There are a few products that we at Kiehl’s believe everyone needs in their skincare routine, and a facial toner is one of those must-haves. In addition to helping to cleanse, toners can help balance and refresh the skin while preparing it for the rest of your routine. Some formulas can also help address specific skin concerns, such as oiliness, redness, or dullness. The key, as it often is with skincare, is to pick the best toner for your skin type and concerns. Whether you have sensitive, oily, acne-prone, dry, or normal skin, we know the best Kiehl’s toner for you—and we’re sharing our recommendations. Read on to find your facial toner match.
Is Toner Good For All Skin Types?
As we mentioned, toner is an integral part of an effective skincare routine. And this goes for all skin types, from dry to oily (and everything in between). If you feel like toner isn’t for you, it’s likely that you haven’t found the right formula yet. There are many different toners, offering quite a number of benefits—hydrating, exfoliating, soothing—and it’s safe to say that there’s a toner for every skin type. You just need to discover the one that’s right for you, which leads us to…
Kiehl’s Best Face Toners For Every Skin Type and Concern
Generally speaking, there are five main skin types—dry, oily, combination, sensitive, and normal—and most people fall into one of these categories. Our article Here’s How You Can Determine Your Skin Type can help you figure out which skin type you have (a must for choosing the right products for your skin). If you have specific skin concerns, like dullness or breakouts, that’s important to take into consideration, too, as you can select a toner that helps address your concerns. Here, you’ll find 10 of our best toner options for every skin type and concern.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Normal Skin:
Ultra Facial Toner
The term “normal skin” is usually used to describe skin that’s balanced and doesn’t exhibit any major concerns, like excessive oiliness, dryness, or breakouts. If you fall into this category, help keep your skin in shape with a lightly hydrating toner, like Ultra Facial Toner. The pH-balanced formula with squalane and avocado oil gently removes dirt and surface residue without stripping the skin, leaving you feeling balanced and fresh.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Combination Skin:
Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
Help calm, soothe, and refresh combination skin with our cult-classic Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner. A Kiehl’s favorite since the 1960s, this non-comedogenic toner provides a gentle cleanse while helping to improve skin’s texture. It’s clinically-demonstrated to reduce oiliness within just three days, while continued use over time helps diminish unwanted shine, minimizes visible redness, and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores.* Plus, our calendula toner is alcohol-free and non-acnegenic, making it suitable for those with sensitive and blemish-prone skin.
*Results based on expert grading in a four-week clinical study on 62 subjects.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Oily Skin:
Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner
If you have oily skin, reach for Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner to help keep unwanted shine in check. This lightweight toner gently removes residue, dirt, and excess oil without stripping the skin of moisture. The alcohol-free formula isn’t too drying, and it helps visibly reduce oiliness for skin that appears more balanced and fresh.
Kiehl’s Tip: You may assume that drying out the skin a bit is a good idea if you’re prone to T-zone shine and greasiness, but this isn’t the case. Oily skin still needs moisture. In fact, without it, your skin can become dehydrated, which may encourage your body to produce more oil.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Dry Skin:
Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner
For those with dry, sensitive skin, a gentle skincare approach is key. To help soothe your skin after cleansing, try Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, which is our best facial toner for dry and sensitive skin. The fragrance-free formula with cucumber extract and allantoin has a mild astringent effect that leaves your skin feeling clean and soft.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Blemish-Prone Skin:
Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion
If you come into a Kiehl’s store and ask which is the best toner for acne-prone skin, we’ll likely point you in the direction of Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion. This formula, which first hit Kiehl’s shelves nearly 60 years ago, contains witch hazel water, along with menthol, camphor, and aloe vera. It helps balance and soothe oily-prone areas, such as the T-zone (a common area for blemishes to appear). Plus, it can also double as a spot-treatment and aftershave, making it the ultimate multi-tasker.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Uneven Skin:
Milk-Peel Gentle Exfoliating Toner
You likely know that exfoliating regularly can help keep your skin looking smooth and even. What you may not know is that you don’t need a scrub to get the job done. Exfoliating toners, also known as acid toners, are also an option. If you’re looking for gentle exfoliation that you can do daily, we recommend reaching for Milk-Peel Gentle Exfoliating Toner. Made with lipo-hydroxy acid (a salicylic acid derivative) and 23% emollients, this dual-action toner exfoliates and gently dissolves impurities while helping to replenish the skin’s moisture levels. The unique formula is clinically-demonstrated to smooth, soften, and brighten the skin, and it’s suitable for all skin types—including sensitive skin.*
*Results based on expert grading in a clinical study of 44 panelists, age 30-50, after 4 weeks of use.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Enlarged Pores:
Rare Earth Pore-Refining Tonic
Everyone has pores, but those with oilier skin types tend to be more prone to having enlarged pores. While you can’t actually shrink your pores, a pore-minimizing toner, like Rare Earth Pore-Refining Tonic, can help make them appear smaller. This gentle toner is made with mineral-rich ingredients sourced from the mouth of the Amazon river, including fairly-traded Amazonian white clay (also known as kaolin clay). In addition to helping reduce the appearance of pores, the unique toner helps mattify the skin, leaving it looking balanced and smooth. It’s suitable for normal and oily skin types and can be used twice daily as part of your regular skincare routine.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Dull Skin:
Clearly Corrective Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water
If you find that your skin is looking duller than you’d like, we suggest incorporating a brightening toner into your routine to help restore radiance. Try Clearly Corrective Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water, which contains activated vitamin C and licorice root extract. The powerful yet gentle formula soothes and hydrates the skin while helping to diminish dullness. It also boosts brightness for skin that appears clearer and more even with continued use.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Men’s Skin:
Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic For Men
Men can have oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin, just like anyone else. And as such, they can use the appropriate toner (designated above) for their skin type. That said, some guys may find that they prefer using men’s skincare products. At Kiehl’s, we have a toner designed with men’s skin in mind: Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic For Men. Made with bamboo extract and caffeine, this invigorating face toner soothes and balances skin while helping to reduce the visible signs of fatigue. It’s suitable for all men’s skin types and can be used daily for skin that feels hydrated, comfortable, and refreshed.
Kiehl’s Tip: Many of our men’s skincare products, including this toner, are multi-purpose. In addition to being a great men’s facial toner, the energizing formula can be used as a refreshing aftershave treatment on shaving days.
Kiehl’s Best Toner For Aging Skin:
Ferulic Brew Antioxidant Facial Treatment with Lactic Acid
While essences aren’t exactly the same as toners—toners help cleanse the skin while essences serve as a treatment step—we couldn’t in good conscience complete this list without a shout-out to Ferulic Brew Antioxidant Facial Treatment with Lactic Acid. This powerful yet gentle facial essence helps remove dull surface skin for a visibly smoother, more even appearance. It visibly reduces fine lines and other early signs of aging, and the antioxidant-rich formula helps support the skin’s natural recovery processes while working to defend against skin-aging free radicals. You can use this unique facial essence morning and night—alone or after a mild facial toner—for smooth, glowing skin.