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These Top Toners for Oily Skin Will Create a Clean Slate for the Rest of Your Skincare Routine

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Photo by Moyo Studio/Getty Images

Toner is an often-overlooked skincare step that can benefit all different skin types, but it's especially effective for those with oily skin. Facial toner should be applied to your skin after cleansing, because it’s a pore-penetrating liquid that helps to thoroughly cleanse and balance—just what our skin needs at the beginning or end of a busy day. Depending on the active ingredients involved, toners can also remove excess oil, calm blackheads and breakouts, exfoliate away dead skin cells, and boost your glow. Sometimes, toners can even do all these things at once (and we love an overachiever).

Using a gentle facial toner is a dermatologist-recommended way oily skin types can combat oil and shine before they even begin. Need some help picking out the perfect toner for you? We're here for you! Below are 10 of the best toners for oily skin.

1. Best Calming Toner for Oily Skin:

ESSENHERB Tea Tree 90 Calming Toner

ESSENHERB Tea Tree 90 Calming Toner
Courtesy of ESSENHERB

Tea tree oil extract is one of those natural ingredients that's something of a skincare superhero. Its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits make it a perfect ingredient for oily, acne-prone skin types. Tea tree penetrates your pores to wipe away excess sebum while also helping to tame any active breakouts. And while these handy toner pads can fight acne, they won't dry out your skin, because this formula also features moisturizing rice bran so your skin feels clean but never dehydrated. 

2. Best Water-Based Toner for Oily Skin:

SUNDAY RILEY Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner

SUNDAY RILEY Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner
Courtesy of SUNDAY RILEY

Let's be real, part of the reason so many of us skip toning is because it usually involves the extra step of pouring toner onto a cotton pad. But good news: This toner’s innovative formula eliminates that problem. Instead, you can apply this cooling gel directly to your face with your fingertips and watch as it magically melts into a water-like formula upon application.

The luxe toner comes packed with ingredients like bentonite clay, green tea, witch hazel, and marshmallow extract to calm redness, reduce excess oil, and tighten pores. Expect a matte, shine-free complexion for your best face yet.

3. Best Toner for Sensitive Oily Skin:

HEY HONEY Tone It Up Propolis & Echinacea Herbal Toner

HEY HONEY Tone It Up Propolis & Echinacea Herbal Toner
Courtesy of HEY HONEY

Her’s a toner ideal for anyone with oil-prone sensitive skin. The formula's hero ingredient is propolis extract, a compound produced by bees that they use to coat their hives. This gentle ingredient comes with super effective antibacterial properties (goodbye, breakouts) and can help calm overactive sebaceous glands (goodbye, shine). This toner also uses botanicals like echinacea and honeysuckle to further soothe and calm your skin.

"I loved this," writes one Ipster. "The toner was great. It really deep cleaned my pores and made my skin feel soft and clean." Another says, "This is my first time using a toner and it dramatically improved the look of redness on my skin."

4. Best Mattifying Toner for Oily Skin:

EAU THERMALE AVÈNE Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner

EAU THERMALE AVÈNE Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner
Courtesy of EAU THERMALE AVÈNE

When it comes to great skincare routines, we'll always trust the French. This mattifying facial toner from the French brand EAU THERMALE AVÈNE effectively wipes away makeup, grime, and excess oil to mattify your complexion. It's an ideal pick to apply in the a.m. before your makeup application, since you can use it before foundation to keep your shine under control for an all-day matte finish.

"I really liked this," writes one Ipster. "I have very oily skin and this definitely helped keep the shine to a minimum."

5. Best Toner for Targeting Sebum:

PAULA’S CHOICE Pore-Reducing Toner

PAULA’S CHOICE Pore-Reducing Toner
Courtesy of PAULA’S CHOICE

Oily skin types may be tempted to go for skincare products that contain alcohol, a known astringent, but alcohol has an overall drying effect on your skin that ultimately does more harm than good. Harsh astringents can actually kick oil production into overdrive, causing more sebum and blemishes than you would have had otherwise.

This oily skin toner skips moisture-stripping alcohols in favor of niacinamide, which clears out pores and then minimizes their appearance. Then, the addition of chamomile and burdock root extract provides natural antioxidant benefits which can help manage the harmful bacteria that causes acne. 

6. Best Toner for Large Pores:

MURAD Clarifying Toner

MURAD Clarifying Toner
Courtesy of MURAD

Classics are classics for a reason. We couldn’t create a skincare love-it list for acne-prone and oily types without listing this best-selling clarifying toner by MURAD. With shine-reducing algae extract, large pore-shrinking witch hazel, and nourishing vitamin E, it’s the ideal toner to yield a smoothing matte complexion. Use it after an oil-controlling cleanser from the same brand, and you’ll be well on your way to a matte yet hydrated complexion.

7. Best Toner for Resurfacing Oily Skin:

TULA Pro-Glycolic 10% Resurfacing Toner

TULA Pro-Glycolic 10% Resurfacing Toner
Courtesy of TULA

When it comes to chemically exfoliating toners, there's one ingredient you'll find that reigns supreme. Glycolic acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxyacid) that gently but effectively unglues dead skin cells from the skin while also eliminating excess dirt and oil. This alcohol-free formula not only removes excess sebum, but will eventually reveal smoother, healthier skin with a hydrated, radiant glow.

8. Best Nourishing Toner for Oily Skin:

ORIGINS Zero Oil™: Pore Purifying Toner with Saw Palmetto & Mint

ORIGINS Zero Oil™: Pore Purifying Toner with Saw Palmetto & Mint
Courtesy of ORIGINS

Get your oil and shine levels back to zero with the help of this botanical-based toner from ORIGINS. This formula comes packed with nourishing natural ingredients like anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant palm tree-based saw palmetto, cooling mint, and pore-purifying salicylic acid. Apply this toner morning and night with a moisturizing lotion to keep your oily or acne-prone skin looking clear and balanced.

9. Best Mist Toner for Oily Skin:

APTO SKINCARE Turmeric Mist With Witch Hazel

APTO SKINCARE Turmeric Mist With Witch Hazel
Courtesy of APTO SKINCARE

If too much midday shine is getting you down, turn to this handy balancing mist that can be used anywhere. Keep it in your purse, desk drawer, or car, and whip it out whenever your complexion is in need of calming, dewy refreshment. This gentle, antioxidant-rich mist is packed with witch hazel to target excess sebum production, which will help keep breakouts at bay.

10. Best All-Natural Toner for Oily Skin:

TRUE BOTANICALS Clear Nutrient Toner

TRUE BOTANICALS Clear Nutrient Toner
Courtesy of TRUE BOTANICALS

This balancing toner is specifically formulated for the “problem child” type of skin. That’s what we’ve officially dubbed skin that refuses to cooperate, no matter how kind we are to it. Ingredients like black willow bark extract help gently exfoliate dry, dead skin cells while also improving the appearance of fine lines. If you’re a natural product junkie, you can basically think of this ingredient like the salicylic acid that’s found in nature.

Want to discover the best beauty products for oily skin? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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Article Last Updated November 4, 2021 12:00 AM