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The best toners for black skin are those that contain ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and vitamin C, which help to brighten and even out the complexion. Additionally, toners that are formulated with hyaluronic acid can help to hydrate and plump up the skin without irritating it.
In this post, you can find categorized toners by problems that appear most often on black skin and a list of toners that help treat each one of them.
Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore Refining Toner Serum
Even though there are many great toners Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore Refining is considered one of the best toners for African American skin because is suitable for all skin types. It is good for fighting dark spots and reducing shine without stripping natural oils. It is hydrating and it is not going to clog pores. Having a toner that is Alcohol-free, clean, vegan, & gluten-free, and fragrance-free is a true blessing and a very important thing when comes to toners for black skin.
It is one of the best toners for black skin because it minimizes dark spots. This toner has a unique blend of ingredients. It contains:
Good Molecules- Niacinamide Brightening Toner
This toner is one of the toners for black skin that are suitable for acne-prone skin. With this brightening toner, which is light enough for everyday use, you can develop bright, even skin and smaller, less noticeable pores.
The good thing about this toner is that it is fragrance and oil-free.
It contains niacinamide which is a brightening ingredient, glycerin which has moisturizing characteristics, arbutin with its anti-oxidant and skin-brightening properties, and other ingredients that mostly have moisturizing properties.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner made our list of the best toners for black skin because of the interesting combination of ingredients.
This toner is suitable for combination and dry skin. It acts as a gentle exfoliator and reduces dullness. It contains glycolic acid that can hydrate skin and “train” skin to keep its natural moisture, which will satisfy those who use it for dry skin.
Glycolic acid can minimize certain symptoms of sun damage and increase firmness and elasticity when taken in formulations of 5 percent and higher.
When you see a product that has glycolic acid in it make sure to look for hydrating ingredients in it and also use moisturizer after. Another ingredient that this toner contains is grapefruit extract which is going to rejuvenate and refresh dull skin.
And finally, it contains aloe vera which is known for its moisturizing and soothing effects.
This formula is VEGAN, ALCOHOL-FREE and GLUTEN-FREE.
PROOT- Niacinamide Brightening Toner with
Retinol, Niacinamide, and Hyaluronic Acid
This toner may be the solution to your problem with hyperpigmentation. It is going to target dark spots without irritating areas that are healthy. PROOT- Niacinamide Brightening Toner made our list of the best toners for black skin because it has two characteristics. It is going to minimize dark spots and hydrate your skin, which is a great bonus.
Niacinamide Toner is a natural and cutting-edge recipe that is free of synthetic stabilizers, scents, and chemicals.
To achieve this effect of reducing hyperpigmentation they used these ingredients:
OLEHENRIKSEN Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner
This is a very effective black skin toner that will minimize dark spots, unevenness, fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness. Since it contains AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) we would recommend you to make it part of your nighttime routine and make sure to apply sunscreen the next day because AHAs can increase sensitivity to UV damage.
OLEHENRIKSEN Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner is suitable for all skin types but since it contains AHAs make sure to gradually include it in your routine if you have extremely dry and sensitive skin. (AHAs can be irritating for dry and sensitive skin types).
AHAs are organic acids that exfoliate the top layer of skin and they are primarily used to treat surface skin concerns because they cannot get deep into pores. They are great for scars, mild hyperpigmentation, age spots, melasma, enlarged pores, fine lines, and uneven skin tone.
If you have acne-prone skin or oily skin you should be very careful because people with that kind of skin type tend to over-cleanse and over-exfoliate to remove that oil. Acne is a skin condition that can affect our self-esteem, and finding good guidance about it is very hard. So, to find tailored solutions you should certainly check out our digital guide “The Ultimate Guide to Get Rid of Acne” to learn more about the best foods to eat (and avoid), top skincare products and ingredients to look for, and much more.
If you are doing that you should stop because you are going to damage the skin’s natural barrier and force your skin to produce more oil. To battle acne, you need the right active ingredients in your skincare products. Also, you have to hydrate your skin because even though your face is oily it can still be dehydrated and it needs hydration to avoid problems with texture.
