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Best Toner for Oily Skin: 9 Top Picks to Balance & Clarify Your Complexion (2024)

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best toner for oily skinLooking for the best toner for oily skin? You’re in luck! The right toner can work wonders for your complexion.

Seek out ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, and witch hazel, which help control excess oil and unclog pores. Steer clear of harsh alcohols that can strip your skin and trigger more oil production.

When applying, use a gentle touch with a soft cotton pad or your fingertips. Aim to use your toner twice daily after cleansing but before moisturizing.

Let’s explore some first-class options!

Table Of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Toners with salicylic acid, niacinamide, and witch hazel are your skin’s new BFFs – they’ll work overtime to keep those pores clear and shine at bay.
  • Ditch the harsh alcohols in your toner like you’d ditch a bad date – they’ll only lead to more oil production and a whole lot of regret.
  • Applying toner is an art form – think gentle pat-downs with a cotton pad, not aggressive scrubbing like you’re trying to remove a stubborn stain.
  • Consistency is key – use your toner twice daily, and you’ll be on your way to a complexion so balanced, it could teach a yoga class.

Ingredients to Look for and Avoid in Toners

Ingredients to Look for and Avoid in Toners
When choosing a toner for oily skin, you’ll want to focus on ingredients that balance and clarify your complexion. Look for powerhouse ingredients like salicylic acid, which penetrates pores to clear out excess sebum, and niacinamide, which regulates oil production. Lactic acid gently exfoliates, while witch hazel tightens pores and reduces inflammation. These ingredients boost toning effectiveness without breaking the bank.

On the flip side, steer clear of harsh alcohols that can strip your skin and trigger overproduction of oil. Fragrances and essential oils might smell nice, but they’re common culprits for skin irritation. Heavy oils and silicones can clog pores, defeating the purpose of your toner.

How to Choose the Right Toner for Oily Skin

How to Choose the Right Toner for Oily Skin
When choosing a toner for oily skin, look for key ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, and witch hazel while avoiding harsh alcohols that can strip your skin. Apply your toner gently using a cotton pad or your hands, and remember that the right technique can enhance its effectiveness in balancing and clarifying your complexion.

Key Ingredients To Seek

When choosing a toner for oily skin, you’ll want to seek out key ingredients that pack a punch.

Look for salicylic acid and glycolic acid** to exfoliate and unclog pores. Hyaluronic acid and aloe vera will keep your skin hydrated without adding extra oil.

Witch hazel can help tighten pores, while zinc and green tea offer soothing benefits.

Don’t forget niacinamide for oil control and benzoyl peroxide for acne-fighting power.

Avoid Harsh Alcohols

When choosing a toner for oily skin, steer clear of harsh alcohols. These can strip your skin, leading to increased sebum production and potential irritation. Opt for alcohol-free toners that balance your skin without causing damage. Look for alternative ingredients that effectively control oil and clarify pores.

Here are three reasons to avoid harsh alcohols in your toner:

  1. Prevents skin barrier disruption
  2. Reduces risk of over-drying and rebound oiliness
  3. Minimizes potential for irritation and redness

Application Techniques Matter

When applying toner, technique matters. Use a soft cotton pad to gently sweep the product across your face, avoiding harsh rubbing that can irritate oily skin.

Don’t forget your neck and chest. For sensitive areas, pat the toner on with clean fingertips.

Apply twice daily after cleansing, but before serums or moisturizers. This method helps maintain your skin’s pH balance while controlling oil.

9 Best Toners for Oily Skin

Kickstart your oily skin care routine with the best toners designed to balance and clarify your complexion, leaving you with a refreshed and revitalized glow. Discover a selection of top-rated toners that effectively cleanse, unclog pores, and regulate oil production, helping you achieve a healthy, shine-free visage.

1. Clarifying Toner Cleansing Treatment

Murad Clarifying Toner - CleansingView On Amazon
The Clarifying Toner Cleansing Treatment by Murad is your go-to for balancing oily skin. Its oil-fighting formula, featuring witch hazel and algae extract, cools and soothes your skin.

Perfect for normal, oily, or combination types, it helps tighten pores and improve texture. However, it might sting slightly on troubled areas and potentially dry out skin, so pair it with a good moisturizer.

Consistent use can reduce breakouts and improve overall skin tone, making it a staple in your skincare routine.

Best For: Normal, oily, or combination skin types, especially those prone to breakouts and acne.

