7 Best Natural & Organic Toners to Firm All Skin Types

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7 Best Natural & Organic Toners to Firm All Skin Types

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE

ZELEN Life Toner

BEST FOR IRRITATED SKIN

ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner

In this article, we will be reviewing the best natural and organic toners on the market.

We are going to give you the scoop on what to look for when assessing toners, a review of our top-7 picks, as well as information on how to use toners properly.

We will also discuss the difference between toners and the skin types they are suited to and then cover a few common questions people have about toners. Even those already using a toner should keep reading as we are going to cover many of the mysteries surrounding toners—one of the least understood products in skincare.

Toners used to be limited to astringents that, while beneficial for some people with oily acne-prone skin, were far too harsh for any other skin type. They often contained alcohol, which can dry out all but the oiliest of skin, stripping away the skin’s natural barrier. Today though, formulas have come a long away, and there are toners for any skin type and to treat any number of underlying conditions.

We formulated our ZELEN Life Toner to hydrate and calm your skin while restoring its natural pH and hormone balance post-wash. Our powerful yet soothing toner removes any remaining excess oil and impurities on your skin after you have finished cleansing it with a face wash or cleanser and leaves it ready to absorb the rejuvenating ingredients from the rest of your skincare routine.

Our all-natural toner is free of alcohol as well as parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, or synthetic colors and fragrances. All of our ingredients are naturally sourced and organic, giving you a strong foundation on which to build the rest of your routine, no matter your skin type or underlying condition.

The trickiest part about skincare is how highly personal it is. What works for one person may be detrimental to another even if they have similar skin types. This is why we have been so dedicated to bringing you our top picks for skincare products.

Even if you’ve got a toner, you’re happy with, keep reading, because we are going to cover a lot of useful information about toners, what to look for in a toner, and how to use them.

Before we get into the product reviews, let’s start with the 5 most important considerations when you are on the hunt for a natural and organic way to purify and condition your skin.

Quick summary

Before you buy: 5 Things to consider when purchasing a natural face toner

Toners are the last step in cleansing your skin and can provide an extra boost of skin-healing ingredients that can be tailored to treat any skin type or condition.

When choosing a toner, you are going to want to match those ingredients to whatever issues you are trying to target. Here we will outline a few things to know before you start your search the perfect toner for your skin.

1. Know your skin type & conditions

Skin type is always a top concern when shopping for a new skincare product. Using a product targeted at treating oily skin could be detrimental to those who have dry or sensitive skin, for example.

The 5 categories of skin:

Skin is categorized into normal, dry, sensitive, oily, or combination skin. If you aren’t sure which category you fall into, you can check out our article on the best natural face washes and cleansers, which has a description of each skin type. You can also talk to your doctor or dermatologist if you still require further assistance.

Determine underlying conditions:

Aside from the different types of skin mentioned above, you may have other issues or conditions you would like to target, from antiaging and fine lines and wrinkles to reducing breakouts to dull, patchy skin. Several different problems can be targeted using different toners. Know what you want to treat and then read the labels and make your choice accordingly.

Check out the Types of Toners You Can Use on Your Face section below where we breakdown the types of toners based on skin type and condition; we will give you an analysis of the ingredients you should be on the lookout for.

2. Only add or change one product at a time

If you add a toner to your routine or switch out your current toner for a new one, ensure that it is the only change you make to your skincare routine. This will allow you to assess how that product affects your skin. Changing anything else means you won’t be able to determine which change in your routine affected your skin.

Discontinue use immediately if you experience adverse effects:

Small problems like slight redness or itchiness will usually intensify with repeated application. Thus, you really don’t want to have any adverse reactions to a toner that you are going to be using daily. Sometimes an adjustment (usually a reduction) in the amount you apply can reduce irritation, but often you will have to try a different toner. Adjust as needed, remember skincare is a journey, not a destination, and you should always be checking in on your skin health to reevaluate your needs.

3. Consider your daily habits and application process

We will cover how to best use a toner below, but there are a few ways that this versatile product can be applied, depending on how it is formulated. Some come in thin liquids that can be spread using your hands or a cotton ball, while other formulas come in a mister bottle. The newest method involves gel sticks that can be rubbed onto the skin.

Keep in mind:

Your skin condition and the ingredient list are your primary concern; then, from within that set of products, you can choose from the application options available depending on how and where you will use a toner.

If you are applying your toner at home, the method may not matter. However, if you go to the gym and need to use your toner after getting cleaned up after a workout, a spray or gel stick may be easier to carry with you and apply.

If you travel a lot and want to reduce the number of liquids you are carrying, a gel stick could be just what you need.

Now that you’ve got some consideration to keep in mind, we can get into the reviews of the 7 best natural and organic toners that you can use on your face.

