The 5 Best Toners For Minimizing Pores

Originally Published: 

Toners are one of those invaluable beauty products that simply do so much for your skin. Whether it's prepping your face for serums, killing acne-producing bacteria, or calming irritated skin, they pack a serious punch in the functionality department. When it comes to finding the best toners for minimizing pores — because yes, they do that, too! — we've got the in.

Read more: Why Paula's Choice Exfoliating Toner Is A True Cult-Favorite

Now, let's get one thing straight: nothing will actually get rid of your pores — they're there for a reason! Pores are essentially just tiny hair follicles that contain sebaceous glands, which produce vital oils for our skin. The size of your pores pretty much depends on your genes, but can also be determined by skin type (those with drier skin may see smaller pores, oil-prone skin may see larger ones), how much exposure to UV rays you've had, your age, your history with acne — etc.

While you certainly can't change their true, physical size, you can totally visibly reduce the appearance of pores. There are face washes, moisturizers, and tons of sheet and face masks that can help, but what we're focusing on here is the power of pore-blasting toners. Toners have a variety of primary ingredients, depending on the type, but most will include something (like an astringent) that deeply cleanses pores, washing out hard-to-reach dirt and oil while promoting skin cell turnover, so that pores are much harder to spot.

There are toners for sensitive skin and toners for oily skin, but below, take a little scroll through our top picks for the toners that will best reduce the visible size of pores.


An Exfoliating Toner That Works For All Skin Types: Humane Clarifying Toner

This gentle clarifying toner uses salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin by unclogging pores to remove dead cells, dirt, makeup, and excess oil. It's also relatively soothing, however, as the formula includes green tea extract, which soothes the skin and reduces inflammation and redness. The non-greasy formula doesn't leave behind any trace of residue and is free of fragrance and parabens. With daily use, you'll get smooth, soft, clear skin with a youthful glow and minimized pores.

Promising review: "Awesome... It really minimizes your pores... I've been using now about 4 weeks skin is clearing so good... Mist definitely use with Humane acne wash and use a moisturizer (hypoallergenic) I personally use Eucerin original healing moisturizer."


A Fragrance-Free Toner: Paula's Choice Balancing Toner

Relying on antioxidants and ceramides (lipid molecules that help the skin's barrier), this fragrance-free toner is a great go-to option for those with combination to oily skin. The antioxidants work hard to reduce oil, thus clearing out pores and making them appear much smaller, while leaving the skin's texture smooth and balanced.

Promising review: "I have enjoyed adding this toner to my morning and evening regiment. It prepares my skin for the other products I use and I feel it has refined my pores. I have been using it for about two years."


A Budget-Friendly Toner For Sensitive Skin: Thayer's Facial Toner

Thayer's Witch Hazel-based toner is one of those tried and true beauty products that's both affordable and extremely effective at clearing out pores. Plus, it's completely alcohol-free, which means that it's much gentler on sensitive skin. Relying on natural rose petal water, soothing aloe vera, and dirt-clearing witch hazel (which is a natural astringent), you can expect supple, smooth, rose-scented skin with visibly reduced pores when you use this everyday after washing your face.

Promising review: "Are rose petals magic? I've used lots of different witch hazel toners before and they all do their job, but this stuff is straight up magic on my skin. I have always had oily skin with large pores on my nose that tend to get clogged and be pretty noticeable. I squirt this stuff on a cotton round and rub it on my face and my pores look WAY smaller and are free of sebum. It's weird. [...] Best purchase ever. Sometimes impulse shopping turns out well."


A K-Beauty Toner That Fans Swear By: Etude House Wonder Pore Freshener

From K-beauty mega-brand Etude House comes this 10-in-1 toner, which does so much more than its name suggests. In addition to deeply cleaning the pores with refreshing peppermint extract, it also increases moisture and elasticity, controls excess sebum production, and balances the skin's pH levels. Many reviewers swear this is the only product that's worked to reduce the appearance of pores. "This stuff is magical," wrote one happy customer, while another raved, "[I] really noticed the improvement of skin texture. Pores are much smaller, acne is a lot less, does not ever dry my skin." It also comes in a convenient pump bottle and is adorably packaged.

Promising review: "This is my second bottle of this stuff and Im still really liking it. It's incredibly refreshing and really gets into your pores to clean them out. Even after thoroughly washing my face with cleanser, I go over it with a cotton round and this toner and there's always a bit of makeup here and there. I have noticed that my pores are less pronounced and its helped a lot with my "Orange peel" texture on my cheeks. I like that the large bottle has the little pump instead having to pour out of the bottle and out includes a box of cotton pads. I will definitely re-purchase!"


A Japanese Toning Lotion That Boosts Collagen: DHC Pore Lotion

This alcohol-free toner from cult-favorite Japanese brand DHC is a little different than the rest (it's actually called a lotion, which is used interchangeably with toner in the Asian beauty industry). It uses something called Delivery Nanomicelle technology, a time-release system that works to deliver long-lasting ingredients to the skin. Made from a unique formula of brown algae extract (which, as a bonus, boosts collagen production), oil-controlling zinc, and pore-tightening mushroom extract, this toning lotion helping to control breakouts without causing irritation, leaving skin looking and feeling clean, firm, and smooth. It's a great option for anyone who's looking to reap some extra moisture through their toning process.

Promising review: "I had large pores and acne. It's so hard finding a product that really address large pores. I can truly say that this product helped my pores become smaller and less noticeable. DHC always have fantastic products."

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

This article was originally published on