Paula's Choice--SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant
This black skin toner can be categorized as exfoliating liquid because its main ingredient is BHA. It is a very gentle and non-abrasive leave-on exfoliating liquid that can unclog pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles, and even out your skin tone.
Skin perfecting BHA liquid exfoliant is so gentle that they recommend it for daily use and for that reason many people use it as a toner after cleansing and before serum and moisturizer.
Also, they say that is gentle enough for all skin types. But since this is an exfoliating liquid we would not recommend you to use it more than three or four times a week.
This toner can be your starting point if you want to test out salicylic acid on your skin. It is clinically proven non-irritating but we all have different skin and some products can be irritating for some people with sensitive skin.
The main ingredient of this toner (BHA), has benefits for all skin types, including hydration, a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and an improvement in firmness, tone, and texture.
However, they are especially beneficial for those with normal to oily skin, clogged or enlarged pores, acne-prone skin, and skin that is beginning to show signs of aging, so we included them on our list of toners for acne-prone skin.
BHAs are very specific because they can get deeper into the pores and unclog them which makes them great for fighting acne.
Paula’s choice is a brand that is known for its formula without harmful ingredients, so we highly recommend this brand.
No BS Salicylic Acid Facial Toner
NO BS Facial toner is great for acne and redness soothing, which means that this is alcohol-free formula (to do its job it should be alcohol-free). It also delivers a gentle exfoliating treatment to unclog pores.
It is also paraben, sulfate, phthalates, toxic petrochemicals, and artificial fragrances – FREE. The absence of those ingredients makes this toner one of the best toners for African American skin. Its gentle ingredients make it suitable for all skin types, but if you have sensitive skin you should be careful since it has witch hazel. It contains:
However, because it might irritate those with dry or highly sensitive skin, witch hazel shouldn’t be used on them.
Tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties help in the relief of itchy, sore skin. Redness and swelling may also be lessened with its help. According to research, tree oil soothes skin that has been irritated because it is sensitive to nickel.
Proactiv Hydrating Facial Toner
Proactiv Hydrating Facial Tone is suitable for acne-prone sensitive skin. This toner made our list of best toners for black skin because it is going to prevent breakouts from appearing and it is going to shrink pores. This formula is also alcohol-free.
Ingredients that are different than in other mentioned toners above are:
ELT Marine Relax Rescure Toner
Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free
Kiehl’s hydrating toner is suitable for oily and normal skin types. It can help to hydrate dehydrated oily skin.
The main ingredient of these tones is Calendula extract which has antiseptic properties (great for treating wounds and preventing acne) and stimulates collagen production. Also, calendula can lighten skin and lessen age spots by lowering the amount of the skin pigment melanin.
This is a moisturizing ingredient that can reduce the occurrence of dry skin.
It can be used as a great base before AHAs or BHAs exfoliators. It is very important to apply toner before exfoliator because it will help to soothe skin irritation.
Have you seen that trend where people use this toner as a sheet mask?
Since this is pricy toner soaking multiple cotton pads in it and even applying it with a cotton pad is very irresponsible. You have to make sure to use your products to the maximum, so apply it with your hands because a cotton pad can absorb 50%-60% of your product.
It made our list of best toners for black skin because it is made with whole flowers, pure extracts, and without fragrance.
Pixi Beauty Rose Tonic
This toner will soothe, hydrate, calm, and refresh your skin without drying it out. You should apply it after cleanser and before serum and moisturizer.
They recommend applying it with a cotton pad but since this is hydrating toner it would be best to apply it with your hands to save your product and make it last longer. It made our list of the best toners for black skin because of its hydrating abilities.
To deeply hydrate your skin Pixi toner contains:
In the text above I have listed the best toners for black skin based on skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, dry skin, and oily skin. Choosing the right toner for your skin also depends on your skin type, its specific needs, and the benefits of certain toners.
Toner is usually a neglected part of the skincare routine and I think that is because people still think of them as a cleansing solution to remove leftovers after cleanser. Toners have come far from that because of the amount of active ingredients that they contain. In my opinion, toners can be beneficial for different skin concerns, including hydration, moisturization, and even treating specific skin issues as long as you choose a suitable one.
