10 Best Drugstore Toners For Acne-Prone Skin

Tighten your open pores and reduce the appearance of pimples and inflammation.

Reviewed by Heidi Mesbah, Licensed Esthetician
Written by Shiboli Chakraborti, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Krati Darak, MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Medha Deb, Integrated MA  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

The best drugstore toners for acne-prone skin help tackle your acne flares without burning a hole through your pockets! Acne is a common skin problem aggravated by pollution, hormones, diet, and sometimes, some skincare products. Toners formulated for acne-prone skin have alcohol-free formulas and natural ingredients that do not strip your skin’s natural moisture.

Toners gently refresh your skin and tighten the skin’s pores. Toners for acne have formulas enriched with active ingredients like glycolic acid and salicylic acid that assist with acne breakout prevention. These also have soothing properties to prevent inflammation of the skin as well as astringent properties, which makes them a must-have!

Keep reading to check out our list of the best drugstore toners for acne-prone skin.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Overall:La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying SolutionPrice on Amazon
Best For Combination Skin: Paula's Choice Pore-Reducing TonerPrice on Amazon
Best For pH Balance:S.W Basics TonerPrice on Amazon
Best Hypoallergenic:Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner
Price on Amazon
Best Sun Damage Protection:Lavo Glycolic Exfoliating TonerPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Comedogenic Formula:Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control TonerPrice on Amazon
Best For Long-Lasting Hydration:Glytone Acne Clearing TonerPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Greasy Formula:Amaki Rose Water Hydrating Mist TonerPrice on Amazon
Best Pore Minimizer:Lauda Botanicals Oily Skin Control TonerPrice on Amazon
Best Vegan:Belif Problem Solution TonerPrice on Amazon

10 Best Drugstore Toners For Acne-Prone Skin

1. Best Overall:La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution

4.5
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Image: La Roche Posay

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution is a face toner ideal for acne-prone skin. The toner contains both salicylic and glycolic acids. These acids gently exfoliate and remove excess dirt and dead skin, leaving your skin refreshed and even-toned. This toner is an effective acne treatment that helps protect your skin against environmental and sun damage. The glycolic acid in this toner penetrates into the skin and unclogs pores. The 0.5% salicylic acid formula helps clear blackheads, whiteheads, and acne scars. The toner is suitable for sensitive skin and can be used daily. It does not contain any harmful chemicals or harsh ingredients.

Skin Type: Oily, Acne Prone Skin, Sensitive | Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8 x 6.7 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid and Thermal water

Pros

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Allergy-tested
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Oil control formula

Cons

  • None

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 4,186 customers have given the product positive reviews on Amazon.

2. Best For Combination Skin: Paula’s Choice Pore-Reducing Toner

4.5
Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner Image: Paula's Choice

The Paula’s Choice Pore-Reducing Toner is infused with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. The liquid formula helps clear out clogged pores and minimizes their appearance. It restores the skin’s natural moisture balance and fights the effects of aging. It helps balance the oil on your face to reduce acne breakout and help achieve a radiant skin and even skin tone. This lightweight toner also contains chamomile and burdock root extracts to soothe sensitive skin, reduce inflammation, and heal your skin for a smooth and radiant complexion.

Skin Type: Oily, Acne Prone Skin, Combination, Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.97 x 1.97 x 6.3 inches | Weight: 8.15 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, Chamomile & Burdock root extract, Hyaluronic acid, and Ceramides

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Offers anti-aging benefits
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Soothes sensitive skin
  • Offers antioxidant benefits
  • Restores skin’s moisture barrier
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • None

protip_icon Pro Tip
Carbohydrates and/or dairy consumptions may alleviate breakout thus, consume in moderation.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has made it to our top favorite list with more than 5,480 rave reviews on Amazon.

3. Best For pH Balance:S.W Basics Toner

Thistoner by S.W Basics is infused with raw apple cider vinegar, organic witch hazel, sandalwood oil, and clary sage oil. Both witch hazel and apple cider vinegar help balance the natural pH of the skin. The toner has a calming effect on skin redness and irritation and further helps improve your skin tone. It does not contain any harmful chemicals or harsh ingredients that may otherwise damage or irritate your skin.

This potent, alcohol-free formula also controls excess oil production without stripping the natural moisture from your skin.

Skin Type: All, Oily, Sensitive, Dry | Product Dimensions: 1.97 x 1.97 x 4.5 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Raw apple cider vinegar, Witch hazel, Sandalwood, Clary sage) and Water

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Synthetic fragrance-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Filler-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Alcohol-free

Cons

  • Expensive

protip_icon Did You Know?
S.W. Basics or Sprout Wellness was started in a kitchen in Brooklyn in 2008. The Great Recession was going on and Adina Grigore (the founder) had itchy skin. Her DIY skin care products gradually turned into a business.

4. Best Hypoallergenic:Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner

4.5

The Green Tea Fresh Toner by Isntree is specifically formulated for oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. It is infused with green tea extract, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, and centella asiatica extract. The green tea in this toner is rich in amino acids, minerals, polyphenols, and proteins. These ingredients help relieve skin irritation and revitalize your skin.

