The Best Toners Are Actually Found at the Drugstore—These Are Our Picks

Finding the right toner for your skin type and budget can be overwhelming with all of the options on the market. However, your neighborhood drugstore actually offers some of the best tried-and-true toners money can buy. What's more, these are the formulas that won't bust your budget.


(Image credit: @mexicanbutjapanese)

There is often discourse about whether you really need a toner, but it’s a step I absolutely never skip during my evening routine, especially on days when I wear makeup or have a long workout. (Even with a thorough double cleanse, I find there can still be some residue!)

Keep scrolling for some helpful information to have in your back pocket as you shop for a toner in addition to our top drugstore picks that fit every budget. The 15 best drugstore toners are just ahead.

But first, what do toners actually do, and when should you apply them?

So you’ve washed your face. It looks and feels clean, but with the swipe of toner, you still see residue from makeup, dirt, and even oil. Toners essentially lift leftover dirt or makeup without stripping your skin of hydration to ensure your skin is prepped and ready for the next step in your skincare routine.

Toners are used after cleansing. Then after toning, you'll want to go in with your serums, treatments, and moisturizers. (Oh, and remember to always work thinnest to thickest to maximize efficacy and absorbency!)

What should you look for in a toner, depending on your skin type and goals?

For oily or acne-prone skin types, exfoliating toners are especially helpful in addressing excess oil production, enlarged pores, and breakouts. You’ll want to look for ingredients like AHAs (think glycolic acid) and BHAs (think salicylic acid). 

In contrast, dry and mature skin types should invest in alcohol-free formulas with hydrators like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, peptides, and ceramide. 

Best Overall: Bioderma Sensibio H2O

Best for Treating Dark Spots: Bevel 2-in-1 10% Glycolic Acid Toner Pads

Best for Treating Acne: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dickinson's Fragrance-Free Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner

Best for Dry Skin: Alcohol-Free Hydrating Toner for Sensitive Dry Skin

Best for Brightening: Glow Tonic 5% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner

Best for Oily Skin: Clean & Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Astringent

Best for Mature Skin: Bioderma Hydrabio H20

Best for Minimizing Pores: Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Toner

Best Two-in-One: The Lip Bar Snap Back Toner Serum Drops

Best for Combination Skin: Hero Cosmetics Clear Collective Balancing Capsule Toner

Best Multitasker: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover

More Drugstore Toner Options We Love

Simple Kind to Skin Facial Toner

Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner

Burt's Bees Calming Toner With Witch Hazel & Rose

Freelance Contributor