The 7 best natural and organic face toners

ZELEN Life Toner (Best for clean skincare)

ZELEN Life Toner


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Balances pH
  • Restores hormone balance
  • Antibacterial
  • Promotes cell regeneration

The best toner for:

This is the best natural toner for any skin type. Unless you have sensitivities to the natural oils of geranium and lavender, this is an excellent toner to try for those wishing to add one to their regimen or for those looking to swap out their current toner.

Notable ingredients:

Lavender, geranium, honey

Overview:

ZELEN Life’s Toner is a luxurious toner handmade with natural and organic ingredients that prep the skin for other skincare products in your routine.

The three major components of this toner are lavender, geranium, and honey.

Lavender has been used for centuries in skin treatment and aromatherapy. Recently studies have begun to unravel the mysteries of how lavender works with our biochemistry to fight off free radicals, using antioxidants found in the rosmarinic and chlorogenic acids.

These compounds have also been associated with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects, which can help to stop acne breakouts. Whatsmore, along with lactones, all of these compounds help reduce inflammation and redness on the skin, evening out skin tone and allowing it to absorb any moisturizers and treatments you apply afterward.[1][2] Lavender can also help hydrate your skin and promote the generation of healthy skin tissue.[3]

Geranium, as the other primary ingredient, removes any excess oil left on your skin and helps to clean out pores.[4] It is also packed with antioxidants that can help remove harmful free radicals that damage your skin and inhibit its functioning.[5] Geranium also contains selenium, an essential nutrient for humans that functions not only as an antioxidant but also as a hormone-balancing agent.[6] The alkalinity of geranium can also help to rebalance the pH of your skin post-cleanse.

Both of these plants can help to reduce redness and dark spots evening out skin tone.[7]

Lastly, honey is a humectant that assists in retaining the hydration of the skin without being oily. It is antimicrobial and antibacterial which assists in reducing acne blemishes and irritations.

Applying this liquid toner is very refreshing and lightweight on the skin. Just 3-4 pumps on a cotton pad are enough to get its maximum benefits. After application, it doesn’t dry out the skin and is really effective in removing any leftover waste from cleansing.

As for its aroma, I’d describe it as a blend of geranium and honey. While very subtle, it is very relaxing and calming. Research suggests that the smell of geranium can help reduce stress, which leads to numerous benefits for your health.[8]

The bottle and packaging of the ZELEN Life Toner deserve a mention. The bottle is made up of recyclable glass which feels luxurious and premium. Its spray pump makes it easy to apply on the cotton pad while protecting the liquid from contamination. Overall, the bottle is well designed and will be a pleasant sight on your bathroom’s shelf.

However, if you are on a budget then this toner might not be for you. Too Cool For School Egg-Ssential Fluid is another good option which offers double the amount (200 ml) at the same price point. It is formulated with egg and collagen fibers to hydrate and provide antiaging action. Alternatively, AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Toning Water is an excellent budget option. It contains essential minerals that assist in balancing the skin’s pH and reduce excess oil.

The good:

  • Can rebalance the pH and hormone levels of your skin
  • Has antibacterial properties to prevent breakouts
  • Lavender helps to promote the regeneration of healthy skin tissues

Things to consider:

  • Some people with sensitivities to essential oils might react to the lavender and geranium oils
  • If you prefer products without scents, even naturally derived ones, you may not care for the natural scents of lavender and geranium in this toner

Bottom line:

This powerhouse toner is packed with plant-based organic ingredients to restore the balance of hormones and pH on your skin while helping to restore healthy tissues and kill bacteria, all of which leave your skin ready to absorb the rest of your skincare routine.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner (Best for irritated skin)

SKIN&CO Roma Truffle Therapy Essential Face Toner


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Soothes sensitive and delicate skin
  • Helps irritated skins receive and absorb the following treatments
  • Helps to restore pH balance and skin barrier functioning

The best toner for:

This is the best natural toner for irritated skin. The focus of this toner is on soothing, calming, and restoring.

Notable ingredients:

Apricot extracts, sweet betty flower, quillaja wood saponins

Overview:

ELEMIS is a brand that is devoted to taking care of its customer’s skin. Their ELEMIS Facial Toner is evidence of that. It is a hydrating non-alcoholic toner that is formulated with organic ingredients, such as apricot extracts, sweet betty flower, quillaja wood saponins, and perilla seed oil.

Apricot is rich in vitamins A, B, and C. They can help soothe and heal irritated skin via their antioxidant and nourishing properties. They work together to remove free radicals and support the skin’s natural functions.[18] Vitamin A is especially good at promoting the formation of healthy collagen, which can reduce the signs of aging.[19]

Sweet betty flower is a variety of soapwort, which has been used to create cleansers for hundreds of years due to its saponin content. It is a natural foaming agent that also shows some promise as an antioxidant which helps this toner remove any remaining impurities on your skin.[17] Quillaja wood extract is another source of saponins, which helps to cleanse and soothe the skin naturally.

