By now, most people are familiar with the importance of incorporating moisturizers, serums, and sunscreen into their skin care routines. But if you're still not getting the radiance-boosting effects you're after, it might be time to invest in one of the best Korean toners for glowing skin.
Like most products in the vast universe of Korean beauty, Korean toners are pretty much nothing like what we've come to associate with typical Western toners. Whereas most Western-made toners used to contain drying ingredients, like alcohol, and are associated with oily or acne-prone skin, Korean toners vary much more widely. Sure, some do work to clarify skin — but as Korean beauty authority Peach & Lily states, their main purpose should be to rebalance your skin. SokoGlam, another expert K-beauty resource, also notes that using the right toner can help increase the effectiveness of the products you apply afterwards. All of this can contribute to a clearer, brighter-looking complexion, which is why it's worth taking the time to find a toner that suits your skin type, and that will fit in with the rest of your routine.
Ahead, you'll find nine of the best Korean toners to choose from; each of them work a bit differently, and some are better-suited to certain skin types than others — but all of them will help boost your skin's natural glow.
You'll use these Korean toners the same way you would a standard toner: after cleansing, by applying a few drops onto your face with your palms or a cotton pad. But, you can also use them to give your skin a midday refresh, if your face tends to get extra-dry or extra-oily throughout the day.
Scroll on to learn more and pick the best toner for your skin type!
1. The Cult-Favorite: Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner
Keep skin feeling clean and looking clear with the cult-classic Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner. A blend of fermented yeast extract and good-for-skin acids work to exfoliate and soften skin, while also preparing it to better absorb any products you apply after. Glycerin and sodium hyaluronate help balance out the potentially drying effects of the acids, making this toner a great choice for just about anyone looking to give their skin a radiance-boost.
"This toner is working very well on my skin and my face just glows afterwards," commented one reviewer. "After having used this toner for about a month and a half now I can see how much better my skin looks. A bunch of my pores shrunk, I rarely get any blackheads and my vitamin c has never worked better," wrote another.
2. Best For Dry, Sensitive Skin: Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
If you have sensitive skin that errs on the dry side, the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is for you. The alcohol-free formula uses a blend of gentle ingredients, like centella asiatica and hyaluronic acid, to soothe and moisturize skin without disrupting its pH levels. "Not only is it moisturizing but it is calming and cleans your pores out" noted one reviewer.
Another customer discovered a whole new use for this toner, writing that after they had such positive results with it smoothing and softening the skin on their face, they also tried using it on their keratosis pilaris, which it completely eliminated.
3. Best For Dehydrated Skin: AHC Aqualuronic Toner
One of the easiest ways to restore radiance to dehydrated skin is to quench its thirst — which is exactly what this powerful, hydrating toner from AHC does. Rich in essential hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like ceramides, French seawater, and three different weights of hyaluronic acid, it will help restore moisture and hydration to seriously thirsty skin (despite it having a water-light consistency). Meanwhile, ceramides help form a moisture-trapping barrier to keep skin healthy and hydrated in the long-term; use it after cleansing, and/or as a midday refresh when your skin starts to feel dry or tight. As one reviewer put it, "This is K-beauty at its finest. Well worth the close to 30 dollar price."
4. Best Skin-Plumping Toner: Etude House Moistfull Collagen Skin
There's one ingredient you're bound to hear a lot about in Korean beauty: collagen. Collagen-rich products, like this Etude House toner (a brand known for their effective line of collagen products, which also includes a cult-favorite moisturizer), work to improve skin's elasticity and plumpness, which can help skin look dewier, firmer, and more radiant, and feel bouncy and soft. Reviewers love the jelly-like texture, which feels refreshing and doesn't feel sticky.
"It tones skin nicely and [adds] moisture," commented one customer. "I have been using it for about two weeks and I notice a big difference in my skin, it is more radiant and glowing as well as plumper and more even."
5. Best For Acne-Prone Skin: COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Acne-prone skin types will benefit from this acid-rich toner from cult-favorite K-beauty brand COSRX. In this formula, a mix of AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) work together to exfoliate dead skin, which helps treat and prevent breakouts, resurface skin, and generally improve skin clarity, texture, and tone. All of this will contribute to a brighter-looking, softer-feeling complexion, which means over time: glowing skin. Plus, the spray-top bottle makes it a cinch to apply, while the Jeju-sourced mineral water in the formula prevents it from leaving faces feeling dried-out or tight.
6. Best For Oily Skin: Etude House Wonder Pore Freshener
Ideal for anyone with oily skin or enlarged, congested pores, the Etude House Wonder Pore Freshener provides seven different benefits, which include rebalancing skin, regulating oil production, tightening pores, and more. It works more like a "traditional" toner in the sense that it's an astringent, but it still contains a handful of moisturizing ingredients that, according to reviewers, leave skin feeling "super smooth and soft."
"Only after a week of use, my blackheads and whiteheads are gone and the pores on my nose are almost invisible," commented one fan of the toner.
7. Best For Combination Skin: Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin
Keep the dry areas of your face moisturized and soft without making the oily areas feel sticky and clogged with the Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin toner. It absorbs quickly without leaving behind a residue, which is essential for combination skin types, while leaving your face feeling refreshed and looking radiant. One reviewer commented, "Smells amazing and feels great. My skin is a lot calmer with this product. I apply it every night after cleansing and before a moisturizer. My combination skin is more hydrated and breaks out less."
8. Best For Very Dry Skin: Skin Food Premium Avocado Rich Toner
If your dry skin craves extra nourishment, feed it with a toner rich in moisturizing ingredients, like the Skin Food Premium Avocado Rich Toner. Avocado extract, avocado oil, and ceramides restore and lock in moisture while strengthening skin, so it stays hydrated in the long run on its own. This toner may prove too rich for oily and combination skin types (its other ingredients include shea butter and macadamia seed extract), but it'll be a godsend for dry skin types that can't seem to get enough moisture. It also helps soften rough, flaky patches, so makeup goes on smoother, while providing skin with a dewy, radiant glow.
9. Best Snail Mucin Toner: Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner
Snail mucin is a wildly popular ingredient used in Korean beauty products, thanks to its multitasking, skin-repairing benefits. Not only is it deeply moisturizing and super soothing, but it can also help even out skin tone, which makes it popular with people looking to fade unwanted scars from past breakouts. All of this, of course, will help skin appear clearer and "glowier." But obviously, it's not a vegan-friendly choice.
One reviewer called it a "life changing holy grail." Another wrote, "It goes on clear, absorbs into the skin like a dream and offers great hydration. It drastically reduced my acne scaring from when I was a teenager, and it keeps my adult acne triggered [by] hormones in check."
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