Best face toner for men

Best face toner for men: Why a good toner can help you get rid of spots, oil and fine lines

A good face toner can help you get rid of spots, make you look younger, and refresh your skin. Here’s our pick of the best face toners for men


W hen you hear the word toner, chances are your mind goes straight to the kind of toner used in office printers, or even paint. Yet there is another use of the word that relates to skincare – face toner. In fact, toner is one of the most overlooked skincare products yet it comes with a host of benefits.


The primary function of a face toner for men is to balance the skin’s pH level. PH stands for potential of hydrogen, or power of hydrogen and it refers to the acidity level of your skin. Healthy skin has a pH level of between 4 and 6 on the pH scale, which means the skin is naturally slightly acidic.


The more exposure your skin has to the elements, the more likely the skin will become more alkaline. That’s why it’s important to use a skin toner to rebalance it and achieve a healthier, desirable pH level. It can also help with acne, dullness, and oil.


FURTHER READING: How to get rid of bags under eyes



Face toner for men: What to look out for


There are a few different types of toner and these include calming mist toners, tones that deliver antioxidants, toners that moisturise, and face toners that exfoliate.


  • If you have oily skin you’re going to want to use a toner with salicylic acid, witch hazel, and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Almost all face toners help your skin to retain moisture, but a toner that includes rose water will not only help you retain even more but will help you absorb more of your moisturising products applied afterward.
  • If you have dry skin, look for a face toner with glycerine or hyaluronic acid because both ingredients help to hydrate your skin.
  • If you have sensitive skin, opt for a face toner with chamomile or aloe vera. These ingredients stop your face from looking red and can help further get rid of blemishes.


If you’re not sure which category you fall into, check out our What skin type do I have? guide.



When should we apply toner?


Use a face toner after washing, but before using moisturiser. It can be used morning and night and you can apply it either by putting it on a cotton ball or pad and sweeping it over your face, or pressing it into your skin using your hands.


You can learn more about the recommended order of skincare in our men’s skincare routine guide.


Best face toner for men UK


1.  Clinique for Men Oil-Control Exfoliating Tonic – £19.50


2. Nivea 2-in-1 Cleanser and Toner£1.32


3. Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads£65


4. Face Theory Cera-C Pore Reducing Toner T1  £14.99


5. Ayumi Rose Toner £5.99


6 . The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution£8


7. UpCircle Face Toner  – £17.99


1. Editor’s Pick: Clinique for Men Oil-Control Exfoliating Tonic

£19.50 | Buy now

Clinique for Men Exfoliating TonicClinique for Men

The Clinique for Men Oil-Control Exfoliating Tonic is gentle toner for men that works especially well if you have an oily T-zone, or combination skin. This is because it contains salicylic acid and witch hazel – two wonder ingredients for oily skin – alongside glycerine to help hydrate it.


With it being an exfoliator, this face toner will help remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin smoother and better prepared to absorb your moisturiser. This also makes it ideal if you regularly get blackheads.


It’s slightly pricey so you only need to use a small amount to cover your whole face and neck.



2. Budget Buy: Nivea 2-in-1 Cleanser and Toner

£1.32 | Buy now

Cheap face toner for men Nivea cleanser and tonerNivea

Although the Nivea 2-in-1 Face Toner is much cheaper than others, don’t assume it’s of poorer quality. It does a great job of removing everyday dirt and pollution because of its combined cleanser and toner properties. Plus the addition of Vitamin E helps soothe the skin.


Texture-wise, because this is a cleanser and toner, it’s less watery than regular toners. In fact, it’s closer to a moisturiser in texture.


That doesn’t mean you should skip the moisturising step but the time you save not cleansing and toning separately will leave you more time for serums and moisturisers.



3. Luxury Buy: Zelens PHA+ Resurfacing Facial Pads

£65 | Buy now

Best luxury face toner for men Zelens pads easyZelens

These Zelens pads are perfect if you travel a lot, or want to save bathroom space while helping to completely rejuvenate your skin and complexion.


If you use these pads twice a day, you should notice a significant reduction in the appearance of your pores; an improvement in your skin tone, and a reduction in blemishes, making your face look healthy and more youthful. They’re pretty good at removing blackheads too.