Perilla seed oil is rich in fatty acids, which are essential in maintaining the natural pH balance of the skin as well as the healthy functioning of the skin’s natural lipid (fat) barrier. Perilla seed oil has a healthy balance of fats, which makes it excellent for restoring lipid barrier function and skin pH levels.[15]

Studies also suggests that this calming oil can help to desensitize skin, which means it can help reduce skin reactiveness for those who have issues with sensitive skin.[16]

Overall, this is another a very refreshing toner similar to ZELEN Life’s. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, and you won’t feel your skin dry after application. Just 2-3 pumps on a cotton pad are enough to get all its benefits, and it is quickly absorbed.

If you don’t like using cotton pads 2 times per day, then it can be used as a mist due to its spray feature. The spray comes out wide enough to cover the whole face, which I personally like. However, some people don’t. This is due to the fact that the spray might cover more than the face than required. Thus, wasting some of the product.

As for its bottle, I admire its minimalistic approach. It is great to look at, and certainly belongs on the premium side. However, I am not as impressed by its strong scent. In my opinion, this is the only major drawback of this toner. While it doesn’t contain any alcohol in its fragrance, it’s still fairly strong, meaning that it might irritate people sensitive to strong scents.

If you are looking for a toner that has a more subtle scent, then you might prefer the ZELEN Life Toner. If you prefer more of an unscented toner, then you might find Boscia Resurfacing Treatment Toner more suitable for you. While it does contain natural ingredients such as jojoba and aloe, I found that it doesn’t give off a distinctive smell.

The good:

  • High in nourishing compounds, this toner works to soothe and heal skin
  • With the right balance of fatty acids, perilla seed oil helps to restore the pH balance of the skin
  • Reduce skin sensitivity making it especially great for those with highly reactive skin

Things to consider:

  • Some users disliked the strong fragrance in this product; some skins reacted to the fragrance
  • Some users with dry or combination skin found this product too drying

Bottom line:

This cleanser is filled with compounds that soothe and heal the skin, making it great for those who have irritated skin. It nourishes and desensitizes skin.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

SKIN&CO Roma Truffle Therapy Essential Face Toner (Best for scent)

SKIN&CO Roma Truffle Therapy Essential Face Toner


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Heals and prevents damage from free radical oxidative stress
  • Hydrates skin and helps prevent water loss from the skin

The best toner for:

This is the best natural toner for scent and prematurely aged skin.

Notable ingredients:

Witch hazel, black winter truffle (tuber melanosporum), calendula oil, rosemary, glycerin

Overview:

SKIN&CO’s Roma Truffle Therapy Essential Face Toner really stands out in terms of its scent. It is a toner that is formulated with organic ingredients, with the most notable ones being witch hazel, black winter truffle (tuber melanosporum), calendula oil, rosemary, and glycerin.

Now, let’s dive into what makes these ingredients special.

Black winter truffle is rich in superoxide dismutase. This strong antioxidant agent helps to reverse damage caused by free radicals and prevent further damage.[20] Witch hazel helps to remove excess oil and impurities from the skin’s surface and within pores. It is also a natural antiseptic, helping to kill acne-causing bacteria.

Calendula oil works to reduce inflammation and diminish redness on your face. It pulls moisture into the skin and forms a barrier that seals in hydration.[21] It can also provide some natural SPF protection, which combined with a sunscreen application will help your skin against UVA and UVB rays.[22] In addition, it has antioxidants that help remove free radicals, which can degrade even the deepest layers of your skin.[23]

Rosemary provides further antioxidant activity and can increase the rate of cell turnover, leading to the formation of healthier skin structures and younger-looking, healthier skin. It also has antiseptic properties that kill bacteria on your skin and in your pores.[24][25]

Glycerin is a powerful humectant that can draw moisture into the skin and help the skin heal, restoring its natural barrier.[26]

This is also an alcohol-free toner which is always a plus. It is very lightweight and gentle on the skin while giving it a boost in hydration. You will definitely love how smooth and replenished your skin feels with just a small amount. One thing to keep in mind is that this toner gives a brightening effect upon application, which is something that some people won’t like (especially men).

The bottle comes with a regular cap rather than a spray cap, similar to the two previous toners we have reviewed. That means that the use of a cotton pad upon application is a must.

Additionally, a regular cap means that the bottle is more prone to leaking if not closed properly. If you are planning to carry your toner with you, then I would suggest ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner. Its bottle is plastic rather than glass and has a spray cap that is less prone to leakage. As an added bonus, it can be used as a mist for a quick refresh if needed while on the move

As I touched on previously, the a great characteristic of this toner is its scent. While perfectly balanced and not overpowered, it certainly travels you in a journey of aromatherapy. It is a very relaxing blend of botanical and citrus scents that you will surely enjoy without the risk of irritation. Rosemary is well-known for the anxiety-reducing effect of its aroma.[50]

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a toner that doesn’t have a noticeable scent, then Boscia Resurfacing Treatment might be more suitable for you, as it is fairly unscented.

