredients like eucalyptus, peppermint, and aloe added to it. There are usually different formulas that are made for your skin type. A toner’s job is to clean your skin without removing its natural moisture gently. This means toner won’t worsen sensitive skin or dry out the skin too much. Toner also gets your skin ready to drink in your moisturizer and any other skin treatments you may use after cleansing.

Now, you may have seen or heard of products that are called “astringents” instead of “toners.” People often mix up astringent and toner, but they are two different products. The biggest difference is that astringents usually have alcohol in them, which is excellent for people with oily skin. Astringents are great for controlling oil because they dry out the skin.

What Does Face Toner Do and When Do I Use It?

What Does Face Toner Do and When Do I Use It?

After you wash your face, toner for acne prone skin removes any dirt, grime, or other impurities still in your pores. When used regularly as part of your daily skincare routine, it can make a big difference in how your pores look and how tight they are (hello, aging skin). Toner also brings your skin’s pH level back to normal, smooths out rough spots, and evens your skin tone. So many good things!

As for how to use it, you’ll need to soak a cotton ball in the toner and gently wipe it over your face after cleansing every morning and before bed. This should be your second step because it prepares your skin to absorb your moisturizer (the third step) and skin treatments (the fourth step).

Toner types


Bracers are the gentlest type of toner for acne prone skin. They contain calming ingredients like chamomile and rose water to make your skin feel fresh.

If you have dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin, bracers will gently clean your skin and get rid of any dirt or oil that could cause acne.


Tonics are better for people with normal or combination skin who have acne because they have stronger ingredients than bracers. They usually have a small amount of alcohol to help treat acne by removing oil from the skin and keeping pores from clogged.


Most of the time, astringent toners are used to treat acne. They work best for people with naturally oily skin because they have a lot of astringent ingredients that remove oil and dirt.

Astringents are good at getting rid of excess oil and making pores look smaller, but they can be too drying for people with sensitive or dry skin.

What Ingredients to Look For

What Ingredients to Look For

If you have combination skin, your T-zone may be oilier than the rest of your face. A toner for acne prone skin makes it easy to take care of these oily areas without drying out other, less oily areas that don’t need to be stripped. “People with oily skin should look for ingredients like salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that dissolves in oil and can help remove excess sebum from the face, and mandelic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid made from almonds that has antimicrobial properties,” says Dr. Zeichner.

Dr. Zeichner also suggests using a toner for acne prone skin with glycolic acid, which can help get rid of oil in the T-zone and is also suitable for dry spots like the cheeks. “Often, toners contain a mix of different alpha and beta hydroxy acids in lower concentrations,” he says. This makes them effective while reducing the risk of skin irritation.

Marnie Nussbaum, a board-certified dermatologist, says that medicated cleansers and toners will likely help your skin if you get acne more often. “These can usually be used in the morning and evening without irritating, but you may need to use a gentle cleanser and toner for acne prone skin in between,” she says. “All other skin care products should not contain oil, and the ones you use may depend on the topical medicines you’re given.”

How to Choose the Right Toner For Acne Prone Skin

Many people think facial toners are harsh and make the skin dry, but as we just said, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’ve had bad experiences with toners, you might not be using the right kind for your skin type.

Oily Skin: The goal here is to stop the shine you don’t want and get rid of the oil on your face. In this case, try astringents that you put on your skin. They will tighten your pores and help eliminate any oil cleansing you didn’t get. As a bonus, the salicylic acid in the toner for acne prone skin will kill any bacteria that could cause pimples.

Combination Skin: People with combination skin usually have an oily T-zone. An oil-absorbing toner for acne prone skin on your forehead, nose, and chin can help your skin look better. But it would be best if you were careful not to get dry spots on your face. For those spots, soft, moisturizing toner water can help your skin stay hydrated without adding more oil.

Dry Skin: Instead of using drying astringents, choose toning waters or lotions that hydrate the skin. Before you even put on moisturizer, these products can help hydrate and calm dry skin. Mists of water can also be a great way to set makeup.

Sensitive Skin: Like dry skin, you should avoid acne toners that will dry out or irritate your face and look for something lighter to help moisturize it. People with sensitive skin might also benefit from using a toner with ingredients to help calm the skin.

You may have to try a few different toners before you find the one that works best for you and your skin, but adding a toner for acne prone skin to your skincare routine is an important step. Pay attention to the ingredients. If a skin toner has a lot of alcohol, it is probably an astringent made for oily skin, but your skin may prefer a toner without alcohol. In the end, looking for a toner that is good for your skin and makes you feel your best will be worth it.