In the text below I have written a detailed guide on how to choose the best toner for black skin, taking into consideration your skin concerns, type, and active ingredients.
You should choose a toner based on ingredients. The best toners for black are characterized by the presence of active ingredients and a lack of harmful ingredients like alcohol, essential oils, and fragrance.
Yes, we know that now you are wondering who has the time to read the list of ingredients. You don’t have to because many toners have highlighted active ingredients so based on those ingredients and their benefits for different skin conditions you should know which one your skin needs.
We are going to list active ingredients for different skin conditions, so the next time when you see that ingredient in the name of toner you can immediately know if you need it for your skin problem. For example, if you see a toner that contains AHAs and niacinamide you can conclude that it is the best toner for hyperpigmentation in black skin.
Acnes are very problematic for skin of color because they lead to hyperpigmentation which can take years to get rid of, so to avoid that you have to treat acne on time and properly.
Here at HerGlance, we believe in beauty from the inside, so it is very important to change your diet and lifestyle for healthy skin. Since sugar and stress are among the factors for triggering acne you should eat less sugar and try to stress out less.
If you are looking for toners that take care of acne problems, you should check out our post about the best Korean toners. Korean toners are usually extremely lightweight and perform pretty well on acne-prone skin since they don’t have many ingredients in their formulas.
Active ingredients that are great for treating acne on black skin are:
2 % or less salicylic acid which is anti-inflammatory at this percentage. Salicylic acid is fat-soluble which means that it can get into pores, clear and unclog them.
Benzoyl peroxide has anti-bacterial benefits and you should look for 2.5 % max as a face wash. We would recommend you use it in the form of face wash rather than the leave-on product because benzoyl peroxide can be irritating and using it this way you are washing it off your face. If you feel any irritation, sensitivity, or flakiness ease off.
Also, it is very important to be aggressive in treating acne. Dr. Vanita Rattan recommends starting treating acne at 9-10 years old because that is when the skin becomes a little bit oily and congested. So, it is up to parents to plant good habits at an early age for their children for healthy skin later.
Hyperpigmentation is a huge concern for skin of color and every bit of help is valuable. So it would be a good idea to add a layer of actives in the toner that will help you to deal with this skin concern. The best ingredient to minimize brown marks are:
Vitamin A promotes natural moisturizing, which means it helps to efficiently hydrate the skin and give it a beautiful glow. It also supports the skin’s immune system, speeds up healing, prevents breakouts, and supports the skin’s healing process.
Vitamin C is a powerful fat and water-soluble anti-oxidant which can improve skin tone and texture and hydrate the skin. It will mop up free radicals and prevent more damage
Vitamin E is also a fat-soluble antioxidant that softens the skin, protects cells from damage, and stops the skin from losing moisture.
Alpha Arbutin is a powerful ingredient because it decreases tyrosinase activity, which means that the production of melanin in your skin is lessened. Tyrosine and melanin levels that are lower offer a more even look by reducing pigmentation and dark areas. Age spots, acne scars, and post-blemish redness are all reduced by alpha arbutin.
Other ingredients are dioic acid and kojic acid.
Many toners include hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, panthenol, urea, or aloe vera. These can help maintain your skin’s moisture balance and contribute to a healthy complexion.
Melanocytes are the type of cells that give the skin its color. They create melanosomes, which are tiny spheres containing the pigment melanin. According to studies, regardless of skin color, everyone has about the same amount of melanocytes in their skin. The melanosomes’ size and distribution are different. Skin color depends on their size, if they are larger, that means that skin will be darker.
People with dark complexion have a reduced risk of sun damage, therefore they tend to age slower and have a lower risk of skin cancer. But there is a theory that is going around that people with dark complexion don’t need sunscreen. That is not true. Yes, they have a lower risk of developing skin cancer, but if they do it is harder to notice and diagnose.
• Hyperpigmentation and dark complexion
The main problem that people with dark complexion have is developing pigmentation (hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation).
Hyperpigmentation is producing too much pigment which develops into dark spots. Even small injuries tend to develop into hyperpigmentation. Hypopigmentation means that color is lost, which means there are light-colored patches on the skin.