Each pad contains four different acids, as well as a tonne of antioxidants designed to help shield your skin from the elements of daily life. These pads will also target your lines and wrinkles, not just your pores and complexion, which makes them worth the extra money.


What’s more, they’re really easy to use. You use one pad each time to cover the whole of your face. You can either leave the toner on or rinse it off. Make sure to close the pot after use though to prevent the pads from drying out.



4. Face Theory Cera-C Pore Reducing Toner T1 

£5.48 | Buy now

Face Theory Toner for Face Face Theory

The fact that this Face Theory toner is alcohol-free face toner means it’s more well-suited to sensitive skin. It’s packed with three types of acid to improve the complexion of your face, without irritating it or stripping it of its natural oils.


Glycolic acid helps to remove dead skin cells, the lactic acid will exfoliate your pores and encourages cell renewal, whereas the salicylic acid will penetrate deeper into your pores to dissolve excess oil, making your pores tighter.


Elsewhere, this super-affordable face toner for men contains ceramides, which are fats or lipids found in your skin cells that protect your skin against water loss. As you get older, ceramides decrease and by the age of 40, you’ll have 50% less than you started with. The Cera-C in this skin toner for men will help replenish it and restore your skin’s natural balance.


You should notice the benefits of using this skin toner straight away. If you suffer from acne you should see an improvement after about a week of using this twice daily. The Face Theory toner is also a vegan and cruelty-free skin toner with no parabens or silicones.




4. Ayumi Rose Toner

£11 | Buy now

Ayumi Rose Toner for FaceAyumi

Face toners have historically received a bad rep for stripping skin of its moisture, but there’s no chance of that with this Ayumi rose toner.


This is because the Ayumi Rose Toner is a really great moisturising face toner for men that will leave your skin looking and feeling calm and refreshed. Due largely to the inclusion of ingredients such as rose water, glycerine and rose geranium. Each one helps to hydrate your skin, calm any redness, as well as rebalance your pH level.


Rose contains a bunch of different antioxidants and is regarded as a calming agent. It also helps to make this toner smell good. This is also a vegan and cruelty-free face toner.



5. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

£9.99 | Buy now

The Ordinary Glycolic Toning SolutionThe Ordinary

An absolute bestseller, this glycolic acid toning solution from The Ordinary will make your skin feel so much cleaner than only using a face wash.


In addition to the glycolic acid, which helps to exfoliate your skin, this face toner also contains ginseng root and aloe vera which will help to soothe your skin.


The pH formula of this cleanser is approximately 3.6, so it’s designed to rebalance your skin pH level to the desirable 4–6. It might however be a little too harsh for sensitive skin so it’s worth doing a patch test first. This means placing a small amount of this toner behind your ear and waiting for 24 hours to see if you get a reaction.



6. Upcircle Face Toner 

£24.50 | Buy now

UpCircle Face TonerUpCircle

The UpCircle Face Toner is a great toner for sensitive skin because it contains chamomile, which is an anti-inflammatory, as well as the water of green mandarin fruit, which has the same benefit.


However, don’t assume that the fact that this toner is gentle means it works less because it also contains hyaluronic acid, which will give you a more hydrated complexion.


The bonus of this skin toner is that it can be used as a face mist to revitalise your skin during the day. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.




What does a toner do for your face?


You may think simply washing your face is enough to remove all the dirt and debris, even if you use one of the best cleansers for men, but without a face toner, you’ll likely find your pores are still blocked and your skin isn’t as clean as you think. This can lead to blemishes, acne, and dullness.


Face toner for men not only removes the dirt that’s stuck in your pores, but it can make your pores look smaller by temporarily tightening your skin. Your pores are the small holes all over your face. When dirt gets stuck inside them, it leads to spots and acne. What’s more, people with oily skin have naturally larger pores, which means more dirt can get inside. Thus acne and oily skin usually go hand-in-hand.


As a result, a good face toner can get rid of excess oil, spots, and rough patches of skin all while making you look younger. Toner can also provide exfoliation to get rid of dead skin cells.





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  • Katherine O'Shea

    Kat is a freelance journalist, photographer, and the founder of Simply Gender Free – a company dedicated to smashing gender stereotypes in kids' products

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