Once you’ve found the right toner for acne prone skin, it’s up to you to decide how to put it on your face. Some people like gently putting toner on their faces with a cotton ball or pad, while others think it’s better to spray it on or even pat it on. Try out different toners and ways to use them to find out what works best for you. Your esthetician can also help you improve your skincare routine by giving you tips and considering how your skin is unique.

Can Toner Clear Acne?

Can Toner Clear Acne?

Toner for acne prone skin can help clear up small breakouts and blemishes, but it won’t be enough to get rid of acne that keeps coming back.

If you only have a few small spots and they aren’t too bad, a toner for acne prone skin might be all you need to keep those annoying breakouts at bay. That is if the toner you use has an ingredient like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that helps fight acne.

The ingredients in these products help keep pores clean and stop blackheads and small pimples from forming. Toners are also suitable for preventing the occasional bumps and spots that show up.

Toner won’t be enough to clear up your skin if you have more than a few random pimples and blackheads. They aren’t strong enough to get rid of acne fast.

In this case, you would be better off using an acne treatment that works better. The best thing you can buy over-the-counter is a benzoyl peroxide lotion (good for mild inflammatory acne).

Can a Toner Fade Acne Scars?

Depending on what’s in them, some toners can help eliminate the dark marks that pimples leave after they heal. Look for a product with glycolic acid if you want to help dark acne marks fade faster.

But a toner won’t help with real acne scars. Scars with depressions and pits are harder to treat and can’t be helped by toners or other over-the-counter skin care products. There are treatments for acne scars that can help make them less noticeable. Ask your dermatologist which one is best for your skin.

Does Your Skin Need a Toner?

Like many questions about skincare, no one answer works for everyone. Whether or not you should use a toner for acne prone skin depends on many things, like what other products and medicines you’re using on your face and what you prefer.

People often think that you need toners to close your pores. This is not true at all. Pores don’t open and close as doors do. In the end, toner for acne prone skin is not a must-have for skin care.

A type of toner called an astringent can help keep skin that is very oily from feeling too oily. They may also help your makeup last longer and reduce the oily shine that comes with the day. But if your skin is dry or very sensitive or you are using drying acne treatments, you should probably skip the toner.

Some toners have a lot of alcohol or other drying ingredients. Using a toner for acne prone skin can make the dryness caused by many acne treatments on the skin worse (such as Retin-A, BenzaClin, or other topical antibiotics). 5A toner may make your breakouts worse, and if you have moderate to severe inflammatory acne or cystic acne, it may burn or sting when you put it on.

If you love how toners make your skin feel and can’t imagine life without one, go for it. But you can rest easy knowing that if you don’t use toner, you’re not doing a lot of damage to your skin.

How to Pick a Toner for Acne

There are so many toners on the market that it can be hard to choose one in the skincare aisle. If you know what to look for, you can narrow down your choices and find the best product for you.

Look for a product with acne-fighting ingredients to help fight and prevent small spots. Look at the ingredients in either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to see what they do. Remember that an over-the-counter toner for acne prone skin won’t do much more than clear up very mild breakouts.

If you are using a prescription acne treatment, don’t use toners that contain ingredients that fight acne. Using too many medicines on your skin can become dry, flaky, and irritated. Instead, try to find a toner for acne prone skin that doesn’t contain any treatment and has soothing ingredients like aloe vera or glycerin.

Watch how the product makes your skin feel. If the toner burns and stings, this is a clear sign that it is too harsh for your skin. Instead, look for one that makes your skin feel clean and fresh without making it dry.

How Do You Apply Toner?

First, let’s answer one of the most common questions: in what order should I do my skincare routine? And where does the toner fit into the routine?! And it’s hard to understand. There is a lot of bad information, but don’t worry; we have a complete guide. Definitely check it out, but for now, here’s a TL;DR: Maiman says that you should use toners right after a good face wash.

“It’s totally up to you if you put the toner on your hands and tap it directly on your skin or if you put it on a cotton pad and spread it around,” she says. Maiman says you should use toner in the morning and at night. Wait five minutes after applying toner for acne prone skin before doing the rest of your skincare routine. This will help the toner work better. This will keep you from neutralizing the acids with something else before they can do their job.

In Conclusion

Toner for acne prone skin isn’t needed for clear or healthy skin, but it can make your skin feel clean and fresh. Toner and its close relative, astringents, can help make your skin look brighter, smoother, and softer.

If it has the right ingredients, the toner for acne prone skin may help prevent and treat small spots. But you’ll get better results from over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide lotions or prescription acne medicines if you want to fight acne more effectively.


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