Lastly, while its combination of ingredients does wonders for the skin, this toner might not be the most suitable for very dry or very sensitive skin types. The inclusion of witch hazel can cause irritations to sensitive skin types. If overapplied, it risks leading to dryness. If you are looking for a toner that is suitable for sensitive skin types, then consider ZELEN Life’s Toner. It has a wonderful scent that comes from the inclusion of geranium and honey, and it doesn’t dry the skin due to honey being a humectant.

The good:

  • Several powerful antioxidants help to reduce damage from the environment
  • Witch hazel and rosemary work to remove impurities and kill harmful bacteria on the skin
  • Glycerin can pull moisture into the skin
  • Unrivaled scent that calms your mind but is not overpowering

Things to consider:

  • Too much glycerin use over time can lead to drier skin if it is not paired with a moisturizer that traps hydration in the skin
  • May be too powerful for those with dry or very sensitive skin

Bottom line:

This powerful formula is great at reversing and then preventing future damage from the sun and the buildup of pollutants on the skin. Be sure to pair it with a moisturizer that contains an occlusive to help seal the moisture in your skin.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Toner (Best for vitamin C)

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Toner


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Evens out skin tone and reduces the look of dark spots
  • Restores pH and moisture balance

The best toner for:

This is the best toner for those looking to bring balance back to their skin tone.

Notable ingredients:

Witch hazel, bitter orange, coneflower extract, sodium PCA, orange, mandarin, grapefruit

Overview:

Murad is a well-established brand in the skincare world and their Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Toner is a product that needed to have a place in our review.

Why?

Because it is the best toner if you are looking for radiant skin and a vitamin C boost. Its key ingredients are witch hazel, bitter orange, coneflower extract, sodium PCA, orange, mandarin, and grapefruit.

Witch hazel (as mentioned previously) assists in the reduction of excess oil and dirt from the skin’s surface. It is very effective against acne as it is a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Bitter orange, coneflower (echinacea), orange, mandarine, and grapefruit extracts help to soothe the skin by reducing free radicals, promoting hydration, and reducing inflammation and irritation. These ingredients work together using vitamin C and E to calm your skin and prepare it to absorb the rest of your skincare products.[28][29]

Furthermore, vitamin C is a rich antioxidant that also assists in increasing skin radiance and in reducing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Sodium PCA is also used in this toner as it can help draw moisture into the skin to increase hydration and lock it into place.[30]

Amino acids are essential for our skin to function normally and provide the building blocks to heal the skin, and balance skin tone. They help the skin’s natural hydration transport system move and retain moisture effectively. Amino acids also help to destroy free radicals and aid in the skin’s natural production of antioxidant compounds. Lastly, they can help to regulate the pH balance on your skin and restore it to normal levels.[27]

This toner is perfect for people who would like to increase radiance and brighten up their skin texture. The consistency of the liquid is lightweight and, using the spray pump, is applied easily onto the skin if you don’t want to use a cotton pad. The subtle citrus scent, along with the refreshing effect of this toner, leave a fresh, soft, and relaxing feeling after application.

However, if you have dry skin, then it might be better to avoid this product. The inclusion of witch hazel along with the high amounts of vitamin C included can be too drying. If you would like a toner that is very hydrating then, Too Cool For School Egg-Ssential Fluid is a great option for dry skin. It is formulated with a lot of hydration-locking ingredients such as egg extracts and shea butter.

Also, while Murad’s Toner is very effective, its price tag is not for everyone’s pocket. In fact, it is one of the highest priced on our list. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, consider AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Toning Water. It provides great value for money as it comes in a 250ml bottle.

The good:

  • Rich in amino acids, this formula helps to promote the healthy function of the skin
  • Amino acids fight free radicals, boost the skin’s production of antioxidants, and restores the natural pH balance of the skin
  • Rich in vitamin C, this product can help condition skin and even out its tone giving it a healthy radiance

Things to consider:

  • Some users reported this product was too drying, likely due to a sensitivity to vitamin C and witch hazel which are both present in this product
  • Some users reported irritation when using on the delicate skin around their eyes

Bottom line:

Perfect for those whose primary concern is evening out skin tone and reversing the damage from environmental stressors.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Toning Water (Best budget-friendly)

AHAVA Dead SeaMineral Toning Water


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Inexpensive and lasts a long time
  • Helps to balance pH
  • Cleanses skin
  • Balances skin tone
  • Antibacterial

The best toner for:

This is the best toner on our list for those on a budget. It is inexpensive yet effective. It is also an effective toner for combination skin.

Notable ingredients:

Cucumber, orange, lemon, essential minerals

Overview:

AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Toning Water is a toner that is very effective in restoring balance and eliminating impurities while being relatively well-priced to suit all budgets. Its key ingredients are cucumber, orange, lemon, and a variety of essential minerals.

The main components of this toner are the 21 essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium, that are used to help balance the skin pH and condition it for the rest of your routine. They protect the skin from environmental aggressors such as UV radiation and retain moisture levels.

