If your skin needs an attitude adjustment, then break out the best toner for men to get your complexion back on track. Toners are great at minimizing blemishes, softening rough patches, and giving you that fresh-faced feeling to tackle your day head-on.
PSA: Lots of toners use glycolic acid or salicylic acid, so make sure to learn the difference so you can pick the right toner for you.
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Thayers Alcohol-Free Facial Toner (Our Top Pick)
I’ll let you in on a secret: Thayers is my facial toner of choice. I might be biased here, but it smells great, soothes the skin, and evens your complexion like a pro. Plus, the fact that it’s alcohol-free means it won’t dry out your skin.
One thing you’ll notice among many toners is that icky witch hazel smell. Witch hazel is great for your skin, but it makes your eyes water. I don’t know how they did it, but Thayers managed at some point in their over 70-year career to neutralize the witch hazel smell entirely. It’s easily the best smelling toner out there.
Their 12-ounce bottle lasts for about four months at a minimum if you’re using it every day. A few dabs of it on a cotton ball covers your whole face. It’s the kind of skin care purchase that will easily become a staple in your morning and evening routine.
• Best toner for combination skin. Works wonders for all skin types.
• Smells AMAZING, which is a huge feat among witch hazel toners.
• Soothes irritation and redness.
• You’ll have to re-wet the cotton swab a few times to cover your whole face with Thayers. The bottle will still last, but you do have to use more than other toners.
InstaNatural’s toner has a not-so-secret ingredient that so many toners overlook: vitamin C. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If you’re using a toner to fight blemishes or signs of aging, then you’ll want that vitamin C to help boost your collagen production.
I’d also recommend this bottle to guys with dry or sensitive skin. Aside from being whizzes with vitamin C, InstaNatural has a knack for creating deeply moisturizing products. Their toner is no exception. It’ll keep your skin feeling soft and healthy all day.
Before you buy, just know that this toner comes in a spray bottle. I know some guys don’t like the squeezing-your-eyes-shut feeling while spraying your face, but for others the cool mist is a big perk. Consider which one you prefer before you put money down.
• Best toner for sensitive skin, especially if you’re suffering from skin damage.
• Mist bottle feels refreshing and makes the product easier to apply without wasting.
• Great for repairing skin damage.
• Not good for oily skin. Too hydrating. Won’t work with your excess oils and sebum.
It’s a crying shame that women dominate the world of skin care, because if Poppy Austin’s organic toner wasn’t so feminine, it would probably be at the top of this list.
Sure, it might smell like flowers, but Poppy Austin’s toner is also all-natural, gentle, feel-good, healing, and so damn satisfying. That soft, even skin you’ve always wanted? It’s one giant leap closer.
If you have eczema, psoriasis, or any other form of painful, dry skin, I recommend their toner wholeheartedly. Their ingredient list is so short and sweet, your chances of breaking out or experiencing any irritation are incredibly low. Just use an aftershave to cover up that perfum-y scent.
• All-natural and extremely gentle.
• Lightens acne scars.
• Good for eczema and psoriasis.
• STRONG rose scent. For some, that might be a pro, but it won’t exactly scream “manly,” if that’s what you’re going for.
You just can’t go wrong with Brickell Men’s. Though they were founded in 2014, they’re one of the more established and trusted brands catering specifically to male hygiene.
Their balancing toner promises to shrink pores and leave behind a minty, pleasant scent, and it delivers with flying colors. After a week or two of consistent use, you’ll notice a marked improvement if you suffer from oily skin and zits.
It’s also one of those skin products that’s great for layering with scented soaps, colognes, or aftershaves. The mint pairs well with a variety of fragrances. Keep in mind, Brickell Men’s sells luxury skincare with a luxury price tag. Get ready to invest in yourself.
• Best toner for oily skin. Moisturizes your skin, but not to the point that your sebum goes crazy.
• A MEN’s toner! That’s a rare find! Has those fresh, minty vibes to pair well with cologne and aftershave.
• Natural ingredients that fight skin inflammation.
• Not the best option for sensitive skin or guys with skin conditions. It won’t make things worse for you, but other toners have more to offer.
If you keep getting burned by chemical-y products, then it’s time to try Beauty by Earth. They use clean, all-natural ingredients to restore your skin to its healthiest self. Their face toner is packed with some exciting plant-based formulas to deliver nutrients directly to your skin.
I have to say, it’s rare that you’ll find a toner with such a diverse ingredient list. On top of the witch hazel, Beauty by Earth uses glycerin, citrus, radish root, aloe vera, and more to balance your skin’s pH levels and leave it smelling fresh and outdoorsy.
If you’re balking at the company name (“isn’t this a women’s brand??”), then rest assured that Beauty by Earth is actually a small family business with women and men at the helm, all working to give you great skin.
• Exciting ingredient list, including glycerin, citrus, and aloe vera to moisturize and smell good.
• Balances your skin’s pH, which can help you avoid infections and acne.
• All-natural ingredients with eco-friendly ethical brownie points.
• Though it’s a “unisex” product, it’s definitely women-dominated. Not a manly vibe.
• May cause plant-related skin reactions. Read the label carefully if you have allergies.
Should Men Use Toner?
Everyone should use toner, not just men. When your face wash and moisturizer just can’t fight the worst of your breakouts, toner swoops in to pick up the slack.
Now, do men have to use toner? No. The true essentials of a skincare routine are a great face wash and a feel-good moisturizer. But I would argue that you should use a toner if you want more than mediocre skin.
Toners are what every other skin care product strives to be. They cleanse, moisturize, fight breakouts, even your tone, and minimize blemishes, all while being extremely gentle.
Now, they can’t do that all alone. You still need to wash and moisturize your skin, and use the toner correctly.
How Do I Properly Use Toner?
The majority of toners are liquid-y. You won’t want to use your hands or fingers to get them onto your skin. Instead, dab a cotton swab or washcloth in the toner, and swipe that across your face.
Other toners (a few on this list) come in spray bottles that you can use to gently mist yourself. Those take longer to dry, but they’re equally effective when it comes to end results for your skin. They’re a better option if you don’t want to go through so many cotton balls.
A toner alone isn’t enough to keep your skin looking nice. Pair it with face wash and moisturizer at a bare minimum to get best results. The face wash will do a solid job of dissolving oils and unclogging your pores so that the toner has better access to your skin.
Other than that, there’s not much you can do wrong with a toner. If you see any skin irritation cropping up, either use your toner less, or stop using it entirely. You’re probably allergic to one of the ingredients.
When Should I Use Toner?
You can use toner morning and night after you’ve washed your skin. If you have especially sensitive or reactive skin, use your toner more infrequently, even if for some reason you’re experiencing more acne. Once a day or every other day works well for plenty of guys.
Here’s a refresher on what experts recommend for the order of your skin care routine: face wash, scrub, toners, serums, creams, moisturizers, sunscreen.
If you go out of order, all of your skin care products will still work and do their job, but it might take longer for liquids to absorb into your skin. I also recommend sticking to that order simply because it feels nicer to go from thin to thick products.