9 Best Toners for Acne-Prone Skin 2021
9 Best Toners for Acne-Prone Skin 2021


Toners get a bad rap for irritating skin. While it’s true that the toners of yesteryear could contain stripping, drying ingredients, modern toners are formulated to help you achieve glowing skin. Danusia Wnek, a chemist in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, explains that toners can contain astringents like witch hazel or alcohol, which help temporarily minimize the appearance of pores, but they can also contain exfoliators like hydroxy acids and moisturizing ingredients like glycerin or aloe vera to reduce any drying effects that come with astringents.

That’s why toners can be a great option for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin, according to Rita Linkner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, who says toners are a great way to clean acne-prone skin of any lingering residue after cleansing and prior to carrying forth with your skincare routine. For acne-prone skin, Wnek recommends seeking out toners that contain salicylic acid and looking for a label that lists drug facts, as acne reduction is regulated as a drug claim, according to the FDA.

Below, find the best face toners for acne-prone skin, no matter your skin type, according to GH Beauty Lab scientists, dermatologists, reviewers and skincare experts:

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Best Overall Toner for Acne

CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution

Paula’s Choice


According to Wnek, this toner is one of the best for acneic skin. “I love it because it does help with redness and my oily and acne-prone skin,” she says. Formulated with powerhouse ingredients like salicylic acid and BHA to fight blemishes and green tea to calm redness, it’s no wonder this toner is an acne-fighting workhorse. 

  • Helps with redness and irritation
  • Exfoliates skin


Best Value Toner for Acne

Pore Clarifying Toner

Witch hazel acts as an astringent and glycerin helps soothe skin in this toner, which helps reduce the appearance of pores.  “I added this to my skin regime two week ago and all the bumps and pimples that I had are basically gone,” one reviewer raves. “My skin has calmed down and it’s so smooth.  It also helped control my combination skin.”

  • Affordable price
  • Helps even skin texture
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores


Best Dermatologist-Recommended Toner for Acne

Unblemish Clarifying Toner

Rodan + Fields
Rodan + Fields


Alpha hydroxy acids help even out your complexion in this clarifying toner, according to Dr. Linkner.  “The addition of green tea extracts also has a calming, anti-inflammatory effect,” she says. “The niacinamide in this product helps to even out acne blemishing and works very well in those who have darker skin tones.”

  • Calms skin
  • Good for hyperpigmentation
  • Exfoliates and evens skin tone


Best Toner for Acne Scars

Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner



If you struggle with hyperpigmentation and acne scarring, this toner is specifically formulated with AHAs like glycolic and lactic acids to help clear up dark spots. “I have struggled with acne and acne scars for a long time and I felt like nothing would help until I found this, and I am now on my third bottle,” one reviewer says. 

  • Good for hyperpigmentation and scarring
  • Exfoliates and evens skin tone


Best Toner for Hormonal Acne

SUPERTONER Exfoliating Acid Solution



It may look like liquid steel once you shake this emulsion formula to activate, but this toner is more than just pretty packaging.  Salicylic, glycolic, lactic acid and witch hazel work to stop pimples in their tracks. “It’s really helpful if I’m breaking out, as it cleans out my pores, curbs blemishes, and helps clarify,” says GH’s beauty assistant.

  • Helps clear skin from hormonal breakouts
  • Exfoliates


Best Toner for Acne-Prone, Sensitive Skin

AC Collection Calming Liquid Mild

Since this toner contains mild acids, it’s perfect for anyone that has skin more on the sensitive side. “I like that they have this option for people with acne-prone but also sensitive skin like mine,” one reviewer says. “Most brands always associate acne-prone skin being oily, which tends to dehydrate my skin. So far, I’ve seen a reduction on my skin texture, and it speeds the healing process of my breakouts.”

  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Calms inflammation and hydrates


Best Toner for Acne-Prone, Dry Skin

Clear Collective Balancing Capsule Toner

Mighty Patch


This 2-in-1 serum toner has witch hazel and eight different types of hyaluronic acid to both clean and moisturize skin. “I’m absolutely in love,” one reviewer raves. “I have dry/combination skin and this helped clear up some acne issues I was having, as well as still giving my skin some hydration.” Bonus: it also helps mattify and control shine.


Best Toner for Acne-Prone, Oily Skin

Witch Hazel Blemish Toner



Thayers is known for their witch hazel toners, and this formula is boosted with aloe vera and salicylic acid to fight breakouts and sooth skin. “I am happy with the results,” one reviewer says. “I would recommend this to those with oily skin who tend to have break outs. It may be too harsh for those with dry or sensitive skin.”

  • Controls oil
  • Helps clear pores
  • May be harsh on sensitive skin


Best Toner for Acne-Prone, Combination Skin

Clarifying Solution

La Roche Posay


Salicylic and glycolic acid work in tandem with each other to help improve skin texture, unclog pores and control oil. Castor oil helps keep skin hydrated and supple. “It’s amazing for my combination-oily, acne-prone skin,” one reviewer says. “My pores feel cleaner and tighter. I’ve used many other toners, but this one feels the best on my skin.”

  • Evens skin texture and tone
  • Controls oil while hydrating

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