Cucumber extract also balances pH, provides antimicrobial action, and antioxidant properties to fight free radicals. Cucumber is also effective at evening out skin tone by reducing the appearance of dark spots on the skin. It is also rich in vitamin C.[31][32]

Orange and lemon extracts are also rich in vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that can boost collagen production. This can lead to firmer healthier skin with less visible wrinkles. Vitamin C can also help to reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin and even out its tone.[33]

This is a very lightweight toner that doesn’t weigh down the skin as it absorbs fast. Just 4-5 drops on a cotton pad will make your skin feel smooth and fresh after applying it evenly to your skin.

While it contains vitamin C that assists in reducing signs of aging. If you are looking for a stronger anti-aging toner, Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Toner or Too Cool For School Egg-Ssential Fluid might be more appropriate. Murad’s contains a higher concentration of vitamin C & E, which provides a stronger action. Whereas Too Cool For School’s contains egg protein which provides numerous nutrients that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

The good:

  • Powerful ingredients help to balance the pH of the skin and leave it conditioned to absorb any following products
  • Inexpensive yet highly effective at balancing pH and rejuvenating skin
  • Great price for the amount

Things to consider:

  • One user reported that it left a film on their skin
  • One other user reported that it dried their skin

Bottom line:

There are almost no negative reviews of this product, and it is effective for all skin types. If you are on a budget but need a toner to help balance your skin pH after washing, this is the toner you want to try. It is suitable for even the most sensitive skin.

Remember:

Everyone’s skin is different, and even though this is a very gentle product, if you have a history of reactive skin, you should always perform a spot test to ensure that you are not reactive to any ingredients in a new skincare product.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

boscia Resurfacing Treatment Toner with Apple Cider Vinegar (Best for oily skin)

boscia Resurfacing Treatment Toner with Apple Cider Vinegar


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Powerful AHA’s & BHA remove excess oil and exfoliate the skin
  • Kills harmful bacteria and balances the levels of helpful bacteria

The best toner for:

This is the best natural toner for oily skin.

Notable ingredients:

Apple cider vinegar, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, jojoba seed extract

Overview:

Boscia has created this toner with a 20% acid complex that comes from a combination of glycolic acid (AHA), salicylic acid (BHA), apple cider vinegar (which contains several AHA’s), and jojoba seed extract. Thus, this toner’s focus is on removing excess oil and impurities while balancing pH for those who have oily skin.

Glycolic acid (as discussed above) reverses photodamage (damage from the sun and other UV sources such as tanning beds.) It increases the skin’s ability to produce and hold hyaluronic acid. Thus, moisture. It also reduces the visibility of dark spots and evens out skin tone.[34]

Salicylic acid is a BHA which is a potent exfoliating agent. It helps to remove dead skin cells, which can lead to dull, lifeless-looking skin. It can help clear and prevent pore blockages by eliminating dead cells and excess oil, which reduces blemishes on the skin. It is routinely used in the treatment of acne.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is less acidic than most kinds of vinegar, falling between 3.1 to 5 on the pH scale. This acidity means it can help balance out skin pH (which is between 4 and 6.5 with an average of 5.5) if your skin has become more alkaline from washing. ACV is also rich in vitamin C, bringing a whole host of benefits to your skin. This includes antioxidants, the promotion of healthy collagen formation, and the evening out skin tone.

Jojoba has a similar consistency with the skin’s sebum. Due to that, it helps maintain moisture in the skin while balancing excess oil. It is hypoallergenic and very effective in reducing acne blemishes.[51]

This is a lightweight in texture toner that has a very strong exfoliating action. When applied, you might have a subtle burning sensation due to the inclusion of acids. However, it doesn’t last more than a few seconds as it is quickly sinks into the skin. No greasy residue either!

I like the minimalistic design of the bottle. However, one thing that I noticed is that when you try to pour the liquid out, it dribbles to the side instead of coming straight out. If you are not careful and handle this poorly, it could result in wasting a significant amount of product.

While very effective in balancing sebum on oily skin and reducing the effect of acne, if you have sensitive skin, you should avoid this toner. This is because the number of acids included might aggravate irritations. A strong concentration of acids (such as apple cider vinegar) can remove the good bacteria from the skin’s surface and cause dryness and irritation.

If you are looking for a toner for sensitive skin, then the ZELEN Life Toner might be more appropriate for you. It is hypoallergenic and contains natural botanicals that provide hydration while reducing the chances of irritation. If your skin is on the dry side then consider Too Cool For School Egg-Ssential Fluid. It contains eggs and shea butter which are ingredients that provides superior hydration to the skin.