  • Oil-fighting formula helps balance skin
  • Cools and soothes
  • Tightens pores and improves skin texture
  • May dry out skin
  • May cause redness
  • May sting slightly on troubled areas

2. Farmacy Deep Sweep BHA Toner

Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHAView On Amazon
Farmacy Deep Sweep BHA Toner offers a potent yet gentle solution for oily skin. Infused with 2% BHA (salicylic acid) and papaya enzymes, it effectively exfoliates, unclogs pores, and removes impurities without over-drying.

The water-light formula, enhanced with moringa and chlorella, keeps your skin fresh and clear. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, adding ethical appeal.

Ideal for daily use to maintain balance and clarity, this toner is perfect if you’re battling shine and breakouts, though it may not suit extremely sensitive skin.

Best For: Oily skin prone to shine and breakouts.

  • Effectively removes dirt, oil, and impurities
  • Deep cleans pores
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • A bit pricey
  • Small product portion
  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin

3. Buttah Rosewater AHA/BHA Toner

Buttah Skin by Dorion RenaudView On Amazon
Buttah’s Rosewater AHA/BHA Toner is a game-changer for oily skin. Infused with soothing rosewater and potent AHA/BHA acids, this toner effectively unclogs pores, reduces dark spots, and improves skin texture.

It’s designed for sensitive skin, calming irritation while promoting an even tone. Free from harsh chemicals, it’s gentle enough for daily use. The blend of hydrating and exfoliating properties guarantees balanced moisture without excess oil, making it perfect for those with oily or combination skin.

Elevate your skincare with this versatile toner!

Best For: Oily and combination skin types looking to unclog pores, reduce dark spots, and improve skin texture.

  • Unclogs pores and reduces dark spots
  • Calming and soothing for sensitive skin
  • Improves skin texture and tone
  • Some users have reported a negative reaction
  • No specific statistics provided
  • May not be suitable for all skin types

4. SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion

SK-II WomenView On Amazon
SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion is a must-try for oily skin. This bestselling toner features PITERA complex and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) to help improve dullness and remove dead surface cells.

With a lightweight, scent-free formula, it prepares your skin for other products and enhances glow. However, be cautious if you have sensitive skin, as its potent ingredients may cause irritation.

Best For: Oily skin types looking to improve skin tone and texture

  • Hydrating and smoothing formula
  • Contains PITERA complex and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) for brightening
  • Prepares skin for other skincare products
  • May not be suitable for those with sensitive skin
  • No scent
  • May not be original product

5. Innisfree Green Tea Hydrating Toner

Green Tea Hyaluronic Acid HydratingView On Amazon
Innisfree Green Tea Hydrating Toner is a game-changer for oily skin.

Its formula, enriched with Jeju green tea extract, hydrates without overwhelming your skin. It balances moisture levels, reduces shine, and soothes irritation.

You’ll appreciate its lightweight, invigorating feel that never leaves a greasy residue.

Perfect for those seeking a natural, gentle option to control oil and improve overall skin texture, this toner leaves your skin prepped and ready for the next steps in your skincare routine.

Best For: Oily skin types seeking a natural, gentle option to control oil and improve skin texture.

  • Hydrates without overwhelming the skin
  • Balances moisture levels and reduces shine
  • Soothes irritation
  • Can run out quickly
  • Subtle smell
  • Not too stripping

6. Neutrogena Alcohol Free Toner

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Gentle Daily Fragrance-FreeView On Amazon
Neutrogena’s Alcohol-Free Toner. As a dermatologist-recommended brand, you can trust this gentle, non-irritating formula to tone and refresh your skin without drying it out.

It’s also hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and packed with 50% post-consumer recycled plastic – a win for the environment!

Simply sweep it across your face with a cotton pad, and get ready to feel fresh and clean, without any harsh chemicals.

Best For: Individuals with sensitive skin seeking a gentle, non-irritating toner.

  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free
  • Made with 50% post-consumer recycled plastic
  • May cause burning for some users
  • Not sealed
  • Contains sulfates

7. Balancing Ph Face Toner

Balancing pH Face Toner, Alcohol-FreeView On Amazon
The Balancing Ph Face Toner is perfect for maintaining your skin’s natural harmony. With organic aloe vera, oat, and hyaluronic acid, this alcohol-free toner hydrates, soothes, and calms your skin while balancing pH levels.

It’s gentle enough for all skin types and helps reduce irritation and dark marks. Free from harsh chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and sulfates, it guarantees your face gets only the best care.

Though it’s a bit pricier, its pump dispenser and gel consistency offer convenience and efficiency.

