What’s the best toner for Black skin? Do you even need toner anyway?
In the beginning, people used toners to balance the skin’s pH and remove any leftover residue after cleansing. But this skincare product can do so much more.
Astringent toners tighten pores and reduce oiliness. Moisturizing toners increase hydration and help serums and creams penetrate better. Then, there are exfoliating toners as well as ones that treat discoloration.
Is there a specific type of toner for Black skin? Not necessarily – you’re better off choosing a toner based on your skin type, not it’s color. Choose a product that meets your needs. For example, if you have oily skin and acne, try a toner with salicylic or alpha-hydroxy acids. Check out our top picks below for inspiration:
|The best toners for Black skin
|Why we love them
|Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore Refining Toner Serum
|[KLAIRS] Supple Preparation Unscented Toner
|Murad Hydration Hydrating Toner
|Bolden Skin Brightening Toner
|THAYERS Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner
|COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
|Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
|La Roche-Posay Serozinc Face Toner for Oily Skin with Zinc
- 1 Which is the best toner for African American skin?
- 2 Best Toners for Black Skin in 2024
- 2.1 Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore Refining Toner Serum
- 2.2 [KLAIRS] Supple Preparation Unscented Toner
- 2.3 Murad Hydration Hydrating Toner
- 2.4 Bolden Skin Brightening Toner
- 2.5 THAYERS Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner
- 2.6 COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
- 2.7 Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
- 2.8 La Roche-Posay Serozinc Face Toner for Oily Skin with Zinc
- 3 Conclusion
Which is the best toner for African American skin?
It turns out that melanin-rich skin is prone to moisture loss. Oftentimes, dark skin has lower ceramide levels and that leads to problems maintaining hydration (1).
Therefore, if you’re not sure where to start, you can’t go wrong with a moisturizing toner. If you get one that’s oil-free and moisturizing, it will keep the skin comfortable and even reduce oil production. If your skin isn’t dry, it won’t need to overcompensate with excess oil.
Best Toners for Black Skin in 2024
Our very first review is of a product made by a Black-owned company. Check it out.
Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore Refining Toner Serum
It turns out that this is one of the best skin toners for dark spots and large pores. It’s like a toner and serum all-in-one which saves you time and money.
It’s also ideal if you’re still wearing a mask and dealing with maskne (we feel you). That’s because it hydrates but still reduces shine. If you have less oil hanging out on your skin, you’ll have happier pores and a clearer complexion.
Of course, it’s not magic. You’ll still need a gentle cleanser and a decent non-comedogenic moisturizer. But add this toner to your routine and give it a week or so to work its miracle. Like so many other users, you’ll see your face become noticeably smoother, softer, and radiant.
- Toner and serum all-in-one saves time
- Moisturizes but also controls oil
- Refines pores and evens out skin tone
- Designed to meet the needs of melanin-rich skin
- Not cheap, but you’re getting two products for the price of one
[KLAIRS] Supple Preparation Unscented Toner
Here’s what may be the best toner for sensitive Black skin. It’s a K-beauty product from a brand that specializes in gentle skincare products. You can choose from scented and unscented versions – we prefer the unscented for sensitive skin. It has no alcohol, parabens, artificial fragrances, or aromatic essential oils.
Like a traditional toner, it balances the skin’s pH to increase the potency and absorption of serums and moisturizers.
Some of the key ingredients include Centella asiatica, licorice root, and panthenol. All of these soothe and strengthen the skin. Cica (Centella asiatica) is excellent for healing and treating acne. Meanwhile, licorice root lessens discoloration and inflammation.
Users say the toner is a little thick but it isn’t sticky at all. It helps them recover from breakouts in record time and leaves the skin supple. Moreover, since the bottle is translucent, you always know how much you have left.
- Designed for sensitive skin as it’s free of artificial fragrances, essential oils, alcohol, and parabens
- Balances the pH, moisturizes, and reduces discoloration and inflammation
- Speeds recovery from acne breakouts
Murad Hydration Hydrating Toner
This is an alcohol-free toner that also fixes the skin’s pH to prepare for the next step in your beauty routine. It uses a scientific solution to banish dryness called sodium PCA. But that’s not all. It also has cucumber and chamomile that are proven to soothe and soften the skin.
Happily, it has no mineral oil, parabens, animal derivatives, gluten, or animal ingredients. It’s mild yet effective for all skin types, even oily skin. One of the main ingredients is witch hazel, a natural astringent that tightens pores.
Users say it’s helped with dry, flaky skin (like psoriasis) in a way only using moisturizer can’t. On the downside, those with sensitive skin should check the label as it contains dyes and an artificial fragrance.
- Suitable for all skin types, but excellent for dry, flaky skin
- Moisturizes, tightens pores, and balances pH
- Free from mineral oil, parabens, gluten, and animal ingredients
- Contains potential allergens
Bolden Skin Brightening Toner
This is both the best toner for glowing skin and the best toner for hyperpigmentation in Black skin. It’s from a business founded and owned by Black women. They understand the struggle of dealing with discoloration.
