If your skin is oily, you're familiar with what we call the midday glare — you know, when it's only 1 p.m. and you can practically see your reflection in the layer of oil already peeking through your makeup. Quick-fix remedies like blotting papers and touching up with setting powder can cut down on shine instantly, but it's only a matter of time before it comes creeping back.
That's where an effective skin-care regimen comes in, and the addition of a good toner can be a serious game-changer. Some people swear by them for adding that extra kick in their skin routine; others may classify the post-cleansing step as more work. But the right toner can make all the difference in the overall look and feel of your skin, especially if you're fighting a losing battle against grease.
According to dermatologist Hadley King, MD, in addition to their other benefits (which vary based on your formula of choice), toners can help clear oily buildup from the skin. "They don't decrease oil production, per se," she says. "However, they're great for removing excess sebum and exfoliating, and they can have an astringent effect to reduce the appearance of large pores temporarily."
However, not all toners are created equal: Some formulas get a bad rap for being excessively drying, which Dr. King says is due to the use of alcohol. "Traditionally, toners were alcohol-containing solutions that could potentially dry out the skin and cause irritation," she explains. "Now, many of them are alcohol-free and contain helpful ingredients to soothe and help treat various skin concerns."
For oily skin, Dr. King says, the key is seeking out toning liquids with exfoliating ingredients, like salicylic acid and witch hazel, to help cleanse oily pores. To help you sort through the countless options on the market right now, we rounded up some of the best formulas for fighting the afternoon sheen, ahead.
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