Our skin is a miracle organ! It does so much for us, from protecting us, from ridding our body of impurities, to regulating our temperature.
Our facial skin, however, is amongst the most exposed and therefore takes the brunt of what the day throws at us. And if you have skin that is on the sensitive side, then you know it needs some extra love.
Then ask yourself, what is missing from your beauty routine that could help clear up your skin? The answer is the toner! Toner is something of a secret weapon in your beauty arsenal.
It not only works to balance the pH levels of your skin, but it also works to break up any blockages caused by heavy products, such as makeup and sunscreen.
And because your skin deserves the best, we have put together a list of the best drugstore toners for acne-prone skin.
The 10 Best Drugstore Toners for Acne Prone Skin
1. Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
Mario Badescu is a household name when it comes to beauty. While this toner has been formulated for all skin types, it works especially well on acne-prone skin. The key ingredient in this toner is glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is a gentle acid that does not irritate the skin. Rather, it works to refine pores while minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture.
That said, this toner is gentle enough to be used twice a day. We recommended beginning with a mild cleanser (preferably the foaming kind) and then following it up with a generous sweep of this toner. Now, the important part is to moisturize your skin after. During the day, reach for sunscreen and at night, reach of a moisturizer with retinol. This will ensure that your skin is clean, balanced, and hydrated throughout the day and night.
Thus, you can sleep easy knowing that the toner is working its magic by making sure that your skin is not conducive for acne-causing bacteria to thrive. Moreover, the benefits of glycolic acid are working to reverse the damage caused by acne to your beautiful skin. We highly recommend that you make this toner a part of your daily beauty regiment and watch the results appear in the mirror in a few days!
2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution
La Roche-Posay is a European skincare company that has been making waves around the world! This toner comes loaded with the benefits of salicylic acid and glycolic acid, making it one of the best drugstore toners for acne-prone skin!
The combination of these two acids is what makes this product so unique. The glycolic acid skins into your skin to flush out pores and remove dead skin cells. The result is even looking and refreshed skin. Salicylic acid, on the other hand, is a medicinal product that neutralizes acne-causing bacteria in clogged pores, such as blackheads, whiteheads, and acne blemishes.
Even though it contains some powerful ingredients, this toner is gentle enough to be used daily as part of your skincare regiment. Simply smooth it on with a cotton pad, morning and evening, for the best results. Pro-tip: follow it up with a hyaluronic serum to ensure the skin locks in moisture, making it look dewy as well as even and clear.
3. Touch Glycolic Acid Toner
As the name suggests, this wonderful toner contains glycolic acid, which is a fantastic exfoliant. Unlike abrasive exfoliants, glycolic acid sinks into the skin to remove dead skin and reveals bright and even skin. It also removes excess oil and dirt from your pores, leaving your face feeling refreshed and squeaky clean.
Moreover, it also restores the natural pH balance of your skin; skin is naturally acidic, however, the effects of the day tend to make it more alkaline, creating a suitable atmosphere for acne-causing bacteria to flourish. Touch Glycolic Acid Toner has a pH level of 3.5. This will help neutralize any remaining alkalinity after cleansing, which could affect your skin’s optimal pH levels.
Most importantly, Touch Glycolic Acid toner is alcohol-free! This means there will be no stripping away of natural oils, which could render your skin dry and even more irritated. Instead, it uses rosewater, witch hazel, and aloe vera gel to control excess oil production, reduce redness, control sebum and shrink the appearance of your pores. Oh, and rosewater has wonderful skin brightening and anti-aging properties too! So, say goodbye to fine lines and hello to youthful, clear skin.
Related: check also article about drugstore pore minimizers!
4. Pixi Glow Tonic with Aloe Vera and Ginseng
Pixi Glow Tonic is a cult classic product with an ever-growing fan base! It simply needs to be dowsed into a cotton pad and swept across the face, neck, and décolletage for it to work its magic. Ideally, you would want to use it at night, after cleansing. This will rid your skin of any lingering impurities and will ensure a deep cleanse.
Additionally, did you know this toner has 5% glycolic acid? Which means you have found your new best friend in the fight against acne. The glycolic acid dives deep into your pores to flush out impurities while the aloe vera soothes and hydrates irritated skin. Finally, ginseng promotes circulation and energizes your skin, leaving it feeling fresh and glowing. Now all your need is your beauty sleep and your skin will be gorgeous and ready for the morning!