The hyaluronic acid in this toner forms a layer over your skin and protects it from environmental damage. It further helps stimulate cell regeneration and improves collagen production. This toner with a lightweight formula maintains the skin’s moisture balance and unclogs enlarged pores. It contains natural extracts and no harmful ingredients or harsh chemicals that may otherwise irritate or damage your skin. In fact, the toner has successfully completed the skin irritation test and is safe to add to your everyday skin care routine. Watch this video for more information about the product.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.95 x 1.9 inches | Weight: 6.17 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Green tea extracts, Gingko tea extracts, and White willow bark extracts

Pros

  • Dermatologist recommended and tested
  • Mild on skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • None

protip_icon Pro Tip
Soak a cotton pad in the toner and place it on the face and use it as a facial mask. You may also use it as facial mist and apply any time anywhere.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 2,658 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

5. Best Sun Damage Protection:Lavo Glycolic Exfoliating Toner

The Glycolic Exfoliating Toner by Lavo is ideal for those with oilyskin. It is infused with lactic acid, vitamin C, aloe vera, calendula extract, and glycolic acid. The alpha-hydroxy acid exfoliates dead skin cells and helps unclog pores. The results-driven toner helps maintain your skin’s natural pH and fights acne-causing bacteria. It further controls excess sebum production and prevents breakouts. The aloe vera and calendula extracts help soothe your acne and irritation and leave your skin feeling refreshed. This toner possesses anti-aging properties and helps diminish fine lines, blemishes, and wrinkles. It hydrates and calms your skin to give you clearer and blemish-free skin.

This hydrating toner contains no harmful chemicals or harsh ingredients that may otherwise damage or irritate your skin.

Skin Type: Normal, Oily, Combination, Acne, Blemished, Problem Skin | Product Dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 6 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera gel, Glycerin, Lemon juice, Calendula extract and Glycolic acid

Pros

  • Helps remove makeup
  • Protects against sun damage
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Doesn’t suit sensitive skin
  • Unpleasant smell

6. Best Non-Comedogenic Formula:Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Toner

4.5
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Toner Image: Neutrogena

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Toner helps get rid of acne before its emergence by targeting sensitive areas with the help of microclear technology. This technology helps dissolve oil and delivers salicylic acid to the targeted areas. It refreshes your face by reducing any inflammation and redness caused by the breakouts. The formula is infused with salicylic acid, green tea, and cucumber that reduces, heals, and soothes acne-prone skin. This affordable toner unclogs pores and gets rid of accumulated impurities and oil from your face, leaving it clean and energized. The tester’s experience attests that this affordable option delivers visible results in the form of youthful skin.

Skin Type: Acne-prone | Product Dimensions: 0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches | Weight: 9.14 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid and Green tea

Pros

  • Clinically-proven
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Best for oily, acne-prone skin

Cons

  • None

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The extensive 4,452 rave reviews on Amazon prove why we are vouching for this product.

7. Best For Long-Lasting Hydration:Glytone Acne Clearing Toner

4.2
Glytone Acne Clearing Toner Image: Glytone

The Acne Clearing Toner by Glytone is light and leaves you with a refreshing sensation. It is formulated with 2% salicylic acid for blemish control and reveals clear skin due to exfoliation. This toner helps clear acne and breakouts to reveal smooth skin. It further helps control excess oil production and assists with sebum regulation. The toner also contains sulfur and benzoyl peroxide, which helps clear breakouts and unclogs pores. The hydrogel formula provides long-lasting hydration to leave you with smooth and soft skin.

Skin Type: Oily, Acne Prone Skin, Combination | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 6.7 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Exfoliates skin
  • Best for oily or acne-prone skin

Cons

  • None

8. Best Non-Greasy Formula:Amaki Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner

3.9

The Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner by Amaki is an all-natural, organic formula. It is made from Bulgarian roses and reduces acne, pimples, and blackheads. The toner gives an instant splash of hydration to your skin that lasts all day. It helps balance your skin’s pH and removes excess oil and dirt. The anti-aging formula and its hydrating benefits help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and give you radiant and younger-looking skin.
The toner is also rich in antioxidants and protects your skin from free radical damage. The toner improves your skin texture, enhances complexion, and calms your skin with regular use.

Skin Type: All, Oily, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 6 inches | Weight: 10.55 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Rosewater

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Synthetic preservative-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Dye-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Additive-free

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell
  • May not suit sensitive skin

9. Best Pore Minimizer:Lauda Botanicals Oily Skin Control Toner

The Oily Skin Control Toner by Lauda Botanicals is ideal for oily and combination skin. It is infused with witch hazel, aloe vera, vitamin C, vitamin E, rosemary extract, and allantoin. This toner helps balance your skin’s pH and leaves your skin feel hydrated. The lemon bioflavonoids, allantoin, and linolenic acid help smoothen skin and reduce blotchiness. Rosemary and witch hazel help mattify your skin and make it oil-free. This alcohol-free toner reduces the appearance of enlarged pores. Both vitamin C and citric acids are rich in antioxidants and help in cell regeneration.