Best For: Those seeking a hydrating, pH-balancing toner that calms and reduces dark marks.

  • Hydrates, soothes, and balances skin pH
  • Gentle and free from harsh chemicals
  • Helps reduce irritation and dark marks
  • Mid-higher end price point
  • May require additional moisturizer for some skin types
  • Gel consistency may not be preferred by all

8. Belif Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner

belif Aqua Bomb Hydrating TonerView On Amazon
Belif Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner is a lightweight liquid, perfect for oily skin. Its formula provides a satin finish, leaving your complexion smoother and softer. It’s versatile—use it after makeup, before bed, as a pre-makeup solution, or in the morning.

While it offers hydration, it’s not overly moisturizing or cleansing, and its medicinal herby smell mightn’t appeal to everyone. Plus, watch for alcohol content if you have sensitive skin.

This toner helps balance and hydrate without overpowering your skin.

Best For: Those looking for a lightweight, versatile toner to balance and hydrate their skin.

  • Lightweight formula with a satin finish
  • Versatile usage options
  • Smoother, softer, and healthier-looking complexion
  • Not extremely moisturizing
  • Not super cleansing
  • Medicinal herby smell

9. Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner

Thayers Alcohol-Free, Hydrating Rose PetalView On Amazon
Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner is a top pick for oily skin. Formulated with certified organic witch hazel and aloe vera, it soothes and hydrates while balancing your skin’s pH.

Its non-comedogenic, alcohol-free formula won’t dry out your skin or clog pores. This versatile toner reduces the appearance of pores, controls oil, and improves skin texture.

It’s gentle enough for daily use, making it an excellent choice for keeping your complexion clear and balanced without harsh irritants.

Best For: Those with oily skin looking for a gentle, soothing, and balancing toner.

  • Soothes and hydrates skin
  • Reduces pore appearance and balances oily skin
  • Improves skin texture
  • Packaging is basic
  • Absorption time can be slow
  • Availability may vary

Benefits of Using Toner for Oily Skin

Benefits of Using Toner for Oily Skin
Using toner for oily skin helps balance moisture levels while reducing shine. It also unclogs pores, exfoliates dead skin cells, and controls oil production, keeping your complexion clear and healthy.

Balances Moisture Levels

When you use a toner specifically formulated for oily skin, it helps balance your moisture levels, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and citric acid that hydrate and exfoliate your skin, promoting a more even tone and radiant complexion.

This sets the stage for the rest of your skincare routine to work its magic.

Reduces Shine

A toner specifically crafted for oily skin will greatly reduce shine, making your complexion appear fresh and matte. By incorporating soothing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, toners aid in regulating oil production. Here’s how it functions:

  1. Absorbs excess oil – Keeps your face oil-free for longer periods.
  2. Calms redness – Reduces acne and irritation.
  3. Improves skin texture – Leaves a smooth, refined finish.

Unclogs Pores

Reducing shine is just the beginning. To truly balance oily skin, toners excel at unclogging pores. By removing pore-clogging ingredients like dirt and excess oil, toners prevent acne, dark spots, and blemishes. Toner application techniques matter; apply lightly using a cotton pad. Using toner regularly, even with antioxidants or a kojic acid facial toner, guarantees clear skin.

Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells

When you use a toner for oily skin, it exfoliates dead skin cells, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion. This helps to:

  1. Reduce skin irritation and acne prevention
  2. Improve texture and reduce pore size
  3. Prevent blackhead formation and promote a more even tone

Look for toners containing panthenol, citrus acid, or algae extract, like the Belif Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner, which also features grape seed extract to help control oil production.

Controls Oil Production

After exfoliating dead skin cells, controlling oil production is essential. The best toner for oily skin should balance your sebum levels, reducing persistent shine. Seek toners with anti-inflammatory properties and soothing ingredients like aloe vera. Confirm they’ve a gentle formulation to prevent acne and skin irritation.

Ingredient Benefit
Aloe Vera Soothes skin irritation
Jojoba Seed Oil Balances oil production
Tower 28 Beauty SOS Anti-inflammatory properties

Key Ingredients for Oily Skin Toners

Key Ingredients for Oily Skin Toners
When selecting a toner for oily skin, consider ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and witch hazel. Salicylic acid and glycolic acid exfoliate and unclog pores, while niacinamide helps control oil production.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid dives deep into your pores, exfoliating from within to keep them unclogged. This powerhouse ingredient is known for its ability to clarify and balance oily skin, reducing acne and blackheads. However, it can be drying, so watch your dosage. If sensitivity occurs, consider alternatives like glycolic acid. Use it to maintain a clearer complexion.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid, a powerhouse for oily skin, tackles multiple skin concerns. It exfoliates, unclogs pores, and smooths texture effectively. But be cautious—start with lower concentrations to avoid irritation.