But that’s not all it does! It gained cult status because it also gently accelerates cell renewal and balances your complexion to reveal radiant and healthier-looking skin. This means that you can say farewell to those pesky acne scars! Moreover, this formula is free of alcohol, parabens, and cruelty, making it good for body and mind! Just remember to follow it up with your favorite moisturizer to seal the deal.
5. Some By Mi Miracle Toner
Sometimes, washing your face is not enough, when you have acne-prone skin. That extra help can be provided to you by facial acids. This is why the Miracle Toner is among the best drugstore toners for acne-prone skin! A Korean beauty secret product, this toner slowly gaining the status of a game-changer.
Related: check our article about Korean toners for dry skin!
This formula has been created using three types of acids that promise results in 30 days of continuous use. AHAs remove impurities and dry flakes from the skin’s surface. BHAs g deeper to remove impurities and excess oils from your pores. PHAs ensure that moisture stays locked in while dissolving dead skin cells that could clog pores and create a comfy environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive.
Often, we find ourselves reaching for this product during our morning skin regiment. We keep it simple by washing our face with a cleanser, followed by a generous sweep of the miracle toner. And for stubborn, flaky areas, like around the nose, you can leave the cotton pad there for a minute or two, just to make sure all the flakes are dislodged and swept away. Follow with a serum and sunscreen.
6. Insta Natural Age Defying and Skin Clearing Toner
As the name suggests, Insta Natural toner is made with natural ingredients, which means is it safe for all skin types and all ages. The ingredients used are obtained from renewable sources found in nature. Some of its key ingredients include Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, and Niacinamide.
So, what does that mean for your skin? Simply, that your skin is in very capable hands. Vitamin C assists in giving your skin that radiating glow, while hyaluronic acid encourages the skin to hold in more moisture. Together, these powerhouse ingredients work to minimize the effects of sun damage and promote supple and bright skin. Niacinamide, on the other hand, is a form of Vitamin B-3 that works to combat inflammation, making it perfect for acne. It also created a lipid barrier that works to retain moisture in your skin and prevents patchy, dry flakes from forming.
Additionally, it also contains salicylic acid, which not only fights acne but also reduces the appearance of fine lines and other signs of aging. Therefore, if you suffer from adult acne, which comes with its host of troubles, this product is the one for you.
Applying this product couldn’t be any easier. Simply spritz the product onto cleansed skin, morning and evening. Avoid getting the product into your eyes by covering them with your hand. We love that it comes in a spray bottle as it reduces the need for additional equipment (read: cotton pads).
7. Sebamed Clear Face Facial Toner
Sebamed Clear Face toner is a handy little product to keep in your beauty arsenal. It has a pH level of 5.5, which means that it is ready to take on all the alkalinity the day has infused into your skin. The call-out feature of this toner is that it soaks deep into your skin to help remove excess oil and break up clogged pores that would turn into blackheads around your nose. Moreover, due to its pH level, it creates an unfavorable environment for acne-causing bacteria.
However, we recommend that you conduct a test patch on your arm to see how your skin would react to this toner as it contains a small amount of alcohol. We prefer to use this product at night and combine it with a BHA product as well.
Begin your routine by cleansing your face. Next, soak a cotton pad with this toner and smooth it onto your face. We find that it leaves a slight residue on our skin, which is why we finish off with a BHA to ensure that all levels of our skin are being exfoliated and cleared of dead skin cells.
Related: Best Exfoliators for Acne
We would recommend this toner for those with normal to combination skin who suffer the occasional breakout.
8. Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner
Andalou Naturals is committed to providing you with products created with natural ingredients and contain no GMOs. Their toner is imbued with the benefits of citrus fruits, particularly clementines, as they contain natural astringent properties.
Another powerhouse ingredient is Vitamin C. Vitamin C combats hyperpigmentation and sun damage, which results in visibly bright and radiant looking skin. Fruit stem cell complex works to improve the skin texture, working to clear up any acne scars. Finally, aloe vera hydrates and oxygenates the skin, making it appear fresh, youthful, and glowing.
