'The alcohol found in toners can be a trigger for rosacea, increase the risk of breakouts in acne-prone skin or exacerbate sensitivity,' reveals cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting. This means that regular use of toners could leave the skin irritated, inflamed and vulnerable to environmental damage.
"Toners are most helpful and necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin, or for people who want extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavy skin products such as sunscreen," she said.
Toners for acne help remove oil and impurities from the skin, preventing pores from becoming clogged. Some toners may also provide anti-inflammatory benefits and reduce the appearance of acne scars. Ingredients such as glycolic acid, witch hazel and salicylic acid are often used in toners for acne.
Toning is a key part of your skin care routine that's done after cleansing. While there are many types of toners, Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade toner is a fan-favorite for fighting acne. The toner contains salicylic acid, which is known to help reduce breakouts and fade discoloration caused by breakouts.
However, as gentle as they are, you do not want to use an exfoliating toner daily. Once or twice a week should do it, unless you have dry skin, in which case, once a month. "That can cause a major imbalance in your skin's microbiome, disrupt your natural skin barrier, and make your skin dehydrated.
That's why toners can be a great option for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin, according to Rita Linkner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, who says toners are a great way to clean acne-prone skin of any lingering residue after cleansing and prior to carrying forth with your skincare routine.
Witch hazel is best for people with oily, acne-prone skin. Its astringent and pore-tightening properties help fight the inflammation and overproduction of oil associated with acne. It can also help clear clogged pores – a primary cause of acne breakouts.
More specifically, "toners are a great way to clean acne-prone skin of any lingering residue after cleansing, and prior to carrying forth with one's skincare routine," says Maiman. They can reduce pore-clogging dirt, debris, and makeup that a typical cleanser often leaves behind.
CeraVe is the #1 dermatologist-recommended moisturizer brand for acne*, and our new Acne Control Cleanser with 2% salicylic acid is formulated to clear acne, reduce blackheads and improve the appearance of pores, while purifying clay helps absorb excess oil.
Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins. Treats acne. Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne, especially inflammatory forms like papules and pustules. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.
THAYERS Blemish Clearing Acne Treatment and Facial Toner is alcohol-free and leaves skin feeling renewed, soothed and hydrated. With maximum strength 2% salicylic acid, our formula helps clear acne blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads and helps prevent new ones from forming.
Because witch hazel is so astringent, it can make acne worse. Dryness and irritation can affect the skin, along with increasing the chance of leaving post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) behind once the pimple heals.
Witch hazel is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when small doses are taken by mouth. In some people, witch hazel might cause stomach upset when taken by mouth. Large doses might cause liver problems. Witch hazel contains a cancer-causing chemical (safrole), but in amounts that are too small to be of concern.
People with oily skin are often inclined to use a myriad of products like blotting sheets, refining cleansers, and pore-tightening face masks, but toners can be an effective way to combat oils and reduce breakouts without irritating or drying out the skin.
Toner removes any last traces of dirt, grime and impurities stuck in your pores after you wash your face. When added to your daily skincare routine and used regularly, it can have major positive impact on the appearance and tightness of your pores (hello, aging skin).
CeraVe claims it is the top dermatologist-recommended moisturizer brand for acne treatment. This cleanser contains 4% benzoyl peroxide. It also features hyaluronic acid to moisturize and niacinamide to soothe the skin. It contains three essential ceramides to help lock in moisture.
Brands such as Thayers, whose toners are “alcohol-free and also contain aloe vera, which make them “very gentle, healing, and hydrating,” according to Gity, are safe for even sensitive skin.
Dermatologists give the toner their seal of approval
"Witch hazel is a botanical ingredient used in skin care for its astringent effects on the skin," he said. "It can effectively remove oil from the skin to improve shine and minimize the appearance of pores, and may help soothe inflammation."
Looking for the best toner for acne? Thayers Coconut Water Toner features all of the benefits of witch hazel, plus added coconut water that is known to deeply hydrate and calm redness. This formulation is a great choice if you aren't really sure where to start in adding witch hazel to your daily skincare routine.
Unfortunately, yes. If used too much, witch hazel can dry out your skin and lead to adverse acne effects. Dr. Shainhouse explains: “The dryness leads to skin irritation and can trigger rebound oil production, leaving skin oilier,” says Dr.
When to Use Toner
Use a toner in the morning and in the evening after cleansing. Apply in the morning to help remove oils that have built up on the face overnight. In the evening, the toner will help to remove any lingering makeup, impurities and residue.
Most niacinamide products also contain a variety of other ingredients. If any of these ingredients increase skin cell turnover then they may be behind any 'purging'. Some ingredients can also be 'comedogenic' which means that they are more likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
Though some people do report experiencing irritation and breakouts after using the ingredient, niacinamide is unlikely to cause purging. That's because it doesn't affect the skin in a way that usually triggers purging.