Toners don’t necessarily get the same amount of praise as, say, a cleanser or a moisturizer. That probably has something to do with the fact that those skincare staples have clearer directions: A cleanser obviously cleans skin, and a moisturizer undoubtedly hydrates it. So what exactly does a toner do? "Toners are designed to restore a skin’s pH after cleansing, gently remove debris, hydrate the skin to absorb additional products, and deliver nourishing active ingredients," Cindy Bae, MD, a New York–based dermatologist, says. "There are multiple benefits."
Toners, then, are the products that should come between a moisturizer and a cleanser for the best results. And if you want to see for yourself why they shouldn’t be left out, we found 10 nourishing choices to help you get started—and all of them are budget-friendly drugstore picks. These options feature natural ingredients, such as blueberry extract and aloe vera, and they also have the capabilities to minimize pores, soften skin, and soothe irritations. Bae recommends using them for your morning and night routines and adds that there are no drawbacks as long as you choose the one that’s best for your skin type. So maybe you’ll soon discover that toners should be praised for all that they can do. After all, it turns out that they accomplish a lot.
Willowbark is the natural ingredient in this toner, which clarifies skin and tightens pores. You’ll have to shake the bottle before use in order to get the shine-reducing powders to activate.
The thermal spring water in this toner can gently soothe and soften skin, making this an ideal choice for those with sensitive profiles. It’s hypoallergenic, too.
If you’re looking for a toner to rebalance your skin’s pH levels, brighten its appearance, and lessen the look of fine lines, then this one is it. The bottle is mixed with vitamin A and marine plant extracts to do just that, and all of its ingredients are paraben and sulfate-free.
This natural toner is also free of parabens and works to even texture and brighten overall complexion with its daisy extract. Furthermore, it also removes dirt and makeup as part of a regular routine.
Those with oily skin types might want to try this salicylic and citric-acid toner since it has properties to clear and minimize pores that fall under that classification. Plus, it cleans and firms texture, too.
This toner’s namesake witch hazel shares healing properties with calming aloe vera and brightening rose petal for a soothing elixir. Not only will it clean pores, but it’ll also moisturize your skin.
Acne-prone and irritated profiles can benefit from the Pacific Ocean and Himalayan Pink sea salts in this toner, which are paired with the aforementioned healing components of rose water, aloe vera, and witch hazel, too.
Looking for a toner that won’t over-dry your skin? Opt for this one, which has naturally distilled witch hazel to clean skin without that harmful result.
Fruit extracts make up the bulk of the ingredients behind this hydrating toner, including blueberry and grapefruit seed oil. Those properties will minimize pores and hydrate dry skin.
This alcohol- and paraben-free cleanser is a gentle cleaning option for those with sensitive skin. Its 15 different minerals will also keep it moisturized and toned, too.