Skin Type: All, Oily, Combination, clogged pores | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 4.96 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Witch hazel, Rosemary extracts, and Aloe vera

Pros

  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Color-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free

Cons

  • None

10. Best Vegan:Belif Problem Solution Toner

The Problem Solution Toner by Belif is ideal for people with acne-prone skin. It contains infused tea tree oil that has antibacterial properties to prevent excess sebum. The toner also contains willow bark extract that is rich with salicylic acid – it gently exfoliates your skin and leaves it with an improved complexion. The toner also helps reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and removes dirt and build-up from within. Its gentle formula further helps disinfect breakouts and aids in soothing redness, acne, and blemishes. With regular use, this mild toner leaves your skin even-toned and smooth.

Skin Type: Acne Prone Skin | Product Dimensions: 2.76 x 2.76 x 2.2 inches | Weight: 6.89 Ounces.

Key Ingredients: Tea tree oil and Salicylic acid

Pros

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Vegan
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Synthetic dye-free
  • Synthetic fragrance-free
  • Synthetic preservative-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Triclosan-free
  • Ethanol-free
  • Propylene glycol-free

Cons

  • None
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Now that you know about the best toners that suit acne-prone skin, here is a list of ingredients that you should look for while choosing one. Most toners contain these components as they target acne and effectively combat breakouts and other skin concerns.

Ingredients That Benefit Acne-Prone Skin

  • Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid penetrates the pores to remove build-up, dirt, and bacteria that cause acne and breakouts. It exfoliates the flaky skin, minimizes enlarged pores, and keeps zits under control. Salicylic acid further removes dead skin cells and assists in the process of skin renewal, reduces skin discoloration, evens out skin texture, and leaves you with a youthful and smooth appearance.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is said to have natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes irritation, red bumps, and cysts and helps eliminate blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. It also helps reduce spots and blemishes left behind from cystic acne. Benzoyl peroxide gently exfoliates dead skin cells to give you smoother and clearer-looking skin.

  • Adapalene

Adapalene is a type of retinoid ideal for reducing pimples. It helps reduce acneand prevents further breakouts. Additionally, it helps decrease swelling and inflammation. Thissuper retinoid further fights signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines, dull skin, and wrinkles.

Facial toners not only target acne but also prevent pimples and breakouts. They are an easy-to-use skincare essential that reduces redness and itchiness. But how do you use one?

How To Use A Facial Toner

  • Begin by washing your face with a gentle cleanser that suits your skin type (preferably one without fragrances or sulfates).
  • Wet a cotton ball or pad with the toner and apply it all over the face and neck.
  • Allow it to dry completely.
  • Apply a gentle moisturizer that suits your skin type.

Infographic: Tips To Take Care Of Acne-Prone Skin & Ingredients To Avoid

Acne-prone skin is difficult to manage. The constant struggle with grease and pesky pimples can be tiring. The below infographic explains how to manage acne-prone skin. You will also learn about the ingredients that aggravate and trigger acne. Scroll down to check out the tips to control your acne and achieve healthy, glowing skin.

Tips To Take Care Of Acne-Prone Skin (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Toners help refresh your skin without stripping the skin’s hydration. In addition, skin toning helps tighten the pores and has anti-inflammation properties that aid in soothing inflammation on the skin. And toners would be a magical drug if you have acne-prone skin. Acnes are a common skin concern that occur due to pollution, accumulated dirt, excessive sebum production, and some medical conditions. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution unclogs pores and prevents future breakouts, while the Paula’s Choice Pore-Reducing Toner minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores and evens out the texture. The products listed above are formulated with salicylic acid and glycolic acid to prevent acne breakouts, acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. It would be of great help to invest in the best toners for acne-prone skin as they eliminate the dead cells and keep the skin hydrated and fresh.

Why Trust Stylecraze?

The author behind this article, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skin care coach. She understands that acne-prone skin needs something more effective, like a toner, to help manage breakouts. She went online and searched for the best toners, and read through their reviews. She then researched each of them to make sure you choose only the best products available. These toners have high-quality ingredients without harsh elements. They were also selected based on their skin care benefits and skin-friendliness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of toner is the best for acne skin?

Salicylic acid toners are best suited for oily- or acne-prone skin. However, if you have dry skin, glycolic acid toners offer dual action of hydration and exfoliation.

Can I use toner every day for acne-prone skin?

Yes, you should use a toner in your daily routine if you have acne-prone skin to eliminate excess debris and pollutants from the skin that cause acne.

Can I skip moisturizer after toner?

No, you should not skip the moisturizer after the toner because moisture is essential for wrinkle-free skin with a healthy glow.

Can I leave the toner on my face overnight?

Yes, you can apply toner after cleansing your face and leave it overnight to achieve a natural glow.

Should I use toner if I have acne-prone skin?

Yes, you can use toner if you have acne-prone skin to balance your skin’s pH level and eliminate pore-clogging debris, dirt, and makeup that your cleanser may leave behind.

Is a toner necessary?

Yes. Toners remove oil accumulation, residue, and dead skin cells while reducing acne and other skin breakouts.

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