The good:

  • Potent acid complex is excellent for bringing the oiliest of complexions down to normal levels and preventing breakouts and reducing blemishes
  • ACV makes a great addition because it provides not only exfoliating and astringent properties but also several nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial for the skin

Things to consider:

  • This toner is intended for the oiliest of sets and those with even normal skin may find it too harsh
  • Those who have sensitivities to AHA’s, BHA, or just have sensitive or dry skin will likely find this product too drying
  • Some users with normal skin reported irritation after a few days of use

Bottom line:

This product is targeted to those of us with oily skin. If you have anything but, you likely want to try a different toner from our list.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Too Cool For School Egg-Ssential Fluid (Best for dry skin)

Too Cool For School Egg-Ssential Fluid


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Powerfully hydrating
  • Helps to rebuild the natural skin barrier

The best toner for:

This is the best toner for dry skin. It helps to hydrate and nourish skin bringing back moisture and restoring the barrier to keep that hydration in the skin throughout the day.

Notable ingredients:

Egg, shea butter, niacinamide

Overview:

Too Cool For School Egg-Ssential Fluid is a toner formulated to provide hydration while coming with an anti-aging action. Its main ingredients are egg proteins, shea butter, and niacinamide.

Egg proteins have been extracted and included. They can help draw moisture into the skin, which both hydrates and temporarily increases the skin’s plumpness. The plumpness comes from the added moisture content, resulting in less visible lines and wrinkles. However, egg whites do not improve collagen or elastin formation, which would lead to longer-lasting antiwrinkle effects. They do hydrate and help to reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles while the skin remains hydrated.[35]

Hydrolyzed proteins can also reduce the harmful effects of cleansers and help maintain the skin’s natural barrier.[36]

One of the most abundant proteins in eggs is lysozyme. An antibacterial protein that kills both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, which helps keep your skin free from blemish-causing bacteria.[37][38]

Shea butter and shea butter extracts are also added due to their ability to hydrate and nourish the skin. Shea butter offers several benefits for the skin that have been studied extensively. They include an increase in the skin’s natural barrier function by thickening the outer layer (stratum corneum) with healthy well-stratified layers.

Shea butter can also help deactivate matrix metalloproteinase (an enzyme that inhibits the production of collagen and breaks down healthy collagen when the skin is exposed to UV radiation from the sun or other sources). This leads to increased collagen production and tighter, firmer-looking skin. It can also help to decrease inflammation.[39]

Upon application, you will find this toner a little bit less lightweight than others on this list. It has a thin milky texture due to the inclusion of eggs and shea butter. Because of its semi-lotion texture, you can apply it like a lotion. Rub it gently onto your face and neck. It needs a few seconds to get absorbed but it remains non-greasy.

Even when applying it for the first time, you will notice your skin becomes very hydrated. You may find that application of moisturizer afterward is not always necessary. After three weeks of daily usage, it is possible that your skin will look brighter, refreshed and, dare I say it, less prominent wrinkles.

As for its scent, it is very lightly fragranced. I think this will not pose any problems if you have scent sensitivity. Its aroma is also very subtle. Packaging-wise, the bottle doesn’t have a luxurious feel to it. Its design is playful and rather basic. Despite this, I am confident you will get value for money due to the effectiveness of the product.

Please note, if you have an oily skin type, this product might not be for you due to the inclusion of shea butter. In this case, Boscia Resurfacing Treatment Toner might be a better option for you, as it is formulated with acids (salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, etc.) that help balance the amount of oil on the skin and reduce acne blemishes.

The good:

  • Rich in proteins that hydrate the skin and lock moisture in, while aiding in the rebuilding of the skin’s natural barrier
  • Helps to rebuild collagen and reduce inflammation which provides younger-looking and healthier skin

Things to consider:

  • Could cause breakouts on those with oily skin, likely from the inclusion of shea butter
  • Does not provide much extra cleaning action

Bottom line:

This toner is formulated to target dry, patchy skin. It is rich in hydrating compounds, but those same compounds can cause breakouts in people with oily skin. If you have dry skin that is prone to breakouts, this product may still be useful for you; it is those that have oily skin as the source of their acne that need to be careful with his one.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

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We covered a lot of information while reviewing the top-7 natural and organic toners that you can use on your face. We’ve hit a toner that can address pretty much any skin type and condition you can imagine.

However, you may still have some questions about how to use toners and how best to evaluate them, given your skin type.

So, keep reading as we are going to answer those questions and more in the following sections.

How to use your toner effectively How to use your toner effectively

Toners complete the cleansing of your skin by removing any excess oil and impurities that your face wash or cleanser may have missed. They also prepare your skin to receive the rest of your skincare routine. Thus, you want to make sure you employ it properly to maximize the benefits you see from incorporating a daily toner into your skincare routine.

Step 1: Wash and cleanse your face

As per the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD), you want to cleanse your face with warm water (think slightly warmer than room temperature), then rinse it with cooler water, and finally pat it dry. Rubbing motions used to dry skin can cause microtears that damage your skin’s natural barrier.[40]

Step 2: Apply toner – Use fingertips, a cotton ball/pad, spray, or stick

Depending on the toner you have, there are different ways to apply it.

Liquid in a bottle:

Apply a small amount to a cotton ball or pad or simply use your fingertips and rub it gently over your skin with upwards circular motions.

