In the grand skincare hierarchy, face toners for men rank as a welcome extra at best, but the truth is that a good one (or, indeed, a bad one) can make (or break) your skin care regime.
Not only will a high-quality toner work with any moisturiser or face wash you’re using by stepping into the middle of the grooming process – right after cleansing and before you add some hydration back into the mix – but it will also help to clarify blemish-prone skin,
Why? The cleaner your face is from excess oil and traces of dirt, the more resplendent it’ll look in the long run. And even if you’ve given your face a good scrub in the shower or have sat patiently for 10 minutes in a face mask, that might not have done the trick. That’s why men’s face toners are especially popular with those who suffer from acne and are particularly mindful of clearing out their pores.
While some toners are especially marketed towards those of a pimpled disposition, often featuring ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, you shouldn’t place much stock in them as a magic wand for redness and blemishes. The key ingredients in any skincare regime are regularity and thoroughness, so a great toner will likely add to the good work you’re already doing. If you’re going to use one, you shouldn’t settle for a so-so product. That’s why we’ve picked out the very best face toners below from Kiehl’s, Aesop and plenty more grooming pros.
Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner
This alcohol-free, gently balancing solution is the mildest formula from Kiehl’s comprehensive arsenal of targeted toners. Suitable for all skin types, but heavily skewed towards those who suffer with parched or easily irritated sensitive skin, it delivers a gentle astringent effect and is salvation for tired-looking or stressed-out complexions.
It is powered by the natural benefits of refreshing cucumber extract (Cleopatra reputedly used cucumber juice to maintain her skin), which is recognised to have moisture-binding, moisture-regulating and softening properties, and allantoin, a compound found in the root of the comfrey plant (used in herbal medicine), to soothe and comfort compromised skin. £19 for 250ml. kiehls.co.uk
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
There is nothing ordinary about The Ordinary. The adoration from its loyal followers, rapid rise to fame, competitive price points and its unwavering commitment to honesty and integrity have earned this Canadian skincare range its well-deserved cult status. Featuring seven per cent glycolic acid, a powerful AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) with effective exfoliating properties, this is a powerhouse toner that should be approached with a little bit of caution.
To be avoided by those who suffers with sensitive, peeling or compromised skin, it should only be used once a day and preferably in the evening. It contains a blend of amino acids, plant-derived Tasmanian pepperberry, which helps to counteract irritation from too much acid use, and aloe vera and ginseng, which both have soothing and calming benefits. Vegan-friendly and alcohol-, oil-, silicone- and gluten-free, it improves skin texture (with continual use) and improves clarity and skin-radiance from the offset.