12 Best Toners for Oily Skin – Our Top Product Picks





Last Updated: September 17, 2021

Ahead, we give all the deets on the best toner for oily skin. Keep reading for our top recommendations!

As a skincare junkie struggling with oily skin and acne, I’ve tried a lot of products. As in, I would absolutely lie to my parents about how much money I’ve spent on products trying to find the perfect one for my skin. But through all this trial, I have found some great products; my personal ride-or-dies if you will.  

My loss (of money) is your gain because here I’ve laid out my top 12 best toners for oily skin of all time! And of course, our team has done extensive research on top of this to see what reviews have to say and what the overall top-rated products are.  

You’ll have to scroll to the bottom for our absolute favorites, but it’s worth it, I promise. If you have trouble managing your oily skin, you need one of these products in your life.

Best Toners for Oily Skin

Now, let’s dive into our top picks!

#12 – Glossier Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector

Price: $24

Glossier’s exfoliating toner is a game-changer for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. Different from a physical exfoliating scrub, this is a solution that wipes away dead skin cells with its combination of 3 different acids.

AHA, BHA, and PHA all play a part in controlling oil and fighting off clogged pores to prevent breakouts. Run, don’t walk, to buy this exfoliating toner if you want clearer, brighter skin.

#11 – Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner

Price: $29

This all-star toner gives the perfect balance between minimizing pores and keeping the skin hydrated.

The active botanicals help absorb excess oil while the combination of salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acid exfoliates dead skin cells for smooth, bright skin.

#10 – Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion

Price: $20

This toner goes way back to 1964, and has been delivering results ever since. Made with cooling menthol and witch hazel, this toner is perfect for cooling and calming the skin.

It balances oil and helps control shine while also reducing breakouts!

#9 – Thayers Witch Hazel Toner

Price: $10.95

Odds are, you’ve heard of this popular toner before. If you haven’t tried it yet, it can be a great (and well-priced) tool for oily skin! They offer a few different formulations and scents, with everything from unscented to cucumber. 

On a side note, most witch hazel toners (such as the even cheaper option from Public Goods) can give similar results. 


#8 – LUSH Tea Tree Water

Price: $9.99 for 3.1 oz

Don’t we all love a trip to LUSH? Their top-rated tea tree water can be used as a toner (and an effective one at that). 

You might expect tea tree oil to make oily skin worse, but it actually does the opposite! This product is also made with grapefruit water to brighten the skin and juniper berry water to help balance. 

And, since they give free samples out like candy, ask for one in-store before purchasing the product!

RELATED: 13 Best Setting Sprays for Oily Skin


#7 – ELEMIS Soothing Apricot Toner

Price: $36

This is a fantastic toner if your skin needs a break from all the exfoliation.  If your skin is dry, red, or irritated, then this toner is the way to go!  It will soothe and refresh your skin, and provide rejuvenation without exfoliation.  Also, it smells pretty nice.  Very summery.

This is my go-to toner if I’ve taken it just a bit too far with exfoliation, salicylic acid, or treatments that dry out my skin. It’s also the perfect toner to apply after a chemical peel, like The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution.  If the solution is already exfoliating, using an exfoliating toner is a bit overkill.

I have nothing bad to say about this toner.  It’s not a very strong formulation, and I haven’t seen any crazy results, but it definitely calms the skin down when you’ve over-used the harsher products.


#6 – Youth To The People Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Toner

Price: $38

This is a VERY strong exfoliating toner. 11% AHA (composed of both glycolic and lactic acids) is quite a bit. It is a great treatment toner, that you do upon occasion, after a facemask or something. I would not recommend incorporating it into your daily routine unless you’ve tried other exfoliating toners and they’re just not doing it for you.

I personally use it on a weekly basis, and it’s been working great!  It’s really brightened up my skin, and if I use it when I notice a breakout starting, I can usually nip that in the bud.  One downside to this product though, is that my face always feels sticky after I put it on.  This can be mitigated by applying any other skincare product over top.  I usually go with a lightweight serum and then a moisturizer, and that takes care of any stickiness.

Just know that it smells like Kombucha.  You’re going to smell like a mushroom every time you put it on.


#5 – Nip + Fab Vitamin C Fix Tonic

Price: $22.95

This toner is formulated with lactic acid, an exfoliating ingredient, and Vitamin C, which boosts collagen production.  It has a strong scent, which while not entirely unpleasant, isn’t entirely pleasant either.

I enjoy using this toner after doing a mask or other treatment.  It’s a much too harsh formulation to incorporate as part of my daily routine, but it is a fun once-in-a-while product.  Every time I put it on, I can feel it working.  And, every time I use it, my skin looks so healthy and glow-y for hours!

