Like most things in the vast universe of Korean beauty products, Korean toners are pretty much nothing like what we've come to expect from, well, typical Western toners. For starters, the main goal of the best Korean toners (which are often just called "skin") is to prep your face to better absorb the next steps in your routine — by hydrating and sloughing off dead skin cells that stand in the way. They can even minimize the appearance of pores, calm sensitive and irritated skin, and add a major boost of moisture, courtesy of ingredients like hyaluronic acid and essential oils.
Whereas most Western toners contain drying ingredients like alcohol and are only meant to get rid of dirt, oil and makeup from your skin post-cleanse — Korean toners are multitasking skin saviors that deserve their place in the sun alongside serums and moisturizers. Seriously, if you've been skipping toner all these years you're in for a major treat.
You'll use these Korean toners the same way you would a standard toner — by applying a few drops with your palms or a cotton pad — and they'll certainly do a bang-up job of cleaning pores, ridding your face of excess sebum and oils, and helping your skin maintain a healthy pH balance. But, they're also excellent stand-alone beauty potions that you may come to love as much as your favorite moisturizer.
1. A Toner With Fermented Yeast Extract For More Even-Toned Skin
Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner
Keep skin clean and clear with this toner, which contains fermented yeast extract that helps exfoliate, increase skin cell turnover, and clear out pores to reveal a more radiant complexion. This refreshing toner is also rich in alpha and beta hydroxy acids, which slough off dead skin cells, brighten your skin, and lighten sunspots and post-acne marks over time.
2. An Intensely Hydrating Toner That Soothes Sensitive, Red Skin
Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
For all of those times when your sensitive skin is irritated, red, and beyond stressed out, this paraben and alcohol-free toner comes to the rescue with ingredients like lavender oil, hyaluronic acid, and beta-glucan. And, it's known to keep your skin hydrated way longer than most toners out there.
3. A Toner With Collagen For A Healthier Complexion
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Skin
There's one word you'll hear over and over again in skincare: collagen. A toner rich in collagen and Baobob tree water like this one delivers a mild, gel-textured formula that improves skin's elasticity and adds optimum levels of moisture for off-the-charts glowy skin. Reviewers say it absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling and looking super soft.
4. A Spray-On Toner That's Perfect For Dry Skin
COSRX Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner
This hydrating COSRX toner cleanses skin without stripping it of natural oils, which makes it great for dry skin. It has a gentle formula with 10 percent Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate that helps to calm, exfoliate, and nourish skin. Plus, it comes in a convenient spray bottle so you apply it anytime you need a refresher.
5. A pH-Balancing, 7-In-1 Pore Refreshing Solution That Does So Much More Than Tones
Etude House 7-in-1 House Wonder Pore Freshener
Formulated to balance pH levels to keep the skin moisturized and clear, this pore refreshening toner will be a wonderful addition to your daily cleansing routine. The seven-in-one solution combines deep cleansing, oil-control and pH care to promote supple skin, control breakouts, and temporarily reduce the appearance of pores. This toner will control excess oil without causing dryness because it features peppermint extract instead of the more commonly found essential oil that can be too powerful for daily use. Additionally, you’ll find the antioxidants in the ingredients help protect your skin and ward of environmental toxins that cause unwanted lines, dryness, and breakouts. This is a beautiful toner that’s sole purpose is to provide beautiful skin.
6. A Green Tea Toner That's Ideal For Combination Skin
Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin
Eco-friendly Jeju fresh green tea and green tea seeds are the amino acid and mineral-rich main ingredients in this intensely hydrating toner, which restores pH balance and works especially well on combination skin. This is a light and refreshing water-based toner that won't feel sticky on oily skin and contains absolutely no mineral oil, parabens, or synthetic colorants.
7. The Perfect Avocado Toner For Very Dry Skin
Skin Food Premium Avocado Rich Toner
If your dry, rough skin craves nourishment, feed it with a toner rich in moisturizing avocado extract, avocado oil, and ceramides that lock all of that hydration in. This toner may prove too rich for oily and combination skin (its other ingredients include goodies like shea butter and macadamia seed extract), but it's heaven for dry and sensitive skin.
8. A Snail And Bee Venom Toner That Brightens Scars And Improves Circulation
Benton, Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner
For anyone looking to lift acne scars, this highly-effective snail toner is your answer. The ingredient list isn’t just to make vegans squirm; the snail secretion included in this formula can be used to bring hydration to dull complexions and brightening scars while the added bee venom has been known to improve circulation and stimulate collagen production. Although this may be the first time you’ve put bee venom and snail secretion directly on your skin, you won’t experience the harsh dryness of many toners: this one is free of chemicals, synthetic dyes and fragrances, alcohol, and steroids. And don’t just take our word for it, folks on Amazon with sensitive skin are loving the softness this toner brings to their skin.
9. A Ceramide-Infused Toner That Traps In Moisture
Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Toner
One of the best ways to ensure your skin glows is by using a toner infused with ceramides, which actually create a barrier that helps trap moisture on your skin. This mild formula, perfect for sensitive skin types, also strengthens skin and contains small molecules of hyaluronic acid that absorbs more effectively into skin so that you can be sure the hydrating and plumping ingredients are penetrating deep.
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