This Multitasking Miracle Toner Belongs In *Every* Skin Care Routine


Thanks to its myriad benefits (brightening! Smoothing! Acne-fighting!), glycolic acid has quickly become one of the most highly regarded ingredients in the skin care world. Water-light toners are a fuss-free way to incorporate glycolic acid into your skin care routine, because they'll work nicely alongside just about any other product you layer on top. Not all toners are created equally, though — and shopping for acidic skin care products in general can be tricky. But as long as you stick with the best glycolic acid toners featured on this list, you should be okay. They all have mild, gentle formulas with relatively low concentrations of glycolic acid, and most of them are alcohol-free, too.

Just remember, as with any type of chemical exfoliant, glycolic acid does run the risk of drying out your skin — so be sure to apply a generous layer of moisturizer on top. Similarly, it's important to be extra vigilant about sunscreen application, as glycolic acid can make your skin more photosensitive (since it works to shed off the outermost layer of your skin).

With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop the best toners with glycolic acid.

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The Affordable One

If you're looking to spend less than $15, you can't go wrong with this alcohol-free toner from Derma-E. The brand doesn't use over 2,700 potentially harmful ingredients in their formulas, and they're vegan and cruelty-free, too. As for what this toner does contain? Glycolic acid (of course), vitamin A, and glycerin — which work to resurface, renew, and smooth skin, respectively — as well as botanical extracts from plants like papaya and aloe. Just about anyone can use this to encourage a smoother, clearer complexion and gently unclog pores.


The One With Probiotics

Skin care products with probiotics are all the rage these days — so why not incorporate a probiotic-infused toner into your routine? Beyond probiotics, this TULA toner also contains several other innovative, plant-based ingredients, like mushroom, beet, blueberry, and turmeric extracts, in addition to glycolic and lactic acid. Combined, the probiotics/acids/botanicals work to simultaneously exfoliate, smooth, and rehydrate skin, resulting in a radiant, more even-looking (and feeling) complexion. This is another cruelty-free, alcohol-free choice that should work for just about any skin type.


The Editor's Pick

I love just about every product clean beauty brand Ren makes — and their Clarimatte toner is no exception. Infused with lactic and glycolic acids, as well as willow bark, which is a source of salicylic acid, this is a great choice for people with oily, combination, and/or acne-prone skin. The acids and fruit extracts in the formula have balancing, clarifying, and decongesting abilities, which means this toner works to unclog pores, soak up oil, and keep skin looking generally clear. It's cruelty-free and vegan, too.


The Toner In Pad Form

A convenient, travel-friendly alternative to liquid toners: These First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. No cotton balls necessary, no risk of potential spills — just grab one, rub it around your face in circular motions, and go. Safe for use on sensitive skin, these alcohol-free pads use both glycolic and lactic acids to work their exfoliating magic. Lemon peel extract helps reveal a brighter complexion, while Indian gooseberry rounds out the toning formula. Expect smoother, softer — and dare we say glowing? — skin.


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This skin-perfecting gel from Paula's Choice isn't technically a toner, but with its lightweight, liquid-y formula, it isn't that far off — think of it as a serum-meets-toner. Enriched with antioxidants and glycolic acid to promote a clearer, brighter complexion, as well as hyaluronic acid to restore hydration, this multitasking chemical exfoliant will leave your skin smooth, firm, and plump after just one use. Keep using it to witness long-term results — start with a few times a week, then work your way up to daily use if your skin can handle it — which include a more even-looking complexion.