#4 – Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Oil Control Toner

Price: $39

Easily the best-smelling toner on this list, this is one of the more reasonably priced Herbivore products you can get (and if you haven’t heard of this brand, check them out – they are one of the best vegan beauty brands), and like all of their products, it is very aesthetic.

The product itself is clear green, and comes in a glass spray bottle.  The spray bottle is massively convenient, since you just point and squirt, without having to put the toner on your hands or other mode of transference.  The spritz is soft, even, and feels very refreshing.

Now, does it actually do anything for your skin?  Honestly, it’s not a harsh enough formulation for me to see much of a difference.  Although green tea helps reduce oil production and white willow bark prevents acne, I haven’t seen much of a difference since using this product.

I included it on this list anyway, because I think it is great for anyone with oily and sensitive skin.  Because the formulation is so mild (and includes aloe for even more calming effects), it could help with skin concerns, without causing redness or irritation.  Also, it just smells so darn good


#3 – Pixi Glow Tonic

Price: $18

This toner is pretty standard for anyone struggling with oily skin, acne, the works.  Chances are, if any of your friends are into skincare, they know about this toner.  It really is a good one.  Being formulated with 5% Glycolic Acid, it exfoliates the skin, which feels truly amazing after a good cleanser or mask.

It’s a pretty basic exfoliating toner – there are better ones out there – but it’s easy to come by, and effective.  I do think it is pretty expensive for what you get, but it gets the job done.


#2 – Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Price: $29.50

I use this product every day or two.  It is formulated with BHA, which exfoliates, and salicylic acid, which is pretty much my holy grail of skincare.  Exfoliation is essential for really getting all the gunk out of your skin and preventing breakouts, and is great to do right after you wash your face.  The salicylic acid then has the opportunity to deeply penetrate your pores and dry out any would-be blemishes.

This is essentially the Pixi Toner 2.0.  It’s exfoliating, but it’s better. It’s also more expensive, so make of that what you will.  This toner is absolutely worth a shot if you’ve never tried it – I actually noticed that my pores looked smaller after using it because this toner cleaned them out so well!

I will say, the smell of this product is slightly off-putting.  It smells strongly of fake pear.  I don’t know why, considering pear isn’t even an ingredient in the list, but every time I put it on I feel like I just hit myself in the face with a fruit bowl.


#1 – The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Price: $8.70

This toner is my #1 go-to.  Not only is it ridiculously affordable (less than half the cost of the next least-expensive toner on this list!), but it is so effective. As mentioned in this article (link to Drunk Elephant Dupes), it can be used as a dupe for the popular Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum, a $90 product!

It is formulated with 7% Glycolic Acid, which is a pretty strong formulation for a toner.  It is a great resurfacing product, and provides the exfoliation we all so desperately need if we want to avoid breakouts.  The formulation also includes aloe, to help combat some redness that may occur.

I use this one to two times per day, and I absolutely love it!  I’ve noticed a reduction in breakouts since using it, and my skin is definitely more even and brighter.  It’s a no-frills formulation, so it doesn’t have a distinctive smell or a fancy color.  But I’m here for the skin results, not a pretty bottle on my sink.

How to Choose a Toner for Oily Skin

If you want to shop for a toner yourself outside of our top picks, here are a few things to look for when picking the best toner for oily skin. 

Look for Key Ingredients – When shopping for a toner, there are ingredients that are excellent for oily skin. Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic acid, witch hazel, and tea tree are some of the top oil-reducing ingredients to look for in toners. 

Avoid Most Oil – For the most part, extra oils in your product can cause oily skin to go downhill. That said, there are some oils that can actually help (including tea tree oil and grapeseed oil), so don’t avoid them entirely! 

You Don’t Need a Toner – If you’re struggling to find a good toner and want to give up, keep in mind that you don’t need one to have a good skincare routine. Instead, look to the other factors of your skincare routine (such as cleanser and moisturizer). 

A BHA paired with a good cleanser and moisturizer can significantly help your oily skin. That said, the right toner can still be a great addition to your skincare routine, so don’t rule them out – some of these toners even include BHA!

That’s All Folks

So there you have it! I hope that if you’re currently on the hunt for the perfect toner, one (or maybe more) of these products spoke to you. 

I think it’s pretty obvious which one I think is Numero Uno, but everyone’s skin is different. You can do as much research as you want, but without trying out different products (and taking note of which ingredients seem to work, and which ones ruin your skin), you won’t ever find what works for you.

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