The most common problem that people with dark complexion have is hyperpigmentation after some kind of injuries like cuts and burns. It also can develop simultaneously with eczema and acne. Dark spots can also occur because of sun exposure, so it is very important to apply sunscreen all year round.
It is very important to include products that will help to fight hyperpigmentation and in our list of best toners for black skin you can find those. If you have sensitive skin you should avoid products with these ingredients: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoids, and glycolic acid to prevent hyperpigmentation from occurring because they tend to dry out and irritate the skin.
These products are not “bad guys” for all people with a dark complexion, just for those with sensitive and dry skin. They are perfectly safe to use if that is done correctly.
• Eczema and dark complexion
Eczema Is a problem for people with a dark complexion in two ways:
– it tends to be misdiagnosed
– It represents the risk of forming hyperpigmentation if not treated on time
This skin disorder, also known as dermatitis, is characterized by an itchy, red rash that develops gradually and lasts for a very long time. Stress, extreme temperature changes, dry skin, allergies to plants or animals, or irritants found in skin care or cosmetic products are just a few of the factors that might cause it.
So the best advice to prevent this condition from happening is to avoid products that irritate the skin.
• Acne and dark complexion
In some cases skincare products including toners can be a reason behind the acne on your skin, to prevent that situation we have created a post that lists out all cases when toner causes acne and solutions for them.
Any skin type is sensitive to acne. But persons with dark complexion should be especially concerned because of its connection to hyperpigmentation. When the skin produces too much oil, acne begins to form. The pore openings are blocked by the oil’s mixing with microorganisms inside the pores.
Lesions, ranging in size from small, undetectable lumps to huge cysts, are the consequence of the inflammation that occurs just beneath the skin.
To prevent this condition you should have a skincare routine and follow it daily. You should cleanse, tone, and moisturize regularly.
To help you find suitable toner we have made a list that contains the best toner for black skin with this problem.
If you develop this skin condition it is best to see a specialist that is skilled in treating ethnic complexions as soon as possible.
Identifying your skin type is another step in creating a skincare routine that will work to your advantage. Different skin types need different hydration levels. You can find the ideal balance between moisturizing and not over-moisturizing your skin with toners by being aware of how oily or dry your skin is. If you think that you will not be able to do that by yourself make sure to visit the dermatologist.
To determine your skin type it would be best to cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser to remove makeup, impurities, and dirt. Then wait for one hour to allow your skin to return to its natural state and after that, you can observe your skin.
If your skin has an oily and shiny appearance, very large and obvious pores and it feels thick or rough you likely have oily skin. This means that the sebaceous glands in the skin make too much sebum (a waxy, oily substance that protects and hydrates the skin). If oily skin is severe or home treatments (skincare products or remedies) do not relieve symptoms, you should visit a dermatologist.
If your skin feels tight, rough, flaky, or even itchy, you likely have dry skin. This means that your skin doesn’t have enough moisture in it to keep it feeling soft.
You probably have combination skin if you see that some parts (often the T-zone) are oily while others (cheeks, jawline) are normal to dry.
You probably have normal skin if it feels balanced, isn’t too greasy or dry, and is typically comfortable.
You probably have sensitive skin if it shows signs of redness, itching, burning, or other sensitivity-related symptoms as a reaction to new products. In that case you will have to learn to read ingredients list very well.
Including toner in your routine has many benefits and it is easy to do so. Many toners contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Applying a toner helps to lock in moisture, especially if you follow it up with a moisturizer. Toners can increase the absorption of following skincare products, enhancing their ability to target specific concerns.
Applying toner prepares your skin for the next steps in your skincare routine. It can help your skin absorb serums, treatments, and moisturizers more effectively. Also, it helps your skin to tolerate strong ingredients. For example, if you have sensitive skin, toner with niacinamide helps your skin to tolerate retinol in the next steps of the routine.
So, how to include toner in your routine?
The type of toner you’re using and the needs of your skin will determine how frequently you should apply it. Usually, you can use a toner in the morning and the evening, but if it contains exfoliating acids (such as AHAs or BHAs) or other strong ingredients it would be best to use few times a week.
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