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How Do I Choose the Best Toner for Acne?

Dee Jones
Dee Jones

Choosing a toner for acne can be a challenge, as there are dozens of toners that claim to help alleviate acne on the market, and a toner that works for one person might not work for another. The job of a toner is to remove the traces of dirt, makeup, and oil that a cleanser might leave behind Toner can also remove the cleanser residue that might be left on the skin after washing. A good toner for acne will clean the pores, help the skin heal from acne breakouts, and help to prevent future acne breakouts. When buying a toner, a consumer should read the label carefully, making sure it has little or no alcohol, and is free of ingredients that can dry out or irritate the skin, like Retin-A. People with extremely dry skin should also consider toners that contain moisturizing ingredients.

Before buying a toner for acne, a consumer should consider her skin type, and educate herself on which ingredients someone with her specific skin type should avoid. Many toners contain alcohol and, if an individual already has dry skin, the toner could dry out and irritate her skin even more. It’s best for someone with dry or sensitive skin to choose an alcohol-free toner. For those with oily skin, it is more acceptable to use toners that contain alcohol, but these buyers should choose toners that have an alcohol content of 30% or less.

A boy with acne.
A boy with acne.

Some toners contain moisturizing ingredients, which are meant to help keep the skin from becoming dry and irritated. One of the benefits of using toners, however, is that they leave the skin feeling fresh and clean, and some moisturizing toners can leave the skin feeling sticky or tacky. If a user finds that a toner leaves her skin feeling too dry, an alternative to using a moisturizing toner is to use her regular toner less often. Most suggest using a toner twice a day, but using the toner once a day instead shouldn’t have any ill effects.

A close up of acne.
A close up of acne.

After buying a toner for acne, a user should pay close attention to how the toner is affecting her skin. If the toner seems to be drying out her skin, if it burns or stings when it is applied, or if her acne breakouts seem to get worse after she starts using the toner, she should consider not using that toner anymore. This doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t use toner at all. It could just mean she needs to find a toner that more gentle on her skin.

Toner isn’t a necessity, however. While using a toner can have benefits, not using a toner won’t cause any harm either. In fact, it’s better to not use any toner at all than to use a toner that is harmful to the skin.

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