Ah, the facial toner—a thing you’ve been told you absolutely need to use, but you actually have no idea why, or what facial toners even do. It’s cool; that’s why we’re here. In the most basic of explanations, natural toners do exactly as their name suggests: tone and prep your skin for the rest of your skin-care products, and replenish what your skin barrier lost through cleansing. Necessary? Not totally. Unless, of course, you want amazing-looking skin.
Toners of yesteryear were generally geared toward oily, acne-prone skin and filled with horribly irritating ingredients, like alcohol and fragrances. But the (good) toners of today are specifically formulated for a bunch of different skin types, with a mix of antioxidants, powerful hydrators, and natural acne-fighters. Just swipe one on with a cotton ball after cleansing, wait for your skin to dry, then continue with your normal skin-care routine. It’s that simple—and yes, they really do work.
Still, unless you’re a cosmetic chemist or an ingredient nerd, it’s tough to separate the good from the bad toners, though we will say it’s almost always safer to go with a natural product with recognizable ingredients. So to make it easy on you, we rounded up our favorite ten natural toners for every skin type. Pick your favorite, add it to your regimen, then marvel at the fact that you finally own a toner and understand what it does.