Avoid tugging down on your skin, as this can lead to sagging. Be extra cautious around your eye area as you don’t want to get any in your eyes; this skin is also more delicate than the rest of your face. The AAD recommends using your ring finger to apply products around the eye, as it is the weakest finger and will help ensure you don’t pull too hard.[41]

Spray:

Mist over your entire face with one or two spritzes. Don’t go overboard as too much of a good thing can be harmful.

Sticks:

Gently rub the stick all over your skin using upward, circular motions. For the eye area, take a bit of the stick on your ring finger and gently apply it using the same upward movements. You can use your fingertips to finish rubbing or patting the excess into your skin.

Once done, follow with the rest of your skincare routine.

Step 3: Follow with medical treatments, serums, moisturizer & sunscreen

Once you’ve applied the toner, you want to use any other products in your skincare routine. You can check out our article on [zelen blog link – the best order to apply skincare products]. In general, you apply products in order from thin to thick, as this helps them absorb better.

At a minimum, you should use a moisturizer and sunscreen; if your moisturizer provides broad-spectrum protection (blocks UVA and UVB rays) and has an SPF of 30 or higher, you can skip applying a separate sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 30 is the minimum protection recommended by the AAD.[42]

Types of toners you can use on your face

Types of toners you can use on your face

The versatility of toners is why they are often passed over. Toners are formulated and applied differently to help condition your skin for the application of the rest of your products. The wrong toner can cause or aggravate problems while the right one will prevent or calm them. Use our guide below to help you choose the proper toner.

Always remember to read the labels when making your purchase. It can also be useful to keep a journal of the products—toners or otherwise—that you’ve tried and the effects they have on your skin. Such a journal will help you when you are making skincare decisions in the future and will also be helpful to take to a dermatologist if you can’t find relief for your skin.

Dry skin

When buying a toner for dry skin, you want something that hydrates and helps to rejuvenate its natural barrier to keep moisture locked in. Glycerin can help pull moisture into the skin and soften it while improving its barrier function.[43]

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is one of the main compounds responsible for holding moisture in our skin, which makes it a great addition to toners, especially for those with dry skin.[44] Combining Glycerin and HA together will draw moisture into the top layers of your skin and lock it in.[45]

Also, look for soothing compounds to help reduce redness and irritation that can come from dry skin. Rosewater or rose extracts and aloe vera are some common soothing ingredients that can also help hydrate.

Oily skin

Those with oily skin will want to look for ingredients that help to remove excess oil. Astringents are beneficial here as they will clear away oils and impurities that can block pores. Witch hazel and apple cider vinegar are two natural astringents often used in toners. Glycolic, lactic, and citric acids are also often helpful astringents for oily skin.

Oil-control products like bentonite clay can also help to remove excess oil and impurities while mattifying skin to reduce that oily look.

Acne-prone skin

In general, you can look for the same ingredients that help oily skin; astringents help remove the excess oil that traps impurities and bacteria in pores, which leads to breakouts. If the astringents above aren’t quite strong enough (they are all AHAs), you can look for salicylic acid, which is a BHA and stronger than AHAs.

Aside from removing excess oil, astringents are usually antimicrobial as well and will help prevent breakouts by killing bacteria and fungi that can lead to acne.[46]

Aged/mature skin

Skin aging generally results from exposure to the sun and pollutants in the environment. This process beings early and those who spend a lot of time outdoors may see premature aging in their skin. Thus, you want ingredients that are targeted at healing environmental damage and rejuvenating skin.

Aloe vera, green tea, and vitamin C are all excellent for helping to revitalize aged skin. They also work well for mature skin as they not only help to heal damage but also boost the skin’s resilience to future damage.[47][48]

Sensitive skin

Similar to skin that is damaged from aging, you want soothing ingredients. Toners for sensitive skin often include aloe vera and green tea. You can also find compounds that provide protection from contaminants that can cause irritation; algae is an excellent example of removing pollutants and reversing the damage they cause.[49]

Just as important as what is in the product is what is not. Sensitive skin is highly reactive, and you want to avoid any harsh ingredients like alcohol or astringents. Also, avoid common sensitizing compounds like essential oils. While these can be beneficial for other skin types, those with sensitive skin will often see adverse reactions.

Keep it simple:

Look for short ingredient lists with highly targeted compounds that soothe your skin. Avoid everything harsh, unless otherwise directed by a healthcare provider.

Combination skin

Combination skin is notoriously hard because you have more than one skin type on your face. You need to find a balance between what treats your dry or normal skin right while providing enough potency to treat the oily areas. For some, using a toner targeted at dry skin can help control moisture, which reduces oil production in the oiler areas of the skin.

Others will need something aimed at oily skin, meaning something with astringents or mattifying agents. Lactic acid is a great choice here as it can also help moisturize. If you find these toners too harsh on the dry or normal parts of your face, apply them only to the oil areas using a cotton ball to wipe away excess oil.

