Thought toners were off the skincare menu? Think again. Next generation toners are an excellent step in skincare routines. Here are 9 we love.

The skincare mantra of ‘cleanse, tone, moisturise’ has lost its middle step in recent years. Toners have gathered a bad rep for their astringent properties that strip skin, leaving it dry and over sensitised. Yet, as a post-cleansing step there is some argument for a toner step in our routines to ensure skin is fully cleaned of make-up and daily impurities, as well as prepping the skin for serums and creams to follow and fully penetrate the skin.

Thankfully skincare brands have gone back to the drawing board with their formulations, ditched the alcohol and, in its place, added active ingredients with skincare benefits. Their efforts have turned toners into a targeted treatment step and put them firmly back in our skincare routines. Covering a range of skincare concerns, toners can help to exfoliate and resurface, or balance the skin’s pH and hydrate. Here are nine to discover and rethink your skincare steps this winter.

Main image: Fresh/Cult Beauty

Paula’s Choice

Pore-Reducing Toner, £24

A great option to tackle enlarged pores and blemishes. Containing niacinamide, this balancing toner soothes with plant extracts as it refines skin’s texture. Buy it.

The Ordinary

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, £8

A brilliant budget option, with Tasmanian pepperberry to calm, ginseng root and aloe vera to soothe and glycolic acid to improve skin texture and boost radiance. A swipe a day will keep dull skin at bay. Buy it.

La Roche-Posay

Soothing Toner, £13

A gentle, everyday toner to soothe even sensitive skin that will ensure the last traces of make-up are removed, while balancing skin’s pH and tightening pores. Buy it.

Liz Earle

Instant Boost Skin Tonic, £17.50

A perfect prep step before applying the steps in your skincare that will really make a difference to your skin’s health (aka serums/treatments). This refreshing botanical toner is super hydrating with soothing aloe vera, calendula, cucumber and Vitamin E. Buy it.


Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner, £10

One of the UK’s bestselling toners, Pixi’s toner contains glycolic acid to melt away dead skin cells and gently accelerate cell renewal for brighter, glowing skin. Buy it.


Tonique Confort, £45

Enriched with acacia honey and sweet almond oil, this luxury toner leaves skin comforted, hydrated and refreshed. Great to soothe and soften skin, whilst gently removing impurities and make-up. Buy it.

Charlotte Tilbury

Glow Toner, £15

Make-up doyenne Charlotte Tilbury’s Glow Toner will set the skin up for her signature dewy skin look. Formulated with niacinamide to smooth and reduce pores, as well as a host of botanical extracts designed to gently resurface and hydrate. Buy it.


Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner, £22

The beautiful-looking Deep Hydration Facial Toner from Fresh has suspended rose petals in a soothing rose water, and contains nourishing rose oil and hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate. Leaving skin silky soft and heavenly scented. Buy it.


Face Toner with Hyaluronic Acid, £17.99

Upcircle’s award-winning face toner is formulated with salicylic acid to clear pores, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and glycerin to brighten and moisturise. Buy it.

By Lydia Mansi
November 2022

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.