Interestingly, this toner also comes in a misting form, so you can take it with you on the go. However, if you don’t want to spray it into your face, you can spritz the product into your hands and smooth it onto your skin, patting as you apply. Just remember to moisturize your skin after the toner has been absorbed. You now have the perfect canvas for your makeup.
9. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner
Neutrogena is another household name. Open up your bathroom vanity and chances are, you will find a Neutrogena product there. The company has upped the ante with this toner.
Committed to creating products that deliver the best results, this toner comes with Microclear technology. So, what does it do? This technology goes into the skin to dissolve oil in pores to that the salicylic acid can easily reach the source of the breakout. That way, it can work its magic and prevent the acne from flaring up on your beautiful visage.
And if that wasn’t enough, the toner also contains the goodness of green tea and cucumber to help soothe away the irritation around acne flare-ups. We recommend using this product twice a day, however, you can build that up to three times a day, if needed. Just remember to work your way up to it, so you don’t cause excessive drying of the skin. And, as always, moisturize and apply SPF.
Related: If you have a dry skin check our article about best toners for dry skin or best drugstore toners for dry skin!
10. Thayers Natural Remedies Facial Toner
Thayers is a natural remedy company that has been creating beauty products our grans would have used and loved. Tried, tested, and true, this facial toner and never disappointed users. This product is alcohol-free, thereby ensuring that it will not dry out your skin.
It is created with witch hazel and aloe vera. These are natural astringents that contain many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Witch hazel targets irritated and itchy areas, soothing them and reducing the appearance of redness.
The aloe vera works to soothe the surface of the skin while hydrating it as well. This results in skin that feels fresh, bouncy, and soft.
To use, begin by thoroughly cleansing the face with a gentle foaming cleanser. Next, soak a cotton pad with the toner and sweep it over your face and neck. Finally, finish off with your favorite facial serum and moisturizer. We can promise wonderful results if you use this twice daily. And the best part is that it is suitable for all skin types!
Which toner is the best for acne-prone skin?
Finding your Holy Grail toner is a matter of identifying your concerns and addressing it with the right ingredients. If you have acne-prone skin that is also dry, we recommend using Some by Mi Miracle toner it contains wonderful acids that remove impurities, clear the skin and hydrate it as well. We love La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying toner for our daily needs.
Are toners good for acne?
The answer to this is a resounding yes! The primary task of toner is two-fold:
- To get rid of any lingering impurities, such as makeup or dirt, that might have been missed in the cleansing process;
- To shift the pH balance towards the acidic side of the scale to create an unfavorable environment for acne-causing bacteria.
Therefore, if you suffer from acne, find a toner that works for you, and make it part of your daily routine.
How do you make a toner for acne-prone skin?
If you cannot purchase a toner, you can very easily create one at home. Remember the basics – you want to create an acidic environment on your skin. This can be achieved by incorporating ingredients such as lemon juice or even apple cider vinegar.
To dilute their potency, we recommend mixing them with distilled water before applying it to your face. Let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Remember to finish with your favorite moisturizer.
Toners are most commonly used to balance the pH levels of your skin. That said, those who suffer from acne breakouts have to cater to other issues too, such as dryness or excessive oiliness. Thus, the first step to finding the best drugstore toner for your acne-prone skin is first to identify your skin conditions.
Next, see which toner addresses which key areas of your skin troubles. Our list contains the best toners for all types of skin concerns. We hope that this will help you narrow down your search and find a toner that will become your new best friend for life!
Want something more for acne prone skin? Check our articles below:
- Face Self Tanners for Acne-Prone Skin
- Face Mask for Acne
- Pillowcases for Acne-Prone Skin
- Primers for Acne Prone Skin
- Concealers for Acne
- Body Washes for Acne Prone Skin
- Face Washes for Acne Prone Skin
- Cocoa Butters for Acne Scars
Joan S. Wilson is a lifelong makeup and skincare enthusiast. She used to work as a makeup artist for 5 years. Joan is always curious and wants to learn more when it comes to makeup and skincare. She tries her best to make other people’s skin health better. This is why Joan is so passionate about writing articles on beauty topics. She always looks for products that are high-quality, dermatologist-tested, and does that it says on the label. In every article, she shares her knowledge to make your life healthier and happier!