  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Smooths skin texture
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Penetrates deeply for effective results

    Incorporate it gently into your skincare routine.


Niacinamide is a powerhouse for oily skin. This multi-benefit ingredient regulates oil production, reducing shine and blemishes. It also minimizes pores, providing a smoother, youthful-looking skin. Niacinamide blends well with other skincare ingredients like apple cider vinegar and honey extract, enhancing your overall regimen. It’s alcohol-free, ensuring a gentle but effective formulation for various skin types.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid, a gem for oily skin, offers impressive hydration without clogging pores. Known for its anti-aging benefits, this powerful ingredient helps retain moisture, reducing the appearance of fine lines. Additionally, it balances hydration and minimizes the risk of overproduction of oil, making it perfect for maintaining youthful skin and managing sensitivity or dry patches inherent to oily skin.

Witch Hazel

Next, let’s explore witch hazel. Renowned for its anti-inflammatory and pore-tightening properties, witch hazel contributes to controlling oil and reducing shine. However, it may cause sensitivity, so patch-test first. If irritation occurs, consider alternatives such as rose water or green tea. Comparing various formulations can assist you in finding the ideal balance for your skin’s needs.

How to Use Toner for Oily Skin

How to Use Toner for Oily Skin
For best results, apply toner to clean, dry skin using a cotton ball or pad, avoiding the eye area. Follow with a moisturizer and use the toner twice a day, morning and night.

Apply to Clean, Dry Skin

Before you use a toner, make certain your face is clean and dry to maximize toner benefits. Proper toner application helps to fully absorb its properties. Remember to:

  • Cleanse your face thoroughly.
  • Pat your skin dry gently.
  • Make sure there’s no moisture left.
  • Store your toner in a cool, dry place for ideal preservation.

This will ensure your toner works effectively.

Use a Cotton Ball or Pad

To apply toner, take a cotton ball or pad saturated with your chosen product. Gently swipe it across your face, focusing on areas prone to excess oil and breakouts. Using toning pads or a cotton swab can help with makeup removal and oil control. This guarantees even application and maximizes the toner’s acne treatment benefits.

Avoid the Eye Area

When applying toner, be mindful to avoid over-applying around the eye area to prevent irritation. The skin here is delicate and more prone to sensitivity. Instead, focus on areas where oil and impurities accumulate. Proper toner application techniques guarantee you get the benefits without causing unwanted toner sensitivity or irritation around your eyes.

Follow With Moisturizer

Now that you’ve applied your toner, it’s absolutely crucial to follow up with a moisturizer. This helps lock in the benefits of the toner, providing an extra layer of hydration and protection to your skin. Look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that won’t clog your pores, and apply it immediately after toning to maximize its effects.

Use Twice a Day, Morning and Night

To maximize oil control, use your toner twice a day, morning and night. Start with clean, dry skin to guarantee best absorption.

  • Morning routine: Prepares your skin for the day.
  • Nighttime routine: Clears away daily impurities.
  • Application frequency: Regular use balances sebum, enhances skin clarity.

Follow up with a moisturizer to lock in benefits.

Tips for Choosing the Right Toner for Oily Skin

Tips for Choosing the Right Toner for Oily Skin
When choosing a toner for oily skin, look for products with exfoliating and hydrating ingredients specifically designed for your skin type. It’s also helpful to read reviews and consult a dermatologist to find the best option for your unique needs.

Choose Toners With Exfoliating Ingredients

When choosing a toner for oily skin, prioritize exfoliating ingredients. These powerhouses tackle excess oil production and slough off dead skin cells, effectively unclogging pores.

Look for toners containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid. These ingredients work overtime to keep your skin balanced and clear.

Opt for Hydrating Ingredients

While exfoliating is essential, don’t forget to hydrate your oily skin.

Look for toners with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which lock in moisture without clogging pores. These hydrators can actually help regulate oil production, preventing your skin from overcompensating.

Even if you’re acne-prone, don’t shy away from hydration. It’s the key to keeping your skin happy and healthy, regardless of your skin type.

Consider Toners Designed for Oily Skin

After exploring hydrating ingredients, let’s examine toners specifically formulated for oily skin. These formidable products are your secret weapon against excess shine.

