We have affiliate relationships with the providers of the products, goods and services that are linked to on this page and may be compensated when you buy. But do note that it doesn't increase the cost of the products to you in any way or determine our verdict on a product/service.
Most people who suffer from acne tend to employ different skincare products to treat their condition. An acne toner is a product you should have among your skincare products. It serves as the first step in your skincare routine for fighting acne. It would help you in your journey towards a glowing skin that is free from acne.
An acne toner is a toner that is specifically formulated to combat and eliminate acne breakout on the skin. In most cases, it is usually applied immediately after using a cleanser but before applying your moisturizer.
Functions of an Acne Toner
An acne toner performs the function of a regular toner as well as other special functions. We’ll discuss a few major functions below:
One of the primary functions of an acne toner is to get rid of dirt that has accumulated on the skin. In most cases the cleanser does not completely remove dirt found on the skin. This is why we employ an acne toner to finish up the job started by your cleanser.
Gets Rid of Oil
One of the major causes of acne breakout is the presence of surplus oil on the skin. Therefore a good acne toner would work against such occurrence. In addition, the removal of surplus oil on the skin causes the skin pores to shrink in size.
Adds an Extra Level of Skin Protection
The removal of dirt and surplus oil as well as the reduction of skin pores causes the skin to tighten. This creates a sort of extra layer on the skin thereby giving it additional protection against impurities.
Stops the Appearance of Ingrown Hairs
Eliminates Traces of Makeup
Basically any type of toner would remove that which your regular cleanser missed and that includes traces of makeup. It is important you get rid of all traces of makeup before you go to bed. This is because they might clog up your skin pore which is another reason for acne breakout.
Balances the Skin’s pH Level
The skin is fairly acidic (5.5) in nature and anything other than that would upset its delicate nature. All sorts of exposures as well as factors within the skin tend to compromise this natural balance. An acne toner functions in a regulatory capacity and ensures your skin pH level is balanced to function optimally. This important function helps in reducing the tendency for an acne breakout.
Exfoliates the Skin
Most acne toner contains exfoliating ingredients that gets rid of dead skin cells that have gathered on the skin. These dead cells also block skin pores which in turn lead to acne breakout. When the skin is properly exfoliated, such breakouts are greatly reduced to the barest minimum.
Cleans Skin Pores
Apart from the important function of exfoliating the skin, an acne toner goes further and cleanses the skin pores internally. Dirt and all sorts of foreign matter that might have lurked within the skin pore are expunged completely. This makes the pore open for air and the skin’s natural oil called sebum to flow in and out freely.
Controls Acne Breakout
An acne toner wouldn’t be an acne toner if it cannot perform this all too important function. An acne toner is basically your first step during your skincare routine in combating acne breakout. If after using an ‘acne toner’ for a while without seeing considerable results; we recommend you abandon such.
Selecting the Right Acne Toner According to Skin Type
Any good skincare professional that is worth their salt would recommend you choose skincare products based on your skin type. This is an unspoken rule that governs what we apply on our skin. Therefore when it comes to selecting an acne toner, the same rule goes.
The fact that we possess different skin type makes a friend’s recommendation not the best option. Therefore, knowing your skin type is the actually the first step in combating the acne plaguing your skin. So let’s get to it…
This skin type is actually a sub-type of the major skin types out there. Acne prone skins as the name show are skins that readily experiences acne breakouts. And this skin type is the major reason we are writing this guide to help such ones with this skin. Therefore when going for an acne toner you must bear the following in mind:
Avoid an acne toner that contains alcohol or any of its variants.
This singular instruction is all too important if you truly desire to be free of acne. Alcohol is naturally a drying agent and a dry skin is pro-acne. Also, the dryness of the skin caused by the alcohol would overwork your skin to balance this effect. So the skin begins to produce surplus oil which is also pro-acne: That’s why you best avoid alcohol. When you see alcohol listed as an ingredient; just drop that acne toner.
Look for Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAS are great exfoliating ingredients and great at combating acne. The end result of the application of alpha-hydroxy acids is a glowing skin that is free of acne.
Sensitive skin is another skin type that is prone to a breakout after the first mentioned skin type above. This skin is characterized by its ability to get irritated easily. Redness and itchiness are also typical characteristics of a sensitive skin. The following tips in addition to those given for acne-prone skin should be remembered when choosing an acne toner:
Due to the sensitive nature of this skin, it is advisable that you avoid ingredients that can cause irritations. Examples of such ingredients include retinoids, plant extracts and essential oils.
Keep Away from Harsh Ingredients
The sensitive nature of this skin also causes it to swell and get red easily. Therefore the use of harsh ingredients on this skin would only complicate matters. Salicylic acid is a very helpful ingredient but has a harsh effect especially on sensitive skins. We advise that you use this ingredient cautiously.
