With combination skin, it can be difficult to find a cleanser that suits all your needs. After you rinse, you might notice your skin feels tight or in some cases, still oily. That’s where a toner comes in. The best toners for combination skin have a multitude of benefits: They balance the skin’s pH levels, clear away any remaining oil or debris, and in some cases, add long-lasting hydration to revive, calm, and treat dry complexions.
Combination skin, which usually has oily, acne-prone spots in the T-zone in addition to dry, dull areas on the cheeks and around your eyes, needs a little bit of everything. Just like with a cleanser, when looking for the right toner, you’ll want something that can clear excess oil, works to prevent breakouts, and mattifies skin without over-drying. At the same time, the ideal formula will also moisturize and refresh dry skin without clogging the pores. Essentially, you want to avoid ingredients that treat skin too harshly or are too heavy, because they'll upset the skin's natural barrier and will make any unwanted symptoms (like acne) worse.
As for what to look for? Keep an eye out for natural, acne-fighting ingredients and gentle exfoliants like witch hazel, willow bark, and gentle acids. The addition of antioxidants and vitamins, like niacinamide, are also important ingredients because they protect your skin from environmental and free radical damage. When it comes to moisture, which is not only important to treat those dryer areas on your face but to also help restore your skin's pH levels, look for acne-safe ingredients that smooth and soften dry skin like glycerin, aloe vera, and rose water.
Below are six highly-rated toners that will leave your combination skin feeling hydrated and refreshed while keeping oil and breakouts to a minimum.
1. A Fragrance-Free Balancing Toner That Cleanses, Exfoliates, And Unclogs Pores
An all-around great choice for finicky combination skin, Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner calls on antioxidants, soothing plant extracts, and hydrating ceramides to balance and even out the skin. The formula may seem relatively weightless, but it expertly hydrates while minimizing the appearance of blackheads and oil. Vegan and fragrance-free, this is a wonderful option for complexions that get easily irritated.
2. An All-Natural Witch Hazel-Based Toner With A Cult Following
With over 10,000 reviews on Amazon and a major following in the beauty community, Thayers' Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera is a no-frills toner that lives up to the hype. In addition to the natural astringent properties of witch hazel, the brand's hero ingredient, this particular formula combines soothing aloe with rose water, which naturally reduces redness and helps control inflammation. This is an excellent option for very sensitive skin.
3. An Acne-Fighting Toner That Controls Shine
Good for fighting acne but gentle enough to use on combination skin, Murad’s Clarifying Toner uses witch hazel and algae extract to prevent breakouts and eliminate excess oil. Other key ingredients include grape seed extract and vitamin E, which help to protect from skin from pollution damage. This formula will also tighten pores, reducing their appearance, and control shine.
4. An All-Natural Toner In Convenient, Individually-Wrapped Bamboo Wipes
In general, wipes are perfect for travel because they won't spill and don’t require the additional use of cotton pads. Ursa Major's Essential Face Wipes are particularly great because they're individually wrapped and contain a powerful, all-natural toner that's great for all skin types. The formula uses a built-in AHA/BHA complex and ingredients like aloe, green tea, sugarcane, and willow bark to exfoliate, soothe, and hydrate skin. As a plus, these wipes are totally naturally derived and vegan: They're free of parabens, fragrance, sulfates, glycols, silicones, and all the other ickiness you'd want to avoid.
5. A Silky, High-End Toner That Nourishes The Skin With Powerful Antioxidants
If you’re in the market for a prestige toner that works hard to soothe your combination skin concerns, try Erno Laszlo's Hydraphel Skin Supplement. The formula is alcohol-free, so it's non-drying, and it glides onto skin smoothly to clear away dead skin and toxins. It also restores much-needed nutrients via powerful antioxidants and hydrates with glycerin, which is a natural moisture magnet. This product is also sulfates and phthalate-free.
6. A Korean Beauty Water That Balances Your Skin's pH
Straight from Korea, Son & Park Beauty Water has a pH of 4.5 which effectively balances the skin's natural pH after cleansing. It also contains both willow bark and papaya, which are mild exfoliants that help reveal a brighter skin tone and smoother overall texture. Another product with a major cult-following (and a near five-star rating), this is the perfect product to prep your skin for seamless makeup application.
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