Seek products with a lightweight consistency and balanced pH. When applying, use gentle strokes and store your toner in a cool place.

Don’t be swayed by appealing scents; focus on effective ingredients.

Read Reviews and Consult a Dermatologist

After considering toners designed for oily skin, it’s time to dig deeper.

Don’t just take our word for it—read reviews from fellow oily-skinned warriors. They’ve battled the shine and can offer valuable insights.

But here’s the real game-changer: consult a dermatologist. They’ll help you navigate the sea of ingredients, discuss toner options suited to your skin’s needs, and flag potential side effects.

Your skin’s unique, so get expert advice!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What toner is best for oily skin?

You’ll want a toner with salicylic acid or glycolic acid to control excess oil and unclog pores. Look for alcohol-free formulas with niacinamide or witch hazel. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is a top choice.

Is toner really necessary for oily skin?

You’ll benefit from using toner on oily skin. It removes excess oil, balances pH, and preps your skin for other products. While not absolutely necessary, toner can appreciably improve your skincare routine’s effectiveness and control shine.

Is Toning good for oily skin?

Yes, toning is beneficial for oily skin. It helps balance your skin’s pH, removes excess oil, and tightens pores. You’ll notice reduced shine and improved texture. Incorporating a toner into your routine can make a significant difference.

Is niacinamide toner good for oily skin?

Yes, niacinamide toner is excellent for oily skin. It regulates sebum production, minimizes pores, and improves skin texture. You’ll notice reduced shine and a more balanced complexion. It’s gentle enough for daily use, making it a great choice.

What is the best toner for oily skin?

As clear as day, you’ll want a toner that balances your skin. Look for ingredients like niacinamide, salicylic acid, or witch hazel. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant or Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner are excellent choices.

What is the best oil to take for healthy skin?

You’ll want to incorporate omega-3 rich oils like fish oil or flaxseed oil into your diet. They’re packed with essential fatty acids that nourish your skin from within, promoting a healthy glow and reducing inflammation.

What is a good toner for dry skin?

Looking for a skin-saver? For dry skin, try a hydrating toner with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or aloe vera. These ingredients lock in moisture, soothe irritation, and prep your skin for serums and moisturizers. You’ll notice softer, plumper skin in no time.

Which pore refining toner is best for oily skin?

For oily skin, try Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. It’s a pore-refining powerhouse that’ll unclog and minimize pores, control excess oil, and smooth your skin’s texture. You’ll love the balanced, matte finish it delivers.

Should I use a toner If I have oily skin?

Like a magic potion for your face, toner can work wonders for oily skin. You’ll want to use one to balance your skin’s pH, remove excess oil, and unclog pores. It’s a game-changer for your skincare routine.

What is the best facial toner for normal skin?

For normal skin, you’ll want a gentle, hydrating toner. Look for ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera. Try Neutrogena’s Alcohol-Free Toner or Fresh’s Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner for balanced, healthy-looking skin.

Can toner replace my daily face wash?

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. While toner can’t completely replace face wash, it can complement your routine. You’ll still need to cleanse daily, but toner can help remove residual impurities and balance your skin’s pH.

How long does it take to see results?

You’ll typically see results from using a toner within 2-4 weeks. Consistency is key, so stick to your routine. Some benefits, like reduced shine, may appear sooner. Remember, everyone’s skin responds differently, so be patient.

Is it safe to use toner during pregnancy?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While most toners are safe during pregnancy, it’s wise to consult your doctor. Avoid toners with retinoids, salicylic acid, and hydroquinone. Opt for gentle, alcohol-free formulas instead.

Can I make my own toner at home?

You can make your own toner at home using natural ingredients. Mix rose water, witch hazel, and aloe vera for a simple, effective toner. It’s cost-effective and lets you control what goes on your skin. Try it!

Should I use toner in the morning or night?

Ironically, you might think toner’s only for night owls. You’d be wrong! Use it twice daily for best results. Apply after cleansing in the morning and evening. It’ll prep your skin for subsequent products, balancing and invigorating your complexion.


Choosing the best toner for oily skin can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but armed with the right knowledge, you’re now ready to conquer your skincare routine.

Remember to look for ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide, while avoiding harsh alcohols. Apply your chosen toner gently and consistently for best results.

With these tips and our top picks, you’re well on your way to achieving a balanced, clarified complexion. Don’t hesitate to experiment until you find the perfect match for your unique skin needs.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.