This skin is next in line to experience acne because of its nature. An oily skin is easily recognized by the presence of oil on the skin. When this oil is surplus it can block the skin pores which would ultimately lead to an acne breakout. So what should a person with this skin type look for in an acne toner? An acne toner that isn’t too drying in nature would serve such a person greatly.
Ingredients to Look Out For in an Acne Toner
“Manner maketh man” while ingredients makes a skincare product. Therefore the ingredients in an acne toner make it what it really is. Which is why this section would deal with those ingredients you need to look out for in an acne toner. Keep reading…
Bacteria acting on the skin are also a major reason for acne breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide exists to kill a good number of these acne-causing bacteria. The downside which is readily common to most ingredients found in an acne toner is its drying effect. However skincare professionals recommend that a concentration of 2% benzoyl peroxide is safe for your skin. So do not exceed this percentage or it could be dangerous to your skin.
We stated earlier that salicylic acid can be a bit harsh for sensitive skins. Nevertheless it doesn’t change the fact that salicylic acid remains in the forefront of ingredients that gets rid of acne. It has established its place by serving as an exfoliating and anti-inflammatory ingredient. It also gets rid of surplus oil that would naturally cause a breakout. Salicylic acid is one ingredient your acne toner should contain. However like we mentioned earlier, those with sensitive skins should use it cautiously. Monitor your skin closely to notice if it has negative effects on your skin and if so discontinue using it.
Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that isas popular as salicylic acid in its numerous uses in skincare products. Its versatility in function also makes it an important ingredient that could readily be used in place of salicylic acid. This is because glycolic acid isn’t as harsh as salicylic acid and can be a good substitute for those with sensitive skin. This ingredient functions as an exfoliating ingredient as well as cleaning the skin pores in the process.
Even back in chemistry class,some of us knew sulfur primarily by its rotten-egg smell. Suffice to say that this hasn’t changed one bit and sulfur smells as rotten as ever. Despite this smelly characteristic, sulfur is a wonder-working ingredient when it comes to dealing with acne. It readily dries up the pus that whiteheads and pimples normally produce. The issue of its smell is dealt with by mixing it with masking ingredients that cover up the smell.
Those familiar with skincare products would readily regard retinol as an anti-aging ingredient. Yet, this ingredient still has a huge say when it comes to dealing with acne. It accelerates the production of skin cells because of its Vitamin A content. In addition, it reduces the skin’s oil level and reduces inflammation of the skin. All these functions readily help in combating acne.
The above ingredients are strictly chemical ingredients. If you are one of those who prefers going natural, then the following ingredients would definitely please you:
Known for its healing abilities, rose water heals the skin of scars. Its soothing abilities calm the skin and present no danger of irritation of any kind for any skin type. Rose water is effective at skin pore size control by shrinking it where necessary. And oil production is easily regulated by this amazing natural water.
Aloe Vera is known worldwide as a plant with the ability to work wonders on the skin and even hair. It effortlessly heals the skin of scars left by previous acne. As an anti-inflammatory ingredient, it calms and soothes the inflammation of new acne. It also functions as an exfoliating and antibacterial ingredient to some extent.
Apple cider is an ingredient that thoroughly cleans the skin of impurities. It is preferred over other ingredients that are mostly unnatural that strip the skin of its acidity. Apple cider on the other hand maintains the skin’s pH at its optimal level. Apple cider is a natural alpha-hydroxy acid which means it possesses exfoliating properties.
This ingredient is renowned for its ability to kill all sorts of bacteria that causes acne. It functions as an antioxidant, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory ingredient. All these functions make witch hazel an ingredient you’ll want in your corner in your fight against acne.
Reminder: Remember to keep away from alcohol and fragrances. These ingredients will only do your skin more harm than good
Tips on Using an Acne Toner
Sticking to the following tips would ensure you get the best results from your acne toner:
- Wash your face with lukewarm water: Do not use water that is very hot or cold. This prevents your skin and capillaries from breaking.
- After rinsing your face, dry your face with a cloth that has a soft texture. Dab your skin gently to dry it rather than rubbing it.
- Ensure you use a cleanser first before applying your acne toner. Do not think your toner would ultimately replace your cleanser. Your acne toner is designed to serve as a follow up after your cleanser.
- Your cleanser however should not contain harsh ingredients that can cause damage to the skin. It should be gentle in nature. Avoid ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate in your cleanser.
- Get a cotton wool and moisten it with your acne toner and use it carefully on your face.
- After doing that give it time to dry before applying your next skincare product.
- Always ensure that every skincare product you apply is suitable for your skin type.
- An acne toner can be used both during the day and at night if your skin is either oily or combination in nature. However if you have a dry skin, then using it once at night is the best recommendation.
How helpful has this buying guide been? Let us know in the comments’ section.