The formula is mildly exfoliating with glycolic acid. It fades dark spots and smooths fine lines without drying the skin. This may cause a little flakiness for the first few days that you use it, but that’s normal.
While licorice root and algae even out skin tone and brighten the complexion, witch hazel and niacinamide are busy shrinking pores and calming inflammation. There’s hyaluronic acid to draw in moisture to plump the skin. The overall effect will make you look younger and let you enjoy more supple skin.
Users say even though it’s alcohol-free, the toner tingles a little bit. That’s probably from the witch hazel and glycolic acid. Consider it your reminder to wear sunscreen.
- Potent toner that reduces hyperpigmentation and leaves the face radiant
- Smooths fine lines, shrinks pores, and plumps the skin
- Alcohol-free and infused with soothing algae, hyaluronic acid, and licorice root
- Designed especially for Black skin by a Black-owned brand
- Remember to wear sunscreen because of the exfoliating action of the glycolic acid
THAYERS Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner
What about a natural skin toner for Black skin? Witch hazel is a favorite choice with helpful tannins that control oil production. It helps calm irritation and redness, plus it clears up acne.
It’s suitable for oily and combination skin, but since it’s enhanced with aloe vera and glycerin, it’s safe for most people with dry skin, too. Put a dab on a cotton ball and let this natural astringent minimize your pores. It feels refreshing.
The toner is also available with cucumber, coconut water, or lavender as well as the original fragrance-free version.
- Natural skin toner with non-distilled witch hazel
- Rich in tannins that calm redness and irritation and control oil production
- Suitable for all skin types as it has moisturizing properties but won’t clog pores
- No artificial fragrance, but also available in cucumber, lavender, or coconut water versions
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Clear up pimples and blackheads with an exfoliating toner. This one has both alpha-hydroxy (AHA) and beta-hydroxy (BHA) acids. The BHA is betaine salicylate, which is excellent for unclogging pores by dissolving excess oil.
Next, the AHA is glycolic acid, a potent anti-aging ingredient that smooths fine lines. But both of these natural exfoliators are present in a mild concentration and shouldn’t sting. Plus, they are blended with apple fruit water and allantoin to soothe and refresh the skin.
Happily, this K-beauty product is cruelty-free and has no parabens and phthalates. It’s been dermatologist-tested, too.
Some reviewers said their skin purged for a few days after they started using it, but then the acne cleared, leaving their face supple and nearly poreless.
- Mild blend of alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids to exfoliate and unclog pores
- Refreshes with apple fruit water and allantoin
- Cruelty-free with no parabens or phthalates
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
If you’re not familiar with Paula’s Choice, this is a brand that never includes artificial fragrances or parabens. They have a selection of skincare products targeted at specific concerns. Take a look at this toner for oily skin, for example.
It’s made to tighten pores and minimize blackheads while reducing oil production. But it’s not drying – to the contrary, it clarifies and refines while restoring the skin’s moisture barrier. It uses ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate your face. It also has burdock root, chamomile, and niacinamide to even tone and calm the skin.
But this isn’t the only option. You can also get the Skin Recovery Calming Toner to reduce redness, the Advanced Replenishing Anti-Aging Toner, or the Advanced Repairing Toner.
- Ideal for combination and oily complexions
- Refines pores and minimizes blackheads without drying
- Light dose of moisture with hyaluronic acid and ceramides
- Evens skin tone and calms with chamomile, niacinamide, and burdock root
- No artificial fragrances or parabens
- Not inexpensive, but worth it
La Roche-Posay Serozinc Face Toner for Oily Skin with Zinc
One of the best things you can do for oily skin is to use the right toner. You won’t need a harsh cleanser or drying alcohol to solve the problem. This toner uses only three ingredients to reduce shine.
They include water, zinc sulfate, and sodium chloride. The latter two absorb excess oil like nobody’s business. The formula absorbs quickly and works like magic all day long. You’re likely to find you won’t need to blot as often if at all.
Reviewers love it because the spray only covers a small area at a time, making it convenient for treating only the oily T-zone on combination skin. It provides instant mattification and has no odor.
- Instantly mattifying formula with only three ingredients
- Absorbs excess oil and helps makeup last longer
- Targeted mist makes it easy to treat only the T-zone
- No odor, no parabens, and no fillers
Choose the best toner based on your skin type. There are toners that moisturize, exfoliate, and control oil, so there’s something for everyone.
We hope our reviews helped you find your new favorite skincare product today. If so, we’d love to hear about your experience with it. Feel free to leave us a comment below.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4086530/ J Clin Aesthet Dermatol., published 2014 Jun; 7(6): 25–32. Moisturizing Different Racial Skin Types, by Derrick C. Wan, MD, Victor W. Wong, MD, Michael T. Longaker, MD, MBA, George P. Yang, MD, PHD, and Fu-Chan Wei, MD, accessed June 9, 2021