What is the Best Toner for Oily Skin? Hint: It’s Not What You Think

Beautiful young woman showing her skincare routine on warm peachy beige background.
If you’ve been looking for the best toner for oily skin, you don’t need us to tell you how tricky it can be. On one hand, a good toner can help oily skin beyond belief by supplying essential hydration and nutrients, repairing the protective barrier, helping skin heal and minimizing large pores by reducing inflammation and excess oil production.

On the other hand, the very same toners that claim to help oily skin can actually make oily skin worse! So how do you know what to look for?

Well, let’s start with what to avoid. The first and most important rule when it comes to choosing a toner for oily skin is: stick with alcohol-free toners. ​

Alcohol-based products are tempting. They dry quickly, feel weightless, and provide an immediate matte finish by de-greasing the “oil slick.” The irony is that the alcohol dries out your skin, causing your skin to overcompensate by producing more oil! And to make matters worse, the increase in oil production can increase breakouts and enlarge the pores – just what you don’t want!

If you see alcohol among the first five ingredients listed on the label, the product is going to cause irritation and initiate a chain reaction: The irritation causes dryness and free-radical damage, which diminishes the skin’s ability to heal, which keeps it in a near-constant state of stress.

Alcohol also destroys the skin’s protective barrier—the very thing that keep your skin healthy for the long term.

So look for an alcohol-free toner that ​removes buildup of dead skin cells, clears away makeup that a facial cleanser left behind, removes oil, restores pH balance, and protects the skin – and that’s just the start.

The best toners for oily skin should also contain antioxidants, vitamins, proteins and/or peptides that help heal skin and make it more resistant to impurities and contaminants.

With the right toner, your skin heals faster and  look fresher, smoother, and more hydrated. And it will form a synergistic relationship with your moisturizer, cream, and makeup.

You really want to choose the right one. Here’s a list of the best toners for oily skin – each brimming with their own set of beneficial ingredients – to help you make the choice!

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) Toner

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) Toner By Vita Vibrance
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) Toner By Vita Vibrance
Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, is a veritable cornucopia of gifts to the skin. It absorbs oil, heals, and restores.


Plus, it stimulates the production of that precious collagen, which gives the skin strength, improves elasticity and minimizes large pores.

Overall, this is a great toner for oily skin – it minimizes pores and boosts the skin’s natural protective barrier that keeps the skin sealed and less susceptible to environmental toxins. The result? Your skin is softer, more refreshed and less oily.

pH Balance Mattefying Toner

Nu Skin’s Mattefying Toner aids in gently removing dirt and excess oil without drying the skin while restoring the skin’s pH balance and diminishing the appearance of pores.

When the pH isn’t in balance, your skin needs to work harder to restore it and working harder increases oil, which makes pores appear larger. This toner targets the issues that oily skin faces at the root.

We especially love how this toner’s two-pronged approach: it contains mattefying ingredients like mineral powders that instantly reduces shine while also using ingredients St. John’s Wort and Fennel extract to purge pores and control oil production.

Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner

Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner, Niacinamide & Hyaluronic Acid, Wrinkles &...
  • ANTI-AGING TONER--This super lightweight formula tones repairs and refines for...
  • Paula's Choice--RESIST Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner visibly smooths signs of...
  • Use Paula's Choice RESIST Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner twice daily as part of...

Here’s the perfect toner for oily skin beauties who want serious anti-aging benefits. This smooth, lightweight toner minimizes pores, improves overall skin tone and texture and provides serious skin-enriching hydration.

In addition to niacinamide, it contains peptides and carnosine that are usually found in more expensive products. Peptides aid in the production of collagen that combats lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. They also protect the skin from damage and help the skin maintain its strength. Carnosine, known as an “agent of longevity,” rejuvenates old cells, while clearing the skin of toxins, hydrating it, and reducing roughness.

More perks? It also contains Resveratrol, another antioxidant that protects the skin from damage by free radicals, reportedly better than Vitamins C and E do.

This is hands down the best toner for oily skin with a heap of anti aging perks. ​

Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner

Thayers Facial Toner, Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera, Rose Petal, 12 Fl Oz
  • Soft rose fragrance, Soothing Rose Toner made with rose-petal water and proprietary...
  • Un-distilled witch hazel cleanses and moisturizes, Certified organic aloe vera
  • Free of alcohol, parabens and propylene glycol

Totally alcohol-free and made of certified organic witch hazel, Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner is one of the best toners for oil skin.

The witch hazel shrubs used are grown only on the Thayer family farm in Connecticut, and, unlike the witch hazel of old, the extract from the dried leaves, bark, and twigs is not distilled, and, therefore, retains the naturally occurring tannins. Tannins aid in a plant’s ability to reproduce and regenerate, and those same properties make tannins effective in skin care, particularly in reducing irritation and balancing the pH level.

Rose water tightens the pores without drying out the skin and gives the skin a softness and glow. The rose petals give a light (and safe) natural fragrance.

Dual Phase Mattefying Toner

This lovely toner for oily skin refreshes and soothes while it removes shine, minimizes pores, and refines the tone and texture of your skin.

We especially love how it uses clever ingredients like kaolin clay to detoxify, cleans​e and absorb excess oil without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

More perks? Its silica content removes dead cells and reinvigorates the skin. Extracts of willow bark, peppermint, and lavender aid in protecting the skin from free-radical damage and contribute to the reinvigorating and soothing properties of the toner.


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