“Normal” skin

Normal here refers to healthy skin with no underlying conditions. While that doesn’t apply to most people, if it does apply to you, then you want something that helps to keep your skin hydrated, and that will promote the health of your skin’s natural barrier.

Hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, green tea, and vitamin C and E can help keep the skin hydrated. Many of them also have antioxidant properties to help prevent damage that can lead to premature aging. These will be some of the best toners for glowing skin.

How we chose these products

To bring you our list of the best natural toners, we looked for top-quality products that target specific issues and are formulated with ingredients that can alleviate the targeted symptoms. They are all free of harmful chemicals that can irritate skin and lead to health issues.

We searched for the best organic toners for all conditions to make sure we covered the range of concerns out there. We only include trusted brands that use high-quality ingredients in their formulas.

No matter your skin’s condition, you can find something targeted to treat it on our list. Each of our picks helps to cleanse your skin and condition it so that you get the maximum benefit from the rest of your skincare products.

We assessed the quality of each product by reviewing the ingredients to ensure that they all contain ample amounts of nutrient and vitamin dense compounds to help keep your skin looking young and healthy. We also made sure that each product on our list was free of parabens, sulfates, and petrochemicals.

Each brand on our list is trusted within the skincare community. We also search for expert and user reviews and aggregate all that information into one spot so that you can be better informed when making skincare decisions.

That way, you can find the right toner with less effort and cost, giving you the best possible foundation for the rest of your skincare routine.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

We have covered a lot of information about toners in this article, but there are a few more lingering issues we’d like to cover for you that commonly arise.

What is a toner?

We’ve talked about the purpose of a toner a bit above, but specifically, toners are meant to bridge the gap between cleansing and other topical treatments in your skincare regiment. Cleansing skin is necessary to remove impurities and, for some people, excess oil.

However, it can alter the balance of your skin’s pH and open your pores. Toners work to remove the last of the grime left on your face, restore the natural pH balance, and close those pores up to prevent debris and makeup from clogging them.

Toners should not aggravate any skin conditions you may have; instead, a quality toner should help to calm and soothe those conditions while leaving your skin ready to soak up all the goodness that follows from the rest of your routine.

Toners can help reduce redness and even out skin tone as well as tone up the firmness of your skin. Are you starting to see how this product got its name?

Should I use a toner?

Because toners come in so many different formulations now, everyone can benefit from adding a toner to their routine.

However, those with oily sets, acne-prone skin, or who wear makeup will benefit the most from the extra cleaning, pore closing, and skin toning action.

When should I use my toner?

Depending on the toner’s purpose, you may use it both morning and night or just at night; if your toner provides some exfoliation or is astringent, once a day may be enough.

If you are applying once a day, nighttime is usually the best option as it will help remove impurities that buildup on your skin over the course of a day.

You want to apply the toner immediately after washing your face. For most toner products, it is best if your skin is still slightly damp.

Gently give your face a pat with a clean towel to remove excess water, then apply the toner on your still-damp skin, and then immediately follow with the rest of your routine.

Is there a toner for my skin type/condition?

Absolutely! There are now thousands of different formulas, and with a little hunting, you should be able to find one that matches your needs. Whether you have acne, an oily complexion, or sensitive skin, there is something out there for everyone.

It might take some testing to discover what works well for your skin with your current skincare regimen. If you have chronic issues with your skin and can’t find the right combination of products, consider visiting a board-certified dermatologist for help.

Conclusion

Toners are an oft-maligned, generally misunderstood product that has come a long way in the last few years. Many people are reminded of harsh astringents when they think “toner.”

But ultimately, a toner should remove any last traces of impurities on your skin and prepare it to soak up all the goodness of the rest of the products you apply post-wash. Added ingredients can also work to treat any underlying issues you are having with your skin.

If you have oily, acne-prone skin, or wear makeup, you make still want a product that contains astringents. However, for those with dry, sensitive, or mature skin, you can avoid that altogether and go for something soothing and hydrating.

With toners and any skincare product, you always want to match the ingredients to your skin’s needs. Toners can help to replenish nutrients and other helpful compounds that are stripped from your skin when you cleanse it.

What experience have you had with toners? Have you found one that works well for you, or are you still scouring the shelves for something that is just right? Let us know in the comments below.

If you know someone who is seeking out a new toner or is lost in the world of skincare products, fighting for healthier, younger-looking skin, share this article with them to spread the knowledge.

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About The Author

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Board-Certified Doctor and Educator

Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery MBBS (Cardiff University)

London, United Kingdom

Dr. McKeown is a UK based NHS clinician with over 10 years experience in both hospital medicine and surgery. After an initial career in maxillofacial surgery his focus now lies in elderly care and rehabilitation medicine. A board member for Wadham College of Science, Dr. McKeown is passionate about widening access to both education and healthcare around the world and as a result, outside of his clinical work he spends much of his time either teaching or providing medical consultancy to healthcare startups. Commercially, his interests lie in helping research and promote novel, evidence-based medicines originating from natural sources and processes.

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